Svelte Cycles without comproise

Friday, August 22, 2008

Zero Gravity Negative G Ti. Initial Impressions.

Brakes. They slow you down. So why in a sport which focuses on speed and acceleration is there such a large emphasis on the very things that negate it's emphasis? In a word, control. Without being properly able to control your bicycle your riding will suffer, be less enjoyable and above all be unsafe. Concerning control there are many variables to take into account i.e. position on the bicycle, the accuracy and composition of the bike and all it's working parts not to mention the strength and integrity of the bicycle itself. So many cyclists place such an emphasis on lightweight this and tricked out that, but it is all in vain when the advantages of lightweight are outweighed (pun) by unreliability and at worst case, failure. What good is a $15,000 12 pound bike if it handles poorly and is constantly walking the thin line of performing or breaking?

Before I get too far into the Negative G Ti's, I first want to say a few words on the original OG-Ti's. When set up properly the OG-Ti's performed to my satisfaction in every instance I demanded them to. I never felt unsafe or nervous and if I had I would not have ridden them for over a year on various bikes that were being tested. However, I weigh 150lbs dripping wet.

Enter the Negative G Ti's. Zero Gravity set out at the request of it's riders and mechanics on Team Jittery Joes, to design and manufacture a more powerful and robust caliper than the OG's. Were they successful? My peers tell me so, but I just had to find out for myself. I called up my pal Christian Forster over at Zero Gravity and he obliged to send me a pair for testing. Please note, as cool as it is to get free product (if only for a few weeks) and as much as I appreciate the generosity of companies like Zero Gravity, you my customers will get an un-biased, no-nonsense review. If there is something I don't like or approve of, it will be noted here. At the end of the day this is just one cyclist/technician's (albeit a very experienced one) opinion.

Initial Impressions:
Same packaging type as the OG-S. Basic, sealed cardboard box. Brakes came individually, neatly and deliberately packaged in bubble wrap bags ensuring they wouldn't scratch each other in shipment and/or transport. I also appreciate the sealed box. If you have ever worked at a bike shop you know how many times small part can be "borrowed" from components only to never be replaced. Also included are some very detailed, easy to follow and visually accurate installation instructions... these will surely come in handy later.

These are not nearly as sexy as a set of Campagnolo Record Skeleton's nor are the lines as smooth as a set of Dura Ace's but having said that, I don't think the Neg G's were intended to compete in those area's. Much like the esteemed M5's the ZG' are a form follows function component.

Note the robustness and girth of the caliper arms, note the precision of the machining, note the simplicity yet ingenuity of the cams, leaf springs and quick release features. Spec'd with SwissStop pads... doesn't get much better than that!
In my next blog post I will document the installation of the Neg G's. I am hoping these will go on a Time VXR Proteam coming for review but if not, I'm sure I can find another worthy sled. Stay tuned...

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