This understated grey bike is the latest and lightest Helium SLX, the flagship race bike from Belgian bike brand Ridley.
The Helium SLX is the successor to the previous SL and signifies the company's attempt at making it lighter, stiffer and better. A revised frame design, both the carbon layup and new tube shapes, has dropped the frame weight to a claimed 750g. There's a new fork as well, slimmer and lighter to the tune of 300g. Not only is is lighter, it's also stiffer by 15% compared to the old model.
We've got a test bike with the latest Dura-Ace 9100 groupset from Shimano, in mechanical guise. The complete bike weight for this 56cm model is just 7kg, a fighting weight indeed and it should fly up the climbs.
Ridley makes its own components under the 4ZA label and so we find a nice carbon fibre handlebar and seatpost, plus an aluminium stem and wafer thin saddle.
Fulcrum Racing 5 LG CX wheels combine an aluminium clincher rim with oversized hubs with double sealed bearings and aero spokes. Wrapped around the tyres are Continental Ultra Sport tyres in a 25mm width.
This is a bike that is designed for racing and climbing. It’s already been proven in the cobbles of the spring classics and is the go-to choice for stage races, and we look forward to letting it loose on our local roads.
Like what you're seeing? If you want one, it'll cost you £4,899.99.
Wondering what else you could get for a similar price if it's a race bike you're after? There's the excellent Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Dura-Ace 1 that we were very impressed by last year, but the 2017 model now costs £6,500, even though you do getter better finishing kit and wheels. From the Canyon stable you could pick the Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 with the same Dura-Ace groupset and superior Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon Exalith WTS wheels ad pocket the £800 you'll save.
We'll get the Helium SLX out on the road and stay tuned for the full review soon.
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.