Win 1 of ten bottles of absoluteBLACK GRAPHENlube, total prize value £1149.90!

Win 1 of ten bottles of absoluteBLACK GRAPHENlube, total prize value £1149.90!

This week’s mega competition is something completely different, courtesy of British innovators absoluteBLACK. They’re giving away 10 bottles of GRAHENlube to lucky road.cc readers, with each 114ml bottle up for grabs worth £114.99!

Is a £114 chain lube really worth it?

Of course the chain lube used by this year’s Tour de France winner is going to be valuable stuff… and at £1per ml or gram (Iranian Beluga Caviar is £2 per gram, for comparison) we’re talking about a seriously precious lube here! And just like caviar, GRAPHENlube is only available in limited quantities, so now is your chance to get some and try it for yourself.

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absoluteBLACK have a lot of information about it on their website which you can read here, but below you can find out a few things about what makes it so special.

Here’s what absoluteBLACK have to say:

“GRAPHENlube – World’s first hydrocarbon-based (wax) chain lubricant containing Graphene. It exhibits extraordinary durability at single application whilst maintaining impressively low friction for a prolonged period of time in both wet and dry conditions. It’s everything you can really wish for in lubrication. Up to 1800km on single application (dry conditions), 3-10W savings over other lubes. Perfect for Road, Triathlon, Gravel, Mtb and E-bike.”

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Here are the claimed advantages according to absoluteBLACK :

  • Able to hold sub 5 Watts of frictional loss over 900km on a Single application (in dry, low dust road conditions. After immersive lubing)
  • It gives you “free” power regardless the conditions
  • Extends life of your drivetrain, hence saving on replacement costs
  • Repels water and does not attract dirt
  • Dry, paste-like coating that can stay on the chain over 1800km (in dry, low dust road conditions. After immersive lubing)
  • Unique black look of the lubricant when dry
  • Safe: does not contain any harmful solvents

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They also add: “In simple terms, it’s a wax-based water emulsion, with a special mix of high purity graphene that is liquid when you apply it. This becomes almost solid when it dries on the chain. Wax-based lubricants exhibit far greater tolerance to water and dirt contamination, successfully separating moving chain parts from abrasion and filling in all the imperfections on friction surfaces.”

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absoluteBLACK provide a much deeper explanation with relevant graphs over on their site; but here at road.cc we don’t have a laboratory and we’re not scientists, so we gave it to Dave to test with a smart trainer hooked up to various power meters. If you haven’t seen the video you can watch it here… but suffice to say, GRAPHENlube definitely impressed him!

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It’s not just Dave either; if you watched this year’s thrilling edition of the Tour de France, you’ll be well aware that the young man above is Tadej Pogacar, who romped to a shock victory after ‘that’ incredible time trial performance on stage 20. Pogacar and all of his UAE Team Emirates teammates were using GRAPHENlube throughout Le Tour, and also the entire Jumbo Visma team were using it too! That’s a pretty amazing set of results for such a young product.

So, if you want to ride like Tadej or Primoz, then all you need to do is enter the competition below… and ride your bike, a lot. Best of luck!

Can’t see the entry form? Click here!

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Now’s your chance to ride like the TdF 2020 winner, because we have 10 bottles of absoluteBLACK GRAPHENlube to give away!
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Fabric Line S Pro Flat saddle

Fabric’s Line S Pro Flat saddle is a stubby saddle that performs brilliantly in aggressive aero positions. The short nose with generous padding makes it easy to tuck down in the drops for long periods of time. A nylon base and soft padding create a lot of give that help to isolate you from road buzz, though the soft feel won’t be for everyone. This is one for TT, triathlon and slammed race bikes.

The last thing I want when hunched low, fighting either against the wind or to follow a wheel, is the nose of the saddle getting in the way. Fabric’s Line S Pro Flat is a stubby unisex saddle that’s extra wide at the rear end for more support. I found it incredibly comfortable for getting aero, and ideal for a TT or race bike.

> Find your nearest dealer here

I’ll get the very brief negative out of the way as these are personal fit issues. I wasn’t a huge fan of the soft feel of the saddle. The flexible nylon base and generous padding, whilst great when in an aggressive position, wasn’t for me when sat up during more general riding.

What I love is the combination of the wide rear end and stubby nose. The rear supports you very well, holding you in position, while the short nose is entirely comfortable.

That wide rear end does force you forward on the saddle, so if you prefer sitting back, look for something narrower. While the saddle is designed for aero riding positions, unless you’re racing or incredibly determined there are times on long rides where you need to sit up and back. The Line S Pro Flat, though, is too wide to allow easy movement or unimpeded upright pedalling.

2020 Fabric Line S Pro Flat unisex saddle - detail.jpg

I like pressure-relieving channels, and the Fabric Line S Pro has one of the biggest I’ve ever used. Fabric claims it decreases pressure on the pudendal artery, and certainly I had no numbness issues.

The 9x7mm carbon rails help to bring this saddle in at a respectable 186g, and also help kill road buzz – though it feels that more of the impressive comfort over rough roads comes from the soft padding.

2020 Fabric Line S Pro Flat unisex saddle - front.jpg

The saddle looks very smart and is finished neatly, with the waterproof microfibre upper bonded straight to the nylon base. It’s well put together and I had no issues with wear.

This short, stubby saddle shape isn’t new. There are plenty of other options, such as the £105 Specialized Power Expert, £130 Pro Stealth Offroad, the £185 Fizik Vento Argo R1 and the £215 Selle Italia SLR Boost Ti316 Superflow. But while they all come in a variety of specs for base and rail materials, the Fabric Line S Pro gets carbon rails at the lowest price.

> 21 of the best bike saddles for men and women — find a more comfortable ride

Picking a saddle is very personal, and while I got on with the Fabric Line S Pro Flat during fast, aero riding, not everyone will. The wide rear end holds you forward and doesn’t allow much movement, while the soft base and padding won’t suit everyone either.

Fabric’s range of saddles is vast, though, and it has a 60-day money-back ‘fit guarantee’ that allows you to try the saddle and swap it for another if you don’t like it. I strongly recommend heading to a local Fabric supplier to chat about your position and take their advice.

Verdict

Short, stubby saddle that’s great for aero tucks and well-specced for the price

road.cc test report

Make and model: Fabric Line S Pro Flat unisex saddle

Size tested: 142mm

Tell us what the product is for and who it’s aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Fabric says: “Engineered for lightning speed – and comfort – the short design lets you hold an aggressive riding position for longer – letting you fix your seating position and focus on the ride ahead.”

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Rails: Carbon (9x7mm)

Base: Flexible Nylon

Cover: Waterproof microfibre

Profile: Flat

Weight: 182g

Width: 142mm

Length: 240mm

Mid rail to saddle topper: 45mm

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
5/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

If you’re riding in an aero position, it’s very comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Very comfortable in an aero position.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Too wide if you want to back off and sit up.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Pretty well: you won’t find carbon rails on similarly-priced stubby saddles from Specialized, Fizik, Pro or Selle Italia.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes – for head down aero riding

Would you consider buying the product? Yes – for a TT build

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe

Use this box to explain your overall score

It’s very good for riding in an aero position and the wide rear end helps keep you forward. The width is a little obstructive should you sit up and back off, however, so while it’s limited to aggressive efforts, it’s very good at that and an eight.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I’ve been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Story weight: 
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Price: 
£149.99
Contact: 
Product Type: 
Road.cc rating: 
8
Weight: 
186g
Road.cc verdict: 

Short, stubby saddle that’s great for aero tucks and well-specced for the price

Pros: 
Very comfortable in an aero tuck
Wide rear gives support
Large channel
Cons: 
Not so comfortable for general riding
Too soft for some

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13 personal training and coaching apps to help you get fit

Training apps for cycling fall into two categories. Training apps like Zwift and TrainerRoad provide a virtual environment for you to ride, train and even race on your smart trainer, while apps like TrainingPeaks give you tools to log and monitor your training, measure your progress and even help create training schedules. Let’s take a look at your options in the best training apps for both types.

  • Training apps for your phone, tablet or desktop computer provide a vast range of ride-logging and training assistance features from virtual bunch rides to simple records of your riding

  • Indoor training apps that work with smart trainers have never been more popular, but the outside world is still there and training apps that provide coaching programs and ride logging can help you get fit out there as well

  • The big players work with just about any platform you care to name, but smaller operators tend to specialise in just, say, Windows or iOS or Android

  • Most apps that you pay for by subscription offer a free trial so you can try before you buy; we recommend trialling as many as possible

  • Want more indoor training options? Check out our guide to the best indoor cycling apps

13 of the best training apps for 2020

Click to read more…