Ridley go retro for the Tour de France

Belgian manufacturer produce retro-inspired bikes for the Lotto-Belisol team

by David Arthur @davearthur   July 1, 2014  

Belgian manufacturer Ridley will provide retro-inspired bikes for the Lotto-Belisol team to start the Tour de France on this weekend.

The Lotto-Belisol squad have been racing this season in retro inspired race kit, replacing last year’s bright white, blue and yellow kit with a red jersey with a white band containing the simple text logo, and paired with black shorts. At the time of launch the team claimed the new design celebrates “the 30 years of Lotto tradition in cycling with a basic retro look.” 

Now they’ll be riding bikes matching the team kit. Ridley says they “wanted to do something special for the start of the Tour de France. Because we did not have the time to create a new design for the Lotto-Belisol team at the start of the season, we gave them a new look for the biggest cycling event of the year. We made a retro design that suits the new look of the team.”

The head designer at Ridley Bikes, Alexander Torelli, says it wasn’t easy applying a retro paint job to a modern carbon race bike: "I wanted this design to be a harmonious blend of retro and modern touches. It was a challenge to make a retro design for a modern carbon bike. The tube shapes we use now are very different from the steel tubes they used in the past. Therefore, this is my modern take on a retro design.

"Because we designed this for the Lotto-Belisol team, I found some inspiration in their cycling kit. The red color and Belgian flag are an obvious reference to the jersey, but there also are more subtle references. On the top tube you can read "ride your dream", referring to the "live your dream" slogan the team is using.

"The black paint on the frame covers the more modern parts, and are designed to resemble the "lugs" that were used on steel frames to connect the tubes. We chose for a matte clear coat finish which is lighter, but in my opinion also looks older. The well known Ridley font was also changed to better suit the retro design."

Underneath the paint the bikes are the same they team have been racing all season. The riders have a choice of the light Helium SL, an ideal climbing bike, or the aero Noah Fast, favoured by the sprinters and breakaway specialists.

Team rider Jürgen Roelandts, who will line up in Leeds on Saturday, seems impressed with the new bikes: "I saw the new bikes for the first time when the mechanics assembled them at the service course last week. They are really stylish. I look forward to be racing on them. Especially during the Tour de France, the biggest cycling event in the world. The new design perfectly matches the outfit we wear this season and the retro look we strive for. This bike and outfit remind me of the Flandria team. It's a bit of nostalgia."


12 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

The Helium is a beauty.

It is very like the Flandria team design though. Still, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

posted by Chris James [299 posts]
1st July 2014 - 10:06


That's a better looking bike in those colours. Simple yet highlights the design beautifully.

posted by Jacob [40 posts]
1st July 2014 - 10:43



posted by Jonny_Trousers [226 posts]
1st July 2014 - 10:48


Arrgh - enough with the black red and white! This is a beautiful design, and the retro look does limit the colour choices, but still!

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3709 posts]
1st July 2014 - 11:03


Why is it 'retro', its just a good colour scheme. retro is a steel frame with a 5 speed setup and a woolen jersey sagging down below your balls.

'It's the closest you can get to flying'
Robin Williams response when asked why he enjoyed riding so much

posted by Simmo72 [525 posts]
1st July 2014 - 13:18


I think it is just the contrasting panels that make it 'retro'. Maybe the solid colours?

I don't see how this limits the colours available though. I think a general sheep mentality and lack of imagination seems to be limiting everyone to red and black.

posted by Chris James [299 posts]
1st July 2014 - 13:35


I think the Helium looks very nice. The Noah Fast on the other hand looks a bit off: the curves of the frame clash with the sharp angles from the panelling.

jamesfifield's picture

posted by jamesfifield [105 posts]
1st July 2014 - 14:40


Lovely colour scheme, looks like a proper bike. A sky blue with white panels version would look good too.

posted by Welsh boy [249 posts]
1st July 2014 - 15:46


Agree about being limited to red white 'n' black, however the alleged retro scheme looks super.

Also glad that someone still makes curved forks.

Only niggle I have is that the font is a bit too 'bold' to my eyes.

Love the HELIUM.


Ashok Captain

posted by Ashok C [2 posts]
1st July 2014 - 16:19


Brilliant. I think the only way to improve on this is to make a sky blue and white version of this. And of course black just to please boring old farts Sad

posted by FJM1002 [17 posts]
1st July 2014 - 22:47


What are the chances of this becoming a special edition for customers? I flippin' love that Helium.

posted by andrewt197 [1 posts]
3rd July 2014 - 8:49


Looks like a copy of the Flandria carbon frames that have been around since 2011



posted by AdamL [1 posts]
9th July 2014 - 16:32