Friday, January 29, 2010

Oranje boven!

I finally picked up the new frame yesterday over lunch. I decided to go with a Transition Covert, because of the winning combo of a 67 deg head angle, and 6" of travel. Also I would much rather support a small, rider oriented company than a huge commercial cycling enterprise. Transition is also more focused on the more demanding riders, so I can be fairly sure that this bike is up to today's tasks, but also future tasks.

Anyways, it must have been the longest half-day-at-work I've had so far. With the frame in the trunk of the car, sitting in the parking lot, all I wanted to do was to go home and assemble it. I'm surprised I still got some things done at work, nevertheless I sprinted out of the building at 5 o'clock sharp, anxious to get to the real work...

Of course, traffic wasn't moving as fast I would have liked, and everybody was getting in my way, and slowing me down, and it seemed like an eternity before I reached the garage+bike stand+tools. But before I could even touch the new frame, the parts have to come off of the old frame first. With a bright orange shiny thing calling my name in the corner of the garage I went to work.

First I took the chain off, then all the derailleur cables. I pitched the 'old' housing, which would make good spare, there's plenty of it. Removed the old shifter cables, which were still in good shape, but I just wanted a new start with the new frame, so in the spares bin they went. Then I went ahead and removed the brake calipers, and wrapped them around the handlebars. Since the handlebars were going to go on the new bike as-is, I didn't have to move anything around.

I took off the derailleurs and crank set, threw them in a crate, together with the chain, for some extensive cleaning and regreasing. While these parts were soaking in Foamy, I dismounted the bottom bracket (right side=reverse thread!!!), cleaned it off and put it in the corner with the new frame. Then I cleaned off the drive train parts that had been soaking, dried them, then lubed and greased them.

Sparkle, sparkle!

Next I removed the wheels, and the handlebars. Then took off the fork and stem. Took the crown race off of the fork, and zip tied it to the rest of the headset. I put the new race on from the new headset, greased it a little, and put it in the corner with the new frame. Now pretty much all the parts I need are off the old bike, so the old frame gets tossed in the corner, as soon as I feel like it, it will get cleaned, regreased and ready to be sold.

Now it's time to get the new frame ready. I start by pressing in the headset cups, and zip-tie the rest of the headset on there. Next I take the bottom bracket, squeeze some anti-seize on the threads and spindle, and mount it on there. Then slide the seatpost in, and clamp it in the 'bike stand'. Take the zip-tie off the headset, assemble it, and slide the fork in. I like to use innertube to protect the frame against chain slap, so I wrapped some of that on there:

So with all of that on there, it's just a matter of slapping all the parts on: crankset, derailleurs, stem, handlebars, housing, brakes, shifters, etc. etc. And then the real fun starts, meaning the initial bike setup and fine tuning. Or at least that's what I was hoping for. Everything seemed to go really smooth until I wanted to mount the rear derailleur. I could not for the life of me get the bolt started in the thread! Help was on its way, and by converting a crappy old derailleur into a useful tool, the derailleur hanger was fixed. Turns out the thread was tapped from the rear, and it wasn't tapped all the way through. Luckily the chain length didn't change, and all I had to do was adjust some limits here and there, and the B adjustment on the rear had to be radically adjusted. Drivetrain is ready to go, yay SRAM!

Then it was time to adjust cockpit & handling. I slapped the seat on there, and adjusted the seat height. I took it out for it's maiden voyage on the street to check drivetrain, suspension and cockpit. Drivetrain was extremely smooth as expected, had to let some air out the rear suspension, and add some to the front. Also, as expected, the stem was too long. I already saw this coming when I checked the geometry of the frame, the top tube was half an inch longer than my other frame, and since I like to sit back a little more rather than moving the seat forward, I had to swap stems with another bike. Then with some final tweaks, it was absolutely perfect! After some playing around in the street, I could already tell the much improved handling and smoothness. On Saturday morning I will take it on its first ride, and plan on typing up a ride report + review! Plans are to go all the way down Desert Classic, up Telegraph Pass, then down National, which is about a 20 mile gnar loop...

So here's the final setup:

Frame: 2008 Transition Covert - Transparent Blood Orange - Small (16.5")
Rear Shock: 2004 Progressive 5th Element Air, 7.5"x2.0"
Fork: 2009 Marzocchi 55, ATA, TST2, 120-160mm adjustable, 20mm QR - Black/Red
Headset: Cane Creek S-3, Sealed Bearings, 1-1/8" - Black
Stem: 2008 Azonic Baretta 40mm 10deg rise - Silver
Handlebars: 2009 Raceface Evolve DH Riser OS Bars - White
Grips: ODI Ruffian Lock-On Twist Length - Black/Red Clamps
Front wheel: 2009 DMR Revolver Supergun 20mm Front Thru Hub, 2008 DT Swiss X430 Rim, DT Swiss Champion 2.0 Silver Spokes, Red Nipples
Brakes: 2008 Avid Juicy 5 Hydraulic Disk Brakes, 165mm Rotors - Silver
Shifters: 2009 SRAM X0 Twist Shifters 9x3SPD - Black
Seatpost: 2009 31.6mm Ritchey Comp - Black
Seat: 2009 Nashbar Race Seat V1 - Black/Red
Front Derailleur: 2009 SRAM X7 34.9mm Low Clamp - Silver/Black
Rear Derailleur: 2007 SRAM X0 Long Cage - Silver/Black
Crankset: RaceFace Evolve XC, 22T, 32T, Bash, 170mm - Black
Rear Wheel: 2008 DT Swiss 370 QR Rear Hub, 2008 DT Swiss X430 Rim, DT Swiss Champion 2.0 Black Spokes, Black Nipples
Cassette: 2009 SRAM PG970, 9 SPD - Silver
Chain: SRAM PG971 9SPD w/ Powerlink - Silver
Front tire: Kenda Nevegal UST Tubeless 2.35
Rear tire: Maxxis Ignitor Tubeless 2.35
Pedals: Ritchey Logic - Black

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