My Rides

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Road Bike - The Build


Bill of materials (initial)

  • "Custom" Painted Dolan Cyclocross Frame (used)
  • Ritchey Carbon Cross fork (aluminum steerer) (new)
  • Wheels (new):
    • Alex Adventurer 700c (36H)
    • Shimano M590 Hubs (36H)
    • Wheelsmith double-butted spokes with brass nipples
  • Dimension 70mm Stem (new)
  • Cervelo cowhorn bars (new)
  • Cane Creek Reverse/TT Brake Levers (new)
  • Avid Shorty 4 Rim Brakes (used)

Update:  June 2013

Got a little busy last year job hunting, and moving, so I never really wrapped up the progress on this bike.  In terms of BOM (bill or materials), the following have been added:
  • Shimano XTR Cassette (11-34t)
  • Shimano XT Crankset (44-32-22t)
  • KMC X9SL Chain
  • SRAM X7 Long Cage Rear Derailleur (MTB)
  • SRAM X7 Shifters (MTB)
  • Thomson Elite Seatpost
  • Brooks B17 Special Saddle 
  • Profile Design AquaRack (holds 2 bottles behind seat-post) 
  • Planet Bike 1 watt LED tail-light (I have these on all 3 bikes)
  • Yokozuna brake and deraileur cables
  • Michelin CIty 700 x 40 tires (usually)
  • Some thingy to hold my phone
It had been my goal with this bike to keep things light(er) where there was a good value proposition.  Where I decided to spend a little more was on the fork, crankset, cassette, chain, seat-post and seat.  I figured, across all of those components I could save 1 lb (over what I itemized as "best value" components), without breaking the bank (+$300-400 over "LX Level" components).  The cost for having a "robust" bike that weighed significantly less (i.e. a 15 lb bike), I decided, involved starting with a lighter frame and fork (more carbon) - something I wasn't ready to do.

I bid on Brooks Swallow seats, with Ti rails for months, and finally got one for $180.  I applied Obenauf's Leather Protector, and rode a few hundred miles, but never achieved the comfort of my Brooks B17s on the other bikes.  It really looked beautiful - right for the bike, but I ended up getting another B17 - this one a green special (with copper rivets).  It was more comfortable "out of the box", and now with a few hundred miles on it, the sitbones take at least 4 hours to feel sore.

I ride mainly on gravel trail, and on some rough roads, so I put big ol' Michelin City 700 x 40C tires on the bike - usually kept at 40-50 psi.  I figure'd I'd ease into speed, and hang on to some comfort.  It always feels so much faster than my mountain bike or my utility/commuter bike, that I haven't thought much about it.  With a century coming up, I finally ordered some fast (low rolling resistance) road tires - Schwalbe Ultremo ZX 700 x 28C.

On some training rides for an upcoming century, I decided I'd try aerobars.  Primarily for another riding position, and secondarily for an aero position for the time I spend riding alone.  I've done 75 miles with them, making adjustments and feeling them out.  I had to find a wide and raised position for the arm-rests so my knees clear my gut.  For hard "sprints" the position feels good, but for "spinning along" in an alternate position, I bounce a bit more.  I've done most of my riding, and learning a good "spin" in an upright position - I'm not as smooth leaned over.

With the aerobars, I've raised the seat 1/4", and tilted the nose down (from a somewhat tilted up position) about 1/4".  I think it will move forward a little as well before I'm done.

In terms of speed/efficiency - each time I drop onto the aerobars, I shift up 1 gear to keep the effort about the same.  Looking at gear ratios, that's around a 10% reduction in effort - which could prove pretty significant, even if I'm only "alone" and able to use the aerobars 10% of my time in the century.

I love the bike.  It's comfortable, fast, quiet, smooth, and wierd - but perfect for me.