We all have favourite products: it might be a weathered, beaten and scraped set of bars that’s survived many a tumble; a seat that holds you in that special way and refuses to chafe; or a pair of pedals that your knee’s adore. With this in mind, I thought it worth taking a quick look at some of the products I think are Essential Contact Points.
There’s a reason you see 3T throughout the peloton – they’re really nicely put together products at a fantastic range of price points. The nice thing about 3T is nearly all products are available at three different prices but using the same fundamental design: PRO offers great value, usually made out of Aluminium these are the same design as the top of the range LTD; TEAM are sometimes carbon, sometimes aluminium and are generally a bit lighter, these are the products used by teams like Garmin Cervelo; LTD are top of the range, ultra-light carbon fibre beauties they’re like TEAM but lighter! Perfect for shaving grams.
For me, this is what makes 3T such a good brand, you don’t need to spend too much to ride the same equipment the pro’s use. Check out the 3T Rotundo Pro – Thor Hushovd’s favourite – for just £53.99, maybe pair it with the excellent 3T Arx Pro stem at just £36 or the 3T Arx Team stem – used by Garmin Cervelo for a couple more.
Chris King Headsets.
Some products quietly get on and just work. They don’t shout about it, they don’t wear out, they’re just there, working like a good little contact point. One such product, possibly the ultimate example of unflinching performance, is the Chris King headset. Legendary amongst those in the know, they carry a ten year guarantee. That’s more than most frames!
This isn’t just any bar tape, this is bar tape we like. If you’re getting your night ride on, check out the Cinelli Lumen – it glows in the dark so it’s officially ace – perfect for cat 6 racing in the big ring. If you like purple, then Deda bar tape is for you. It’s available in other colours too, but seeing as they make it in purple I don’t really see why you’d bother with anything else – it’s the next big thing. You heard it here first! Finally Fizik Microtex tape is a favourite here in the office. Like all things Fizik, it’s well made, comfortable and lasts well. There’s not a whole lot more you can expect is there? It’s also available in a great glossy, kinky, red. A great finishing touch to your racing steed. A final top tip – Fizik gel inserts; these little beauties pop under your tape for a little bit more cushioning. We like!
Leading the pedal charge, the ‘Big S’ have got a couple of stonking products out. The new Shimano Ultegra 6700 Carbon pedal is a peach (of a pedal!). Just a few grams lighter than the Dura-Ace, it’s very lovely indeed. I’ve got a pair on my desk just to look at. Look pedals continue to be a common sight throughout the peloton, I’ve been using a pair of Look Keo 2 Max Composite pedals for the last year and to date they’ve been excellent; smooth bearings and a nice stable platform. Not bad for the price. If you fancy a bit more bling, check out the Look Keo Blade Ti Carbon pedal. Using a carbon blade to give tension, they have titanium axles and full carbon pedals making them lightweight, extremely strong performers.
Deda are one of those companies that I think have hit the nail on the head. They’ve got a great range of products; from the RHM01 bar and RS01 Seatpost which offer amazing performance for the money, to the Presa Carbon bars and the Zero 100 Servizio Corse stem. They’ve also got the Deda M35, a brand new range of bars and stems that promise greater stiffness and comfort without a weight penalty. They’ve literally just arrived in the building so keep an eye on the site, especially the Category landing page, for them. Incidentally, this is a great place to keep an eye on as I’ll shout about the latest and greatest products as well as a few searingly hot deals.
Fizik think we should all find the animal within, not as part of some odd personality test however, oh no. Fizik think your inner animal helps determine which saddle you should ride. For a more in-depth description check the sizeguide in every Fizik saddle; I think it works. Having had my seat bones measured (not an
entirely unpleasant experience I might add), the width of the Fizik saddles that my inner animal suggests (I’m a chameleon if you must know) is spot on according to the seat bone measurement I had.
So what’s hot with Fizik? Check out the new Fizik Kurve range – we’re waiting on stock of these so to be the first to get yours simply click ‘Email when in stock’, we’re hoping for these to arrive in December. There’s plenty of info in the product, but safe to say they’re really quite cool and early reports are excellent. If central relief channels are your thing – check out the Fizik Versus Range. It provides all the added comfort of a perennial relief channel without the weakness of a split hull. I’ve been using an Antares Versus for the last 9 months and I’m a convert! The only tingling I like is from chamois cream.