SRAM eTap AXS x Ribble Gravel Ti spotted at Grinduro
We caught sight of a prototype Ribble Gravel titanium bike at Grinduro, with some interesting new touches over the standard bike. It represents a taste of things to come as the British brand looks to establish itself as one of the leading protagonists in the best gravel bike category.
- Five things that weren't cool - until gravel happened
- How to prepare for your first gravel race - kit, bike setup and training
The widest gravel bike handlebars you can buy: broad bars for bikepackers
Ribble currently does not have information on public release on the bespoke, handcrafted titanium frame, created exclusively as a wireless-only model using the SRAM Red eTap AXS groupset. Other touches include specific geometry to best utilise the RockShox Rudy XPLR suspension fork.
It's just one of a handful of frames that we know of that is wireless-specific with the Vielo V+1 Race edition being another.
The frame has a super-clean look, lacking any cable ports on the front triangle with the only internal cable stemming from the rear brake. With just a small exposed section near the bottom bracket, the cable feeds internally through the headtube and integrated Ribble Level 5 carbon gravel handlebar and stem. The handlebar also has what appears to be slightly customised SRAM eTap AXS blip shifters attached under the handlebar with velcro.
The frameset also has tweaked geometry, to accommodate the slightly taller axle-to-crown of the RockShox Rudy XPLR fork.
We'll let you decide on the bright-red colour but it represents a nod to the collaboration and matches the Pantone colour of the SRAM logo.
“Our R&D team has worked in conjunction with SRAM to create this unique gravel frame. We’re always developing and looking at ways to further enhance the performance of our bikes through R&D embracing the latest technology – the AXS wireless system allowed us to go beyond existing bike frame design constraints, creating a prototype for our ‘cleanest’ gravel optimised Titanium frame to date. This prototype is a beautiful combination of refined design, wireless gearing and suspension technology to create a fantastic off-road machine capable of extreme gravel adventures and racing,” says Jamie Burrow, Head of Product, Ribble Cycles.
“I think it’s exciting to see a frame designer and manufacturer fully embrace and optimise around our SRAM eTap AXS wireless shifting and RockShox Gravel-specific technology. Personally having unused holes and/or cable entry ports in frames that are blanked off with plastic covers or bungs has always been a slight bugbear of mine, so creating a high-performance frame devoid of these is great, and delivers a super-clean look,” Stu Bowers, SRAM Partnership Marketing Specialist, Northern Europe said.
Nice bottle cages.
From the Ribble site, stainless steel.
But custom ti, maybe, on a ti prototype?
Why do you keep on advertising for Ribble when they just don't deliver?
A missive to illustrate just how shamefully poor the systems are for Ribble Cycles. I have never before experienced anything like it and it started with an order for a Ribble Hybrid AL e Step through on 4 September 2021 for my Mum. The delivery date given was 4 March 2022 – some way off but with the parts shortages and production shutdowns caused by Covid, we thought that was acceptable.
Come the week leading up to 4 March an email arrived saying that due to component shortages the delivery would be delayed until 22 April. Very disappointing but would still be arriving in time for the better cycling weather.
On 21 April another email arrived to say that delivery would again be delayed all the way to 3 June. With 3 June being the Jubilee bank holiday my Mum telephoned Ribble to ask if it would be delayed by a couple of days due to the long holiday weekend, only to be told that the bike had arrived but the paintwork on the frame wasn’t up to standard so would have to be re-sprayed. The job would take 5 weeks and a new delivery date was given as 8 July.
Come 5/6 July and yet another, “sorry there is another delay.” The excuse this time was that there was a component shortage, seemingly forgetting that the previous excuse was bad paint job. Bear in mind that I have ordered a number of SRAM components for my son’s mountain bike during these months, with the longest wait being 5 days. Either I have better connections with suppliers than Ribble or something is awry. The new delivery date is now 26 August, just a couple of weeks shy of one year from order to delivery!
A very disappointed Mum tells Ribble to cancel the order and starts to look for another bike, only to find a brand new, boxed, Ribble Hybrid AL e diamond frame bike available on eBay on 7 July! Yes, someone had decided that they didn’t actually want the newly arrived bike so were selling it. Bearing in mind that anyone who has actually received one of these bikes has likely been waiting the best part of a year, I find that hard to believe.
We tried everything to get Ribble to send the bike but there was no offer of help or compromise and I sincerely regret pointing my Mum towards Ribble. Fortunately I found the last small Orbea Vibe Mid H10 step through e-bike in the UK, and discounted, at The Bike Factory in Chester. Couldn’t believe it and they set up the bike and carried out all the checks in just a couple of days (a timeframe unknown to Ribble).