Ridley is a Belgium bicycle brand which comes with a rich history of making some of the world’s best frames. Ridley have their presence in both Road and MTB bicycle championships with their teams getting podium finishes on a regular basis. Ridley entered the Indian market with their Belgium made bicycles early last year. This year Ridley have made an Indian specific range of bicycles which come at an affordable price. We got the opportunity to test out the Ridley Trail Fire 1 (27.5) (2017) and here is what we thought.
Frames are the most important component in any bicycle especially in an MTB which requires the frame to take in lot more vibrations off the surface on trails. The Ridley Trail Fire 1 27.5 2017 comes with a hardtail 6061 Aluminium Alloy frame. This frame has chunky tubes making it strong and capable of handling the most challenging trails. The bottom tube is huge and gets bigger near the bottom bracket making the middle of the frame distribute equal strength across the tubes.
Any hardtail MTB is not complete without a top notch front suspension. The Trail Fire 27.5 2017 has a SR Suntour front suspension forks with 80mm travel. During the test ride through some rigorous and hard drops these suspension forks worked effortlessly by taking in the vibration without affecting the balance of the bicycle. Yes, the suspension forks are a heavy pair but it is an MTB and there is not much weight compromise which one should be looking at.
These ‘Made for India’ Ridley bicycles have no compromises on the design front. The same Belgian ideology has been followed for these country specific range of bicycles. The Trail Fire 1 27.5 from Ridley comes in only 1 colour variant which I got to test ride. This hardtail MTB came in a full black colour which was neatly painted in a high quality gloss finish. The brand and models names were all seen on the frame in blood red colour which added a great contrast to the black primary colour. The red graphics were also present minimally in many places on the bicycle. The curved bottom tube and the slanting top tube added to the aesthetics of the bicycle.
Controlling speeds on an MTB is very important for a hardtail MTB when riding on trails. The gearing components used on a bicycle is directly reflected on the price of the bicycle. The Ridley Trail Fire 1 27.5 2017 comes with Shimano Altus at the front and Shimano Acera at the rear. These derailleurs are a mix of entry and midlevel MTB specific gearing. During the test ride the gearing worked perfectly with no lag in gear shifts. I tried rapid shifting when going both uphill and downhill and the transition of gears on the rear derailleur was the same but with a little extra noise while decreasing the gear. But that was nothing to be worried about as it does nto affect the gearing performance in any way. The derailleurs are controlled by a 24 speed Shimano Altus M310 shifters. These shifters were in comfortable reach and were easy to engage.
The stopping power on the Ridley Trail Fire 1 is taken care of by a pair of Shimano Mechanical Disc brakes. These brakes are top notch when it comes to halting on both dry and wet surfaces. During the test ride I felt the brakes were balanced and reacted quickly. The Promax XL90 alloy brake levers were easy to operate and very responsive. Fast braking is very important on a trail and these braking components do that well
The Zoom alloy handlebar on the Ridley Trail Fire 1 helped me handle this MTB with ease on the trail. Riding on and off the saddle were both comfortable mainly because of the lengthy 680mm flat handlebar. No matter how rigorous the trail is, this handlebar will help you the bicycle in control at all times.
The Kenda 27.5 inch x 2.10 inch tires on the Ridley Trail Fire 1 is the perfect MTB tires for the roughest of trails. During the test ride, the tires were not only fast but the tread pattern on the tires also helped keep my feet off the ground at both slower inclines and faster downhills. The Alex MD19 double walled rims supported the tires well and made for an exciting trail ride.
The high density foam Vader saddle on the Ridley Trail Fire 1 is of top quality and is the feels the same as found in any of Ridley’s Belgium made MTB’s. Yes there is minimal padding but they are at the right places. The shape of the saddle is ergonomical which boosts performance and makes the ride comfortable. The overall ride quality of the Trail Fire 1 was fast and balanced on the trails.
Ridely’s 'Made for India' bicycles have started to hit the market in full flow and the Trail Fire 1 hardtail MTB does not fail to impress. With a strong frame and top notch components this bicycle can tackle any trail with ease. A Ridley bicycle at this price with all its tech and design is definitely a welcome news. If you are someone looking to get on trails and need a performance oriented MTB without burning the pocket too much then the Ridley Trail Fire 1 is the ideal bicycle for you.