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Are these (50 QUID) brake pads the future? Plus new carbon goodness from PRO, an Enve saddle, Ganna's Hour Record attempt drivetrain + more

The newest, lightest, highest-performing, most efficient, most accurate and most expensive components and kit out there....

Catch up with all of this week’s big (and not so big) bike and equipment news this week! There's some high-tech stuff including brake pads that claim to be the best in the world, a tyre pressure gauge which claims to be the most accurate in the sector, details on Ganna's record attempting drivetrain, lightweight components from PRO and some stuff that's just been cut open...

Absolute Black claims its new ceramic Graphenpads are the best in the world

The unique design claims to increase the surface of the disc pad backplate which enables more exposure to wind, hence improving cooling and therefore performance.

2022 absoluteblack graphenpad disc brake pads for Shimano road

Options include Disc 34 for Shimano Dura-Ace (compatible with many Shimano road callipers) and Disc 35 for Sram eTap AXS. Both variations cost a whopping £49.99 per pair and claim to last 8,000km in "hilly terrain". There are also options for Shimano XTR, Deore and Sram G2 brakes so can join in the fun...

Absolute Black claims the use of a new friction compound, which uses specially modified graphene to eliminate copper ahead of new regulations, allows for improved braking performance, durability and heat transfer. You can check out the results of its testing on the Absolute Black website. What do you think the brand will be adding graphene to next? Let us know in the comments section below.

PRO releases its lightest ever handlebar and carbon clip-on aero bar for gravel and triathlon

The all-new PRO Vibe Superlight handlebar and stem combo shaves 75 grams off the brand's previously lightest cockpit. The new bar weighs just 154 grams (in a 38cm width) and the stem is just 92 grams (70mm length).

2022 PRO Carbon superlight handlebar and stem cockpit

The handlebar is available in 38cm, 40cm and 42cm widths, and will also make your wallet significantly lighter at £379.99. PRO says the high-grade UD T1100 carbon lay-up includes Innegra fibres for improved impact resistance, and the bar is designed to also be ergonomic and comfortable. 

Meanwhile, the £159.99 7075 alloy stem is available in sizes from 70mm up to 120mm and has a +/-6 degree angle. PRO says that internal cable routing has also been considered for "seamless integration".

2022 PRO superlight stem

PRO has also released a host of accessories including a stem expander cap (£29.99) for both 1 1/4" and 1 1/8th" carbon steerers that's said to be 40% lighter than the brand's previously lightest expander, now weighing just 16g. There are also these carbon clip-on aero bars designed for gravel and/or triathlon use.

2022 PRO Compact Carbon Clip-On aero bar

The £149.99, 135g clip-on comes with mounts for Wahoo, Garmin and Bryton computers as standard, and is constructed from unidirectional T700 carbon fibre. It's compatible with 31.8mm bars and is sure to be a popular choice at fast gravel races.

Enve and Selle Italia collaborate to create some fancy new saddles

The new saddle is based heavily on the Selle Italia SLR Boost, but cuts weight to just 130.5g with carbon rails and 161g with titanium.

2022 Enve x selle italia carbon saddle

Like the SLR Boost, the saddle is available in 130mm or 145mm widths and features a large central cutout aimed at reducing pressure on perennial tissue. The upper material is an all-new affair; Enve call it 'Soft-Tek', which is a special polyurethane cover with custom perforations and "subtle branding" to provide performance without adding unnecessary weight.

2022 Enve x selle italia titanium saddle

The saddle uses standard rail dimensions (7x9mm for carbon and 7x7mm for titanium), is 248mm long and costs $400 (~£351) for the carbon variant and $275 (~£241) for the titanium rail version.

Positive news from UK-based Spoon Group Ltd and a "custom performance e-bike" on the way

Spoon Group Ltd, the company created when bike brands Spoon Customs and WyndyMilla merged in 2019, has closed a funding round totalling £740k. The company says that this investment will enable Spoon to realise its ambitious growth plans.

2022 Spoon Customs on Winnats pass landscape

We're particularly intrigued by plans to develop a new performance e-bike in 2023. There is no news yet on what it will be made out of, but our guess is that it would build on the knowledge learnt from the current Spoon Vars Disc shown above, a made-to-measure carbon road bike.

Muc-Off to optimise Ganna's Hour Record chain

Following its support of Dan Bigham in last month’s Hour Record success, Muc-Off will once again be involved in an hour record attempt by optimising Filippo Ganna's chain ahead of his upcoming effort on 8th October.

Ganna muc-off chainring

The Italian track and road cyclist will attempt to exceed the 55.548km target set by Ineos Grenadiers performance engineer Dan Bigham in August. Both riders have selected Muc-Off to optimise their drivetrain, following in the footsteps of Sir Bradley Wiggins, who used a £6,000 Muc-Off NTOC chain in his successful attempt in 2015. 

Muc-Off plans to use an Ultrasonic Chain Optimisation process involving heating lube in an Ultrasonic Tank to the "precise temperature required to create an optimum viscosity, enabling penetration deep into all contact points within the chain links." In Bigham's case, both the final race chain and backup chain underwent Muc-Off’s full eleven-step optimisation process seven times. We imagine that Ganna's will get a similar treatment.

2022 Ganna Bigham Mucoff chainring drivetrain wattshop

For Bigham's attempt, Muc-Off was able to achieve a massive 15% saving of watts lost through the drivetrain, which, combined with Muc-Off’s hardware selections, added a total of 87m to the final record distance. This should add up to a huge advantage for a record famous for being so tightly contested.

The total optimisation process of each chain and ring supplied for the record took around seventeen hours to complete. The Muc-Off team are now back in action searching for even greater efficiencies as they gear up to help put this highly coveted record further out of reach than ever before. 

It's not new but it is cool! Take a look at this Chris King rear hub that's been cut open to reveal its secrets

2022 Chris King hub inside cut open

Chris King R45 wheel hubs have an envious reputation, and here's a sneak peek inside the famous rear hub and freehub body.

The road hub shown here has 45 points of engagement, meaning it picks up every eight degrees. The Drive and Driven rings are made of heat-treated stainless steel, which Chris King says are capable of handling a torque load of over 800ft/lbs (~1,085Nm), three times greater than other high-end hubs that they've tested. Impressive stuff! 

Bonus image...

2022 Enve disc wheel cross section cut open

Here's a tubeless Enve disc wheel cut open. Someone really does have a problem...

Silca's 3D printed titanium tyre pressure gauge is now available for £259!

The Silca "Truth Pressure Gauge" is designed to give highly accurate and repeatable pressure readings for those "serious about tyre pressures". It's accurate to 0.2% at 0-60 psi and 0.5% at 100 psi, which Silca believes makes it the most accurate cycling pressure gauge on the market.

2022 Silca Truth gauge tyre monitor

The device was originally hand-built by Josh Poertner himself and has, according to Silca, been used for more than a 100 WorldTour Victories and five Paris Roubaix wins since 2010. The USA-made digital gauge not only compensates for temperature and humidity, but also eliminates the parallax error common to analogue readings. 

2022 Silca Truth gauge tyre pressure monitor 3d printed titanium

Featuring a 3D printed titanium body, a medical-grade stainless steel connection, a protective silicone rubber housing and a valve connection port that uses a Silca 252 chuck, the device has a claimed battery life of 1,200 hours. What's Silca going to 3D-print next?

In case you missed it earlier in the week:

Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...

Add new comment


bobrayner | 1 year ago

It's cool that clip-ons are coming back in fashion, for those who want them; but nowadays a lot of folk have handlebars with an aero profile, or some other quirky cross-section, not an old-fashioned circular tube. How can that gap be closed? Clipons with a much larger aperture, and some kind of shim or adapter kit? 3d printing? Something else?

froze | 1 year ago

Have we gone insane as cyclists who think we need to spend $50 for brake pads, or $250 for a pressure gauge?

$50 for a brake pad that will only last 5,000 miles under idea riding conditions?    My old rim brake pads lasted two times longer than that and for only $12.  I have 3,000 miles now on TRP brake pads that cost less than half of the Absolute Black.

Who needs to spend $250 for an air pressure gauge for bicycles?  Mechanics that work on exotic cars where psi is extremely important on tires that could see 200 plus mph will spend $15 for pressure gauges, but cyclists for some reason feel the need to spend $250 for a pressure gauge?  The Topeak Smartgauge D2 is extremely accurate for only $24.

mark1a replied to froze | 1 year ago

Do you ever post anything on here that isn't catastrophising about the price of bikes/components/accessories?

We are capable and free of thought, "pays our money and takes our choice"; nobody is forcing anyone to buy this, and yes it seems that AbsoluteBlack and Silca appear to be in a pissing contest.

PS - for your own wellbeing, stay away from Rapha's online store.

AllegedlyAnthony | 1 year ago

Pro's clip-ons: Cinelli Spinacis for the new generation? And a good thing, too.

andystow | 1 year ago
1 like

I wonder if the radiators are functional, or mostly there so that all your mates can see them and know you spent the money on Absolute Black pads.

Xenophon2 | 1 year ago
1 like

So Silca printed something in Ti and wants to separate customers from 250 quid, fine.  But producing BS arguments such as compensation for ambient temperature is simply ridiculous.  Tire pressure will always fluctuate during the race due to air loss through latex inners, temperature fluctuations during the race etc, it's not constant and there's nothing that can be done to change that.  A digital pressure gauge costing 1/5 th will do just fine.

ktache replied to Xenophon2 | 1 year ago

I hope you can take it apart to scrape out remove tubeless sealent.

wickedstealthy | 1 year ago

Seriously Muc-off ? For marketing and money everyone jumps the hoop. It's known with insiders that Wiggens didn't use Fuck-off but used a waxed chain. Muc-off tested more or less the worst of all lubes done by zerofrictioncycling. And Bigham using that as an engineer ? Hard pass to believe that. Likely some marketing and in reality they simply use a waxed chain with powder coating. Have a nice day

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