Meet our live in-store expert Susie. One of our team of Go in Store experts, Susie’s one of the people you’ll meet if you call us through our live expert’s function via the website. Here Susie takes the Endurance SL Disc for a spin, a bike that offers high-performance speed, distance, and loads of carbon compliance.
The chances are that if you get through to Susie, you’ll be talking to someone who has just cycled over 30 miles to get to work. From Lytham St Anne’s to Clitheroe, come rain or shine, and just possibly snow. Believe it or not, Susie is, by her own admission, the wrong side of 55. However, she’s taken to cycling with a drive and determination that reflects her sporting and endurance ambitions.
“I came to cycling after a boxing injury while training for a long-distance run. Before cycling, I was a runner. But the injury that occurred in my early ’50s took me in a fresh direction. As soon as I got into this whole cycling thing, I found a whole new lease of life; new friends, exciting challenges, and an entirely different world of technical language around bikes, components and all the gear that goes with it. Now I cycle to work several times a week as part of my training programme.”
The Endurance SL Disc sits within the middle of Ribble’s range of carbon endurance bikes. Being lighter and stiffer than our entry-level R872, it is designed for a faster, more feisty ride. An upgraded set of integrated carbon handlebars, Mavic Cosmic wheels and Shimano’s Di2 electronic gearing (on the model shown in this blog) is the perfect combination for a ride that is speedy and responsive. Plus, you get all the compliance and feedback from the Toray 800/1000 carbon monocoque frame and aero geometry.
“What I love about this bike is the way it feels fast and responsive from the first pedal stroke. Since I started cycling, I’ve pushed myself to the limit, which is what I expect from my bike. When I’m out on club runs, we work hard and fast over routes that mix the relatively flat areas around my home with the serious climbs around the Ribble Valley and Trough of Bowland. So this is the bike that could definitely give me the ride and responsive performance that I want from pacey group runs.”
Endurance is the name of the game
The Endurance SL Disc is clearly the perfect bike for Susie, who has already packed a Maratona Dolomites sportive into her bag of achievements. This gruelling one-day race over some of the toughest climbs in the Dolomites is not for the faint-hearted. Nor the under-trained. This is why Susie had no hesitation in picking this bike out of our staff test ride lineup.
“Without hesitation, the Maratona is the high point of my cycling CV so far. It’s a race that tests both rider and bike to the limits with an unrelenting mix of climbs and technical descents. It’s a race that appeals to my sense of ambition and the training goals that I set myself. Sadly, the pandemic meant that my entries for 2020 and 2021 had to be cancelled. However, I can’t wait to do it again.”
Despite her late entry to cycling, Susie’s clearly not short of fearless ambition. For instance, she’s can also count the mighty Bealach na Ba in Wester Ross as one of her cycling achievements. One of the toughest climbs that Scotland can throw at anyone on a bike. It rises to nearly 3,000 feet over a distance of 5 miles. “During this particular challenge, we were faced with the worst weather imaginable and coming at us from all directions. So, I was chuffed to be just one of only 9 women to finish. I also beat my younger, more experienced brother. A small but significant achievement for a relative newcomer to the sport.”
Fuel to burn
Having always had a sporting streak in me, I’ve always kept a close eye on my diet and hydration. With running, it’s all about liquids. However, with cycling, you have the chance to make things more interesting. So far, my go-to smart food for all my challenges, and my commute, has been the banana. Packed with potassium, fruit doesn’t get much smarter than this.
Meet our live in-store experts
To meet our live in-store experts, simply click on the icon that appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen when you enter our website.
The Endurance SL Disc that Susie rode is a medium size with Shimano Ultegra Di2. It currently weighs in at 8.5kgs, without a jersey full of bananas! You can see the bike here.
Keep up to date with the latest exploits of the Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling team here.
E-bikes, what are they for and who rides them? We break down what an e-bike does, what they offer and debunk those myths that refuse to go away. Read it here.
Ribble Bike Mechanic and ultra-endurance cyclist Brad tells us how he won one of the UK’s toughest endurance events All Points North. Read it here.