We test this female-specific bike from speedy bike makers Ridley in our First Ride review

In our first ride reviews, we take some of the world’s best bikes out for a spin over different terrains. View our full archive of bike reviews here including our head-to-head triathlon bike tests.

  • First Ride

At first glance the Asteria is an awkward-looking machine. Ridley’s diamond-shaped Sharp Edge tube construction design leaves odd  squared sections all over the place. The female-specific frame was developed with Bikefitting.com and pro riders. It looks and feels reassuringly serious for a women’s bike and comes with smooth-shifting Shimano Ultegra 6700 gears and our first ride felt secure and sturdy.

  • Fast Ride

Much of the kit on the Asteria is from Ridley’s in-house 4ZA brand and performs solidly, with the Cirrus Clincher wheels perhaps a little too steadfast. Everything about the bike is designed for strength and stiffness, from the bulky head tube and down tube junctions to the solid crankset, so we were expecting a quick getaway, but this is a powerful bike that takes lighter riders time to get up to speed.

  • Hilly Ride

The Asteria’s stiffness came into play on short sharp inclines where the surprisingly big handlebars were also a bonus; we stomped up slopes without feeling that effort was being squashed into the frame. Again a wheel upgrade would help here. On the way back down, handling was smooth rather than nippy and nimble, but our test bike was a bit too big and we think that may have affected handling.

  • Long Ride

On our longest rides the Asteria came into its own. What it lacks in immediate drive it makes up for in commitment to speed; once you’ve got it going you can almost sit back and let the bike carry you. Despite the stiffness of the frame, the ride was surprisingly smooth and forgiving. Road buzz is soaked up through the nicely padded bars and we got on well with the 4ZA  Cirrus female-friendly saddle that comes as standard.
Price £2,239
Contact ridley-bikes.com
Weight 7.7kg (17.0lb)
Size tested M
Sizes available XXS (45cm), XS (47cm), S (49cm), M (52cm), L (55cm)
Frame & Fork 4ZA R-Blade 1106a
Stem 4ZA Cirrus Compact Bend
Handlebar 4ZA Cirrus
Transmission Shimano Ultegra 6700
Brakes 4ZA Cirrus with Shimano Ultegra 6700 shifters
Chainset Rotor 3D 50/34
Wheels 4ZA Cirrus Clincher
Tyres Vredestein Fortezza
Saddle 4ZA Cirrus Lady