The Ridge Rider is made from moderate density 100% silicone with a velvety, matte finish. It's a good choice for the Ridge Rider, as it's stiff enough that it makes sure that you feel the textures but soft enough that it doesn't irritate in normal use. The silicone is smooth to the touch without a plastic-y feeling, and it is free of tastes and odors.
As you can see from the pictures the textures are very pronounced. Except for the upper inch and lower half-inch, the shaft is covered with sixteenth-inch high rounded ridges spaced every quarter of an inch, and the forward part of the base is dotted with sixteenth-inch high nubs that rub against either the perineum or upper vulva and clit. When properly lubricated and used gently these textures add to the stimulation, but for thrusting play you'll definitely want to be gentle unless you're sure you like lots of texture.
The Ridge Rider's body is an undulating one-inch diameter cylinder topped by a one by 1-1/2" head, with a total insertable length of about 4 inches. The head wraps around the top of your prostate and the upper part of the undulating body follows the prostate's contours, providing stimulation all along the rectal side of the prostate. The eight ridges spaced every quarter inch along the mid part of the body give the Ridge Rider its name, adding stimulation during thrusting and making it easier for your anus to hold onto the toy, but they are soft and only about a sixteenth of an inch tall, so discomfort is unlikely if you're careful and use enough lube.
The large T-shaped base makes it absolutely impossible for the Ridge Rider to slide all the way inside, and manages to do that in a comfortable way. When used anally the base wraps back to stimulate the perineal and anal areas , and when used vaginally the base stimulates the entire vulva. Since the Ridge Rider is designed to focus the vibration inside the body the stimulation of the base is markedly less than the interior stimulation, but the base is easy to hold and wiggle to increase the external stimulation. Alternatively the base does a good job at "grabbing" objects so you can wiggle against a chair or bed to increase the stimulation.
The Ridge Rider's performance is pretty good. Even without the vibrator activated the Ridge Rider does a good job of finding and stimulating the prostate, though the soft silicone means that it isn't quite as stimulating as one of Nexus' hard plastic models. Used vaginally the Ridge Rider required a bit more hand-holding (literally) in order to find the G-spot and stay on it, but the stimulation was pleasant. For anal use the ridges require plenty of lubrication to be applied, and it's a good idea to make sure that the lube doesn't dry out in order to have a comfortable removal. For vaginal use the lubrication is not as critical, though it does make things a bit nicer (especially with the nubbed part of the base that stimulates the clit). The base is comfortable to hold and there are only hints of a mold line where the texturing is. The mold line could not be felt during use.
The vibrator used in the Ridge Rider is generally very good. It takes an easy-to-find AAA battery and is fairly powerful for its size. The controller has 5 vibration patterns, with no consistent low or medium setting - the only continuous vibration available on the Ridge Rider is high. The other 4 patterns are fairly well thought out, though my personal favorite is one that varies from low to high with no off time. The vibrator always starts from the same place (a continuous low-high "fade"), but having only 5 vibration patterns cycling through them is not onerous. Those of you who have ever accidentally turned off their vibrator when you didn't want to will appreciate the fact that you have to depress the Ridge Rider's button for a full two seconds to turn it off, and the button is designed to make it difficult to inadvertently hit.
The major downside of the vibrator is that it is not waterproof or even water resistant. As it is located in the base of a toy that sits close to the body, it could very easily get wet or messy during use. Not only that, but it makes cleanup a bit more difficult. The diameter of the vibrator is a bit smaller than the common "silver bullet", so substitute vibrators are harder to come by.
The main body of the Ridge Rider is made from easy-care silicone, making cleanup of that part easy. Unfortunately (and this is the only big error in the design), the vibrator is not waterproof or even water resistant. Nexus' recommendations are to clean the Ridge Rider off with a wet cloth to protect the vibrator from accidental immersion. While this is absolutely adequate for vaginal use, the ridges on the Ridge Rider make it much more likely to be a bit messy after anal use, making cleanup a bit more difficult. To make matters worse, the part of the vibrator that is inserted into the Ridge Rider has open seams and so it cannot be covered in lubricant for easy removal. After spending some time trying to find a decorous and effective way to clean the Ridge Rider I've settled on the following method: After use, wipe the Ridge Rider with a damp towel or heavy tissue to remove excess lubricant and anything else, then take it to the sink, remove the vibrator and wash.
Once the Ridge Rider is clean care is again easy, as the silicone stands up well to normal use and even most types of abuse. It's best to be avoid silicone lubricants until you know they are safe, as some silicone lubes can bond with some silicone toys. You can test a favorite lube on an inconspicuous part of the base if you want to check to see if it is compatible.
The vibrator takes a single standard "AAA" battery, providing an excellent balance between power, long life, and ease of finding replacements. Insertion of the battery is easy, but you will want to make sure that you don't leave the Ridge Rider vibe in a spot where the battery cover can come loose and get lost. Other than ensuring that it remains dry the vibrator is easy to care for and use.
The Ridge Rider comes in a window-front cardboard box that proudly proclaims what the toy is. While not discreet it is certainly not tacky at all, and you can comfortably give this toy in its original box to anyone you're likely to be buying a sex toy for. Nexus provides a sample of the Ridge Rider's material on the outside of the box so you can feel the material (it does feel very nice), and while it is of little use when you get the toy mail-order it is a nice touch. In common with other Nexus toys there were plenty of instructions included in the box.
The Ridge Rider could be a great toy if Nexus would only make a waterproof vibrator for it. Since it sits in a location that can be exposed to lube and is inserted in a toy that can get messy during use the non-waterproof, non-water-resistant vibe makes things difficult, and the nonstandard vibe pocket diameter means that you can't substitute a different vibe if you foresee a problem.
My only other warning is to be aware of how much texture you like before buying this toy. The ridges are soft, but they are very pronounced, and if you leave it in long enough for the lubricant to stop working it can be a bit too stimulating. A slightly less potent texture would make this toy more approachable to beginners, or you can take a look at the G-Rider or similar but smooth toys if you're concerned. On the plus side it's a great toy for a M/F couple, as both can use and enjoy it (though be sure to take out the vibe and fully clean/sanitize it before switching). Most women would probably like it more if the base/clit stimulator vibrated more powerfully (it's very weak), but if you rub the Ridge Rider around with your hand it it still stimulates well.