Test Ridley Kanzo Adventure New: The new Ridley Kanzo from the Belgian manufacturer is just one of five different gravel bikes, but perhaps the one that can do the most. With wide tires and lots of mounting options, it appeals to both female bikepackers and off-roaders, and those who take a close look will discover many interesting details.
Narrow country lanes, cobblestones, concrete slab bike paths with wide joints and lonely potholed roads winding through dense Ardennes forests: Anyone who has ever ridden a bike in Belgium knows that racing bikes with wide tires are a pretty clever invention – gravel bikes, in other words. And at Ridley, of course, they know that too, which has led to the company having a total of five different off-road racing bikes in its portfolio. The Ridley Kanzo Speed sees itself as an all-road racer that can be ridden with a maximum of 36 mm wide tires - a bike that is close to the endurance racing machine and designed to be ridden with a double chainring. The Ridley Kanzo Fast is different: its shape is reminiscent of the aero racer Ridley Noah; with a maximum of 42 mm wide tires and 1x drive, it is designed for gravel racing. And then there's the Ridley Kanzo Adventure - a bike that might suit the gravel fanatic at large.
Because if you don’t come to the bike shop with a clear idea of what your (or your) Graveller will be used for, you want one thing first: versatility. Bikes are in demand that can take part in sporty, fast rides as well as bikepacking tours, and for this a bike must have a balanced geometry and numerous equipment details.
Everything you need for graveling
Even at first glance it is clear that the Ridley has everything a gravel bike needs. The chainstays are pulled down, which allows for wide tire widths of up to 53 mm; the small rear triangle promises shock absorption at the rear, whereby the very elastic carbon seat post is the main feature here in practice. The numerous threaded holes are also not to be overlooked - luggage holders can be attached to the fork, two bottle holders in the frame triangle and another under the down tube. Four threads on the down tube allow great freedom when positioning the bottle cage or allow a small bag or similar to be mounted on top of it.
Mudguards can also be screwed on, and if you want, you can even attach a lighting system with a dynamo: its cable can be routed through the fork, on which the outlet and a thread for the headlight are located under a small cover. A light cable can also be routed through the top tube. As usual, a small pocket can be attached to the top; Of course, Ridley went to the trouble of creating an integrated mounting base instead of protruding screw heads - including an elongated cover that ends flush with the tube.
In any case, the drag-conscious Belgians (there is even a wind tunnel next to the company building) have done everything to avoid corners and edges. The saddle clamp is integrated and the brake lines are practically invisible – despite the fact that a slim, conventionally shaped stem is used. If you look at the steering head from above, you will notice the eccentric clamping screw of the headset – this frees up space for the lines in the head tube. As a result, the Ridley Kanzo Adventure presents itself as elegant and smooth and already halfway to an aero bike, with the Kanzo Fast having a much more special shape.
Ridley Kanzo Adventure: Agile and very off-road
When it comes to bikepacking-optimized Gravellers, the first thing that comes to mind is of course smooth handling tailored for safe straight-line stability, and with a steering angle of just over 70 degrees and a long wheelbase, the Kanzo Adventure seems to fit into this category. In a direct comparison with off-roaders with a sportier cut, the bike does indeed steer more sluggishly without appearing sluggish. The sitting position is rather comfortable with a rather short stem and various spacers under it, although doing without the latter would already result in significantly more elevation. Thanks to the perceived high stiffness, the Ridley can be accelerated with agility; The wide Vittoria Terreno Dry roll lightly on the road and have a good grip on loose ground. In any case, the large tire volume allows you to roll over just about anything, and as I said, the 47 tires are by no means the end of the road. When things get tricky off-road, the Kanzo Adventure is in its element; With a little over nine kilos plus pedals, you can still lift the bike over obstacles on the trail quite easily. The heavily flexing seat post ensures comfort, although the front of the bike is rather hard; the clearly flared handlebars with handlebar bends that are not too deep allow you to ride the lower handlebars very comfortably on longer flat sections.
An obvious choice for gravel bikes is the Sram Rival AXS with fast, precise gear changes and snappy, easily controllable brakes. With a 42 chainring and a 10-44 twelve-speed cassette, there is a large range of gear ratios, and thanks to two-tooth jumps in the middle area, the rim is quite closely spaced. The transmission leaves nothing to be desired either on extremely steep sections or on fast descents. More gears or closer gradations are only possible if you combine the electronic shifting system with the two-stage classified gear hub – as mentioned, a front derailleur is not provided. This variant is of course associated with a surcharge of 1.300 euros.
The Ridley Kanzo Adventure costs just under 4.900 euros in the current specification, and there really isn't much to say about that. After all, a Gravel-compatible carbon wheelset is mounted, which with an internal width of 23 mm is designed for wide tires and can be ridden tubeless. With mechanical 1×11 gears (Sram Rival) and aluminum wheel set, the bike is even available for 3.575 euros. Individual paintwork is possible for an additional charge of 100 euros, so that no Kanzo has to look like the next.
How difficult is it to choose the right bike from the Ridley Gravel range? Actually not at all, because the vast majority of riders should be fine with the Ridley Kanzo Adventure. The aerodynamic advantages of the Kanzo Fast will only be noticeable in racing, and the Kanzo Allroad is more for road cyclists looking for more options when choosing a route, but given the tight tire clearance it's not actually a "proper" gravel bike. And these two models are not designed for luggage transport either, so the Kanzo Adventure is the roundest Graveller in the Belgian supplier's range.