The Ridley's have treated me unbelievably this seson. A way better arrow than the Indian shooting it. The X-Night is a pretty sophisticated bike and is one of the new-generation frames featuring a carbon seat mast in favor over a seat post. This adds rigidity (especially in large frames like my 58cm) while reducing overall weight.
Out of the box, the X-Night's seat mast must be cut to the rider's appropriate height. The frame comes with a number of shims of various thicknesses as well to get very precise on the positioning. After cutting and getting my seat height dialed, my first couple of mounts and re-mounts demonstrated a noticeable "pop" emanating form the seat mast. A little concerning to say the least yet I couldn't diagnose the problem.
At Interbike, I had the privilege of meeting the Ridely bike crew from Belgium and their US counterparts from QBP and talked through my issue. Very quickly they walked me through the process and I wanted to share that with you as well, family of Ridley X-Night owners.
If you have a 'just-out-of-the-box' X-Night, ensure your shop has this set of instructions for ensuring proper cutting:
In my case, these were followed but even a super slight deviance from the required tolerance can result in the audible popping noise. Essentially, the issue results from the top of the mast not properly sitting in the 'bay' of the aluminum mast clamp. A remount will occasionally cause an ever so slight 'pull' from the top of the mast and yet another occasional mount will 'pop' it back into place...thus the audible noise.
The solution to eliminating the pop is a simple one however and comes direct from the Ridley engineering team and is practiced by both the Fidea and Sunweb Projob team mechanics on their rider's X-Nights in the Motherland.
First remove your seat mast clamp. Ensure you thoroughly clean the inside of the aluminum clamp and the contact area on the seat mast.
Next, use the recommended carbon/aluminum assembly paste which is Tacx (red compound). FSA and Ritchey also make what appear to be the same paste (and is probably all made in the same factory regardless...).Use an acid brush and coat the sides and top of the carbon.
Re-attach the seat mast clamp and tighten to the prescribed tolerances (inscribed on the seat mast clamp itself).
Voila you are done! I have not experienced the popping since I added the compound.