Channeling my best Doctor Frankenstein (you know how to pronounce it), I slapped the new 2011 Ridley Helium together today.
I think it turned out pretty well, considering I put my trusty old 7800 Dura Ace on it. Hey, the stuff isn't terribly long in the tooth, and it works like a champ, so there's really no reason to buy a new group, other than sheer vanity of course! That being said, SRAM Red would look pretty dope on the frame. Even with the 'old' 7800, heavy-ish Mavic brakes, and a boat anchor Flite Ti Gel saddle, it tipped out @ 16.23 pounds. It could easily be taken deep into the 15s without a lot of difficulty.
It's a totally different design than my old (if 2008 is OLD) Helium. The front half of the frame is pretty similar, but once the downtube gets BIG and SQUARE where it meets the BB shell, all similarities end. As shown in the BB photo, the cluster is meaty...waaaay meatier than the old frame. I'm guessing this one will be stiff, even for my beefcake.
I tried to get a picture of the new seatstays, but none of them really properly illustrated the design. They are about 1cm thick...flattened out, and 3cm wide. They're almost airfoil-ish.
I'm willing to bet that this new frame rides a bit stiffer than the old one, and it was no Cadillac.
The chainstays are far larger than the old frame as well, and seem to have a bi-axial sort of orientation going on. The rear drops are also carbon with stainless inserts...kinda trick.
Unfortunately, a ride report won't be available for a while, seeing as I'm not allowed to ride for a few more days, and even then, not with any sort of anger.
Oh, and the Strada Bianche went off in Italy today. One of the best races on the schedule, yet in garnered ZERO TV coverage...even within Italy! WTF? Hey Versus, you schmoes, are you listening?
Peruse the photos in the above link. Makes you want to go ride, eh?