Thursday, June 21, 2007

bike building...


(Audrey wanted her turn.)

Building up a bike seems like such an easy thing to do, but stuff always comes up that makes it a chore.

The first major complication is that, like an idiot, I ordered the wrong size stem for my handlebars. Unbelievably moronic. So I had to drive to Mechanicsburg (the closest competent bike shop--shhh, don't tell, but I'm not fond of Coles) to sort through their collection of toss-offs and find a stem that would work. (I should also add here that by "competent" I mean more a shop with competent help AND higher-end shmiz. I'm comfortable bringing any mechanical problem to Merv's on Firehouse, but they don't carry much of a selection of road stems.)

The second major complication is that the last person to mess around with my bottom bracket put the bearing cups on so tight that it took a three-foot lever to get them off. (I know who it was, but to protect the guilty I won't tell.) Fortunately, I discovered that last night so I could bring the old rig along today on the stem errand and let the boys at World Cup--and their three-foot lever--help me out.

The third major complication is that my new Rival groupset isn't here yet. If it doesn't come tomorrow then it looks like I'm screwed for Saturday's race. It better come tomorrow.

One thing that wasn't near as complicated as I was afraid it might be was putting my headset together and cutting the steerer tube down to length. I got a little instruction from two sources and then just went at it. I think it turned out nicely. And you've got to cut your steerer tubes...nothing says ghetto like an inch or more of spacers above or below that stem. Man, that's an easy way to ugly-up a sweet ride.

And to answer a question asked earlier, the fork I also ordered from Fetish. Carbon steerer tube.

Frame, fork & headset weigh in at about 4.2 lbs. (It's a 60 cm frame that's really more like 58.5 cm.) For comparison's sake, the Specialized Allez Epic that I bought new in 1990 weighs, frame, fork & headset, about 5 1/4 lbs. I'll weigh the Giant when I get everything off.

Anyway, things seem generally to be falling in place. I scooted around the funeral home parking lot next door pretending to do this and that (without a chain you can really only pretend) and everything held together nicely. I'm super excited to get it finished.


UtRider said...

That saddle looks painful...

I didn't realize I was ghetto until I read your post. I'm in a tough situation since my legs are proportionally longer than my torso. This means I need a shorter TT and longer ST. Hard to come by. So I need some spacers under my stem so my saddle to bar drop isn't ridiculous. Plus, I'm not very flexible.


Seems like this new frame has infected you with a bit of bike snobbery. Judging by the sound of your previous drivetrain I'd say a railyard would have been more applicable than ghetto. :)

Have you seen the pictures of the new Pinarello Prince Carbon? That baby is calling my name.

UtRider said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to say that the new ride looks sweet. And I'm excited for you to try Rival. I've totally dug riding it this year. Though I must admit that my next groupo will probably be Campy. What color bar tape have you chosen? I just applied some seasonal white and am thinking of adding a white saddle to tie it all together.

Nothing is more fun than new bike toys.

Sorry for the number and length of my comments.

goat said...

Bike snobbery...

Yeah, maybe. I just don't like those spacers. Especially above the stem. I'm not sure why people do that, but it looks dumb and seems potentially dangerous to boot.

What color bar tape? You know, I struggled over this. Frankly, I'm pretty disappointed with the bar tape offerings these days. Choices are reduced to black, white, red, yellow, blue, or a potpourri of hideous cameo designs. After much consternation, I decided to go black.

The thing is, though, with a black & white bike I can pretty much do any color, so I may try blue later on. I haven't had anything blue on a bike in years, and it would match the team kit.

goat said...

Oh yeah, and I love my SLR.

The stock bontrager/trek saddle that came on my mtn bike started to disintegrate, so I put my old turbo flite on the mtn bike. It works fine, but when I have to push the bike I get my hand back there on that saddle and it seems so thick--like I'm putting my hand around half a cow.

Now that I'm used to that SLR (and it really is quite comfy), everything else looks like it belongs on a horse. I need another one for the mtn bike. And another for the soon-to-be-acquired cross bike.