TriRig's Omega X is said to be the perfect rim brake for triathletes: aerodynamic, easy to mount and offering lots of adjustment options. Is this aftermarket option worth the investment?
April 17, 2018 | GEAR|
Anne Haug, Javier Gomez and Lucy Charles are just a few of the pro triathletes who have added the aerodynamic Omega X from TriRig to their bikes. The manufacturer, which has developed both high-quality after-market parts and its own triathlon bike, offers a rim brake for those who are looking for the maximum in terms of aero performance. The enclosed brake housing sits in front of the head tube, with a brake cable that is located above the triangular housing, not, as with most common rim brakes, laterally. A front panel is magnetically fixed in front of the housing to enhance the aero properties.
When unpacking the new Omega X you'll immediately come across several different adapters: it is compatible with both the newer style of direct mount brakes you'll see on newer frames, as well as with classic frame mountings. TriRig has a video that explains how to install the brake and, in our case, it was very easy - all we had to do was unscrew the old brake, attach the Omega X and screw it tight. Then all we had to do was insert the brake cable and tighten that. The design is optimized for wider rims, the new norm in high-end triathlon bikes, but the brake can also be adjusted for narrow wheels. There are small screws on the sides that allow you to adjust the distance between the brake pads and the rim independently. As it should be for an aero brake, the Omega X sits close to the head tube and the tire - there are no big gaps to mess up the air flow around the bike.
While we didn't test the Omega X in a wind tunnel, we're confident from the various reviews and tests that have been done on the Omega X that it provides measurable time savings. We did get out and test how the brakes perform while riding. The braking on aluminum rims was always good. Nothing rattled and the magnetic attachment did its job, even over the roughest riding. The fact that you can precisely set the distances of the brake pads ensures you can exert just the right kind of pressure. In addition to their aero performance, the Omega X brake does a reliable job of its most important function: braking.
The Omega X is geared for a relatively small target group: competitive triathletes who are on a bike that doesn't have integrated rim brakes or disc brakes. This is a limited market as most high-end bikes these days utilize integrated braking solutions. Lucy Charles and Javier Gomez ride the Specialized Shiv, one of the few top triathlon bikes that doesn't use integrated brakes.
As disc brakes become more popular, or as manufacturers increasingly rely on integrated brakes, the need for the TriRig solution will likely decline in the future.
The Omega X by TriRig remains a very good option for those who are looking to enhance their aerodynamics on a bike that uses a classic front brake. With a price tag of $184.99, though, you'll want to make sure you've made all the other modifications you can, first, before you make this investment. An aero helmet or super-slick suit should be your first step. The Omega X is for those who have already optimized everything else in terms of the position and equipment.
That said, once you are ready to look for that last bit of aero advantage, the Tri Rig Omega X is a very innovative option, one that's really easy to add to your bike.