We could already deduce that its disc brakes were from the name (Ridley Helium SLX Disc). The fact that Jelle Wallays actually won Paris-Tours with the bike was an enjoyable extra detail, but there were still a lot of interesting facts that were still under wraps.
"Our R&D department definitely did not want to lose the combination of stiffness, responsiveness and weight that typifies the Helium family," says Toon Wils, chief engineer at Belgian Cycling Factory (the umbrella company that encompasses both Ridley and Eddy Merckx).
"That unique strength dates back to 2008," adds Jochim Aerts, CEO of Belgian Cycling Factory. "Cadel Evans then came to us and said: ‘Make me a bike that I can use to win the Tour de France but can you do me a big favour? Bring it as close as possible to the 6.8 kg limit, but if you have to choose between 100 grams of extra weight or less stiffness, always prioritise stiffness.’”
Over the years, the Helium evolved from ISP to SL, SLX and now the SLX Disc. We have continued the process of devising the perfect racing bike. “That's why we decided not to adjust the shape of the bottom tube or the top tube of the new Helium SLX Disc,” explains Toon Wils. “A circular shape still gives the greatest certainty of a perfect stiffness-to-weight ratio. By adding disc brakes and thru-axles, by lowering the rear stays and maintaining the small bridge in between, we have even increased the stiffness."
The biggest challenge was to make the Helium perform better aerodynamically. “We finally opted for the complete integration of all cables. After carrying out a great many analyses, we knew that this yielded a considerable benefit: a decrease in wind resistance of 14%,” continues Wils.
“The Helium SLX was already the favourite of every professional rider from Lotto Soudal. Thanks to the disc brakes and the integration of all cables, you can really call the Helium SLX Disc the king of racers,.” With this, Jochim Aerts has summed up the bike perfectly.
The Helium SLX Disc is available immediately from all Ridley dealers.
Weight: 780 grams (frame size SMALL, painted) and 360 grams (fork, painted)
Available in size XXS to XL
Standard collection available
SRAM Force eTAP AXS with Forza R45_c19 DB wheels (EUR 6,999)
Shimano Ultegra with DT Swiss ER1600 DB wheels (EUR 4,999)
Other groups can also be configured via the Ridley Dreambuilder.
Tyre clearance up to 28 mm
The Helium SLX Disc is also available via the Ridley Customizer