More and more cyclists are finding rides that venture off the beaten path and away from cars. Gravel grinding or all-road riding has taken off in recent years, enough so that manufacturers took note and began building bikes specific to the task at hand. Unique geometry and other features separate these bikes from traditional 'cross and road machines, and riders looking to maximize enjoyment rather than staying within a certain percentage of FTP are lining up. Given the above, the bike many of us are most excited about from Ridley's X-Trail lineup is the X-Trail Apex 1 650b Complete Bike. It combines the bomber durability and World Cup DNA of the Belgian brand's expertise in cyclocross and road racing in a road plus-tire platform that's eager to knock out that epic bikepacking trip you've been eyeing for months. The Ridley X-Trail Adventure is constructed from a triple butted 6061-T6 alloy frame that is plenty stiff and lightweight and supremely durable. Ridley dropped the bottom bracket height relative to its cyclocross and road bikes for improved stability over rough roads, and the lower center of gravity improves handling especially while loaded for touring. A tapered headtube guides the front end extra rigidity, and the PF86 bottom bracket ensures all pedaling efforts go directly into forward propulsion. A 12 x 142mm rear thru axle rear improves stiffness, aligns the rotor/caliper each time the wheel is installed, and keeps the axle anchored in the frame over rough terrain. The Oryx carbon fork utilizes a 12mm thru-axle to fight flex and ensure the front end doesn't deflect on high-speed descents over washboards. Flat mounts on the frame and fork allow the TRP Spyre disc calipers to cleanly mount and stay out of the way, preventing damage. The mechanical actuation increases reliability and allows for an easy fix when in the bush. This particular build sees a road plus wheel and tire setup so you'll have extra traction and comfort from the wider rubber run a...
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Ridley X-Trail Apex 1 650b Complete Bike
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