Thursday, 23 January 2014

Chuck's Tech Opinion: List of parts to build a bike - record all bicycle components

Total geek-out posting today, but I hope you find it useful! When I build a bike, in my opinion it's best practice to keep a full list of all the parts used. I've found that it becomes an incredibly useful reference guide for later on. It's also quite satisfying to do while you go about actually building the bike.

How to do that?

Well, this is what I use. Here's my list of components that are needed for building a bike (note that some of them may not be required for a particular type of machine):

Cable hanger for front brake,steerer-mounted or fork mounted up-hanger
Bottom Bracket
Protective sleeve for lining BB frame shell
Chainstay protector

Shim for stem
Star nut or expanding bolt for carbon steerer
Stem top cap and bolt
Gel cushioning for bars
Handlebar tape or hand grips and finishing tape
Handlebar end plugs
TT extensions, clips and all bolts

Saddle clamp
Seatpost frame clamp or bolt
Seatpost shim

Front mech
Front mech mounting bracket
Rear mech
Rear mech hanger
Chain catcher or dog fang
Chain connecting link
Cassette or freewheel
Rear hub spacers
Gear shifters
Gear cables inner
Gear cables outer sleeves
Inline cable barrel adjusters
Downtube cable barrel adjusters / stops
Bottom bracket mounted cable guide and bolt, washer(s)

Brake levers
Brake cables inner
Brake cables outer sleeve
Front brake mechanism
Front brake shoes and pads
Rear brake mechanism
Rear brake shoes and pads
Barrel adjusters
Rear brake cable hanger, seat tube clamp mounted

Cable end caps, crimp on
End ferrules for cable outer sleeve
Cable grommets (anti-scratch)
Tape for fixing outer sleeves to bars, etc

Rim tape
Inner tubes
Valve extenders (for deep rims)
QR skewers or axle & track nuts or anti-theft bolted skewers

Bottle cages and bolts
Computer, sensors and mountings
Light fittings
Luggage mountings

So what I do is list these in a spreadsheet, e.g. on Google Drive so as to be able to access it from anywhere. Then I note details next to each, such as cost, supplier, brand and model/type, frame number, and anything notable, etc. As I said, total geek-out, but well worth it when three years later, you're trying to remember the specs of something or where you bought a part from. The spreadsheet can also be used calculate how much the bike cost to put it together, and more importantly, whether resources are being spent wisely on important stuff, or not!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Challenge Tyres: sealing side walls Seamgrip v. Copydex

These Challenge Grifo are beautiful clinchers. Note that Challenge call them Open Tubulars meaning they're made like their tubulars before fitting a clincher style bead. Extremely high TPI, so very supple. Since they're made of cotton, it is advisable to seal the tyre walls. I've done an experiment here, top one is sealed in Pritt Copydex (latex base solvent free glue). It had nil effect to the feel of the tyre. 
The one below is sealed with McNett Seamgrip, a tent and camping equipment sealant. Of the two, I found that Copydex is much less messy to apply, but no where near as robust as the Seamgrip. In the photo above, you can see the edges peeling. However, after a number of cross races, the Copydex had not come off. So, it's worth doing, even though the Seamgrip is better. The Seamgripped carcass was perhaps a tad less flexible, but the main drawback was it's gloopy consistency and difficulty in application. Ideally, if the Seamgrip could be diluted down a bit before application it may be easier, but I fear that can only be done with pretty nasty benzene based solvents. If anyone knows of a harmless solvent for Seamgrip, please do comment below!

Argon 18 E-80 Build Log: Part 1

New project a real TT bike. Here are the first photos:
It's a 2009 frame, interesting because the central trapezium is alloy tubing, but the rear triangle is carbon. So there is a carbon-alloy bond all down the seat tube (like the old Mercury) although it's been tastefully painted over:

Here is a piccie of the old Argon 18 Mercury, showing the carbon-alloy join, for comparison:

The headset is a FSA IS-2 (a standard integrated type). No major news there, except that I'm now wondering whether I've cut the steerer too short. Now that'd be a schoolboy error, if ever I saw one!
Let's see. More to come soon.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

British Cyclocross Championships 2014, Derby

The best of UK cyclocross talent were at Moorways Leisure centre today. Here are some photos from the elite mens race. The pit is always a busy place:
Power washers at work. I wonder what's in the yellow wheelie bin...

 Ian Bibby getting down. Now that's not a Genesis bike, is it? It be a Ridley.

Salsa in the mud. Look at those feet go! 

Balletic movement by Ian Field. Total concentration he was, all day, on the way to what I think is a threepeat national title. 

Mucky sticky mud everywhere, causing errors. But he was probably thinking "this is not as nasty as Namur!"

Take a look at Ian Field's Focus (yes, that's a Specialized, but I was referring to his eyes, not the bike brand!).

 He made it look so easy... He dealt with the pressure really well. It's tough at the top!!

 Nick Craig, proper punchy power.

 I love this picture. This is what Cyclocross is about!

 Hargroves lead out on to the "dancefloor".

 Stu Bowers getting shouted at:

Vicious Velo, looking well vicious. 

Yep, an interesting day out (remember to take a spare pair of shoes though!)  Plus there was the womens event (won by Helen Wyman, her 8th title), Juniors and U23 (which we missed). All this for the price of a small donation to the local Scout organisation - you've gotta go watch some cyclocross.