Ribble R872 road bike review
The Ribble R872 is a budget carbon bike without the budget ride, matching other brands without matching their price tags
A stiff carbon frame with all the trimmings you’d expect from a modern frame, the Ribble R872 undercuts the competition in terms of ride quality and value for money.
Scoring a straight 10 when tested, there was no doubt that the Ribble R872 deserved a spot on the Cycling Weekly Editor’s Choice shortlist for 2017.
Ribble is a serial winner of group tests thanks to sourcing excellent frames from the same Far East factories as the big names and selling them at a fraction of the price.
Best selling, made better
The Ribble R872 is Ribble’s best-selling carbon road bike and has been updated for 2017. It uses Toray T1000 and T800 high-modulus carbon-fibre – once the preserve of the most exclusive Italian marques – in a frame that’s stiffer and lighter than its predecessor (claimed 1,070g in the size small).
All of this results in a ride quality that is very impressive indeed. It has the stiffness paired with rear-end comfort of a much more expensive bike. The geometry is spot-on – not too steep but perfect for stability on descents and at speed and easy to set up.
Its rigidity makes it slightly clattery on rough roads, but this is a common characteristic of lightweight carbon frames and is in no way unique to the Ribble. Besides, the direct feel when climbing more than makes up for this and perhaps most importantly, it feels fun to ride, leaving you grinning from ear to ear.
Watt-wasting gaps eliminated
The R872 is bang up to date in terms of the frame’s features. All cables are internally routed and the R872 is Di2 compatible. Although it’s not remotely an ‘aero’ frame the fork crown and the rear of the down tube fit together neatly, eliminating a watt-wasting gap.
The R872 bulges where maximum stiffness is required: the tapered head tube, press-fit bottom bracket shell and chainstays are all oversized and rock solid, while the 27.2mm seatpost, skinny by comparison, promotes comfort.
The Ribble has an unbeatable spec at this price – Shimano 105 throughout, including the chainset. The Fulcrum Racing Sport wheels are a touch heavy, but at this entry-level price point they’re certainly par for the course and easily justifiable. Besides any upgrades you might want to make are easy thanks to Ribble’s innovative Bikebuilder.
There’s absolutely no doubt that the Ribble offers super value for money. A high-modulus carbon frame paired with a complete 105 groupset for £1,000 is exceptional.