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.

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