Formed in Belgium in 1996, Ridley has grown rapidly to become a big brand and a worldwide force in bikes and framesets.
Jochim Aerts had ben involved in the bike industry since 1990, working as a frame builder and painter for Belgian bike companies. Jochim hit out on his own in the late 90’s, the Ridley story is one of innovation, one of their first new concepts was the conical headset fitted to the Ridley Damocles in 2001, the headset became the standard in the bike industry.
With its factory in the heartlands of world cycling, Belgium, Ridley soon became a team supplier in the world of professional cycling. For over twelve years Ridley have produced team bikes for Lotto Soudal, one of the longest collaborations in World Tour Cycling. The strength of the bond between the team and Ridley lays at the heart of Belgian culture. In a country where cycle sport is huge, the biggest team in Belgium riding the biggest bike brand in Belgium becomes wrapped up in deep national pride. Lotto Soudal have committed to riding Ridley bikes up until 2026.
The riders who have dominated professional cycling over the last twenty years while riding Ridley, makes quite a long list. From Australian, Robbie McEwen winning the Green jersey at the Tour De France, through to German powerhouse Andrei Greipel and one day Classics specialists such as Philippe Gilbert, lone breakaway ace Thomas De Gendt and current bunch sprint supremo, Caleb Ewan – each passing year seemingly adds another chapter of race history for the brand.
The close collaboration with the Lotto Soudal team has reaped dividends in terms of fast-tracking the development of their race bikes. The Noah Fast is a great example of a series of developments coming together to form a very fast aero bike. With innovations such as the D steerer tube which facilitates internal cable and hose routing, and utilising special textures in paint finish allow for lots of small improvements to add into a very fast bike. Read our blog on the 2019 Ridley Noah Fast here.
As well as road cycling, Belgium is also fanatical about cyclocross. From the early days of Ridley, cyclocross (CX) bikes have played a big part in the development of the company. So, as you might expect, with road and cyclocross background, Ridley soon spread their know-how into the Gravel bike world. Producing very popular models including the Kanzo Fast which is designed to win gravel races. The Kanzo Fast incorporates a lot of the features of the brands top selling aero road bike – Noah, including the D steerer for hidden cables, but with changes to the geometry and all-around flexibility demanded for gravel.
Belgian Cycling Factory
Ridley is now part of the Belgian Cycling Factory which also includes Eddy Merckx, Corsa (Eddy Merckx Steel) and Bike Valley, which is an incubator for emerging bike companies.