Monday, May 19, 2014

Bicycle Assembly Part 2

Emergency Orders

Part 1 of the bicycle rebuild story had Marcus scratching his head over

a) Why haven't my parts from Wiggle UK arrived yet

b) I need a new Seatpost

c) Where did I get that original seat from (because 300GBP or 500USD for the training bicycle seat is too pricey)

d) Order that Front Brake screw asap

Internal Cabling - part 2

Oh, a story of both triumph and disaster

On the plus side the frame arrived with hollow plastic cables into which your brake or gear cables can be inserted.   Then I presume the idea is to pull out the hollow plastic gude cable (shown above clear and black).

Sounds good?

Well yes, but its complicated by the fact that you have to put the headset, levers and sheathes on before inserting the metal cable into the fame with hollow guide cable.

Having wired it all up I found that the handlebar height needed adjusting, and when completed the cable sheathes were just a little short!!

So you have to reinsert the guide cables, remove the now wired and connected cables, get a new longer outer sheath cable and start again.


This happened because when I cut the original sheathes I did not have the correct headset spacers as the Wiggle order did not arrive in time.  Above you see the temporary steel ones I bought from the local shop.

Bottom Bracket

The most difficult thing about Bottom Brackets is ordering the correct one!  English or Italian thread,  what style Campag or Shimano, how long,  BB30 format etc.

To fit my ancient Campagnolo chainwheel I needed a bottom bracket with a square drive spindle.  Also  my frame was the old British BSA thread, so I needed the BSA version.

I had to fit it after cables beacuse if a cable got lost inside the frame you can fish it out via the hole where the Bottom bracket goes.  So installation after the cabling for me.

One side of the bracket simply detaches and you put one side in then screw tight the bracket ends.  It seems to use the same tool as the rear block.  Amazing!

Until I found that the square drive meant I could not fully tighten either side.

I ordered a special long BB tool from Wiggle, but it did not arrive yet.  So final tightening to wait until then.


I reverted to using the /cheaper/ only 250 GBP Titanium Speedplay pedals.  The  Nanogram Speedplays were damaged in the crash and I found no way to service them and considering they are 500GBP  (800 USD !!) retail, well it is too expensive for me to re buy them considering their extreme fragility.


I ordered a Connex chain but I already had some specialist link removal tools. The weird thing is that I did not need any of them!

First the old chain was removed and saved.

Next I made the new Connex chain  the same length.  It comes with an ingenious pair of metal plates called a Connex link which go through the existing chain and assemble (or disassemble) without any tools.   So easy I am worried it might somehow come lose whilst cycling.

Missing Gear
What you see here is the 15 year old Campagnolo 9 speed titanium rear dérailleur.  Still works fine ...  Well, but no matter how hard I tried to adjust it, it positively refuses to change into the largest cog at the top.   So now I have an 8 gear changer!

Since the smallest front Chainwheel is 39 teeth this is not a show stopper even in the hills of Lausanne and environ.

Front Mech
I had ordered a Cheap front mech from Wiggle because 9 speed Record components are of course no longer sold.  However I found the above 10 speed Dura Ace changer from my now defunct 2011 Condor bicycle.   It works!  Although it's a bit thin, so this means you have to manually trim  i.e. move it a fraction if you move from the lowest to highest gear at the back to avoid chain rub.  I can live with that.

Front Brake

The long Caliper fixing nut arrived from Wiggle, enabling me to reuse the old Campagnolo front brake in the new and thicker Aero front fork.

As per previous, these brakes are now old but I found surprisingly light so I will keep for initial build and replace if I find a bargain on ebay.

I chose a frame with a 27.2mm seatpost so imagine how annoying when I found my ultra light old seatpost was too short for the new frame!

An attempt to swap this for my wife Agata's seatpost failed when I found out that Carbon seats have a thicker rail, so the existing seatpost clamp could not work.

The Ritchey Superlogic seat was expensive, also I had to order some special bolts to accommodate the fatter carbon seat rails, making it really expensive!

Still the mechanism I can't explain, just to say it is very clever and much less fiddly than any other seat clamp I have dealt with.  Recommended.

Does it Work

The bicycle is now cycle-able. I am quite thrilled.  In pain I cycled up and down our basement garage, with the smile of success on my face.

+Brakes are unbelievably sharp
+ Front Dura Ace Mech actually works!
- Still don't have all needed components
- Some components e.g. Wheel and Seat not ordered as I can't find a supplier yet.
+ Bicycle seems solid
+ Weight is probably less than 7.5Kg, we will see.
+++ The build seems to actually work.  Very pleased.

What is left todo
The missing parts are now the Carbon spacers, headset cap, new jockey wheels and handlebar tape. New front wheel and seat. Check Bottom Bracket is tight but not overtight.

Ritchey Superlogic Seat
Richey Superlogic seatbolts
Conex Chain
Caliper Fixing Nut
Headset Spacers
Speedplay Titanium Pedals