Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 review: lightweight, fast and beautifully made

One of the best bikes for getting into serious endurance riding and racing, the Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 offers an awful lot for the money.

T3 Platinum Award
Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 review: bike on white background
(Image credit: Ribble)
T3 Verdict

If you’re looking for your first proper foray into endurance riding and road racing, the Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 is ideal. It’s light, fast and stops brilliantly, too, while the handling is everything you’d expect from a carbon-framed beauty like this. Customise the specification to suit your cycling wants list and get it painted to suit your taste, and you’ve got a top-value winning road bike on your hands.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Super lightweight construction

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    Quality components for the price

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    Plenty of options to customise the bike to your liking...

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    ... Which might be overwhelming for some

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    A tad harsh on the derrière

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Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 review in a sentence: Light as a feather and built for speed, this is a road bike that delivers performance and value in equal measure.

‘Built & tuned in Lancashire, England since 1897’ proclaims the sticker on the frame of the Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105. Yep, Ribble bikes have been around for a long time, and that proud heritage is tangible when you first pull the Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 out of its box. Actually, unlike many bikes that prove challenging to remove from their cardboard protection, you’ll find the Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 is a breeze – it’s just so light.

Granted, if you’re looking for one of the best cheap road bikes, you’ll not get the Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105, as it costs two and a half grand. However, value for money is more important than cheapness, and you get an awful lot of bikes for your money here. In fact, to my mind, the Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 seems very competitively priced. It certainly holds its own when put up against the best road bikes you can buy currently.

Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 review: price and availability

UPDATE: stocks of the various sizes and configurations of the SL Disc 105 are a bit variable, let's say, so we advise you to take a look at the entire Ribble Endurance SL range

The Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 is available now and comes in a variety of sizes and configurations that should suit any kind of rider. So, for example, there’s XXS through to XL, meaning there’s a bike for anyone from 4’ 11” / 150cm through to 6’ 3” / 191cm and all points in between.

The other great thing about Ribble is that they’re also able to tweak and fine-tune orders, to meet the needs of riders. There’s a real personal touch about this company, which is probably why they continue to be so popular amongst the cycling community. Ribble also takes part in the Cycle to Work scheme and accepts all major cycle-to-work vouchers.

Our Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 was a medium model, which comes with a price tag of £2,500 directly from Ribble in the UK. They also ship to many countries around the globe. The website gives you lots of different options for the design of your bike, which can be customised still further if you wish. Bear in mind though that this level of flexibility means that prices will change in accordance with the specification.

Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105

(Image credit: Ribble)

Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 review: design and build

Unsurprisingly, given its illustrious history of building bikes, the Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 looks fantastic. This is a bike that’s been specifically designed with endurance riding and racing in mind, so while there’s plenty to drool over on the specification, the Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 makes a style statement too.

In terms of colour schemes, our model arrived in a hot red finish, with white and black embellishments. However, other off-the-shelf shades include Black or Teal and Ribble also offers a range of custom colour options too.

The bike is based around a Toray T1000/T800 carbon monocoque frame, supplemented by full carbon, tapered Steerer forks and a 1.5"x1.5" top and bottom headset in a complimentary black finish. Bars are Level 1, 6061 alloys featuring black cork ribbon. Your ride is made all the more enjoyable thanks to a great combination of a Ribble SL Carbon, 5mm offset seatpost topped with a black Selle Italia Model X Superflow saddle.

Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105

(Image credit: Ribble)

A lot of the appeal of the Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 is centred around the Shimano 105 R7000 2 x 11-speed groupset, complimented by Shimano 105 R7020 11-speed hydraulic shifters. There’s a Shimano 105 R7000, 50-34T chainset, Shimano BB-R60 BSA bottom bracket, Shimano R7000 11-Speed 11-32T cassette aided and abetted by Shimano 105 R7000 derailleurs.

Wheels are 12x100F/12x142R Level DB40 Sport Carbon’s shod with some very cool Continental Grand Prix 700x28c rubber. Stopping power comes thanks to more Shimano components, in the shape of 105 R7070 Flat Mount hydraulic discs. Add it all together and you’ve got a bike that looks and feels the part, without a doubt.

Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105

(Image credit: Ribble)

Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 review: riding performance

Quite how much our test sample of the Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 weighed wasn’t clear and that’s largely because Ribble builds all its bikes to order. Therefore, every bike is going to be slightly different given rider preferences. Safe to say though, this is one light bike and that’s immediately noticeable the moment you start riding it.

Getting into the right gear is a cinch too, thanks to the Shimano gearset. The shifters, in particular, are a real dream to use and it’s no surprise to see them fitted to so many other bikes. They deliver quick and seamless shifts both up and down through the gears, with the whole experience offering little in the way of unwanted surprises such as missed or inaccurate gear changes.

The riding position is great too, one which allows you to get plenty of power down to the pedals. This, combined with the featherlight and highly agile feel of the Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105, means that it’s a bike you can soon get up to some good speed. Get yourself positioned on a smooth stretch of the black stuff and you’ll really get a feel for its potential. I loved the disc brakes too, which offer more than enough stopping power. Again, the delivery is as slick as those gear changes.

One other noticeable bonus are the Continental Grand Prix tyres. If this is your first experience of a road bike, say if you’re moving up from a more conventional cycle then the narrow rims and almost rubberband-like strips of black might leave you feeling a little intimated. However, they offer oodles of grip and inspire confidence even when you’re hurtling downhill around a corner.

The ride, overall, is quite hard but that’s the deal with bikes like this if you’re cycling on many everyday road surfaces, as opposed to ‘proper’ cycle lanes. Nevertheless, the setup of the cork ribbon-covered alloy bars and that excellent saddle means that longer runs are less challenging than you might be expecting.  

Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105

(Image credit: Ribble)

Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 review: verdict

I’m super chuffed with the way this bike behaves on the road and there’s not much to gripe about to be honest, especially considering the price point of this cycle. I also love the way you can customise the build, tweaking everything from the groupset right on through to the water bottle to suit not only your budget and taste but preferred riding setup too. My bike also arrived with a really decent toolkit, which included a torque wrench.

With lots of products having their lead times affected by supply chain issues currently you may want to plump for an off-the-shelf variant of the Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 if you can’t wait to try it. However, I love the freedom and flexibility offered by Ribble in order to deliver your bike exactly how you want it.

That, combined with its prestigious bike building history continues to make Ribble one of the most tempting bike makers out there. Let’s not forget the value here too, with the Ribble Endurance SL Disc 105 providing you with a whole lot of cycling pleasure for, realistically, not that much money. 

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital, he has run the Innovation channel for a few years at Microsoft, as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of Stuff, TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working, he's usually out and about on one of the numerous e-bikes in his collection.