Ridley X-Fire Disc / SRAM Apex Complete Bike - 2013 - $2,155.96

With decades of innovation in the cyclocross market, we're not surprised to see Ridley make the leap to disc brakes. Our reasoning is simple. While some manufacturers approach 'cross as something of a novelty, simply slapping wider clearances and cantilever bosses to road frames, Ridley's passion beats from the heart of the sport -- Belgium. And, with five cyclocross world titles in its palmares, we're confident that the X-Fire Disc/SRAM Apex Complete Bike is a deliberate step in the right direction. Ridley's X-Fire Disc Complete Bike features a frame constructed of 24-ton carbon fiber, and a full-carbon 4ZA Oryx fork. To mitigate the torque originating from the new disc brake, the fork now uses a reinforced lower-leg design. This is beneficial in three ways. First, the massive legs guarantee that you won't experience any lurching or torsion from the caliper. Additionally, the larger blades aid in absorbing any chatter, vibration, or shock from nasty terrain. And last, the 1-1/8 x 1-1/2in, oversized design provides unparalleled rigidity. Coupled with the massive head tube juncture, the Oryx fork offers nimble handling and an explosive sprinting prowess -- perfect for the short spurts of power required after barriers. And while the newly redesigned fork is amazing, the frame construction and features bring just as much to the table. For the carbon itself, the 'T' in 24T stands for ton -- meaning that the X-Fire's carbon can withstand 24 tons of pressure per square inch. This level of strength might sound weighty, but the opposite is actually true. Ridley knows that with stronger carbon, less can be used to receive greater results. Accordingly, this application sheds weight while increasing torsional and lateral rigidity. Aside from carbon, Ridley's decades of 'cross experience bred a few frame features that you'll be happy to have when you're running in the mud. - $2,155.96