Ridley is a Belgian brand of bicycles with a rich history and also constant presence in the most coveted bicycle races including the Tour De France. Ridley ventured into the Indian market few years back and has since rolled out a lot of new models every year. We got the opportunity to test ride the Ridley Blast 26 (2018) and here is what we thought.
The Ridley Blast 26 has a butted hardtail aluminium frame. The frame geometry was perfect for flat trails, thanks to its strongly welded tube joints which make it absorb vibrations of the surface to make the ride comfortable. The riding posture has the ideal mix of aggressiveness and comfort for both urban and trail rides. For an MTB, the frame does feel lightweight and helps in riding fast on flat single tracks and roads.
The front suspension from Suntoun XCM comes with a smoothly working 100mm travel which made the ride on bumpy trails easier. The hydraulic suspension lockout is a very useful feature to make the suspension rigid and in turn making your ride faster on flatter surfaces.
The Blast 26 which I test rode came in a full blue frame with yellow used for the logo and model names. The gloss finish paint job was done shiny and neatly done. The flat handlebars and the heavy treads on the tires gave this bicycle all the essential physical MTB characteristics. The bright white handlebar grips were unique and were in good contrast to the full blue frame.
The Shimano’s Altus in the front and Acera at the rear, handle this 27-Speed drivetrain on the Blast 26. Altus/Acera combination makes this a mid-level performance componentry and was quick and smooth in shifting during the test ride. The huge 27-Speed combination had enough range to help climb steep trails and also get more power for accelerations. The Acera shifters were easy to use efficient trigger shifting mechanism.
Shimano’s BL-M376 Hydraulic Disc brakes handle the braking performance on the Ridley Blast 26 (2018). These brakes were powerful and balanced on rough trails and felt safe to use even when braking abruptly at high speeds. Hydraulic disc brakes from Shimano on a bicycle at this price are definitely value for money.
The 620mm 4ZA handlebar was perfectly flat to give the much needed aggressive posture to keep the bicycle in control on fast and unpredictable trails.
A 26” wheels on an MTB is considered entry-level for performance but the Continental X-King 26” x 2.2” tires made up for it with great performance on trails and urban roads. This heavily treaded tire can easily handle even a wet and slippery trail by having a lot of traction on the surface. The 4ZA MTB saddle was ergonomically designed to keep the rider both comfortable and stable when on fast and bumpy rides.
This is a hardtail MTB which has a strong frame yet lightweight thanks to its superb frame-building tech. The Altus/Acera 27-Speed drivetrain made the shifting experience fast and responsive. The powerful Shimano Hydraulic Disc brakes along with heavily treaded 26” Continental tires allowed for a safe riding trail riding experience. Priced at Rs.33,800(as on 27th November 2018), the Ridley Blast 26 (2018) is an ideal MTB for flat trail rides and leisure urban rides.
Prices are subject to change by the brand, without due notice.