Bianchi, the last task

Handlebar tape. I’ve been putting this task off, mainly because I wanted to be sure the brake levers were in the right place, and I was working on the stem – but that’s done now. I didn’t want to waste $15 worth of handlebar tape either.

I looked at some youtube videos and read about the process on the Park Tools site and decided that my lack of experience would be equally lacking tomorrow or the next day. Time to get this finished.

Got scissors, some yellow electrical tape, and the handlebar tape. From start to finish it took less than 10 minutes to do both sides. I started at the bottom and wrapped up towards the stem. It’s not perfect around the brake levers, but that’s OK. Sooner or later it will need to be replaced and hopefully I will do a better job then. Until then, it’s tight, pretty evenly wound, looks decent, and adds some padding that was sorely (quite literally) needed.

I guess the Bianchi is complete now. Today’s weather looks good, so I’m planning a lunch ride.

Bianchi – the first real ride

The handlebars were too low and I couldn’t raise them any further. So, I ordered a taller quill stem from Harris Cyclery. But it was too tall so I cut off 3cm and it is close enough for now. To remove any more stem will require a different bolt as I’m out of threads on this one.

It rides much better (as tested on the indoor trainer) and I ran through all positions on the front and rear derailleurs. Brakes are good, all bearings are good, time for a road test. The temps are in the mid-60s, and it’s dry. Time to go.

Well, it was only 10 miles, but that was all it took. The bike rides great, makes all the expected mechanical noises – whirrs, clicks, shifting noises, etc. but no bad noises. The only obvious change necessary at this point is a mirror of some kind – more a survival aid than anything else.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, I’ll go a different direction for another 10 miles or so.