The Ribble Endurance AL Disc Tiagra review in a sentence: one of the best road bikes under £1,000 we have ridden this year and for many people, the best road bike they'll be able to afford or actually be able to have delivered, under the current circumstances.
Interest in the best road bikes has rocketed over the last year, with many looking for an affordable way of getting back in the saddle.
It could be argued that the Ribble Endurance AL Disc has been designed specifically for this purpose – it hasn’t, because it was first conceived one before lockdown. Thanks to its comfortable geometry, hardy comments and wallet-friendly price, it is one of the best road bikes out there and certainly one of the best value bikes available.
Ribble has perfected the balance of low price point and quality components, flaunting things like Mavic Aksium Clincher wheels, Level 1 bars and stem, a Prologo saddle and Tektro disc brakes.
This is achievable thanks to a sparing use of expensive carbon fibre (you’ll fine it in the forks) but that’s not to say this is some bloated commuter machine. In fact, the lightweight aluminium frame can compete with far more expensive carbon frames in terms of stiffness and its racy geometry.
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Frame 6061 Aluminium
Wheelset Mavic Aksium
Brakes Tektro MD510 Mechanical disc
Gears Shimano Tiagra 4700
Finishing kit Level1 & Prologo
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Ribble Endurance AL Disc: The frame
In order to keep the cost down, Ribble has turned to aluminium as a frame, which can turn a few folk off because the modern cyclist demands lightweight, space-age carbon fibre, but this comes at a cost and has its pitfalls.
Yes, carbon is incredibly stiff and generally aids power transfer through the cranks but it can also be quite unforgiving and easy to damage. Oh, and it’s mightily expensive. Ribble’s aluminium frame is still light and packs a racy geometry but it is tough as nails and comfortable over longer distances.
It’s also painted in a neat white high gloss with red flashing, which is subtle but still makes it look like a far more expensive machine. There is a carbon fibre fork, to shave off a few pounds, but this is generally a lovely thing to ride for hours, even if it isn’t the fastest bike on the market.
Ribble Endurance AL Disc: The kit
The use of brands like Prolog and Level 1 for much of the finishing kit is a welcome site, shirking some of the own-brand gear that rivals at this price point tend to throw in. On top of this, riders receive tried and tested Mavic Aksium rims, which are both durable and free-rolling - a mother neat addition at this price.
In order to obtain a Ribble for less than £1,000, you will have to put up with Shimano Tiagra, which I’ve constantly bemoaned for not being as sharp, responsive or as reliable as the slightly more expensive Shimano 105 set-up.
This still holds true here but many cyclists won’t notice that the shifts aren’t laser precise and it’s only until you’ve experienced the delights of the electronically-aided Di2 that this really comes to the fore.
Ribble Endurance AL Disc: The ride
Those looking for the sharpest, most agile and fastest road bike known to man simply aren’t going to find it at this price, but the Ribble Endurance AL Disc offers a brilliant first step into the world of road biking.
Comfortable, stable and very predictable, it is perfect for those more used to basic commuter machines or mountain bikes. The rims roll nicely and there’s a a nice action to the Tektro disc brakes. The only downside here is a lack of quick release on the wheels, as the through bolts require a hex key is carried. This can be a pain when punctures strike.
That said, it feels extremely well bolted together and Ribble has managed to produce something that doesn’t rattle and creak after a few miles on the road like other bicycles at this price point.
Ribble Endurance AL Disc: The verdict
With plenty of accessory options at checkout and the ability to specify more competent gearing, the Ribble Ribble Endurance AL Disc will serve a wide array of cyclists looking for something that won’t break the bank but still performs out on the open road.
In its standard Tiagra configuration, it represents excellent value for money, but part with a few more pounds and you’re faced with a very competent, comfortable and quick machine that undercuts similar rivals by a decent amount.