In this blog, Components Marketing Manager Steve Kitchin talks us through the rather special ULTIMATE USE range.
First let me introduce USE, that's Ultimate Sports Engineering. Born in the 1990's, their original product was a range of seatposts - produced in their factory on the south coast of England.
They then produced the first suspension seat-post, before going on to develop suspension forks. Soon, they were into road components, and worked with many of the leading riders to produce specialist aero road kit.
USE are also the people behind the multi-award winning Exposure lights range - just to indicate the quality.
The Ultimate USE range
Ultimate, as the name would apply, is the new USE top of range product; across Road an MTB.
The premium level kit is stealth ULTIMATE USE branded; look closely and you will see a classy mix of matte and gloss black, with a hint of white. That was a smart move, as this kit will fit with any bike colour scheme.
ULTIMATE USE Summit Road Carbon Handlebars and Stem
Carbon handlebars offer a few distinct advantages over aluminium. Yes, they are lighter; but more importantly they produce a smoother ride - carbon does a great job dealing with road vibrations; and let's face it, not all of our Australian roads are that great.
These Ultimate Road Handlebars are crafted in 3K weave. 3K cloth has a distinct checkered pattern, and there is something about 3K weave that just looks F1. Look down whilst you’re riding, and these just look fast!
The drop on the ULTIMATE USE handlebars is compact, with a traditional rounded profile: A compact bar has less of a drop between the hoods and drops, which is something I find an advantage where I'm not as flexible as I'd like to be.
The bars also have some smart features, like moulded carbon channels for brake and gear cables. This keeps the outside of the bars cable-free when you come to wrap them with your favourite tape.
View the ULTIMATE USE Summit Carbon Handlebar at Wiggle
ULTIMATE USE Duro Carbon Seat Post
The ULTIMATE USE Duro Seat Post isn't just about saving weight; the flex characteristics get to work in smoothing out our rough road surfaces, and taking out the road vibrations before they get to you.
I'm a big fan of simple uncomplicated products. I'm sure the Ultimate team will tell us how long and complicated it was to design and produce the Duro, but I'm not really interested in that. A seat post should be simple to set-up and this was about the easiest install I've tried. It's all held together with a compression fit of two conical pieces and one bolt.
The Duro Seat Post has a multi-position clamp, so you can set the saddle at any angle and tighten the 5mm allen bolt to suit bike design and saddle rail.
The seatpost comes as standard with a clamp designed to fit 7mm rails, which is generally anything metal. I have a COSINE Race Saddle with Carbon Rails, which did require extra clamp heads.
I have been using the post for a few months now, and it's not moved, even after a few unintended pothole hits. I can also confirm it is noise free too; with no creaks or groans to be heard.
It's not the lightest carbon post out there; but at 218grams it's likely to be a big weight saving over anything aluminium, and starting at just $89 it offers amazing value for carbon.
View the ULTIMATE USE Duro Carbon Seat Post at Wiggle