New TriRig Omega One rim brake both slows you down and makes you faster
TriRig’s Omega series of rim brakes has always focused first and foremost on aerodynamics, and the newly released third-generation version – the Omega One – is now not only supposedly more efficient, but just works better overall, too.
To reduce the aerodynamic drag on the Omega One, TriRig has hidden all the mechanics behind an even-sleeker front cover, added more cleanly integrated wing-like arms, reduced the overall frontal area, and added an aero shaped cable mount. So confident is TriRig of this new design that it’s claiming the Omega One is the, “first brake ever that makes the bike faster than no brake at all”. That’s a nice claim, but it’d be more interesting to hear exactly how the new Omega One compares to the more integrated rim-brake setup like on the Trek Madone, or even a disc-brake bike.
TriRig is a brand well-estabished in the aero TT and triathlon worlds, where rim brake performance (at least in terms of how well they actually stop) ironically doesn’t have the best reputation overall. But TriRig says they have improved the braking performance and modulation with the Omega One to where it’s just as good as mainstream calipers by increasing the strength and stiffness of the caliper body itself, and a revised shape to the cable wedge that drives the two arms into the rim.
The new caliper also retains the individual left-right stance width adjustment screws similar to the previous design, combined with increased pad reach range and better tire clearance for better compatibility with modern frames and wheels. The magnetic front cover is even quickly removed for easier setup and adjustment. One common complaint with the previous Omega designs was the lack of toe-in adjustment on the pads, but that doesn’t seem to have changed here.
The Omega One is designed to work as either a front and rear brake, and is also supplied with an adapter for direct-mount frames and forks. Retail price is US$195 per caliper, with prices for other regions based on current exchange rates.
I am a fan of the older Omega X brakes, having used them on my Everesting Tarmac SL6. I found their braking power to be nearly identical to the Campagnolo direct-mount calipers I had used before I went searching for some aero gains, and they were 12 grams lighter per caliper, too. With the claimed improvements in aerodynamic efficiency and overall braking performance (not to mention strength and reliability from that first-gen version), it will be interesting to see how well the Omega One works in comparison.