Occasionally I collect lots of smaller bits and pieces that don’t seem, on their own, worth writing too many words about. And you know I like words. So here’s a roundup of some of those smaller items. I’ve had some of them a while and some are new additions. But first a few notes on why some of them have been bought. I used to be a big Garmin fan but, after the Fenix 5 HRM issues, drifted away to Wahoo, specifically the Bolt. And the Bolt is, in my view, flawless. It’s claimed to be Aero but, frankly, that’s all so minimally true as to be worth ignoring. What the Bolt is (and the bigger Elemnt shares the same firmware) is a really well thought out cycle computer. It is though, a little small, even though you can zoom the display. Mapping is good out of the box but not brilliant and you can’t easily route on the fly, if that’s a thing you want. So I took advantage of a hard to beat offer of an Edge 1000 from Amazon for £279. And, so far, Garmin Connect is working flawlessly, and the connection between my phone, the computer and Garmin Connect is actually quicker than it was with the Wahoo. GPS reception is a bit better, much quicker to lock and uploads to Garmin Connect happen in single digit seconds. I have to say, I’m impressed.
But, despite Garmin chucking in an out front mount and some stem mounts (x2) I have to say that the Garmin out front mount is a) poorly angled and b) too small for a Garmin 1000. So, on some stems the back of the Edge unit touches the stem and it’s above the stem too, which is aesthetically unacceptable. Enter the K-Edge XL mount and the Moon XL M-01 Long, the latter being a GoPro combo mount.
K-Edge XL Garmin Mount
I hate the idea that small pieces of machined metal can cost quite so much money, I paid £40 for this one which is a bit of a saving on RRP and, I guess, only £10 more than the RRP of the plastic Garmin mount. At least it’s a very robust and, in some ways, stylish piece. They also do a Garmin combo for a rather ridiculous £64.99. More of why the Moon is as good as that one shortly. In fact, perhaps in retrospect, you could get the Moon XL and remove the GoPro attachment leaving you with a similar mount, but I digress.
The K-Edge is very well made. There’s a single clamp mechanism on the bar section. The top arm swings on a pivot and is locked down by an allen key. There are no ‘rubbers’ supplied so you may want to put some electrical tape on your bars if you’re worried about scratching. My bars are due to be replaced so at the moment I don’t care. The Garmin mount part works well, it’s secure and the Garmin is then placed nicely in line with the stem. It’s nice, well made, probably costs a little too much but, hey, it’s on the best bike and the best bike gets the best things.
Moon XL Combo Mount
To be fair, the Moon Combo mount’s RRP is £46. A bit less than the K-Edge combo but still silly money. The thing is, it’s easier to get it discounted. Merlin are currently doing it at £27.99.
There’s not a lot of ways of making a mount differently and, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then let’s say that, for all intents and purposes, the Moon mount is practically identical. It feels as well made, the arm swings up rather than a double bolt on. There are no rubbers. There are additions. There’s an adapter included for fitting a light underneath rather than, for example a GoPro (Moon lights only).
It’s a very neat setup. Again the Garmin is moved well out of the way and the GoPro doesn’t get obstructed by anything.
Criticisms? Only one. Using the GoPro knurled screw instead of the supplied Allen bolt there’s a little bit of fore/back play in the GoPro housing. Using a pliers to torque the bolt a little more takes care of this but it makes it unlikely that you will be able to get that torque by hand. But that’s often the case with the Session 5 housing with is a little bit thinner than the old GoPro cases. It’s rock solid in use, provided that you torque it, and, for £27.99 is a good use of money for tidying up the bars. I’ll be getting another for the CX bike in time for Battle on the Beach to save moving them between bars, even if it is only a 2 minute job. And, if you’re not running a GoPro underneath, it just looks like a normal mount.
Fizik Aliante R1 Open
That ICS bag is too big. So I’ll be getting the smaller one. But the beauty of the ICS bag is the plug and play nature of it. Anyhow, this is the carbon (oval) railed Aliante R1 Open. It’s your usual carbon Aliante but, well, have a look.
Fizik have two approaches to perineal pressure. The old method was the traditional groove. The open method is to cut out a large part of the saddle and add a groove at the front. It’s early days but, for me, the Aliante feels very comfortable and the addition of the cut out has alleviated pressure. It seems like a good, long distance endurance saddle. But, remember, that’s because it fits. I’m still not convinced I am a Bull on Fizik’s spine concept, I can almost touch my feet, but the Antares never really worked for me. So, this one’s getting a try for the next few months. Weight? Ridiculously light at 199g for the medium (143mm) and 205g for the large (152mm). I opted for the former on the basis that it seems to match my sit bones. RRP is, also, ridiculous at £160 but it’s £110 in a lot of places and I paid a bit less than that. The R3 adds 35g and is cheaper but, if you shop around, you’re not saving much over the R1. If you can run oval rails on your seatpost, you may as well get this one.
Deda Superzero Seatpost
And because my stem is Deda I simply cannot, in all consciousness, have a non matching stem and bars. There are some bars incoming, Deda Zero100, which are light, cheap and comfy (choose 3 apparently). So out went the Cannondale seatpost and in came the Deda.
I opted for the Black on Black which makes it identical to my Superzero stem. Weight is a shade under 200g for the 27.6mm. Price is reasonable with it being available at £80 in quite a few places. It’s nice, comfy and does what a post should. It will take oval rails. The initial setup isn’t all that easy but the two allen bolt design should make fore/aft and angle adjustments pretty straightforward. And, it looks nice.
It’s not glamorous kit. But it’s necessary. Some of it is aesthetic, you don’t need carbon rails, not really, but they do damp a tad better. You do, I think, need a carbon post and Deda make great stuff. Both are, arguably, cheaper per bit of material and R&D than either of the mounts, but each of these pieces are very good in their own right.