Ridley Excalibur Opinions
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 61
  1. #1
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005

    Ridley Excalibur Opinions

    After riding steel for the last 23 years, I'm thinking carbon fiber for my next road bike, perhaps the Excalibur. I don't compete, weigh in at 138 lbs. and ride about 3,500 miles yearly. Average speed 18 - 19 MPH. I have no special fit requirements, but am comfortable with a 530 mm TT length, which the Excalibur accomodates.

    For riding characteristics I don't like 'stodgy' (Spec Roubaix?), twitchy (Tarmac?), or super stiff (Cervelo R3?). I may not be spot on with my observations of these bikes, but I thought including my observations might provide some insight into the type of ride I prefer. I guess I'd call it 'balanced', for lack of a better term.

    Any opinions on the Excalibur would be appreciated, along with opinions if you think it fits my needs/ wants or not.

  2. #2
    kytyree
    Guest
    I have the Damocles and haven't ridden the Excalibur but it might be worth comparing at least those two and maybe a couple of others in Ridley's line. Depending on who you ask some think the ride of the Damocles is a little more forgiving than the Excalibur but I have heard it said both ways. Both are only a year or so removed from being pro tour bikes so I doubt either of them will feel too flexy but at 138 pounds you might prefer one over the other.

    Also the new Helium might be worth looking at, little higher cost I think but its really light, has the integrated mast and is supposed to be an improvement over the Noah.

  3. #3
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005
    Thanks for the response. Test rides are out for a couple of reasons. One, there are no Ridley dealers near me and two, the less I have to do with LBS, the better. Most in my area aren't very knowledgable and aren't willing to order 50 - 52 cm bikes unless I 'special order'.

    These are the reasons I'm trying to get some input from people on the Excalibur. I want to order the frameset online and build it up myself. My 'self inflicted' budget is about $2500 total. Not because I can't afford more, but it being my first CF bike, I want to test the waters first.

  4. #4
    kytyree
    Guest
    Look into the demo program from competitive cyclist, I think you would need to buy your bike from them in the end to justify the cost of the program but it might be worth checking on. I think it cost $300 initially for them to ship a bike to you for a week to try out and then if you buy one from them within a certain time period (14 days?) all of that $300 goes toward the bike you buy, I think that would also apply to purchasing a frame only. It used to be only $150 of the cost would go toward your purchase, I think, but check this link as I think it explains the changes:
    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=WHATS_NEW

    I think both the excalibur and the damocles are available to try out and the Competitive site is a good place, IMO, to read up on the ridley frames. I bought my Damocles from them.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    966
    The Damocles is a bit more comfortable & the excalibur a bit lighter but both are high performance frames with great success at the pro level with Unibet & Lotto, I think if you are doing short fast rides or lots of climbing the excalibur is great - for more of an allrounder and longer rids then go for Damocles. They have changed the colours on the 08 excalibur so there seems to be a few bargains which should tip the scales towards excalibur if on a budget or looking for better value. The XS - 44 has a top tube of 52.5 which should be a perfect fit - they have them here in europe on-line with centaur & scirocco wheels for around your budget. Send me a PM if you have trouble finding one.

  6. #6
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005
    Thanks again for the info, Kytyree. I'm familiar with CC and was poking around their website before I posted, but the link you provided is very useful.

    I'm located in upstate NY, so a test ride of any bike is iffy at best, but if there are breaks in our snow forecasts (6 - 7" more coming) the demo program is an option.

    I also looked on the Randall Scott site, but don't know how they are to deal with. Their price for the '07 Excalibur was about $200 less than CC.

    Right now I'm just reaching out to Ridley riders to get their thoughts on the ride qualities of a couple of the lower end models for the reasons mentioned. There are a couple of other brands I'm looking at, but trying to avoid the mainstream.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    401
    I just picked up a used Excalibur. However, it's snowing in Minnesota, so it will be a while before it sees anything but the trainer. The fit and finish is very nice! I would consider a used one if you are testing the waters.

  8. #8
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005
    Yup, everything you've offered I've read in various other locations. I'm not interested in a complete bike, just the frameset. Bicycling mag liked the Excalibur, but said it wasn't as light as some other offerings in the price range. But I believe the frameset has lightened up a little and the price has dropped since the review.

    Do you happen to know the rake and trail of the bikes? All their CF's from Excalibur up share the same geometry, but they don't seem to publish those stats.

  9. #9
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005
    We're crazy to live in the snowbelts, aren't we?? I spend 5 1/2 months on the trainer and the remainder of the year outside whenever possible.

    I've only seen pics of the Ridleys, but their finish seems very nice. They also don't seem to suffer a lot of the failures you hear about with some other brands.

    I'm a worryer by nature, so I'm a little afraid of buying used. It's just me.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    966
    I think excalibur at 1100g is very light for its price range - sub 1000 is like super bike status so don't know what they are on about. The excalibur frame has not changed from last year (apart from colour) only Noah and Helium have been lightened a bit. Basically Ridley has 3 geometries (and an odd one for Triton D);

    1 - Classic: Triton, Aedon, Scandium
    2 - Sloping: Noah, Helium, Damocles, Excalibur, Heracles, Boreas, Triton S, EOS, Eva
    3 - Compact: Orion, Compact, Triton C

    I have the 08 catalogue PM with your email if you'd like a copy - it has all the geometry tables in it.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    966
    Here is the table - XXS only for Triton and EVA

    RidleyGeo.JPG
    RidleyGeoTable.JPG

  12. #12
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005
    I think the review may have been written a couple of years ago. Frame weights and prices have dropped a little since then. Reviews are good to read to pick up information, but my opinion is it's one persons opinion and they may not have the same criteria for ride quality, etc. that I do.

    I've seen the geo chart that you posted, but if you notice there's no info on fork rake or trail. If you could check your catalog for rake I can figure out the trail.

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    966
    There is no info on the fork rake or trail for frame specific forks such as ones on Excalibur upwards but all 4ZA branded forks have the industry standard 43 mm rake and since the geometry is the same for all sloping frames I am 99% sure its the same.

  14. #14

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    1,401
    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352
    After riding steel for the last 23 years, I'm thinking carbon fiber for my next road bike, perhaps the Excalibur. I don't compete, weigh in at 138 lbs. and ride about 3,500 miles yearly. Average speed 18 - 19 MPH. I have no special fit requirements, but am comfortable with a 530 mm TT length, which the Excalibur accomodates.

    For riding characteristics I don't like 'stodgy' (Spec Roubaix?), twitchy (Tarmac?), or super stiff (Cervelo R3?). I may not be spot on with my observations of these bikes, but I thought including my observations might provide some insight into the type of ride I prefer. I guess I'd call it 'balanced', for lack of a better term.

    Any opinions on the Excalibur would be appreciated, along with opinions if you think it fits my needs/ wants or not.
    I have an 07 Excalibur. I love it. It replaced a very nice Specialized Roubaix, but I like my Excalibur much better. I think the bike handles much better at speed, especially when descending. I attribute that to the beefy lower headset bearing (1 1/8"), and the beefy down tube. It rides well, and doesn't punish me on rough roads. It's relatively light (but no feather-weight), and has a very nice finish. (I love the exposed carbon weave).

    I like the fact that I rarely see another Ridley when riding.

    I weight 175lbs 5'11"
    "Better to pin a number on and finish last, than never to pin a number on at all. Racing's cool."

    "Coolhand"

  15. #15
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005
    That was helpful, thanks for sharing. I suspect you're right about the larger lower headset bearings contributing to stability. They're on some other brands, but not in this price range.

    I'm having trouble finding some info that most other manufacturers provide, specifically the fork rake and trail. If I could get the rake, I can figure out the trail. Toonraid has assisted me with this, but no one seems to know the numbers.

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    1,297
    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352
    That was helpful, thanks for sharing. I suspect you're right about the larger lower headset bearings contributing to stability. They're on some other brands, but not in this price range.

    I'm having trouble finding some info that most other manufacturers provide, specifically the fork rake and trail. If I could get the rake, I can figure out the trail. Toonraid has assisted me with this, but no one seems to know the numbers.
    The rake on the fork is 43mm. I just dug out the geometry sheet that came with my Helium frame (same fork). It's written in Chinese, but the numbers are there, plain as day.

  17. #17
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005
    Excellent, thanks for checking! That would put the trail above 60, which explains the feeling of stability that riders seem to experience.

    Is the Helium the one and only Ridley you've owned/ ridden? Just curious of your take on the Excalibur or Damocles.

  18. #18
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    1,297
    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352
    Excellent, thanks for checking! That would put the trail above 60, which explains the feeling of stability that riders seem to experience.

    Is the Helium the one and only Ridley you've owned/ ridden? Just curious of your take on the Excalibur or Damocles.
    I've had all three. The Excalibur and the Helium are very similar. Stiff in the bottom, yet very comfy and complaint. The big, round tubes are the reason. The stiffness comes from both the tube size and the size of the joints, where the tubes meet. They ride very similarly.

    The Damocles was a great riding bike, but just didn't have the ride quality of the Helium. It seemed a bit buzzier over tar and chip roads. Again, tubing shapes and the straight fork are the reason for this. The fork wasn't as stiff as the Excalibur/Helium fork either. A lot of pros switched out the forks when they rode the Damocles.

    All three bikes were very stable at speed and seemed to go better when pushed hard.

    Excal...


    Damo...



    Helium...


  19. #19
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005
    All really nice looking bikes. I think I like the looks of the Damocles the best. At least the way you've built it up.

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    1,297
    Too bad it broke...

    I got the Helium on warranty though, so no complaints!

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    91
    I was in the same situation. I rode exclusively steel (mountain and road) for the past 15 years and wanted to try out Carbon Fiber for my new bike. I struggled with the decision because I really like the ride of steel, and the newer steel frames ride really nice (made with Deda EOM 16.5, Columbus Spirit, True Temper S3) compared to my older Reynolds 853 frame.

    I test rode everything I could get my hands on over about a 6 month period - Steel, Titanium, Carbon, Multi Material. I had a chance to ride the Excalibur, and I have to say it's a really nice frame, comfortable, fast and really climbs well. It was at the top of my list for a while. Coming from steel I had pretty much the same impression that you had of the other frames, and the Excalibur just seemed right -- I don't think you'll be dissappointed.

    Though as you mentioned you are a worrier, so am I. So I had a few caveats for my decision: steel like ride characteristics, lifetime warranty, if possible made in house and not outsourced (regardless if it was made in China). It seems most people only keep their carbon bikes for several seasons if that, but I haven't gotten rid of any of the bikes I bought in the past 20 years unless you count one that was stolen, so the lifetime warranty was a big deal for me.

    Ridley was fine with the ride, though it only comes with a 5 year warranty (which is still pretty good compared to most of the other European brands), and even though they are outsourced the quality was pretty nice. The new Trek Madone has the warranty and in house build, but the ride was really artificial and plastic like (some say wooden). Cervelo has a lifetime warranty, and the bikes are fast and handle great, but they just didn't have the ride quality I was looking for, plus our local Cervelo dealer is stuck up. Giant was high up on the list as the Advanced frame rides incredibly nice, and has the lifetime warranty, made in house in their own factories (in China), though the fit an finish was pretty shoddy, the frame I test rode had orange peel like pitting all over the frame. Looks are pretty awesome, I test rode the mid range 565 and was really impressed with the fit and finish (probably the best in the industry) and it climbed like crazy, though again only a 5 year warranty. Blue Competition may not be as well known, but that bike was really nice as well, comes with lifetime warranty and rides as well as any of the bikes out there, but some models are more crit specific and twitchier, you can find the Blues on closeouts and can get a great deal on them as well. I was about to get the Blue RC7, but... In the end I got a Time Edge Racer frame. Lifetime warranty, made completely in house in France down to weaving the carbon fiber, and has the closest steel like ride I could find -- in fact it has great road "feel" like steel but is able to mute out the buzz in metal frames, and I still get shocked at how great it climbs.

    Though to answer your question about the Excalibur. If the warranty is not an issue, I think you'll really like the frame. Some of my observations. The downtube is tremendous. Pictures don't do it justice. It is really big. Coming from thin tube steel frames, it was a bit awkward feeling, and made me feel like it was creating extra aerodynamic drag. The sizing is awkward as well. On most other frames I fit their med or med/large. On the Ex I fit the small. It's not a super light frame, so you may not have a super light bike, but it is still light enough to build a nice race worthy bike. The road feel is a little more muted feeling than my Time, though the Ex is still nice and still has good feel compared to some other brands. The Ex is stiff and climbs really well sitting or standing, which was suprising. I think it was the best climbing-while-sitting bike I tried. The fit and finish was nice, and the fact is was out sourced didn't really seem to matter. If I had pulled the trigger on the Excalibur I don't think I would have been dissappointed with that decision at all.

    That brings me to a final point. I'm glad I tried Carbon this time around, and I really like my new Time bike, and it is much quicker than my steel frames, but I think I'll be going back to steel after I had my fun with this bike. I had a chance to ride some of the newer steel frames as well, and I actually prefer the ride of the newer steel bikes to any carbon fiber frame I've tried. Some riders that are used to Carbon may just as well prefer the ride of Carbon to steel as well. While my Time bike is faster than my older steel bike, I actually see more differences in my times on a regular course I ride based on my condition at the time (whether I'm feeling strong or tired that day). On a strong day, I could pretty much ride the course in the same amount of time whether I'm on my 16 lb (total including pedals, computer, cages) Time or my 22 lb steel bike, as I was already passing guys on carbon fiber bikes on my old steel bike anyway. Though at least I can say I had a Carbon frame now.

  22. #22
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005
    Thanks for taking the time to share those thoughts, mandasol. You brought up some good points - maybe the best being your closing statement about maintaining consistent times whether on a 22 lb bike or a 16 lb bike. Reminds me of a well known cyclists saying... "It's not about the bike".

  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352
    After riding steel for the last 23 years, I'm thinking carbon fiber for my next road bike, perhaps the Excalibur. I don't compete, weigh in at 138 lbs. and ride about 3,500 miles yearly. Average speed 18 - 19 MPH. I have no special fit requirements, but am comfortable with a 530 mm TT length, which the Excalibur accomodates.

    For riding characteristics I don't like 'stodgy' (Spec Roubaix?), twitchy (Tarmac?), or super stiff (Cervelo R3?). I may not be spot on with my observations of these bikes, but I thought including my observations might provide some insight into the type of ride I prefer. I guess I'd call it 'balanced', for lack of a better term.

    Any opinions on the Excalibur would be appreciated, along with opinions if you think it fits my needs/ wants or not.
    i just got one and gotta say it is totally schweeet! the maiden voyage was the 20 km trip back from my LBS to my house, so not really that long a ride, but what i immediately noticed is that it's super smooth and more importantly, fits me very very well. weather permitting i will do a longer ride tomorrow and post more feedback then. for now, here are some pics...




  24. #24
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005
    That's a nice looking ride, thanks for sharing. Is it an '08? Also, did your LBS get the frameset in and build it up? If so, (and you may not know this) did the steerer tube have to be cut down?

    I'm very curious to hear more about your riding impressions. Specifically, how much road feedback along with smoothing out the irregulairies. I find many CF bikes either over compensate (and end up feeling somewhat dead) or are overly stiff and beat me up. I'm looking for a bike with a somewhat balanced ride.

  25. #25
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352
    That's a nice looking ride, thanks for sharing. Is it an '08? Also, did your LBS get the frameset in and build it up? If so, (and you may not know this) did the steerer tube have to be cut down?

    I'm very curious to hear more about your riding impressions. Specifically, how much road feedback along with smoothing out the irregulairies. I find many CF bikes either over compensate (and end up feeling somewhat dead) or are overly stiff and beat me up. I'm looking for a bike with a somewhat balanced ride.
    Yes it's an 08. The silver blue pics that you find on CC are a bit too much on the metallic side. In person it's actually a bit more muted (that's bec the blue paint is semi-transparent and you can actually see the weave below it, very nice imo. See pic below i took outdoors). And yes, my lbs built it up for me. The only thing "stock" here is the saddle (in-house 4za). The great thing about my lbs is that though it was a custom build, he pretty much gave me the finishing kit (oval) at OEM prices (which is where manufacturers can pass on the price savings) + freebies like the keos, cages and saddle bag. He also took his time in setting me up (we spent around 1.5 hrs), so i was on a trainer and we would tinker around with setback, stem length, etc. And lastly, no he didnt cut the steerer. In fact we left it with 4 spacers on, but the nice thing about ridleys is that the relatively taller headtube means you wont end up with a giraffe kinda look.

    Ok so as to the ride. And I will try my best to avoid all the superlatives you normally hear in reviews (but that may be tough! )…Ok so I took it out to our 50km club ride this morning. Within the first few minutes I could already notice the difference between this and my old ride (ok that was a 2000 columbus steel univega, so i'm sure any of the new offerings would’ve felt different too!). the ride was very smooth and the word that comes to mind – ok superlative coming up – is it feels like gliding. Our route covers some chipseal parts and honestly it didn’t feel “buzzy” at all. I had my tires at 120psi and in my old ride, I could really feel the buzz transmitted to my hands at this tire pressure. Now when we hit better quality roads, I cranked it up a bit and did some out of saddle sprints and I think this is where it really shines. I was expecting the rear to feel too light (as I heard on compact frames that can be the case esp for light riders – I am 60kg when training for an event, more like 63kg now post-christmas!), but it did not feel that way at all. In fact I tried leaning in forward a bit (was on the hoods) while sprinting, but it felt very connected. As others have mentioned, it does handle very well and does make you very confident. I did not have the chance to try it up a proper climb, but in the rolling hills we covered, it swept up easily (but again, I’m coming from a 22 lbs steel bike). I normally do those same rolling hills on the saddle, but this time it just felt that less effort was required (but they say that when you have a new bike, your mind plays tricks!). lastly, as earlier mentioned, the geometry really works for me. In fact when we dialing it in at my LBS and so I would test ride then he would adjust then over again, I kept on telling him that maybe I was too upright, but we had a mirror when I was on the trainer and didn’t seem like I was sitting up at all. Overall, I really enjoyed my ride today and i'm really looking forward to pushing this machine further. my brother had a custom ti made from tom kellog in PA and my bro was swaying me against CF, saying it felt dead (of course he’s never ridden one J), but it did not feel that way at all. Its hard to find fault in it, but if anything, I was asking myself if this is a bit too much bike for me and would I have been just as happy with some of the cheaper carbon offerings. But other than that, no regrets at all.

    Lastly, maybe I can share with you my logic for going with the excal. First some background. I don’t do crits but do the annual century and dabble in triathlon as well. So mostly really just fitness. Been cycling on and off since 1991, some years I did more running/tri. As mentioned, I’m pretty light and according to my fitter, more leg than torso. So for my proportions and needs, I really just wanted a solid, lively and un-punishing ride. In addition, I figure since this is my first move into CF, I did not want to spend too much and yet, so I could fully appreciate CF, did not want to go entry level. Thus the excal. In addition, I also went for the gruppo, wheelset, etc that I will be happy to keep (I’ve been thru upgrade-titis – what a waste), so should I so decide that CF (or if i crash this baby!)or ridley is not for me , ebay-ing just the frame wouldn’t be that big a hit. And finally, I also said that I wanted something that I would love looking at and make me want to go out and ride. I rode some other frames which honestly were also good (some even alu), but they just didn’t get me excited. So that’s about it. Im pretty sure if you went for one, you really wouldn't be let down (and P.S. - i hope i did not use too many superlatives! )

    Last edited by nescafe; 01-13-2008 at 06:52 AM.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.