The build continues

Now that the fork/headset/frame are assembled, I decided to install the BB cups and crank next. The BB cups went in fine, and the cranks were very simple too. The ultra-torque cranks are very easy to install, needing only a 10mm hex key and a torque wrench to install. And when I was done, they spun around just like cranks are intended to do.

Next came the brakes. The Campy brakes are dual-pivot, skeletonized (extra metal milled away) and fit properly the first time. With the internal nut, the mount is clean as well. Derailleurs followed. Now the most annoying part of the installation – the brake/shifter (brifter) levers. It was difficult to move the hood out of the way of the mounting bolt, but I got them on, lined up, and tightened down. The handlebar has marks across the bar to make it easy to get the levers mounted at the some point and that was a nice touch. Now I need cables and housings, and of course, wheels.

I opted to install the Michelin Race 3 tires next, and that was anti-climatic. I didn’t need levers to get them on, and a little powder on the tubes makes it even easier. The Boyd Vitesse wheels are really nice and they are 23mm wide and 28mm deep. I now have a rolling bike. It’s so much better than having to drag it around.

Stay tuned for the cable and housing part. It wasn’t so much fun to do as it would have been to watch.

The new build begins

Why does this sound like the beginning of Star Wars IV – a New Hope? I really hope it doesn’t take 6 full-length movies to get this done.

I found a really great deal on 3T carbon handlebars and an Easton alloy stem, so that’s the direction I went. They arrived and are just as the seller described – excellent condition. Whether the stem length is right or not is something I will have to determine by riding, but at least I have something to connect the handlebars to the steerer tube and I read somewhere that it’s not optional.

I ordered some Michelin Race 3 tires with red sidewalls, and they happened to be on sale. How often is something that you want for a build on sale? OK, I’m 1 for 725. Not bad. I got some tubes too, I hear they’re necessary.

I was checking out the headset bearings, and the crown race was pitted, probably from being ridden with the bearings loose. Well, it just seems dumb to build a bike and use the old pitted headset, so I ordered a replacement headset. Now the fun part of removing the old crown race. I have a crown race remover, but after using it I would say that it’s more of a crown race lifter. Don’t get me wrong, it lifted the race off the bottom of the steerer tube but not far enough to actually remove it from the steerer. Off to my friendly bike shop and within 3 minutes of walking in the door the old race was off and the new one was in. Good folks at Oswego Cyclery in Oswego, Illinois.

Now the headset can be assembled, spacers put on, and the top cap tightened to set the bearing preload. Then clamp the stem and I’ve actually begun. I wasn’t sure I’d get to this point, but recognizing that I’m not in a hurry and that I have another bike to ride gives you a different perspective on the build of a new bike.

At least, it did for me.