Ridley Bikes was started in 1997 by Jochim Aerts, a frame builder and painter who had been producing frames for Belgian bicycle companies since 1990. In a few years, Ridley became the market leader in Belgium for racing bikes. It has always been a key part of Ridley's product development to create a strong alliance with their teams, not just providing them with bikes, but working on a very close basis with the riders and the team mechanics to develop their models. The sponsored teams compete on ‘stock’ frames which enables Ridley to test under extreme riding conditions. This is Ridley's core development program to ensure that a well refined product is launched to their customers. Feedback from the teams fuels the next generation of Ridley bikes. The Belgian racing team Lotto-Belisol rode Ridley bikes in the Tour de France in 2013.