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A stalwart of the British cycling scene, Ribble Cycles can trace their history back well over 100 years.
Beginning as a bike shop in 1897, the brand is now one of the biggest independent bicycle brands that sells directly to consumers.
Selling bicycles in the 21st century is wildly different than back in the late 1800s, but has Ribble adapted to ever-changing cycling tastes and demands? We aim to find out.
Who Are Ribble Cycles?
Ribble Cycles are bicycle brand and manufacturer, with strong roots in the Northern part of the UK and a particular affinity for top-end products at more accessible prices. It could be said that Ribble is the biggest British bike brand in the country today.
Ribble’s history spans over 120 years and in that period the brand has cleverly moved with the times. From hand-building steel frames and selling them from a traditional bike shop on the high street to the first wave of ‘mail order’ bikes and on today’s highly polished Ribble website, there’s no doubting Ribble’s adaptability and resilience.
It can be said that Ribble’s history is bound up in the sport of road cycling, especially in the UK. The brand has long provided (and continues to do so) bikes and accessories to some of the country’s top professional and semi-professional cyclists.
What Does Ribble Cycles Specialize In?
Arguably Ribble’s specialism lies in high-performance road bikes at great prices. The brand does plenty to show that top-end, doesn’t have to mean bottoming out your bank account.
That said, Ribble isn’t stuck in the days of yore, the brand has a good selection of electric bikes for sale and has fairly recently, jumped back into mountain bikes too.
Thanks to its history in road bikes, today Ribble is well-known for its electric road bikes – some of which are near the lightest in their class. Even more recently, Ribble has expanded its range into electric gravel bikes.
Are Ribble Cycles Bikes Good?
In our opinion, and in a short sentence, Ribble represents excellent value for money for cyclists looking for premium performance.
Take the Ribble Endurance SL road bike for example – a popular do-it-all road bike. The Enthusiast model is priced at £3,399 with Shimano 105 Di2 gearing and carbon wheels. A similar bike at Specialized, the Tarmac SL7 Comp, with the same gearing setup is around £1,100 more. Clearly, this isn’t comparing like-for-like, but it does give you an indication of the value Ribble offers.
Depending on the type of bike you wish to buy, it’s always worth checking Ribble to see if they could have something that would suit you.
Is Ribble Cycles a Good Brand?
Despite a few fulfilment glitches during the pandemic (they certainly weren’t the only bike brand that was affected), Ribble holds a good reputation in the cycling community. Its bikes are lauded for their design, performance and value for money.
Where Ribble has really distinguished itself over the past decade or so is in its web presence. The Ribble website is, not to be too dramatic about it, a very immersive and enjoyable place to browse. Streams and streams of information about Ribble’s various bikes are displayed thoughtfully and carefully, helping make every buying decision a supportive one.
As far as we can tell almost all Ribble bikes are built to order (the checkout process on their website gives you estimated dispatch dates for each model/variant/size) and as such every bike can be customised beyond its off-the-shelf specification. Although this might be too much choice for the everyday cyclist, we think it’s a stupendous feature.
Of the customisation options available, the most exciting one is the Custom Colour feature. Once you’ve chosen your bike you can select from a range of colour palettes, applying them to the frame and decals. You can even choose from different types of colour gradients! Obviously, this is a brilliant feature, but we’d like to applaud this herculean feat of website engineering that Ribble has undertaken to get it live.
Where Are Ribble Cycles Bikes Made?
All Ribble bikes are built in Britain. That being said, the parts which make up the bikes originate from different countries across the globe.
Whilst Ribble is typically coy on the origin of their frames, we’d wager they come from either Taiwan or China, much like the third-party components that complete their bikes.
Does Ribble Cycles Make E-Bikes?
Yes, Ribble currently manufactures a number of bikes across its range. To keep things simple, Ribble typically offers an electrically assisted model of each of its bikes, whether that’s the Endurance SL e road bike, Gravel AL e gravel bike or Urban AL e city bike.
Like many of the world’s leading electric bike brands, Ribble offers each of its electric bikes in various models or builds. “Hero”, “Pro” and “Enthusiast” are some examples.
The Hero model will have the top-end specification whilst the Enthusiast will have a more basic build. The key thing to remember here is that the heart of the bike, the frame and fork (and motor in the case of an electric bike) will be the same regardless of which model you choose.
Ribble Cycles Bikes Review
Ribble has amassed a huge number of reviews of their bikes. From customer reviews on their own website to both specialist and general press assessments, there are thousands of Ribble bikes out there in the wild.
In general, product reviews of Ribble bikes tend to focus on their solid specification, good performance and perhaps most importantly, value for money. Of course, Ribble bikes aren’t always spot on and the odd component choice or design feature has left some riders dissatisfied.
For an assessment of Ribble’s overall customer satisfaction, we visited their page on the popular review site, Trustpilot. Clearly, not every single customer was delighted with their order, but at the time of writing the brand had a more than acceptable 4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.
Alongside the usual gripes about fulfilment delays and product issues, many, many customers (the brand has over 33,000 reviews!) praised the company for delivering their order early and with a great overall experience to boot!
Best Ribble Cycles E-Bikes
From just 12.5kg
Ribble Hybrid AL e
A lightweight hybrid electric bike that would suit all kinds of uses. From family rides, to commuting or weekend exploring.
Ribble Urban e
Great for commuters, this e-bike is packed with features to help city and urban riders get the most from their ride to work.
Versatility is the key
Ribble CGR AL e
For riders who like to dabble in road, off-road and gravel riding this would be the perfect electrically assisted model.
Electric gravel bike
Ribble Gravel AL e
Like all Ribble electric bikes, this bike features a sleek and lightweight system that isn’t going to dominate your gravel ride.
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