Masi Nuovo Strada – chainwrap issues

The first problem to solve is to determine the width of the bottom bracket (BB).  It needs to be wide enough that the inner chainring does not contact the driveside chainstay.  3-4mm is enough clearance to allow for some frame flex during hard efforts.  On this frame, the 115mm width gives me the necessary clearance.  The 111mm version might have been cutting it a little too close, but it’s difficult to see the actual chainline without installing the chain.  For now, the BB is greased and installed, cups torqued to spec.

The crankarms are installed, using blue loctite on the crank bolts.  I greased the washer and the bolt shoulder before torquing them to spec.

Installing the front and rear derailleurs is simple.  This frame has a mount for a braze-on FD, so just a single bolt is used.  I set the bottom of the FD cage with a couple of mm clearance to the large chainring.  The RD fastens to the dropout hanger and is tightened in place.

Now some calculations are needed, to be sure that the derailleurs can properly shift the chain across all of the cogs in the back, and the chainrings in front.  This is called chainwrap capacity, and this number is provided by the manufacturer for a specific rear derailleur.  Their numbers are generally conservative and you can usually exceed them by a little bit without creating a problem.  The medium cage Campagnolo Chorus rear derailleur has a chainwrap capacity of 36.  You can calculate your chainwrap requirements by finding the difference between the largest and smallest cogs in the back (30-12=18) and the chainrings in the front (52-30=22) and adding those results together (18+22=40).  That’s 4 larger than Campagnolo says will work, so I either need to accept some chain sag with certain gear combinations, or adjust the gearing to better meet the RD specs.

A long cage rear derailleur would solve the problem, but they are basically unobtanium and very expensive when and if you find one.  I could use a rear cassette with a smaller big ring, but I’m building a climbing bike and I want the 30t cog in the back.  I could make the large and middle chainrings smaller, going with 50-40-30, which would lower the chainwrap to 38.  Those rings are expensive.  What I chose to do was to replace the 30t small chainring with a 32t chainring.  With 2 extra teeth, I now have a chainwrap of 38 – still larger then the recommended 36, but only by 2.  Some careful adjusting of the B screw and it should work fine.

Sure, you can bolt parts together and they will usually work, but sometimes not very well.  A bike that doesn’t shift reliably, or brake well,  isn’t going to be an enjoyable ride and will probably gather dust rather than being ridden.  Part of the challenge of bike builds is to make all of the components work well together.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

Camera repair needed

I love to take pictures, and because of that enjoyment I bought a really nice 35mm camera a few years ago.   It is a grey market Canon EOS 5 slr – grey market because of the +/- f-stop dial in the viewfinder.   The camera focuses where you look, by bouncing a tiny led beam off your eye and focusing where you are looking.   It works better if you don’t wear glasses, but it still works pretty well for me anyway.   For a long time, I just used the USM 28-105 lens that I bought with the camera body, but recently I added a USM 75-300 lens as well.   On to the repair story…

I was taking pictures inside an auditorium, using ISO-800 film (not really my favorite) and the control dial stopped working.   This is a known problem on this type of Canon 35mm SLRs; the control dial internals will come loose and prevent the dial from turning.   Sometimes the dial turns but has no detent stops to hold it in the chosen position – this is what happened to my camera.   Damn.   I had read about this before, but I had apparently been lucky up to this point.   The camera has never been dropped or even handled roughly – there is not a single scratch on the camera body.   Despite that careful use, the camera still failed and a repair was needed.

With a lot of googling and reading forum posts from other folks unlucky enough to share my dilemma, I found a place that would make the repair.   Several posters pointed to Steve at Camera Clinic.   The repair price was very reasonable, he gives a guarantee with the work, and he turned the repair around in a couple of days.   Very responsive via email and the telephone, I recommend that you contact him for camera repairs.   It’s great to recommend someone without having to add all kinds of disclaimers and conditions, isn’t it?

What an ass

You know, in spite of a lot of evidence to the contrary, I still expect that people will live up to their word. When they don’t it’s a disappointment and sadly, all too common.

I had advertised a bike of mine for sale, and someone claiming to be from Canada, Eric Walter, ericmaster_brokers@hotmail.com, tried to run the old “cashier’s check” scam on me. I said that my bank required a 11-business-day hold on cashier’s checks from out-of-the-country banks and suggested that he wire the funds to my bank. Now my bank is a small town bank, and they take very good care of their customers. The lady that I spoke with said the best method was to have the funds transferred to the bank’s account at the Fed and they would then transfer the funds to my account. I was not giving my account number to this guy under any circumstances.

So, no cashier’s check scam, no way to get my account numbers means no scam run on me.

Hopefully all of the spammers on the planet will find Eric Walter’s email address ericmaster_brokers@hotmail.com and tell him hello. I think they should be able to sell him male enhancement products – he clearly needs them.

Nice try, jerkweed.