Lemond Zurich build gets underway

The paint touch up on the frame and fork is finished, and as usual Duane at chestercycles.com did a superb job.

Started assembling the parts for the build.  Rob has talked me into using Shimano Dura Ace on this build, which will be a big change as my other builds have all been Campagnolo.  Part of the fun with a build project is searching out the proper parts for the build and it will be a learning curve on this one.  Not too painful, I hope.

First, I picked up a set of Dura Ace 7400 hubs on ebay for a reasonable price.  The rear hub came with a 12-21 8-speed cassette on it.  I’m looking for a Dura Ace 7700 group, the last of the 9 speed groups from Shimano.

Well, plans changed – mainly because I found a very nice Dura Ace 7800 group on paceline forums, and will use this group for this build.  This is a 10 speed group rather than 9 speed, so I’ll need to be sure that the hubs will work for 10 speed cassettes.  Most of the reading I’ve done says Dura Ace 8-9-10 speed cassettes are interchangeable, so they should work.

I picked up a set of H+Son TB14 polished rims that I will lace to the DA hubs.  I’ve used these rims before, on my Lemond Alpe d’Huez build and they’re very nice.  Nice polish, machined brake tracks for good braking and easy to build.

A 10-speed cassette (Ultegra CS-6700 11-28 came with the group, but it won’t fit the DA freehub I have.  Mine is a Ultraglide (UG) freehub, meaning that the hub is a 7401.  I need a 7403 freehub so that I can use 10-speed cassettes.  The 7403 freehub is UG/Hyperglide( HG) compatible, and has the single narrow spline that will work with 8-9-10 speed cassettes.  Separately, these freehubs are basically unobtainum.  I was lucky enough to find a 7403 hubset on ebay, so I will swap the 7403 freehub over to my original hubset.  Well, they CAN be swapped but require some special tools to remove and service the freehub.  Down into the rabbit hole I go.  Luckily, a BikeForums member had a set of these freehub tools that he was willing to part with, so I picked them up.

Installed a new set of Ultegra BB cups for the Hollowtech II crankset, easy enough to do with the proper BB wrench.

Installed the crown race on the fork, then pressed the headset cups in.  Installed the fork and found that the steerer is about 3mm too long.  The top nut bottoms out on the threaded part, leaving about 2mm of thread exposed above the toothed washer.  I saw two options: first, add a couple of toothed washers to take up the space, or second, cut about 3mm off the steerer.  I’m leaning towards cutting the steerer, mainly because that allows the headset to fit properly, but it is irrevocable.  Once cut you can’t add length back so it’s a one-way process.  I haven’t  yet made the final decision.

Stay tuned as this build progresses.

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 ChesterCycles.com.  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 I don’t always choose Campy.  The right tool for the job, you know.

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.