Lace isn’t always frilly

Sometimes it’s an accomplishment.  Today, I laced my first bicycle wheel.  Well, I actually re-laced a wheel that I took apart last week.  I used the directions in a bicycle maintenance book by Leonard Zinn to lace the 32 spokes in a 3 cross pattern.  It actually only took about a half hour to lace, and then I tightened the spokes in a couple of loops around the wheel.  It’s not trued or tightened enough to ride, and I will take the wheel apart anyway.  This was more of a trial run to see how the lacing process works.

It actually went surprisingly well.  I didn’t have to redo any of the spokes, and I checked them as I inserted them.  I did the lacing in four sets of eight spokes just as the directions said and it all works.

As someone that is trying to become more knowledgeable about building and maintaining bicycles, building wheels is a skill that I’ve wanted to learn for a while now.

I’m going to build the wheels for the LeMond bicycle I’m restoring, and I plan to ride that bicycle in a century later this year.  So, I’d better get it right if I expect to finish without walking.

Wheels and tires and hubs and tubs and tubes…

I had originally planned to run tubulars on the LeMond. I still might, but it has been a major pain to remove the old glue from the tubular rims I purchased. I’ve used a bronze brush in an electric drill and MEK, and those two combined for marginal success. That glue is tough and doesn’t want to give up easily. Perhaps that is exactly the quality that a bicyclist would want when heading downhill at 50+ mph on a bicycle running tubulars – but since that’s not me (not yet, anyway) I’m undecided.

I can lace a set of clincher rims to the Campy hubs and have a significantly simpler set of wheels with very good reliability and without the work and mess of tubular glue. But, I would like to try a good set of tubulars if for no other reason than to say that I’ve tried them.

I’m still deciding, but until I decide I can always swap the Boyd wheelset from the Cannondale onto the LeMond frame.

For the want of a (recessed) nut…

the build is in a holding pattern. The rear brake mounted just fine, but the recessed nut that holds the front brake onto the fork is too long. The nut, not counting the head, is 24mm. I need one that is 12-14mm and if I cut down the one I have I’ll remove most of the threads. Oswego Cyclery might have one that will work, so I’ll stop by and see if they have one that will fit.

But, the front and rear derailleurs are on, the BB and crankset are on (but not torqued), and the fork is installed with the new headset.

Since I’m waiting on the front brake I’m working on the wheels and hubs.

There’s plenty to do, but it might just be ready for a test ride in a week or two.

UPDATE 6/11 – Oswego Cyclery had the recessed nut I needed for the front brake. Back on track now.

The LeMond build continues

I picked up the frameset from Duane of Chester Cycles, and it looks great. Now that I have it back I’m ready to start the actual build. I think that I have all of the major parts that I’ll need, but sometimes the small parts you need are not all present and accounted for. Since I don’t really have a schedule, if I need a part during the build I’ll get it somehow and then pick up where I left off.

First, I decided to stay with the threadless stem, so I need a 1″ Campagnolo headset. That arrived while the frame was being painted, and so I called up Oswego Cyclery to see if they could pop the old headset cups out and press the new Campagnolo cups in. Also, I needed the old crown race removed and the Campy one put in it’s place. They guys at the shop have the right tools and it didn’t take them long.

When I got home I put the bearings in and put the headset together. I’m using a cable tie to keep the fork from slipping out while the frame is in the workstand.

Next will be the bottom bracket, brakes, crankset, and derailleurs. It will start looking like a bicycle soon.