Masi Nuovo Strada – chainwrap issues

The first problem to solve is to determine the width of the bottom bracket (BB).  It needs to be wide enough that the inner chainring does not contact the driveside chainstay.  3-4mm is enough clearance to allow for some frame flex during hard efforts.  On this frame, the 115mm width gives me the necessary clearance.  The 111mm version might have been cutting it a little too close, but it’s difficult to see the actual chainline without installing the chain.  For now, the BB is greased and installed, cups torqued to spec.

The crankarms are installed, using blue loctite on the crank bolts.  I greased the washer and the bolt shoulder before torquing them to spec.

Installing the front and rear derailleurs is simple.  This frame has a mount for a braze-on FD, so just a single bolt is used.  I set the bottom of the FD cage with a couple of mm clearance to the large chainring.  The RD fastens to the dropout hanger and is tightened in place.

Now some calculations are needed, to be sure that the derailleurs can properly shift the chain across all of the cogs in the back, and the chainrings in front.  This is called chainwrap capacity, and this number is provided by the manufacturer for a specific rear derailleur.  Their numbers are generally conservative and you can usually exceed them by a little bit without creating a problem.  The medium cage Campagnolo Chorus rear derailleur has a chainwrap capacity of 36.  You can calculate your chainwrap requirements by finding the difference between the largest and smallest cogs in the back (30-12=18) and the chainrings in the front (52-30=22) and adding those results together (18+22=40).  That’s 4 larger than Campagnolo says will work, so I either need to accept some chain sag with certain gear combinations, or adjust the gearing to better meet the RD specs.

A long cage rear derailleur would solve the problem, but they are basically unobtanium and very expensive when and if you find one.  I could use a rear cassette with a smaller big ring, but I’m building a climbing bike and I want the 30t cog in the back.  I could make the large and middle chainrings smaller, going with 50-40-30, which would lower the chainwrap to 38.  Those rings are expensive.  What I chose to do was to replace the 30t small chainring with a 32t chainring.  With 2 extra teeth, I now have a chainwrap of 38 – still larger then the recommended 36, but only by 2.  Some careful adjusting of the B screw and it should work fine.

Sure, you can bolt parts together and they will usually work, but sometimes not very well.  A bike that doesn’t shift reliably, or brake well,  isn’t going to be an enjoyable ride and will probably gather dust rather than being ridden.  Part of the challenge of bike builds is to make all of the components work well together.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

Masi Nuovo Strada – the build begins

An Italian bike – a Masi no less.  They’re none too common in the smaller frame sizes, so when this one showed up, I picked it up straight away.  Getting it home took some finagling.  The seller dropped the bike at Village Cycle Shoppe in Cocoa, FL, and they packed it up for me.  I sent them a bikeflights label to get it up here.

I stripped the frame and cleaned it up, and shipped it to my paint guru, Duane at chestercycles.com.  There are some scratches that need attention, but he will (as usual) do a fantastic job with it.  I picked up the frame from Duane on March 7th, and it is stunning.  The red paint looks about an inch deep and the chrome fork is a great accent.

I have a full Chorus 3×10 drivetrain that I was going to install on the Lemond Zurich, but the Italian Masi practically screams Campagnolo, to me, anyway.  So, the Zurich will get a different group and the Campy group goes on this Masi.

I’m going to use the Chorus-hubbed Mavic rims with tubulars on this one – that combination seems appropriate too.

I sprayed Framesaver inside the frame tubes, and twisted the frame around to ensure that all tube surfaces have been coated.  Then, it sits for a day or two.

I greased and pressed the headset cups into the headtube, installed the crown race onto the fork, and installed the fork.  The wheels for this bike are already built, I laced Chorus hubs to Mavic GP4 tubular rims with DT Swiss spokes.  I have a rolling chassis (frameset?) now.

2019 Ride Across INdiana – the RAIN ride

It’s ambitious – a one day ride across the state of Indiana – 165 miles from Terre Haute to Richmond.  Not impossible, but definitely a challenging ride.  The forecasts had temperatures in the mid-90s, with a light wind out of the southwest.  Those forecasts were pretty close, but on to the story.

I got to Richmond about 3 in the afternoon, just minutes after my riding buddy Rob.  We got our bikes ready to go on the bike truck for their trip from Richmond to Terre Haute.  We were supposed to leave at 4pm, but we wound up leaving at 4:45, and after some rerouting around a crash and road construction, finally got to Saint Mary of the Woods College, the start point and our accomodations for the night.  We picked up our bikes, rider packets, and dorm room keys.  I took my bike, overnight bag, and the bag with my cycling gear up to the room.  I put lights, the GPS, and top tube bag with energy bars and gu on the bike.  It’s ready to go, just need to air up the tires before we head out tomorrow morning.

Went out to get a bite to eat with Rob, Allan, and Allan’s wife Donna.  Good conversation and dinner, but we all needed to get some sleep as tomorrow’s start is coming early.  Rob and Allan were going to ride from the Illinois state line to the start, and I was going to meet them at the start at 6am.  While we got ready to go, it was dark but sunrise was imminent.  Filled the water bottles with Gatorate, and the Camelbak with ice water.  Since we weren’t coming back to Terre Haute, my overnight bag went in the back of Allan’s truck for the trip to Richmond.

Turned in the room key, and I was off and riding. not knowing what the day would bring.

The first bit of riding is in Terre Haute, basically south on IN-150 towards US-40 which is our main road to Richmond.  There were some climbs in the initial miles, but nothing I would call a major climb.  Made it to the first rest stop at 40 miles without too much trouble.   I fell in with a group of riders from Columbus, Indiana.  They were riding at 16-18mph, which is a good pace and the paceline made it very manageable.  About 30 miles or so into the ride, the group ramped up the pace on a climb and I let them go.  I probably could have stayed with them, but I would have paid a price for that effort later in the day.

From the first rest stop to the second at 66 miles in, the route was basically east on US-40.  A few climbs,  again nothing huge, and made it to the second rest stop.  Close to the rest stop, we left US-40.  The temperature was climbing and the sweating was in top gear.  I was drinking a lot, and eating as I rode.  I filled my bottles and the Camelbak, and set out for the lunch stop.

The third stop, the lunch stop, came at 95 miles in.  I stopped several times in the shade of trees on this stretch, to drink and eat, and to rest a bit.  This was the hard stretch for me, as the temperature continued to climb and the heat was catching up with me.  This section was on narrower roads, 2-lanes, and being later in the day there was more traffic.  There was a detour around construction just before the lunch stop, by the time I got there I was pretty much done.  Sat around a bit, drinking and eating a little, and made the decision to call it at 95 miles into the ride.  Not an easy decision, but it was the right one to make.

However that left a minor (major) problem in that my truck was waiting for me in Richmond, 65 miles away.  I needed to find a ride from Franklin Community School that could take not only me, but my bike as well.  Luck was with me, because the first people I asked about a ride to Richmond were happy to haul me and my bike.  Really nice folks, and a sincere thank-you to them for their Hoosier hospitality and the ride back to Richmond.

Back in Richmond, I was there to see my riding buddy Allan finish the ride.  That left Rob still out on the route.  Went to take a shower, which was good but would have been better had the water been a little cooler.  Oh, well.  I was back in Richmond, Allan had finished, Donna was there as well, and Rob was inbound.  When I got back from the shower, Rob had texted Allan that he was a couple of hours out.  I made the difficult decision to head south for home instead of waiting 2 hours for Rob to finish.  I know he will be OK with it, but I will probably regret that decision for a while.  I told Allan and Donna goodbye, and headed back home.  With construction delays and closed roads around Indianapolis, I finally got home at 11:15pm.  A long day, but I will be back to start and finish next year.

Lemond Zurich build – wrap up

The maiden voyage was a success.  The Vittoria Corsa tires and latex tubes are great at 90/95, I give them an “A” rating.  Coming from Campagnolo groups, it was a little different to downshift using the brake lever, but that sorted itself out pretty quickly.  Upshifts are done with the small lever behind the brake lever, instead of the button on the side of the lever housing.  Again, just a little adjustment to make.

Brake modulation is good and they stop well and silently.  No need for new pads just yet.

I made a couple of small adjustments when I got home.  I tilted the saddle up a little bit, and straightened the right lever on the bars.  Ready to wrap the bars.

A little grease came out around the axle seals, so I cleaned that up and rechecked the preload on the front and rear axles.  All good to go.

There is a small issue with shifting.  When I shifted to the largest cog in the back, the first shift to a smaller cog was a “blank” in that the lever moved, but nothing happened.  Pressing the lever again worked properly, and all other shifts are fine.  I need to sort this out, but may need some help with people more experienced with Dura Ace shifting and setup.

All things considered, this is a very nice ride.  I like the Lemond geometry, and the 853 steel frame is first rate.  I must admit that the Dura Ace group is very nice (being a Campagnolo advocate), and with a little tweak it should be perfect.  Coupled with the tires and tubes, this is definitely a keeper.

The bars are wrapped and the Zurich is finished.  Photos to follow soon.

 

Lemond Zurich build continues, part 2

When I bought the 7800 group, it came with an 11-28 10 speed cassette.  I have no real use for an 11t cog, and a larger cog would be useful on the hills around here.  So I picked up an Ultegra 12-30 cassette.  Normally, the Dura Ace RD won’t handle a 30t cog, so I installed a Roadlink to give me the clearance I need.

Ran the cables and housing for the brakes.  I chose yellow housing (Jagwire Pro) for both brakes and shifting, as it is compressionless, lined housing for good braking and reliable indexed shifting performance.  I may need to replace the brake pads, don’t know that just yet.  They look fine, but we’ll see how they perform on the test ride.

I removed the old downtube cable stops and installed the new ones.  I’m looking through my bike parts to find the BB cable guide I need for the shift cables.  Found it, and installed it.  Ran the shift cable for the front derailleur.  No issues with it so far, limit screws are set, but will have to wait for the rear derailleur to be sure that it’s good on both chainrings and at either end of the cassette.  Ran the rear derailleur shift cable, and it’s shifting up and down the cassette without any real issues.  The FD adjustment seems good, but I needed a little more tension on the RD cable to dial in the shifts perfectly.

Taped the brake housing to the bars, and checked everything over.

Received the 50t chainring, so loosened the chainring bolts and swapped the 53t chainring for the 50t, being careful that the pin is oriented with the crankarm.  After installing the smaller chainring, removed one set of links.   I also lowered the FD just a touch.  Might be able to remove another set, but will hold off on that for now.

It’s ready for the maiden voyage, and I’m planning on a 30+ mile ride on Saturday morning with some folks that leaves from the Hoptown Y at 7am.