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).

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.

XTC reassembly continued

Decided to Install the BB and crankset hand-tight to check the chainline.

Brake calipers are on but not aligned or tightened.  Brake levers and the shifter are on the handlebars.  Rear derailleur is installed.

The seatpost clamp bolt is soaking in evaporust.  The Fizik saddle is loosely clamped in the seatpost and it is installed but not clamped in the frame.

Seatpost clamp bolt looks much better, installed and clamped.  Chain installed, shortened chain to fit.  Might be one link too long, but that’s OK as is for now.

Derailleur cable and housing run.  Adjusted the derailleur cable tension and hi/low limits.  My first 11 speed derailleur, and Shimano too.  This one has a clutch that is supposed to help the chain stay tighter and not bounce as much in rough terrain – we’ll see how that works.

The chain wants to derail off the chainring.  Maybe because there isn’t much tension on the chain while on the workstand, I guess riding will tell the tale.  Can’t do that until the BB is tightened properly.

I’ve never installed or adjusted disk brakes on a bicycle, but it went well.  The front and rear housings/cables are run and the brakes adjusted.  They work well, on the workstand at least.

The grips aren’t here yet, but I can ride it without grips to check everything out.  I’ll be using the pedals that were originally on the bike, so no changes there.

After getting the BB tightened, the maiden voyage will happen fairly quickly.  it looks like the XTC will be ready to go for the Bourbon and Tobacco Tour ride after all.

Photos to come soon, once I have a complete bike to photograph.

XTC reassembly started

The stem bolts, all 5 of them, were a little rusty.  Profile Designs made the stem but they told me that the stem had been discontinued and that replacement bolts weren’t available.  So I decided to try evaporust on them.

After a few hours in evaporust, the stem bolts look much better.

Started assembly on The XTC.  The fork is back into the frame, headset preload is adjusted, and tightened things up.  Handlebars are on and tight.  Installed the front and rear wheels.  Hey!  it rolls now.  Much better than dragging it around.

Put the seatpost bolts and clamp in evaporust – they are really rusty.

The new BB wrench I bought does not fit the cups.  Rats.  I guess a trip to Bikes and Moore in Hoptown will be on the agenda.

The seatpost bolts are looking better, but they are a little rough.  On the plus side, you can’t see them once the saddle is on so I’m not going to worry about it too much.  Planning to use the Fizik saddle on the XTC.

Stay tuned.

XTC wheels get an upgrade

The tires looked sort of “tired”, and not in a good way, and the new disk brakes came with new rotors.  I removed the 9 speed cassette and installed the 11 speed 11-40 cassette in its place.  Got to use my brand new Park Tool Shimano cassette lockring tool for this.  Pulled the old rotors off and installed the new ones.  I put the wheels in the truing stand, and with a couple of tweaks they are both true laterally and radially.

The new tires have directional arrows molded in, and the front tire rotates backwards compared to the rear (not while moving, you understand).  I presume that’s because the front tire needs the knobs set one way for optimum braking, while the rear tire needs the knobs the opposite way for better bite while accelerating.  Anyway, they’re on and I didn’t even pinch the new tubes.  The labels are at the valve stem, just like the pros.  Maybe I’ve learned a few things while working on bikes.  Maybe I’m just particular.

Regardless, the wheels are rollable.  is that a word?  Capable of rolling?  You get the idea.

Servicing the XTC mountain bike

Well, it’s time to take care of the Giant XTC mountain bike I bought a couple of years ago.  I’ve not ridden it much, but I decided it needs some attention since I plan to ride on the trails during the Bourbon and Tobacco Tour in April.  It would be pretty embarrassing for the ride organizer’s bike to break down, so I’m doing my best to prevent that from happening.

Actually, service probably isn’t the right word.  I’m replacing pretty much everything except the frame, fork, and wheels/hubs.  it will get a new headset, new disk brake calipers, rotors, and levers.  The drivetrain is switching from 3×9 to 1×11, with a Shimano XT-M8000 rear derailleur and a 11-40 rear cassette, and a new Shimano XT crankset with a 32 tooth wide-narrow chainring.  I’ll lose a little top speed, but my top speed isn’t all that fast anyway, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to try a 1×11.  The lowest gear will be a little lower, since the 32-40 gearing is lower than the previous 28-28.

All of the consumables will be replaced – tires, tubes, brake housing and cable, shift housing and cable, and grips.  New disk brake pads come with the new calipers, so technically they’re not being replaced, just superceded.

This bike requires some knowledge I’ve not needed before – disk brakes and 1×11 drivetrain (the derailleur has a clutch too).  The rest is fairly straightforward maintenance, so I’m not expecting the Spanish Inquisition.

But then, no one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition.