It's hard to argue against the cyclocross pedigree of a Belgian manufacturer like Ridley, and bikes like the X Fire CX1 Complete Cyclocross Bike take the 'cross focus one step further. We've taken the liberty of spec'ing this X Fire frameset with SRAM's CX1 drivetrain and HED wheels, a coalition that brings all manner of materials and design features from disciplines across the cycling world in order to produce what may be the best value race machine that has ever found itself contemplating dirt, mud, stairs, gravel, barriers, pavement, and beer all in the same event. The 2015 X Fire is built with the same 24T high modulus carbon fiber featured on both the previous model and many of Ridley's road specific frames. The material is laid up as a strategic pattern of unidirectional sheets to balance rigidity with vertical compliance and weight. The frame's oversized tubes are shaped for stiffness at crucial power transfer junctures stretching from the head tube through the down tube, bottom bracket, and chainstays. Areas that play less of a role in load bearing are thinned down, saving weight wherever doing so doesn't compromise efficiency. Despite the X Fire's stiffness and low weight, features like thinned seatstays also minimize the noise and chatter communicated to the cyclist's body. This ensures that, though 'cross races tend to be short, enjoyably brutal affairs, the long miles of base building and training rides leading up to them don't have to be. The 24T material itself also contributes to this balance of comfort and power, providing more vibration damping than the harsher 60T carbon in Ridley's climbers only, lose weight at all cost Helium road frame. The top and down tubes are also strategically squared off, providing better grip while the bike is shouldered during run ups.Including SRAM's CX1 components is yet one more nod to 'cross specialization, as CX1 is essentially just a mash up of technologies from the revolutionary XX1 mountain drivetrain and t...