Gravel cycling is developing from a cool-American niche to a mainstream discipline in cycling. Hundreds of gravel events have sprung up across the world, in a few short years the Strade Bianche has become one of the most important races on the UCI calendar & in January the UCI said it was looking into introducing a Gravel World Championship. The gravel bike has become the new essential bike in many cyclists collection and offers even the most experienced rider the opportunity to discover something new. In this blog we take a detailled look at Ridley’s new offering, the Ridley Kanzo Adventure.
Ridley Kanzo Adventure Review – High Speed, All Terrain
Ridley has a long heritage of designing bikes that work on rough Belgian roads – unpaved, cobbled or poorly surfaced. Ridley has an international reputation for making great cyclocross bikes & beautiful all-round endurance road bikes. The fact that Ridley have billed this as their first pure gravel bike is exciting.
The hugely popular Ridley X-Trail is the predecessor of the Kanzo. In our Ridley X-Trail review, one thing we felt the X-Trail could improve on was tyre clearance, a 36 mm max width just didn’t give the flexibility to enjoy all the trails in Girona. In contrast the Kanzo has a tyre clearance of 47 mm for 700c wheels and up to 50 mm for 650b – for those in the mood for something more extreme.
Ridley have also added extra bottle cage mounts on the fork, top tube and below on the downtube give huge flexibility for carrying your gear – this is a bike which was made for stripped down, fast days out in the saddle, or epic multi-day bike-packing adventures. The Adventure has longer chainstays & a shorter reach than the X-Trail, giving the rider a more comfortable position for longer adventure-style rides. The flex zones in the rear stays also add extra comfort by filtering the vibrations from all the different surfaces encountered on your adventure.
The Kanzo Adventure cabling is all internal – preventing mud & water from ruining shifting (not that there’s much mud & water in Girona this time of year!)
What’s in a name? Why Kanzo?
According to Ridley:
Kanzo is a word that dates back to the times of the troubadours, who were singers and poets in the Middle Ages. They traveled widely and experienced all kinds of adventures, which they turned into stories about knights & love. On return to their home villages, they would tell the inhabitants about their adventures using three different genres. The most commonly used of these was a “kanzo/canzo”. Their stories moved entire communities, who hung on their every word.
Just like the troubadours, we want to encourage cyclists to go out and ride their bikes, to discover new places or rediscover what they thought they already knew.
The Ridley marketing department is framing this bike as a machine for discovery, which is all well & good, but how does this translate to everyday use? We asked Kanzo owner Rich to share his opinion.
Ridley Kanzo Adventure – A Versatile Machine
Rich bought a Kanzo a few months back to enjoy a winter season of riding Girona on both the road & trails. Here’s what he has to say about his new machine:
The Kanzo has been a great mixed surface bike for me – with the stock wheels and tires, it’s super secure on all sorts of trails, from smooth hard pack up to single track trails. The 45c WTB Riddler tires just roll over most ruts, rocks and holes, providing great confidence when exploring new terrain.
When I swap out the wheels and tires for my set of Hunt road wheels (takes 5 minutes), this allows me to go out on long road rides with my friends. Super comfortable ride on the road, it has secure handling. While it’s not race geometry, the Kanzo keeps up easily with “real” road bikes and climbs surprisingly well.
For me, it’s really a “one bike for all terrain” that I can use anywhere.
Ridley Kanzo Adventure Review Analysis
Overall the Ridley Kanzo Adventure is a wonderful bike which brings together Ridley’s years of experience & applies it to the gravel market.
- Fantasic tyre clearance – 47 mm on 700 c, 50 mm on 650b wheels
- Internal cabling for a sleek look & no interference from mud & water
- Pure Line custom paint available for a personal bike
- Fantastic price point – from €2,999 for a complete bike (Ultegra) to €3,799 (Force 1)
It’s tough to find fault with the Kanzo! If there are other Kanzo riders out there, let us know your comments on the bike. We’ll keep this updated as rider feedback comes in.
The Ridley Kanzo Range
The Kanzo comes in different models – a high-speed race version, an entry level alloy version & an electric assist – Ridley have truly covered all the bases!
- Kanzo Speed – This is the fast, race version of the X-Trail – there’s less tyre clearance than the Kanzo & perfect for long, non-technical rides. Starting at €2,799 (105) to €3,599 (Ultegra).
- Kanzo A – an affordable alloy gravel machine. Starting at €1,499 (Apex 1) to €2,099 (Ultegra)
- Kanzo e Fauza – an awesome electric assist version, availble in road, flat bar or gravel versions. From €3,899
Want to try the Ridley Kanzo Adventure for Yourself?
You can rent the Ridley Kanzo Adventure (or the Basso Palta, or the Reilly Gradient) from us during your next Girona cycling vacation – we run gravel tours in Girona all year around & head over the Moroccan Atlas Mountains in Spring & Autumn! Give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online for more info!
P.S. Enjoyed this blog? Why not sign up to receive notifications every time we post and get regular updates on our latest tours!