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Discovering the new Ridley GRIFN RS and its entire range

If, at the end of 2022, we presented the GRIFN as a versatile bike suitable for gravel and road that Ridley incorporated into its catalog, now we present the evolution of that same model: the GRIFN RS.

Launching this new version does not mean an update of its predecessor but rather a substantial improvement for those looking for a more competitive and demanding aspect of the already known GRIFN.

Accompanying the release of the RS, Ridley also presents the E-GRIFN, an assisted electric version, and an aluminum version that completes the entire spectrum of the public they want to reach with the GRIFN range.

GRIFN RS in detail

We still remember the good impression the GRIFN left us the first time we tried it. We were very impressed with its handling, especially on gravel. It was fast, stable, and with a very good balance between stiffness and comfort. On the road, however, it reminded us more of an endurance model, a bike with a more relaxed and comfortable position, with no pretensions of being the fastest on the market.

Well, after testing the GRIFN RS for several days, we can confirm that it is a version with many improved aspects that undoubtedly make it unique.

The Ridley team has invested many hours in this bike, and they acknowledge that they did not want to waste the opportunity to apply some of the R&D from their latest models to some aspects of the GRIFN RS. Proof of this is the carbon fork they have created. In addition to being wider and allowing a wider tire, it now incorporates the same design as the FALCN RS.

Regarding the frame, we observed several changes in aerodynamics that we significantly liked. We see that the diagonal tube integrates perfectly with the fork design and that the vertical tube has a groove that allows the wheel to be closer to the frame. Now, it has an aerodynamic seatpost that, in addition to improving aesthetics, helps to reduce air friction. They have also made other changes in the frame to obtain a wider wheel width and to be able to mount tires up to 42 mm, both in 2x and 1x setups. In addition to all of the above, they have managed to reduce the frame’s weight (140 grams less compared to the GRIFN), which, combined with everything above, makes this model a faster and lighter bike.

Continuing with other novelties that this model presents, we highlight the entire integrated cockpit, which, in addition to giving it a more attractive and contemporary aspect, adds a plus of aerodynamics, stiffness, and reactivity that is very interesting.

If we focus on the transmission, you can choose between Shimano and SRAM assemblies depending on each person’s needs, in addition to having an option that mounts Classified hubs. The GRIFN RS, in addition to mounting the universal derailleur hanger (UDH), also integrates the clamp for the front derailleur on the same vertical tube, which allows, in the case of mounting a single chainring, to easily replace it with an aerodynamic chain guide that they have developed in collaboration with Wolf Tooth.

Lastly, the bike incorporates several extra holes to add bags, bottles, or other accessories for the more adventurous riders.

Getting to know the entire GRIFN range

As we were telling you at the beginning of this article, Ridley, in addition to launching the RS, has also presented the E-GRIFN and the GRIFN A, which together with the already known GRIFN complete the range covering an extensive range of users.

We have to admit that, initially, we were surprised to see an assisted version among the bikes they presented. We did not expect it, and honestly, we did not show much interest in the E-GRIFN until we gradually discovered everything it hid.

One of the main reasons they saw an opportunity to create this bike was the notable presence of electric mountain bike users on tracks, trails, and other low-technical difficulty terrains. Seeing this, they realized that a certain group was currently meeting their needs with the wrong bike.

In search of a versatile bike that can be used on gravel and road with a motor that is not excessively heavy and provides the necessary extra bit of help, they found as their best ally the MAHLE SmartBike and its revolutionary X20 system. The resulting combination could not have been better; the two companies managed to create a truly attractive, functional, and beautiful bike that surprises anyone, even the most skeptical (myself included) regarding the e-bike world.

If we refer to the GRIFN A, we are talking about a bike with the same geometry as the rest of the range but with the peculiarity that the frame is made of aluminum. It is a perfect “entry-level” model that can become a very good option as a first bike for an audience that is starting out in cycling or the gravel discipline.

Let’s get to work

After the official presentation of the entire GRIFN range, it was time to test the available units and see if everything that had just been explained to us was true.


We went in small groups for the bike tests, and among the bikes we used, there was a mix between E-GRIFN and RS. In my case, I got the assisted version for the first round of testing. As I have explained before, I am not a big fan of e-bikes, but in the case of the E-GRIFN, I must confess that it left me speechless from the first minute. The pedaling sensation is supernatural, and you can hardly tell when you are receiving assistance and when you are not. With Mahle’s X-20, since the system is propelled from the rear hub (by the way, the lightest on the market in rear-hub systems), the power is transmitted in a very different way than when using a mid-drive, like the ones typically used in mountain bikes, which are more direct and seem more like propulsion than assistance. In this case, the sensation is really smooth and without jerks.

The bike offers three levels of assistance, plus a fourth that Mahle has baptized Smart Assist. This system adjusts the level of “help” automatically according to your weight, the slope of the road, and your power needs. You can select the power from a controller installed on the frame or using the extra buttons that are installed on the handlebar drop, a perfect option when you are riding in a lower position. We liked this point a lot about having total control of the system in any situation without taking additional risks.

Another aspect that caught my attention was the feeling of not having to drag a heavy bike when you exceed the system’s speed limit. You stop receiving assistance, but the hub still spins like on a standard bike, without any penalty or braking of any kind. In fact, while we were conducting the tests, you could even forget that you were riding an electric bike at some point.

Aesthetically, the bike is impeccable. You hardly notice that you are on an electric bike unless you pay attention to the rear hub (larger than usual) or the small controller on the horizontal tube. The battery is located inside the diagonal tube, but its small dimensions allow the size of the tube to be almost like a normal one.


In the next round of tests, we switched bikes, still in road mode, and this time, I was able to personally test the RS version of the GRIFN.

The first impression was that the riding position had improved a lot. Now, it was much more aggressive. The new cockpit, which had everything integrated, provided noticeable extra stiffness. The new aero seatpost with zero offset setback encourages you to be much more immersed in the bike.

Going uphill, the bike performs much better and is much more reactive than its preliminary version. During the descent, it has perfect composure. I still remember one of them we did in the purest Safa Brian style, descending the mountain pass at full speed and feeling great control of the bike at all times.

There has also been a noticeable improvement in the flat segments; the bike flows and rides very well.

The next day, we had the opportunity to test the GRIFN RS in its gravel mode. At the time, we greatly enjoyed the GRIFN in its initial version. It reminded us a lot of a fast gravel bike, and on this occasion, considering how well the bike had performed the day before, it was clear that we were going to have a great time.

The bike is very fast at all times. That extra width in the wheel clearance provides greater versatility when choosing the right tire for each situation, even in those more adventurous situations where you need a tire over 40.

The unit we tested for gravel was 1x, but as the bike is designed, there are endless options for choosing a perfectly balanced configuration and using it on the road and in gravel.

The result

We must confess that we enjoyed testing the GRIFN RS and the E-GRIFN range in those test days.

Regarding the RS, I would dare to say that where they have improved a lot has been in road mode. While in its previous version, you were using a more relaxed and endurance-type bike, now you really feel like you are on a fast, stiff, and reactive bike. In gravel, it is evident that the improvements also add up for the better, but using the bike on the road is when it impressed us the most.

Regarding the E-GRIFN, the experience was really positive. Beyond covering the needs of that small group that Ridley told us about in his presentation, we see the potential to be used in other situations, such as, for example, carrying out long-distance bikepacking and thus avoiding injuries or muscle overload.

Having the possibility of sharing this press camp with the brand crew always gives you extra value. It allows you to explore, comment on, and discuss every detail with the people behind the bike creation process. Furthermore, for this occasion, we had the company of some Mahle members who improved our experience and explained all the technical specifications of their excellent assistance system.