The off season gave me an opportunity to analyse what went right and wrong this year. It also gave me a chance to look back at the equipment the team used.
The TORQ Performance team were lucky enough to be riding lightweight carbon fibre frames from Kona with Ritchey components, Fizik saddles, Schwalbe tyres, Alex rims, Sapin Spokes, Superstar hubs and headsets, Crank Brothers pedals, RockShox forks, and Sram XX brakes and gears.
The XX groupset broke all the rules when Sram introduced the first 10spd mountain bike groupset earlier this year. The combination of 2 x 10 instantly became a market leader as cyclists realised the huge benefits of this revolutionary product. Rival companies scrambled out an alternative product but the XX groupset remains the best available. The carbon chainset is one of the lightest on sale whilst remaining strong and robust unlike others I’ve used in the past. The cassette which takes 9 hours to produce paired with fantastic derailleur systems helps produce perfectly accurate gear changes. The shifters with their carbon fibre levers paired with the matchmaker system for a minimalist handlebar setup creates a precise and instant change. Any previous negative thoughts about the brakes quickly disappeared with setup proving easy and the product staying reliable all year. The SID fork remained plush and included the first hydraulic lockout lever.
Another favourite product was the Schwalbe tyres. The Racing Ralph, Rocket Ron, and Nobby Nic provided a fantastic trio of tyres to cope with all conditions. The Ralph’s and the Nic have been around for many years but the Ron is a relatively new product. I found the Rocket Ron perfect for soft loamy soil as the tread could dig into the soil and provide great traction for railing corners or climbing steep loose ascents.
I’ve been using the Crank Brothers pedals for a number of years and was thrilled at the prospect of using them again in 2010. The Egg Beater’s are super light and have an open wing design that offers loads of mud clearance meaning the pedals don’t clog up when conditions turn nasty.
All of the products this year were fantastic but these 3 were my personal favourites. Thanks again to all the sponsors who supported me and the team this year.
Sadly this year’s race bike has been returned to team HQ and is now for sale. You can find details of how to purchase a TORQ Performance team bike here www.torqfitness.co.uk/news/team-bike-sale