The Ribble Ultra TT – World Class TT performance

In 2019 the Ribble Ultra TT has proven itself to be more than a match against some of the World Tour giants. Especially when placed in the capable hands of the Ribble Pro Cycling team. But what goes into developing such an aero weapon?

The Brief

In 2017 the Ribble R&D Team were given a brief, create a world class time trial and triathlon platform that would give our customers the edge over the competition. And so the plans were drawn up and a sample frame duly arrived. Thus, began an intensive multi-stage development process. Incorporating both real world and simulated testing to fine tune the design to achieve the most advantageous platform.

We sought out the services of UK time trial champion and world class aerodynamic expert Dan Bigham to act as test pilot. Dan is a qualified aerodynamicist and has previously worked in Formula 1 before moving on to his passion, cycling! He loves nothing more than getting his hands on a bike and putting it through its paces. Making subtle tweaks to gain every last possible watt saving and to eke out very last possible aero advantage.

The Ultra TT speed weapon.

Dan created his own company Wattshop, which specialises in providing aero testing support as well as offering some serious aero weaponry to maximize a riders performance. In so doing creating the perfect watt saving aero weapon that the modern time-triallist demands. If you know Dan you will understand the lengths he will got to in saving every last possible watt of power.

Dan and the Ribble R&D team spent many hours in the velodrome testing out the Ultra TT platform. Performing real world tests and carrying out comprehensive CFD analysis to identify further aero gains throughout the R&D and prototyping process.  

Dan’s attention to details is evident in his testing of the Ultra TTR

The Ultra is born

The end result of their labours are the Ribble Ultra TT and Ultra Tri. The Ultra TT being the platform that we had no hesitation in supplying to the Ribble Pro Cycling team. And, the Ultra Tri being used to great effect this season by Adam Bowden and Beau Smith. Adam has achieved podium finishes in each of the Ironman 70.3 races that he has competed in. Beau Smith has been competing in the UK Tri Series and won 2 rounds. with his latest win coming at the Helvellyn triathlon.

The Ultra TT is a very effective time trial platform indeed and when ridden to its full extent is more than capable of challenging the best in the world. Evidence of this has been backed up by results achieved by the Ribble Pro Cycling Team throughout the 2019 season.

Dan Bigham reviews aero data during testing.

The National Championships

In the UK National Time Trial championships, John Archibald and Dan Bigham proved their mettle against some of the best riders from around the UK. This included some serious heavyweights from the World Tour teams. John posted a blistering time that looked set to win the National stripes. He was finally pipped to the win by 6-time National Champion and TT specialist Alex Dowsett.

Dan Bigham also posted an impressive time to finish in 5th place. Finally finishing sandwiched in between riders from Team Ineos and Dimension Data. Sy Wilson completed the Ribble line up and put in a great performance to finish a fantastic 13th.

National Team Time Trial Champions

The same trio took their Ultra TTs to compete in the National Team Time Trial Championships in June. Where they proceeded to smash the competition and in doing so, finished over 3 ½ minutes clear of their nearest rivals. Ribble are now proud to have a trio of national champions competing upon our bikes.

Dan Bigham, John Archibald and Sy Wilson en-course to earning their national stripes in the National Team Time Trial.

World Road Race Championships

In a rather wet and wintry Yorkshire, further honours were to follow. First up, the newly crowned National Team Time Trial Champions John and Dan were once again in action. To have not one but two Ribble Pro Cycling riders selected out of the wealth of UK talent was a testament to their dedication and talent. And, to mark this very special achievement, Ribble presented the duo with a one-off Ultra TT (as pictured below).

The duo lined up alongside Harry Tanfield to compete in the inaugural World time trial Mixed Relay. The trio completed the course before handing over to the ladies and combined were the first team to break 40 minutes. This time stood up to all teams except the last 2, Germany and eventual winners the Netherlands. Meaning Team GB had come away with a fantastic and unexpected bronze medal.

John and Dan pose with their worlds bike’s for some all important positional adjustments at Derbados velodrome.

John was given his chance to shine in the Individual Time trial. One of the world tour riders having dropped out and despite the short notice John stepped up. It is safe to say that he grabbed the opportunity with both hands! Despite being one of the early starters, John blitzed the course and posted the fastest time. We’re sure that cycling fans across the UK fan were glued to their screens and hoping he held on for the win. We certainly were here at Ribble!!

For a long time he was in the winners hot seat as World Tour rider after world Tour rider tried and failed to beat his time. It was only when the true elite of world time trialling started to finish that John finally slipped down the order. As Rohan Dennis crossed the line to claim the victory, John had dropped down to 14th place. This was an unbelievable result for a domestically based cyclist. Not to mention of course, a part-time cyclist!! To put it into context he finished 10 seconds back from the winner of the Vuelta a Espana, Primoz Roglic. It’s almost impossible to comprehend the calibre of riders that John had put to the sword.

Dan Bigham (centre) and John Archibald (right) on the podium as World championships bronze medallists.

Like the colour scheme of the Ribble Pro Team bike? Find out how to order one or design your own here.


What do Ribble Pro Cycling ride during the 2019 season. Check out their road bikes here.

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