Zero Gravity OG-05 Ti
Photo ©: Roadbikereview.com
By Francis Cebedo
Date: March 17, 2005
Two Zero Gravity brakes weigh as much as one Dura Ace front brake. The Zero Gravity brake is more powerful than the Dura Ace 7800 brake.
That’s all you need to know… end of review.
Unlike most ultralight products, this one doesn’t come with compromises in performance. The best materials, impressive design and flawless construction are combined
to deliver a product that racers and bike customizers are sure to lust for. It’s light, it looks great and performs
even better. What more can you ask for. Well, unfortunately the issue of price comes up. $399 a pair.
The set comes with two sets of brake pads. Mounted are red Corima brake pads. These are ultra-light pads made
of cork and formulated for use with carbon rims only. A set of black Koolstop pads are included as well
that can be used with normal aluminum rims and carbon rims. Pad replacement is performed simply by pushing the pads off and on with your fingers.System weights are:
Brakes with Corima pads – 167.5 grams
Brakes with Koolstop pads – 180 grams
Let me start by saying that these are not as easy to install as Shimano brakes. Centering the brakes is perhaps the
biggest obstacle. The allen screw to center Shimano brakes does not exist here. The mounting nut has to be torqued
according to spec then a 13mm cone wrench should be used to turn the notched cylinder and center the brakes. The cable
housing length has to just right so it does not interfere with brake centering when operating the brake. Locking the brake pads to the
perfect rim location is tricky since the pads want to twist around when tightening the pad bolt.
The return spring on these levers is not very powerful and it cannot be adjusted. Thus perfect cable lengths and condition
is required for optimum operation of these brakes. On Shimano brakes, one can just crank down on the return spring tension
to counteract any cable issues.
Operation and Performance:
Unlike Shimano and Campy brakes, opening up the levers to remove the wheel is a two-handed process. You need to close the calipers
with one hand before you can flip up the cam to open up the lever. That’s because there is a force resting on
the cam that has to be released by closing the levers by hand.
Now on to the good part. For 2005, these brakes have been redesigned with a cam system to increase power and modulation.
It works very well. We feel that the power of this brake is slightly higher than Dura Ace 7800 brake. That is saying a
lot because the 7800 is significantly better than all other Shimano brakes. We’ve consistently heard reports too that
the Zero Gravity Ti is more powerful than the Campy Record brakes as well.
We mated these brakes with the Nokon cable system and performance has been flawless so far through two dozen rides.
The Nokon cables seem to add power to the system since the cable housing does not compress as one clamps down on the levers.
With this setup, one-finger braking is all that is required in the hills of Northern California.
Other Testing Notes:
We were tempted to use the ultra-light red pads with our aluminum clincher rims. Well, it worked, but not very well. The braking power
was ok but the feel upon initial contact was not ideal. There was some vibration, noise and it wasn’t easy to modulate.
All carbon rim manufacturers do not want you to use the same set of pads you use in aluminum rims for your carbon rims. Aside from
compatibility, the aluminum rims embedd aluminum shards into the brake pads. These can be very damaging to carbon rims.
Our front brake had compatibility issues with the Look HSC 5 fork we were using. The pads hit the fork thus not allowing the pads to
fully open for easy wheel removal. We wrote Zero Gravity customer service an email and they called us the same day, explained the
issue and offered to send us titanium washers for free. This is a nice gesture and is typical of how Zero Gravity handles all
customer support issues.
Folks upgrading from Shimano 7800 brakes have a way of softening the $399 price tag. Shimano 7800 brakes have a great resale vale
and easily go for $150-$180 in classifieds marketplaces.
Finally, the Zero Gravity brakes also come in silver with stainless steel hardware. They are a few grams heavier and retail at $289.
- incredible stopping performance
- extra pads included
- work of art that will customize your ride
- the price… oh my.
- installation is more difficult
- the front brake pads hit some forks thus not allowing the pads to open fully. This is solved by adding spacers
to the mounting post. Zero Gravity is addressing this problem in new production versions.
Well in the world of the ultra-high end, some components cost as much as modest bike. Value is often not a fair judgement of a
product as is the case here. What is asked of the products at this level is they’re light, they perform the task and they look good. In all
three, the Zero Gravity 0G-05 Ti scores a 10 out 10.
Zero Gravity OG-05 Ti
Weight: 167.5 with Corima carbon pads, 180 grams with Koolstop pads