a couple of tweaks

The orbea has had a fairly quiet time for the last fortnight as I have been hammering the roads in a diesel-powered machine instead to Scotland and back.  However it has been fettled in two significant ways – new brake calipers/pads and a new saddle.

The brakes were cheap chinese jobs, and as the cables were rusting/fraying a bit after winter use, and the pads wearing down, I took the plunge and got a heftily reduced pair of 105 calipers from chain reaction’s sale pages.  Fitting them was a relative breeze – the ubiquitous 4 and 5 allen keys were in use for this.

the old brakes

the old brakes

After some initial tweaking, the new brakes have been incredible.  The strength, modulation and sheer stopping power (I inserted a set of koolstop black pads as well) have been notable.  They also have the benefit of looking really cool.  I have replaced the cables with stainless steel ones.

new 105s

new 105's

Then, I also invested in a replacement saddle – the logic being that this is the key contact point, and on longer rides recently the standard-fit selle italia x2 saddle has been uncomfortable, I tend to get a dead right foot which I attribute to circulation problems caused by the sit position on the saddle.  I visited Thomas’ in Ipswich and used their bontrager sit analyser, which is basically a gel filled pad that you sit on and the sit bones are measured.  I shaped up as a medium (never having given birth….) and plumped for a specialized alias saddle, which is firm and also open in the middle, so a test ride is now needed to see how she performs.

the new seat

the new seat

the old saddle, also much heavier than the new one which has a carbon hull and titanium rails, has been assigned to the garage for emergencies only.

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