Gnome-Proof Gear – From Down Under by Euan Pennington


The question went out, when you put aside the glory of test gear, (not always as glorious as you think), what do real riders use in the real world? It’s so flattering to think people assume I live in the real world. Here are some thoughts:

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Ergon GP2 Grips
Naturally all the Black Ribbon Test Pilots are giants of cyclists, but if on the slight off chance that perhaps one such as myself might have succumbed to age or abuse, these grips are an absolute winner. The hand support coupled with the ability to use a variety of positions has saved my wrists on both long and short rides, and without these I doubt multi-day adventures would be such a tempting thing. They can be procured without the bar end stubs if it seems a little too 90s for you, but I reckon the integrated ends are a key to comfort. Look to pay upwards of US$30 from an internet near you. –

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Selle Anatomica Titanico X
Hammock saddles are 1880s technology, and are now reinvented by Selle Anatomica. Billed as the most comfortable saddle you can buy, I don’t think this is a lie. Loved by long distance and touring cyclists alike, this saddle is just a sensation. Supposedly it needs no breaking in, but I found it took a few hundred miles to stretch and settle. It’s not particularly light, but worth the weight. Being leather it’s not the best in wet weather, but it can be bought with a weatherproof cover, or if you are cheap like me a few minutes with a sewing machine and an old pair of torn nylon overpants will soon see you with a smart water resistant wrapper. Current prices reside around US$145. Not cheap, but your undercarriage will thank you for it. How good? I have two, and a series of friends looking to “borrow” one. –

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Ground Effect Helter Skelters
Ground Effect is a New Zealand based clothing company that makes all their gear in house. For years now I have been using their Helter Skelter rain pants both on and off the bike. They are ¾ length, so never get damaged by rascally chains, breathe well and are very light and compact to carry. They have no front pockets, which at times can be frustrating, and, as Henry Ford apparently didn’t say, can be purchased in any colour you like as long as it’s black. They are long enough to overlap gaiters, so can be used for bushwalks and other outdoor activities as well as cycling. Price will depend on the exchange rate, but expect to pay around US$130 from the Ground Effect website, which is in the Interweb. –

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5 Responses to Gnome-Proof Gear – From Down Under by Euan Pennington

  1. thub August 11, 2016 at 3:56 pm #

    Like Gomez I am aged and abused, the Ergon grips are a savior on long rides. I skipped the bar ends but still hold the end of the bars. Ergon ‘ s rock!

    • Gomez August 12, 2016 at 8:02 am #

      or Euan but the shoe still fits….

  2. Co-opski August 12, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

    My experience with Selle Anatomica Titanico X has been less than satisfactory. I’m not light but not heavy either at 165lbs. Having had two Sella A Titanico X saddles on my bikes the leather stretches out quickly and max out the tension screw, the rails are weak and have bent on me, and the cut of the leather on the sides is short and lays flat and does not conform to your as they say in Central Wisconsin “dupa”. Selle Anatomica does warn that these are not meant for “off road use” but I figured my long days in the saddle of my Fatback would not push these over the limit of fatigue. Well they are Made in the USA so that is good.

    • Gomez August 13, 2016 at 10:26 am #

      I’ve bent the rails on a SA saddle, but I weigh an eighth of a ton.

  3. thub August 13, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

    Oops. Guess I should read the headline, sorry Gomez for outing you as aged and abused! I hear the White Mountains contain a fountain of youth. Let’s go find it.

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