Silverback Sphere 1

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The Sphere 1 is Silverback's reimagination of the hardtail with plus sized wheels. It features 3.0" tyres to add grip, stability, and comfort. The Sphere makes use of the wider Boost axle spacing to stiffen the larger and heavier plus wheels and tyres. The 100mm Manitou Magnum fork sits at a trail-friendly 68 degree head angle. The reliable combination of a SRAM 1x drivetrain and Shimano's SLX brakeset round off the bike.

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  • Frame29”+/27,5"+ Butted 6061 Aluminium, Tapered 1-1/8”-1.5”Headtube, XS/S: 27.5”+;M/L/XL: 29”+,135mm QR Dropouts
  • ForkManitou Magnum Comp 27.5+/29"+, 100mm, Tapered Alloy Steerer, XS/S: 27.5”+; M/L/XL: 29”+, Crown lockout, 15x110mm Dropout, Post Mount Disc
  • RimsHayes/Sun Ringle Mulefut SL 50mm 27.5”+/29”+, Alloy, 32H, 29”+ for M/L/XL, 27.5”+ for XS/S sizes, Sun Ringle Nylon Rim tape, Black
  • HubsRear: SRAM 746, 6-Bolt Disc Mount, Sealed cartridge bearings, XD Driver body, 12x 148mm Axle Black; Front: SRAM 716, 6-Bolt Disc Mount, Sealed cartridge bearings, 150 x 15mm Thru Axle, Black
  • TyresMaxxis Chronicle 27.5”+/29”+ x 3.0, TR and EXO, Kevlar Bead
  • StemSector Box, 6061 Alloy, S/M: 60mm; L/XL: 75mm, 6° x ∮31.8mm, Black
  • HandlebarsSector Plane, W: 720mm; Back Sweep: 9° x ∮31.8mm; 6061 Double Butted Oversized
  • SeatpostSector Level, 6061 Alloy, ∮31.6mm, XS/S: 350mm; M/L/XL: 400mm, Black
  • SaddleSector, Cr-Mo Rails
  • Brake setShimano SLX BL/BR-M675, Open Hydraulic System, Metal Pads, Rotors Front: 180mm; Rear: 160mm
  • ShifterSRAM GX X-ACTUATION Trigger Shifter, 11 Speed, Black
  • Rear derailleurSRAM GX X-Horizon w/ Rolling Bearing Clutch and Cage Lock, Black
  • CassetteSRAM XG-1150 11 Speed, 10-42T, Black
  • CranksetRace Face Turbine Cinch, 32T, XS/S: 170mm; 175mm All other sizes, Black
  • Bottom bracketRace Face, BB-92
  • PriceR31,999

Verve Infocrank

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The Verve Cycling InfoCrank is a relative newcomer to the power meter market. It is a crank based power meter which boasts left and right measurements. The unit is said to be super accurate and highly durable without the need for continuous recalibration. The cranks themselves are cold forged aluminium fitted with Praxis Works chainrings. Model Tested: InfoCrank 110 BCD M30.

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The retail price for the Verve InfoCrank 110 BCD M30 and 24mm models is R22,000. Verve will be releasing cranksets for track and mountain bike later this year. You can contact the local distributor on their website here and check out their Facebook page for special deals.

SRAM NX upgrade

This is an upgrade I recently did to my own bike and, even though it is not a full SRAM NX drivetrain review, I thought it may be of interest. The upgrades includes a SRAM NX cassette, rear derailleur and chain with a GX shifter. Due to the marginal price difference between the NX and GX shifters, the local distributor has decided to not stock the NX shifter for now.

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Unlike the rest of SRAM's 11-speed range, the NX cassette does not require a XD freehub body and therefore fits in place on a regular 10-speed hub, making upgrading simpler and cheaper. This does however mean that SRAM were unable to provide the same gear range, with the smallest sprocket on the NX cassette being 11T instead of the 10T found on other SRAM 11-speed cassettes.

Having spent many hours riding SRAM's more premium 11-speeding offerings, I'm interested to see how this budget upgrade compares.

Speak to your local bike shop for a quote.