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Cycle Show component roundup

New 4ZA brand from Ridley, FSA cyclocross brakes and more...

We’ve covered most of the big bike brands from last week’s Cycle Show but there was plenty more treasure tucked away too. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the component highlights…

FSA are producing a new cyclocross brakeset for 2012 to sit in their top-level K-Force groupset.

FSA already have an alloy CX brakeset in their next-level-down SL-K group. The K-Force model has 50mm carbon-fibre arms with a reach of 20-30mm. There’s an integrated barrel adjuster and the brake pad holders are a standard road bike type so you can swap the pads easily if you change from alloy to carbon rims, for example.

FSA reckon the brakes have unmatched power and stiffness… but they would say that, wouldn’t they? They weigh 250g for the pair, which is 10% more than the SL-K alternatives – but maybe that’s a sacrifice worth making if they deliver the performance that FSA promise. We’re awaiting a UK price but we know it’s €399.00


The other new product in FSA’s K-Force range is the K-Force Light Monolink Seatpost. If the Monolink thing has passed you by, it’s a Selle Italia design that uses a single rail down the centre of the saddle rather than a standard twin-rail system. You get a load of fore/aft adjustment and it’s easy to fine-tune.

FSA’s new post – the first Monolink design that FSA have done – is a one-piece continuous carbon-fibre construction with 20mm setback. It’s available in 27.2mm and 31.6mm diameters and has a claimed weight of 210g. Again, we don’t yet have a UK price but it’s €242.

Oh, and here’s SRAM White Apex. It’s like SRAM Apex… but whiter. And that’s not normal white. Nope, it’s alpine white. It’s available in black too, if you prefer. Just black – not anthracite black or anything.

Apex White isn’t actually that new but we’ve never shown you it before, so here it is. Apex is SRAM’s entry-level road range and it’s available with SRAM’s WiFLi technology which means you can get a super-wide 11-32 cassette. Match that up with a compact chainset and you’ll get gears that’ll have you scaling vertical cliffs.

4ZA is a new brand spun off from the Belgian company that makes Ridley bikes. Having a separate brand opens the opportunity to sell the range of finishing kit – wheels, saddles, seatposts, handlebars and stems – through dealerships other than Ridley stockists. It's a logical thought that having gone to the trouble of sourcing components, they may as well sell them as separate parts to people upgrading and replacing the bits that came on their bikes originally, and if that's Treks and Cannondales so much the better, according to Ridley.

The components come in three price levels named Cirrus Pro, Cirrus and Stratos with the top-notch Pro parts being used by the Ridley sponsored ProTour team Vacansoleil-DCM. We particularly liked a carbon monocoque stem and bar combo that comes in three widths and four lengths with a 135mm drop for £299.99, and a hollow titanium-railed Team Replica saddle for £69.99.

There's also a clever £20 device to mount inline on your brake cables so that users of new-style wider carbon rims can press a simple button to move their brake blocks inboard by 2mm should they need to accept a slimmer neutral-service wheel.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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