I put the rim tape in place, and installed the Compass tires and tubes. Wow. The tires were really tight. So tight, in fact, that I was surprised that the tire lever was in one piece. I even powdered both sides of the tire bead and it made no difference. I guess it is the combination of a box section rim, Velox tape, and a tight tire that made for the perfect storm of tire mounting. I was careful to have a little air in the tubes to help keep them out of the way of the tire lever and that seems to have worked. All of the reviews for these tires say they’re phenomenal, and I hope they live up to the hype. I’ll know very soon.
Put the wheels back into the frame and rechecked that the brake pads are properly aligned with the rims and not touching the tires. That would be bad, to ruin an expensive new tire because the pads were in the wrong place.
The RD has been cleaned up, lubricated, and installed, and the shift cable has been run. The chain is installed, and looks long enough for this frame and chainrings/cogs. Might remove a link, the chain is a little longer than it needs to be. Some minor adjustments to the high-low trim screws and cable tension and we’re ready for the first ride.
I haven’t wrapped the handlebars yet, once the stem/handlebar is set properly I’ll do that.
The first ride was a short one, up the 10% grade of my driveway, and then a left turn to stay on the (reasonably) level part of the road. I’m not ready for descending just yet. The brake levers weren’t tight enough on the handlebars, and the bars needed to be tipped up a little. I chose to walk back down the driveway until I could make those adjustments.
I did notice the tires, on a rough section of chip and seal. I could hear the tire rolling over the road, but I could barely feel it in the handlebars. There was noticeably more vibration on my Merckx, with 90/100 psi in the 25mm tires. I’m running 60/65 psi in the 35mm Compass tires for now. Plenty of time to fine-tune the tire pressure later.
All adjusted and tightened, let’s try it again – If the fit is good, then it’s time to wrap the handlebars and take some photos of the finished project.
What a long, strange trip it’s been…