Omega, pt 6: Installation and F.A.Q.
article and images by Nick Salazar •
Mar 21, 2012 •
The Omega is now in production! Get yours from the TriRig Store.
I've received a lot of questions about the Omega, and some of them pop up again and again. This page will serve as a general FAQ. As more questions come up, I'll do my best to answer them here. Hopefully this covers the basics.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are the brakes available individually?
Yes. Every Omega brake is sold as a single unit.
- Is the Omega available as a rear brake?
Yes. Every Omega sold includes hardware to mount it as either a front or rear brake.
- Is the Omega compatible with my bike?
Please see the compatibility chart for general reference. If your bike isn't on this chart, check to see whether your bike uses a standard road brake caliper (Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo). If it does, your bike is probably compatible.
- Is the Omega compatible with my wheel?
The short answer is yes. The Omega brake was designed with a very wide range of adjustability, and is compatible with virtually every road bike rim on the market today. It can be used with traditional narrow rims (19mm), wide rims like Zipp Firecrest (27mm), and everything in between. And you don't have to modify your brake pads, because the Omega can open to 32mm when using full-size, 6mm-tall brake pads.
- What is the weight?
The Omega weighs 124g, complete with brake pads and all mounting hardware, including the integrated cable hanger. This is ACTUAL weight on our gram-accurate scale. That means the brake is lighter than Dura-Ace, Super Record, and SRAM Red.
- How strong is the brake? Is it comparable to other road brakes like those from Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo?
The Omega brakes have passed the world's most rigorous braking safety tests, from CEN and CPSC, with flying colors. They are proven performers in both dry and wet conditions, both on the front and rear of a bicycle. They have been ridden down the steep descents of the Rocky Mountains successfully and without issue. Unfortunately, there are no commercial tools available for testing objective "braking power" levels. But we can say these have plenty of stopping power, and from a subjective standpoint we believe these are every bit as strong the best brakes on the market today.
- How aerodynamic is the Omega? Do you have any data?
We've collected quite a bit of data regarding the Omega's prototype forms, using that data to improve the design along the way. It's truly a wind-tunnel-developed product. For all the data and our corresponding article, see the Omega White Paper.
- How do I install the Omega? Do I have to use the integrated cable hanger? Do I have to use a steerer tube hanger? What comes with the brake?
Please see the installation video on this page. The Omega comes with its integrated cable hanger, and everything you need to install the brake. If you want to use a third-party cable hanger, you will have to purchase that hanger separately - TriRig does not carry third-party hangers at present.
- Why is the cable hanger so tall?
The integrated cable hanger is about as low as it can be. With the brake at the end of its travel range, the wedge comes up 15mm. In that position, the bottom of the hanger is about 1mm above it. Most people won't actually need to use the full travel, but it's there to provide as much adjustability as possible.
- What kind of brake pads does the Omega use?
The Omega's integrated pad holders use full-size Shimano/SRAM-compatible brake pads. This means you can use any Shimano-standard pad from SwissStop, Kool Stop, ENVE, Zipp, etc. Each Omega comes stock with Kool Stop Salmon pads, which are perhaps the best pad for use on alloy rims. Kool Stop Carbon #2 pads are available in the TriRig store for use on carbon rims.
- Do the brake pads have any toe adjustment?
No. Toe adjustment was eliminated from the Omega for a couple reasons. First and foremost, eliminating toe adjustment allowed the brake to get slimmer by about 6-8mm, saving a significant amount of frontal area. Second, toe adjustment is usually unnecessary. Toe-in attempts to solve the (relatively rare) problem of pad squealing, which is caused by arm flex in the direction of the wheel's rotation. However, with stiffer brake arms, squealing usually isn't a problem, and the Omega's arms are some of the stiffest there are. From front to back, they have more material than most brakes, and therefore have very little flex.
- Can I use a third-party pad holder if I want to achieve toe-in adjustment?
The official answer is no. TriRig does not condone or recommend the installation of third-party pad holders, because the Omega was not designed to hold them, and therefore they may present a safety concern. It may be possible to mount a third-party pad holder, but you do so at your own risk.
- What is the best way to do fast tire changes? Can I install a barrel adjuster, or use a brake lever with an integrated barrel adjuster or quick release?
Do NOT use a barrel adjuster with the Omega. This essentially deploys the brake, ruins the aerodynamic profile, and limits the brake throw. But the modern trend is for road bike rim widths to exceed tire widths, meaning you can remove the wheel without adjusting the brake stance, and so a quick release is unnecessary. For narrow rims, you have several options. First, you could simply set the Omega wider than your tires, and use its long travel to allow braking performance and easy tire removal. On the other hand, if you want to keep your pads closer to the rim AND still use a large tire, you can either use the set screw adjusters to gain clearance whenever you want to switch wheels, or leave the brake as is, and simply deflate the tire when changing wheels.