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Gear

Some new roadie stuff

Omega Evo-Pro saddle
Price:
£99.95
Web: Omega Cycleworks
Contact: Omega Cycleworks 01273 691520
weight: 186g
Colours: Black with Omega logo

Hidden under a layer of hand stitched Leather is a polymer insert cut into a carbon fibre body. Called the Omega Soft Spot this is designed to relieve the pressure on your (ahem) seating parts. The seat body is suspended on tubular 6AL-4V titanium rails and the complete thing weighs in at a very respectable 186g. Unlike some of the supelight saddles this saddle takes a comfortable approach to the lightweight saddle market, so if you’re after a lightweight saddle and a SLR was a little too harsh, then this could be for you. Beautifully made, and so it should be for 100 quid.



Verdict:
Lightweight and really well made with a little added comfort


Omega Impact Cork Ribbon
Price:
£7.95
Web: Omega Cycleworks
Contact: Omega Cycleworks 01273 691520
Colours: Black or Blue

Softer than the usual cork tape and grippy with it. Omega embossed and the set we fitted cleans easily and hasn’t shown any signs of wear and tear. Logo is subtle enough to go with any bike. Strips are generous for taping wide bars, chrome end plugs and plenty of extra bits for a full bar covering. Good value tape that performs well.



Verdict:
Finishing touch to any bike, especially an Omega


Sock Guy Socks
Price:
£9.95 (wool) £8.95 (standard)
Web: Silverfish
Contact: Silverfish 01752 313253
Sizes: S-XXL
Colours: loads

Nice and long and in a variety of unusual patterns we’ve been wearing Sock Guy socks for most of this winter and can report they are shaping up well, even after several off road rides and trips in the washing machine. Custom designs are available to special order so you could get some done in club or shop colours. Wool ones are even warmer but take more washing care.



Verdict:
Warm and well cut socks. I’d like a plain white pair though…


GREASE IS THE WORD – A few go-faster substances…
Shimano Grease (pictured left)
Price:
£4.95 for 50g
Web: www.ultimatepursuits.com
Contact: Ultimate Pursuits 0800 0183058
Sizes: 500g or 50g pot

Shimano grease is the perfect synthetic grease for rebuilding hubs. Bicycle grease has come a long way since that white lithium stuff and castrol axle grease. So now our hubs last longer and run smoother. Shimano grease will not wash out of hubs and is the perfect viscosity.



Verdict:
Shimano’s bench mark grease


Red Devil Grease (pictured above right)
Price:
£6.95 50g pot
Web: Silverfish

Well Shimano was the benchmark, until we rebuilt some old hubs with this stuff. Many component manufacturers use Red Devil and you can see why. Does everything a grease should and is nigh on impossible to wash out of bearings and components. A little goes a long way and it’s red too.



Verdict:
Brilliant grease for all applications


Rock ‘n Roll Gold Lube (pictured above back)
Price:
£7.99 4oz & £19.95 16oz
Web: Silverfish

Rock ‘n Roll lubes are unique in that they are designed to clean and lubricate in one go. Shake very well before applying – you can see the differnt substances settle when you leave it for a while. Most lubes recommend that you clean and degrease the chain completely before you apply any lube. Rock ‘n Roll want you to apply the lube and then rub the chain clean with a rag – hence: clean ‘n lube. This does work but you use up more of it. I tried both ways and found it’s still best to apply it to a clean and degreased chain. Unlike many lubes this stuff sticks to the chain and lasts several rides before you have to re-apply. Expensive but worth it.



Verdict:
Splash it all over. Great performance and slick shifting


SRAM PG 970 9 speed cassette
Price:
£45.95
Web: Outdoor Leisure
Contact: Fisher Outdoor 01727 798 359
weight: 184g

SRAM (the company behind Gripshift) now own some key bike companies, namely; Sachs, Avid, Truvativ and Rock Shox, as well as their own mountain bike gear component manufacturing company. If you believe the rumours, they are not far off entering the road market with a groupset, although they have been making cassettes for road bikes for the past few years. Team CSC used SRAM chains and cassettes in 2003 and were very pleased with them.
At this price they may need to look at the competition as this is a similar price to Dura Ace and not quite the same quality. Sadly it’s not as well made and thought out as SRAM’s (excellent) hollow pin chains are. Available in 11-21, 11-23, 11-26 ratios. The shifting is as Shimano and combined with an PC-89R chain (review coming soon) it worked like clockwork. Just not as sexy as Campag Record or Dura-Ace.



Verdict:
Lightweight but pricey compared to Shimano’s Ultegra and Dura Ace.

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