Nice views, even nicer handlebars

Matt Lawson is Ribble’s Mr Digital – and rides possibly one of the nicest bikes to have ever come out of Preston HQ – but in his own words he’s ‘all the gear and no idea’ – but we don’t think that’s the case. Here is the latest installment of the Ribble Staff Rider series.

Matt Lawson talks us through his custom gold and black Endurance SLR bike, and crashing. Multiple times.

Matt, tell us a little about your role at Ribble? I’m the Chief Digital Officer so Ideal with all this digital. I’ve been here for four years now and absolutely love the job and the people I get to work with.

You have a pretty special bike, what is it and why did you choose that model? It’s the Ribble Endurance SL R Series Disc.

With these specs:
Shimano Ultegra Di2 – Hill climber set up with 11 – 32
Upgraded Dura-Ace rotors
4iiii Powermeter – Ultegra
Level 56DB Elite Carbon Clincher Wheelset – Bespoke gold hubs
CeramicSpeed OSPW
Fizik Arione custom colour saddle
Level 5 Cockpit
Cinelli Bar Tape
Kapz engraved top cap

I love the matte black with custom gold detailing. It’s incredible to ride. But really it’s more of a case of all the gear, no idea.

Gold chain for the golden sunset. We love a good colour combo.

What is your general riding like, how many days per week, etc? Slow, well, relative to the people at Ribble. I have really ramped it back up in recent months. I cycle two to three times a week. I’m a fair-weather rider so you’ll likely find me in the garage on my Wattbike riding Zwift. I average around 30km so quite a short distance cyclist.

Where is your favourite place to take that beautiful looking bike for a spin?
Apart from my kitted out garage, I have a loop around Southport where I live that is my bread and butter.

Who do you mainly ride with? I tend to go out on my own mainly, there’s no worry for me to try and keep up with anyone then. With lockdown and the recent change in warmer weather meant I have been able to train more than usual. I will be joining the regular Ribble ride-outs when they start back up again. My son has just got his first Ribble so I’m sure we will be riding together a lot more.

Do you have have any cycling goals? There are a few. I would love to get my FTP to 250 (it’s currently 216, was 180). I would also love to be able to do a sub one-hour effort up the Alpe du Zwift climb. That is around one hour fifteen minutes at the moment. Finally, I want to ride to Blackpool Tower and back, so hopefully with get that one done at the back end of summer this year.

Who is your favourite pro rider and why? Bradley Wiggins. He is a real-world guy who loves a laugh.

If you could have the skill of any rider who would it be and why? Tough one as I’m not an envious type of person. If I could borrow some skills, maybe someone like Nico Vink. The skill needed to be able to ride like that is unbelievable. I definitely wish I could ride with that type of skill. https://youtu.be/2Uq77ewU-9o

What does cycling mean to you? My time, switch off from life’s problems and just focus on trying to be faster and push myself.

You are an interesting chap, with a lot of fun stories to tell. Tell us an interesting fact about yourself? I gave Marmite the idea for squeezy Marmite.

What has been your proudest cycling moment? Cycling to the home of my other love, Anfield.

We have all had them, confess the worst ride of your life? When I was younger I rode whatever the weather, come what may I was on my bike.

This day in question was rather cold and there was a frost – but I set off on my journey.

The first corner I realised that it wasn’t a frost, it’s was a bloody ice rink… BOOM! I’m on my arse. Get back on. Next corner… BOOM! Again this time on my knees.

Five crashes later feeling rather sorry for myself, I see my mate pulling out his drive, so my bike was dumped in his garden and I spent the journey sat on a baby booster seat sat next to the girl I had a crush on. You live and learn, eh?

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