ST600 project, continued

The new bottom bracket has been installed.  And surprisingly, I actually had the correct tool to install it.  I didn’t have to order a tool or go to the local shop to have them install it.  Finally, success without intervention.

The front hub came apart easily, and after cleaning and inspection, the cone, cup, and bearings look great.  Added fresh grease, reassembled, and adjusted the preload.  Installed the front tube and tire.  Actually, I installed it twice.  I paid attention to the rotation arrow, and lined up the label with the valve, but I didn’t have the label on the hub reading from the right direction.  I realized I would always see that and get irritated at myself over it, so I just took the tire off and flopped it the other way and it’s ready to go.  Wow, that seems almost over-the-top just reading it – but it’s just a few minutes of my time and paying attention to the details is part of the pride in a job done well.

There is a lot of clearance for a wider tire up front.  That’s good to know, since I’m considering changing to 700c rims and wider tires in the future.  Looking at the clearance in the back, there is a lot of clearance there too.  The dimpled chainstays definitely increase the width of the tire that the frame can handle.

The rear hub, however, is a different story to the front hub.  It came apart easily enough, but the results weren’t nearly as good.  Both cones are pitted, and there was some corrosion on the axle itself.  The cups in the hub look OK, but they will need a brushing with a brass brush in a dremel tool to clean them up properly.  I’m hoping that I can save the hub and that I can find replacement cones.  I may have to pick up a used hub as a donor, but there’s no guarantee that those cones will be in better shape.  Still, it’s worth a try.

The updated tally for parts I hadn’t planned on is:

a new chain
a new bottom bracket
a new headset
replacement rear hub cones and bearing balls

I’ve ordered the replacement bearing balls.  It would be really dumb to replace the cones and then damage them because I didn’t replace the balls.

I headed over to the local bike shop to get the new headset installed and see if they have cones that will work.  A successful trip – headset installed, and cones found.  Now I just have to wait for the balls to be delivered and I can reassemble the rear hub.

Getting closer to the maiden voyage.

ST600 replacement parts

The chain was delivered a few days ago, but then I decided to replace the bottom bracket since the bearings were shot.  The replacement BB arrived here today.  Also today, I decided to replace the headset.  The headset was loose when I got the bike, but I held out hope that it hadn’t been ridden in that condition.  But I was wrong.  After cleaning it up, regreasing it, and reassembling it the headset was still “notchy”.  It doesn’t make any sense to finish the build knowing that this will need to be replaced very soon.  So I ordered a replacement headset, which means a trip to the local bike shop to have the old cups knocked out and the new ones pressed in place.

The tally for parts I hadn’t planned on is:

a new chain
a new bottom bracket
a new headset

None of these parts are overly expensive, but since I don’t have an inventory of parts each one adds a few days to the project.  This is why builds almost always take longer than you would think.

And just to be complete, I haven’t disassembled the front and rear hubs, so there could be some surprises waiting there too.  Oh well, I’m hoping not to be foolishly optimistic, but it would be great to just clean up and regrease the hubs and have everything work as it’s supposed to.

Just don’t bet on it.  Unless you like long odds.

Picked up the Lemond Zurich frameset

Got to Duane’s a little early on Sunday, but he was waiting and had the frame ready to go. It looks just great with a fresh coat of clear over everything.  The candy blue was tricky to match, but Duane did a great job and the touchups are very difficult to find.  I’ll have to do a good job with the build to match the frameset.

Got the frameset home today, but I won’t get to it right away.  I’m in the middle of overhauling the Cannondale ST600, so I really need to finish that one up first.  it’s still in pieces, and I got the freewheel removal tool I needed and removed the freewheel.  I’m sending it off to the freewheel spa for a service, and while it’s away I’ll get the wheel bearings and hubs cleaned and regreased.  Then I can true the wheels and install the new tubes and tires.  Once the freewheel is back that will be the wheels complete.

Sounds like progress, slow but relentless (emphasis on slow).

Picking up the Lemond Zurich frame

I’m going to pick up the Lemond Zurich frame that has been touched up by Duane at  He has done this work for me on other frames and his work is superb.  I can’t wait to see it, and more so, I can’t wait to begin building this bike.

The frame is on the receiving end of a Campagnolo Chorus 3×10 group, all silver, which should work well and look great at the same time.  I really like the older Campy groups, the polished alloy parts in particular, and the fact that Campy is not as common as the more ubiquitous Shimano hardware.  All of the modern groups work quite well, and can even be mixed and matched to some degree and retain a high level of performance.  I just like Campy more, so that’s what I chose.  I’m not anti-Shimano or SRAM, I’m just pro-Campy.  I did just install a Shimano 1×11 drivetrain on my Giant XTC, so it’s not cast in stone.

I think I have all of the components I need for the build, but as my past history shows, there will be something (or things) that I need but don’t have.  OK, I need handlebar tape.  So history does repeat itself.  But it can be ridden without that, so it isn’t a critical-path item.  That’s my rationalization for today and I’m sticking with it.

Stay tuned for photos as this frame becomes a bicycle.

ST600 project – need some replacement parts as usual

Remember my comment about not expecting any issues?  Apparently my expectations weren’t rooted in reality.

My plan to just service the existing bottom bracket ins’t going to work.  While I was cleaning the old grease off the bearings and retainers, I noticed that some of the balls had deep scratches in them and there was some rust on the retainers.  Crap.  So the drive-side cup had to come off, because I’m going to replace the BB with a new cartridge unit.  Doesn’t make sense to complete the build only to have to replace the BB in a couple of months, when it is much easier to do that now.

So I used a threaded rod with two fender washers and two nuts to clamp the adjustable wrench against the flats, and 2 minutes later the DS cup was off.  The spindle was 121mm long, and was asymmetric, with the DS being longer than the NDS.  I searched around for a while trying to confirm that the UN55 BB was or wasn’t asymmetrical, and finally was able to confirm that the 122mm spindle length has an asymmetric spindle.  Ordered the new BB, so that should solve the problem.  I think I have the correct tool for this BB, but that remains to be confirmed.

The replacement chain is here, the new BB should be here Monday, as should the freewheel tool.  Then I can remove the freewheel and send it off for a day at the freewheel spa.

Continuing the ST600 overhaul

Continuing on with the process, I decided to push out a pin and remove the chain.  It is 116 links long, so I need to be sure that the replacement is at least that long.  A lot of chains now being sold contain only 114 links, so I need to be sure that it will be long enough for a touring bike with long chainstays and a 3×6 drivetrain.

With the chain off, the FD/RD came off next.  The cranks were tight, but the puller removed them cleanly.  I don’t think they could have been removed without it – at least not without damaging something.  The NDS (left side) ring and cup came off easily, and the axle and both bearings came right out.  The DS (right side) cup is really tight, and I may just clean it in place and leave it alone.

So now that the frame has everything removed, it’s time to polish and wax it.  Actually I’ll clean up the DS cup first so that I won’t get any solvent on freshly waxed paint and then polish and wax the frame and fork.

Then it’s time to start reassembly.  The BB will be first, then the headset and fork.

Biking accessories

I thought I’d talk about some cycling accessories that I actually use, instead of the “gimmicks” that seem to be hawked these days.  I’ve got a Garmin Edge 705 cycling gps that works really well.  It has a color screen, and you can customize the display page to include what you want to see while riding.  It’s a nice package.  Of course, if you just want to record a track while riding, just hit the start button and put it in your pocket.  Either way, don’t forget to hit the stop button when you’re done.  I’ve forgotten that more than once.  Maybe it was twice, I can’t remember.

The RideWithGPS website works very well to manage your courses and ride history, and speaks Garmin very well.  You can easily plan, edit, and export routes (courses in Garminspeak), and upload history from your rides.  You can also turn a ride into a route, if you want to share it with cycling friends.  If you opt for one of the subscription plans, you can add advance notification of turns to the exported file.

Back on the 705, you can easily upload routes to the “Courses” directory (as a file with a “.tcx” extension). and download the results from the “History” directory, also with a “.tcx” extension.  You can then upload the .tcx file to RideWithGPS to look at average speed, cadence, distance, and climbing/descending info.  It also shows the gradient, but I can’t speak to the accuracy of that info.

I use OpenStreetMaps on my 705, and they work very well.  There’s no need to pay the “Garmin Tax” and buy one of their maps.  You can select the areas you want, and download them.  Uploading the map file (gmapsupp.img) is simple enough.  If you use these maps, please support this worthwhile project.

if you want a tutorial on using OpenStreetMaps on your Garmin device, go to DCRainMaker’s website and follow the directions.  It is literally as simple as he says.  Additionally, his site is a great resource for bicycling information and product reviews in general – it’s well worth the time to read.

If you are looking for turn-by-turn navigation, cadence, speed, and other information, the Garmin 705 is a good choice.  Since it isn’t the latest and greatest unit out there, the prices are very reasonable – around $100 give or take, usually including mount and speed/cadence sensor.

Compared with the $1000+ units, the Edge 705 is a very smart choice if it’s functionality meets your needs.  If you want the latest gee-whiz bells and whistles, then I guess you’ll have to pay for that.

if you have questions about working with routes and ride results, or using OpenStreetMaps on your 705, drop me a note and I’ll try to help.

First ride on the newly rebuilt XTC

The weather was cooperative, no pressing chores at home, so it’s time to ride.  Put the XTC in the back of the truck and headed over to Land Between the Lakes (LBL) to ride the Central Hardwoods Trail.  Heading westward to Kentucky Lake and back is a little over 8 miles, with about 700 feet of climbing thrown in for fun.

The bike worked well, but the headset did work loose so I re-adjusted the preload and it was fine.  Not really a surprise with newly installed headset cups.  I tilted the brake levers and the shifter down a little so that my wrists are straighter and that position felt better.

Since it didn’t happen without photos, here you go (from the halfway point at Kentucky Lake).

Starting on the ST600

This one should be fairly quick to service, but you never know for sure until you’re done.  First will be to remove the wheels, take the tires and tubes off, and take the hubs apart.  Some cleaning, fresh grease, and some adjustment should take care of them.  The rear wheel needs to be trued, and I’ll check the front wheel before installing new tubes and tires.  I probably should service the freewheel while I’m at it.

While the wheels are off, I removed the brake calipers (they’re going to be replaced with new dual-pivot units), stem and handlebars, then the front fork.  The headset has rubber seals for the upper and lower bearings, a nice touch.  I already know the headset is out of adjustment but I don’t know if it was ridden that way.  After cleaning up the fork and crown races, it does look like it was ridden with a loose headset.  I’m going to try and salvage the headset.  If it can’t be adjusted properly or won’t hold an adjustment, then I’ll have to replace it.

The rear rack, seatpost and saddle have been removed.  next are the FD and RD, then the cranks come off.  Hopefully I have the right tool to remove the BB, but I don’t know just yet.

The XTC is finished

Dave at the shop tightened the BB, but that didn’t address the chain coming off the chainring.  He said that it was probably the chain, and that Shimano 1×11 drivetrains with wide-narrow chainrings are picky about the chain.  I was a little skeptical about that, but he convinced me to try a Shimano chain, so I gave him the go-ahead.  Surprisingly, I must admit – after swapping the chain, no more derailing up front.  The RD shifted fine, so the chain was the problem.

Installing the grips took just a few minutes with some rubbing alcohol, and that finishes it up.  While I was tightening the saddle clamp, the bolt heads started to round out, so I’ll need to find some replacements.  The saddle is tight for now, but I’d prefer to have bolts that will let me make adjustments as needed.  Maybe I’ll just find a new seatpost and solve the bolt problem at the same time – no real hurry on it.

Took it out for a quick ride between rain showers, and it shifts fine, brakes work great, and the fork is working fine too.  Will tweak the saddle height and tilt a little, but the bike is finished.  May play around with the tilt of the brake and shift levers too, to get them lined up properly now that it’s rideable.

With some help from a Bike Forums member, I found out that this is a 2003 Giant XTC 2.  Not required knowledge, but nice to know nonetheless.

Here are some photos.