04/06/2013 | 6 comments
Gravity’s ‘Light’ range of components have ranked highly with us ever since their introduction thanks to their great strength to weight ratio, and some competitive pricing. For 2013 the range sees a couple of new product additions along with a great looking new ‘Ice Grey’ finish. Anyway, here are the highlights of the range…
The Gravity Light bars are available in either a skinny 710mm width or the monster 800mm version which is shown here. If you need bars wider than this then there’s probably something wrong with you. Despite being so wide the triple butted and tapered AL7050/T6 construction helps to keep the weight down to 338g. Impressive for such a wide bar, yet not so light that it causes us to worry about strength.
Shape wise the 800mm wide bars have 9° back sweep, 6° up sweep and 25mm rise, whereas the 710mm bars have 9° back sweep, 4° up sweep and a choice of 25 or 40mm rise. In terms of looks, we think they’re pretty classy.
These Lock-On grips are a new addition to the range and fans of super skinny grips will love them. Lock-On’s don’t get much skinnier than this. The pattern on the grips scores highly on both the comfort and grip front, plus we like the way the grip gradually gets fatter at the ends so that it finally matches the diameter of the clamps. This means that there’s no harsh step at the end, plus it actually feels quite a nice shape if like to run your hands right on the very ends of your grips.
We like the simple two-piece construction of this 45mm direct mount stem as this kind of design always fills us with more confidence. Often you pay a bit of a weight penalty compared to a three or four piece design, but this one still manages to weigh in at just 121g. There’s definitely not a lot of excess material here, and what material there is has been first of all forged for maximum strength before having some final machine work done on the area around the bar clamp. This leaves a great looking combination of matt and shiny finishes.
The main part of this seatpost is forged from one piece of AL2014 before then being quadruple butted. As with the rest of the Gravity Light products this produces a great strength to weight ratio, plus there’s nothing to come un-bonded. The head of the post which holds your seat is a classic two-bolt design and over the years this type has proved to be one of the most reliable. The design also allows for precise angle adjustment and because Gravity have fitted decent length bolts the range of adjustment is also nice and wide. The clamps also provide plenty of support fro your saddle rails, which should help stop them bending. The 31.6mm post shown here tipped our scales at 257g and the post is also available in 27.2 and 30.9mm diameters. The length of all the posts is 350mm.
These hollow forged cranks are available to fit either 68/73mm or 83mm bottom brackets (a bottom bracket is included in the price) and there are plenty of other options to choose from too. First of all it’s good to see a choice of 165, 170 or 175mm crank arms, and then you also get the choice of a double-bash setup (22-32t or 24-36t) or a single 38t ring with a bash guard. The 24-36t setup seen here weighed in at 1077g including the bottom bracket, so yeah they’re not the lightest, but then again they are designed not to let you down, and the steel pedal inserts are testament to that. The two piece design is now well proven too with the non-drive side crank arm fitting onto a spline and then being clamped tight with two allen key bolts, just like you’ll find on Shimano cranks. We just think Gravity should sell these cranks as arms only as we reckon a lot of riders will never use the bash ring and the cheaper price which would then ensue might swing a few more riders over to these cranks.
The last product that we’re showing you from the Gravity Light collection is the chainguide which can be run with either a 36 or 38t chainring. On the surface it may look similar to other offerings but the construction is different in the fact that the heart of the guide (both the back plate and the taco style bash guard) is made up from a Dupont Hytrel high-impact composite rather than an aluminium backplate. The upper and lower guides are then mounted onto small aluminium sections which in turn are mounted to composite back plate. Does this make much of a difference? It’s difficult to tell really but it does seem strong and stiff enough, and if subjected to a large impact I think it’s more likely to spring back into shape than permanently bend. Weight wise I don’t think it makes much difference as the 218g weight of this one is comparable with other more conventional designs. One aspect of the design which does seem a little outdated though are the guide mountings/adjusters. Yes there’s only one bolt, but the lack of captive nuts means that initial assembly and major service work is a little more fiddly than it should be. The fact that the angle of the top guide isn’t fixed solid in relation to the back plate can be seen as either a good or bad thing. I think in most cases it isn’t great, but on the other hand if you have a particularly complicated frame design this feature might prove to be a bonus. The chainguide is available with both ISCG and ISCG05 mountings, plus it comes with an adaptor for bottom bracket use. The thing is though that this product is up against some serious competition, and it’s not exactly competitively priced.
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Photos: Ben Winder