Ridley Kanzo Adventure – the name says it all, and the components underline it. With its meaty off-road tires, Classified geared hub, and a hub dynamo with integrated lights, it sounds like the ultimate explorer! But does it have what it takes to beat the competition in our adventure gravel bike group test?
This bike was tested as part of our 2023 adventure gravel bike group test – you can find an overview of the group test and test field here:
The Ridley Kanzo family stands for gravel performance like none other in the gravel segment. And the Kanzo Fast, the Belgian brand’s gravel race bike, has already proven itself in our gravel race bike group test, outperforming the competition and taking home the victory. Now the Kanzo Adventure is set to defend the gravel throne. Unlike the Kanzo Fast, this self-proclaimed adventure bike isn’t just built for speed, but also for the ultimate adventure. That much is evident when looking at the suitably specced components, but the handling also promises to put you right into explorer mode. Does it have what it takes to beat the competition?
Ready for anything – The Ridley Kanzo Adventure
The Kanzo Adventure is quite the looker, and the Ridley DNA is undeniable. Overall, it looks subtle yet sturdy – perfect for an adventure bike. The low cockpit and neat integration looks purposeful, and hints at a lively character.
As usual with Ridley, you’re free to customise the paint job in their online configurator. Whether you like it colourful or a little more low key, the Kanzo does justice to both.
And Ridley don’t hold back on the spec either. In addition to a SON hub dynamo and complete supernova light set with integrated cable routing, the Kanzo Adventure relies on a clever drivetrain setup. The Shimano GRX Di2 is combined with a 2-speed Classified hub, providing the range of a 2x drivetrain, without a finicky front derailleur, though it means there’s another battery on the bike that needs to be charged. Overall, however, the drivetrain performs really well – mainly due to the easy integration of the Classified hub into the Di2 system.
The Vittoria Mezcal and Terreno tires ensure consistent power transmission on loose and damp surfaces. Being 29 x 2.1″ (53.3 mm!) MTB tires, they don’t just make the Kanzo look unstoppable, but also provide tons of traction. Paired with carbon rims, this results in a unique and extraordinarily capable combination. As the icing on the cake, Ridley spec a 3D printed saddle from Selle San Marco, which our test crew got along with splendidly. As usual with Ridley, the paintwork and equipment can be customized to suit your preferences in the online configurator. The variant we tested costs €7,925 and will be available from January 2024.
Sounds like an excellent build already, but the fun doesn’t stop there! Thanks to mounting points on every conceivable part of the frame, the Kanzo Adventure is ready to tackle any bikepacking endeavour. All this makes for a very coherent package that lives up to the adventure name, but how does it perform on a real adventure?
Tuning tip: USB charging port for extra power on the go.
Ridley Kanzo Adventure
Fork ridig fork
Seatpost Forza Stratos
Brakes Shimano GRX 160/160 mm
Drivetrain Shimano GRX Di2 / Classified 2x11
Stem Forza Stratos 90 mm
Handlebar Ritchey Butano 430 mm
Tires Vittoria Mezcal / Vittoria Terreno 29"
Size XS S M L XL
Weight 9.88 kg
Fat mountain bike tires
With lighting system and dynamo hub
Very comfortable without suspension components
Different tires front and rear
Does the Ridley Kanzo Adventure deliver what the spec promises?
The Ridley Kanzo Adventure doesn’t just sound good on the spec sheet – it’s a force to be reckoned with in our real world tests. Despite measuring 2.1″ wide, the Vittoria tires roll very well and accelerate efficiently, but they can only roll out their full potential off-road. They’re capable of dealing with any surface and also roll comfortably over roots and rocks, and they’re still surprisingly agile. At the right tire pressure, they can also keep up with most of the suspension elements on test.
Comfort isn’t limited to just the tires either: together with the comfortable saddle and vibration damping of the frame, the Kanzo smooths out most of the bumps, while remaining quick to accelerate.
Despite the fat tires, it’s one of the most playful and fun bikes on test, nimble and manoeuvrable through the corners yet confidence inspiring and composed on the straights – just like you need it. It’s lively and responsive to pedalling input too, without being twitchy or nervous, making it perfectly suited to adventure rides.
In combination with the proverbially perfect spec, which leaves nothing to be desired, the Ridley offers nothing to complain about: our notoriously picky drop bar connoisseur Martin gave the Ritchey handlebar his seal of approval. All of these factors combine to make the Kanzo Adventure not just well-specced, but also one of the most capable, grin-inducing bikes in the test field, setting the bar high for the competition.
Does justice to its name and just wants to go explore!
The perfect Ridley Kanzo Adventure adventure
Incredibly versatile, fun, and adventurous: that’s certainly the case with the Ridley Kanzo Adventure. Thanks to the nimble and fun handling, the bike isn’t just for long, loaded rides – it’s good for some fast gravel riding too. And that’s not all: even commuters will love the bike for the integrated lights and hub dynamo. In short, the Kanza Adventure is a great gravel all-rounder, and it should work well for all but the most intrepid or racy riders. The same can be said when it comes to adventures: from quick post-work jaunts to gravel adventures, bikepacking trips, and circumnavigations of the globe, the Kanzo Adventure can do it all.
Our conclusion on Ridley Kanzo Adventure
As such a versatile and well-equipped bike, it would almost be a shame if the Ridley Kanzo Adventure didn’t win the test, defending the gravel throne against some compelling competition. It’s an absolutely unique and top-notch build, coupled with the ultimate in fun handling, resulting in a bike that is hard to beat. We’re enthralled with the Kanzo Adventure, and can’t think of much that Ridley could have done better. The Belgian brand prove that there’s still a lot to be discovered off the beaten track!
- versatile and capable build
- clever details that work really well
- fat tire and saddle combination offers outstanding compliance
- equipped for even the longest adventures thanks to the hub dynamo and lights
- Unfortunately, the rear light cable rubs against the frame slightly
For more information visit ridley-bikes.com
This bike was tested as part of our 2023 adventure gravel bike group test – you can find an overview of the group test and the test field here:
All bikes on review:Argon 18 Dark Matter | BMC URS 01 ONE | Cannondale Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty | Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 Force AXS Trail | Falkenjagd ARISTOS TRAIL GRAVEL | Focus Atlas 8.8 | Ghost Asket Advanced | Giant Revolt X | Merida Silex 10k | Mondraker Dusty XR | Orbea Terra M21e Team Custom M | Ridley Kanzo Adventure | Rose Backroad AL Plus | Santa Cruz Stigmata | Scott Solace Gravel eRIDE 10 | Specialized Diverge STR Pro | Trek Checkpoint SL 7 AXS | Wilier Adlar | YT Industries Szepter Core 4
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Words: Calvin Zajac Photos: Jan Richter