The SL R Series frameset is manufactured from a carefully selected blend of Toray’s carbon using more of the T1000 grade than the standard SL and layered to an exacting specification to reduce weight without compromising stiffness and strength. The frame is crafted using advanced monocoque mould technology incorporating an EPS inner core system which ensures complete consistency of the structural integrity of the fibres and resin throughout the frame. This system also eliminates excess material on the inside of the frame.
Frame: Toray T1000/T800 full carbon fibre monocoque.
Colour: Raw Carbon.
Fork: Toray T1000/T800 full carbon fibre monocoque.
Headset: 1.5" Top & bottom.
Brake Fitment: Flat mount disc.
Cable Routing: Internal, including Di2 compatibility.
Front Derailleur Mount: Braze-On.
Bottom Bracket: Press fit BB86.
Seat Clamp: Integrated wedge system.
Tyre Clearance: *32mm without mudguards fitted, 25mm with mudguards.
Mudguard Compatible. Yes.
Thru-Axles: 100/122/M12*P1.5 Front - 142/173/M12*P1.5 Rear.
I like the design of the frame-set both aesthetically, with the dropped seat stay design current on many road bikes, & also from the technical point of view as reported in reviews - very light, stiff & responsive yet still comfortable & compliant rear end which has been proved to be the case since riding it. In my opinion it competes more than adequately with similar frame designs by more high-profile makers but at an extremely competitive price. I was grateful for the telephone call with the Paint Shop Manager to clarify how close it would be possible to get to the Pantone shades I had requested & the ‘custom’ colour design combination matched what I had envisaged. I was also impressed with the Customer Service team who were very helpful with advice & answering questions prior to me ordering the frame-set. So all-in-all I am very satisfied with these aspects & would happily recommend Ribble bikes – this is the second one I’ve owned, the first being a Sportive Bianco that has covered about 17.5k miles since purchase in 2012 & is still an excellent, light machine.
I will however add a couple of negative comments, the first concerning an issue with the headset/top cap unit. The originally supplied parts, which were (I think) designed for the Level 5 integrated bar-stem unit so that cabling & hoses could be routed completely within the frame, left a sizeable gap between the top of the head tube & top cap. This didn’t seem quite right as I felt that this would allow water to get in so mentioned it in an e-mail to Customer Services & this was followed by discussions between the Senior Mechanic & a club colleague who put the bike together for me. Although a replacement was sent, there was still a noticeable gap &, when this was pointed out & the stock was checked, it seemed there was some variance between the parts Ribble had been supplied with suggesting quality control in this area could be better. In the end my friend, an engineer & very experienced bike builder, was able to redesign & fabricate a solution. Fortunately this was done in his company’s workshop at a relatively modest cost & has solved the problem, the gap between top cap & frame now being c.0.5mm when torqued up. However, I don’t believe that this should have been necessary & would urge Ribble to consider modifying the current design to something similar to his, details of which (CAD design & technical drawings) we’d be happy to supply to them. I’m sure, if this was done, economies of scale would add a relatively minimal cost to the Endurance range of frame-sets/bikes & result in an even more impressive product.
The other issue arose on the first ride out on the bike (20 miles) when the saddle slipped, I subsequently discovered a small piece of the upper edge of the U shaped ‘cup’ that the clamp sat in had broken off & e-mailed Customer Services. Whilst this part of the ‘cup’ doesn’t affect the seat clamp attachment, I requested that the seat post be replaced since a break to an essentially new part does not promote confidence in its longevity - I am still awaiting a response to this request.
As mentioned above, I am more than happy with the bike though would have preferred not to have encountered these two small but annoying issues, hence the slightly less that perfect Quality rating.