Ridley present the new Falcn RS: a lightning fast race bike that is the Belgian brand’s first all-round race bike to combine aerodynamic optimisation, lightweight construction and an authentic race feel. But is it the ultimate bike for all racing scenarios, or just something to fill a gap in the portfolio? What does this brand new creation from the Belgian Cycling Factory have to offer?
We had the pleasure of spending a day at Lake Como with the Ridley team, taking the brand new Falcn for a spin through an idyllic world of lakes and mountains. The area offers the perfect test track for the kind of all-rounder that the Falcn RS is meant to be. Steep climbs, challenging descents, flat coastal roads and, of course, an obligatory Gelato on the shores of Lake Como. Our custom painted Falcn RS was pushed to the limit around Lombardy, and while some of the test bikes were still pre-production, we’re confident that we’ve captured the Falcn’s true character.
What’s different about the Ridley Falcn RS?
For those who know the Ridley portfolio, the name Falcn will probably be unfamiliar. Currently, Ridley offer the Helium SLX, a spindly lightweight climbing bike, and the Noah, an all-out aerodynamic monster. The Falcn promises to unite both concepts and become the Belgians’ “ultimate performance road bike”, much like the latest models of the Specialized Tarmac or Cannondale SuperSix. Ridley call this approach “aero to weight”, which means that, like other all-round aero bikes, they aim to maximise aerodynamic performance while minimising weight to get as close as possible to the UCI weight limit of 6.8 kg. The result is a bike that is the fastest on average across all routes and profiles. The frame weighs just 825 grams in size M, a mere 110 grams more than the Helium SLX, but thanks to aerodynamic optimisation, it outperforms its lightweight brother even on climbs.
The Falcn doesn’t have the same extreme aerodynamic performance as the Noah. Certain aerodynamic refinements, such as the F-wings on the forks, the dropped seat stays, or the seat tube which hugs the rear wheel, would add unnecessary weight. After all, an all-rounder should prioritise weight efficiency. The Falcn RS adopts classic aero shapes without going to extremes, featuring deeper aero profiles and a fully integrated cockpit. However, Ridley have one more trick up their sleeve: they’ve taken a unique approach to the fork crown. To reduce turbulence around the down tube, they’ve turned to the race track. Taking inspiration from motorsport, Ridley have shaped the fork crown to act almost like a diffuser, causing the airflow to accelerate around the down tube. It’s a clever concept, discreet in appearance and only visible to the expert eye.
Specs of the new Ridley Falcn RS
Those who know Ridley will be familiar with their configurator, which allows you to personalise everything from the components to the paintwork. That’s why our test bike is truly unique. It is equipped with Shimano ULTEGRA Di2, DT Swiss ARC 1400 wheels and Ridley’s own cockpit. The most striking feature, however, is undoubtedly its custom paintwork. As such, the three available build variants should be seen as a source of inspiration rather than set specifications.The two top-of-the-range models, equipped with Shimano ULTEGRA Di2 or SRAM Force AXS eTap components, are both fitted with the same DT Swiss ARC 1400 wheels and Vittoria Corsa Pro 28 mm tires, and are priced at € 9,399. Meanwhile, the third model in the range, priced at € 7,399, features Shimano 105 Di2 components, a Forza Levanto DB wheelset and the same tires as the premium models. It’s worth noting that Ridley use a KMC chain on all Falcn RS bikes with Shimano drivetrains. All Ridley Falcn RS models come complete with the in-house Forza Cirrus Pro Integrated Road Bar cockpit and the innovative Forza Aero seatpost. The cockpit design mirrors that of the Ridley Noah, while sharing the flared handlebar shape of the Kanzo Fast. A particularly notable and characteristic feature of Ridley’s design is the D-shaped steerer, which allows for cleaner cable routing, and keeps the front of the bike slim and streamlined as it eliminates the need for an oversize top bearing.
Tuning Tip: go wild with the configurator and create your bespoke Ridley Falcn RS
Ridley Falcn RS 2024
Seatpost Forza Aero D-Shaped 6 mm
Brakes Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8100 160/160 mm
Drivetrain Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8100 2x12
Stem Forza Circus Pro Integrated Road 100 mm
Handlebar Forza Circus Pro Integrated Road 420 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss ARC1400 50mm 12 x 100/12 x 148 mm Through Axle
Tires Vittoria Corsa Pro 700 x 28c 28
Cranks Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8100 172,5 mm
Cassette Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8100 11-30T
Size XXS XS S M L XL
The geometry of the new Ridley Falcn RS
In collaboration with the Lotto Dstny pro team, Ridley have redesigned the geometry of the Falcn RS road bike to meet the needs of both professional riders and cycling enthusiasts. Head angle, chainstays and reach remain largely unchanged from their existing models. However, the head tube has been slightly reduced in size to encourage a more aggressive riding position. In addition, the bottom bracket has been subtly lowered to allow for increased tire clearance of up to 34 mm. All in all, the result is a geometry that screams race bike and is indicative of what the bike should be capable of.
|Seat tube||428 mm||455 mm||480 mm||499 mm||530 mm||555 mm|
|Top tube||510 mm||525 mm||545 mm||565 mm||585 mm||600 mm|
|Head tube||95 mm||115 mm||130 mm||150 mm||175 mm||200 mm|
|Chainstays||407 mm||407 mm||407 mm||407 mm||407 mm||407 mm|
|BB Drop||75 mm||75 mm||70 mm||70 mm||68 mm||68 mm|
|Wheelbase||967 mm||974 mm||977 mm||987 mm||1,002 mm||1,012 mm|
|Reach||374 mm||378 mm||388 mm||397 mm||404 mm||311 mm|
|Stack||492 mm||513 mm||530 mm||551 mm||573 mm||599 mm|
The new Ridley Falcn RS – First ride review
The handling of the Falcn RS lives up to its visual promise. This bike rides with the spirit of a true racer, demonstrating agility and responsiveness while maintaining a composed and restrained demeanour. Similar to the renowned ’big S’ models, Ridley have designed this bike to offer a heightened sense of security without compromising its agility and liveliness during acceleration and climbs. The Falcn RS really shines at high speeds and through long bends, whether on a fast descent or a long, windy straight. It gives a sense of safety and confidence, effortlessly absorbing sudden steering adjustments and bumps, aided by its 28 mm wide tubeless tires. In particularly dynamic scenarios and tight corners, the bike can be pushed to its limits, but still continues to instil a considerable degree of confidence, albeit with a slightly delayed response to aggressive steering. Overall, however, this bike caters for the whole spectrum of riders, offering an exceptional riding experience suitable for both beginners and experienced racers alike.
Ridley Falcn RS – The most individual bike in the peloton?
Far from just another face in the crowd, the Ridley Falcn RS is a remarkable and meticulously engineered road bike. With customisation options that set it apart from the competition, it will appeal not only to individualists and Belgian Cycling Factory fans, but to all road cycling aficionados. Its forgiving yet lively handling makes it an ideal choice for experienced riders without being intimidating for newbies. Only exceptionally dynamic riders looking for an ultra-responsive bike may need to look elsewhere. For everyone else, the Ridley Falcn RS could be the perfect choice.
Our conclusion on the Ridley Falcn RS
The Ridley Falcn RS consistently impresses with its well thought-out design and numerous intelligent features, such as the D-shaped head tube, the diffuser in the fork and the in-house components. Although it doesn’t look as flashy as the Noah or the Kanzo Fast, it still packs a considerable aero punch, and has an authentic race bike feel. The handling and performance are perfectly matched, making it an attractive choice for all road enthusiasts.
- balanced and stable road bike
- sophisticated aero concept with clever in-house components
- customisable paintwork
- not agile enough for more dynamic racers
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Words: Calvin Zajac Photos: Calvin Zajac, Ridley