Bike Build pt. 2

Well things are progressing nicely with the build. I made another £200 or so on eBay this week and although the near constant trips to the Post Office are now starting to grate a little (and thank you to everyone who has helped in this regard), it does mean that I have been able to indulge in a little guilt free shopping to fill in some of the blanks on the list of parts needed to complete the project.

So… currently on their way are a San Marco saddle, Radial stem (to match the Radial headset that’s already fitted), Race Face handlebars, an SRAM 10 speed rear derailleur, a Xero wheelset and some Continental Mountain King tires. As I’ve already got the tubes and rim tape at home that means that early next week I should have this thing sat on tires (as opposed to its current condition sitting on the bottom bracket shell).

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This isn’t my first build, so I’m getting used to the enormity of the list of parts now – it’s always longer and more expensive than you first think it will be – and I always forget to put something on it (this time it was the chain!). The process of putting it all together actually isn’t that bad as long as you’re pretty handy with looking after a bike anyway. Most cyclists will be accustomed to repairing innertubes, changing tires, replacing cables, setting up gears and brakes properly, adjusting a headset, trying to find the source of an annoying squeak or rattle (and then killing it), the fact that some components have an opposite thread and that if you’re buying things like a new seat post you really do need to check the size first.

Very rarely will you pick a bike off a shelf and have it fit you perfectly. Grips, saddle, pedals, crank length, stem length and angle, tire pressure, flat or riser bars, the amount of layback on a seat post – all affect the riding position and comfort of the rider. Even if you’re not looking at building something for yourself, at least consider looking at replacing some of the components on a store bought bike (and you can normally offset the cost by selling the original parts on).

It should make things more comfortable and therefore more enjoyable. It might also make it safer, more efficient, lighter (although I have never really understood the obsession with weight. It’s far easier to save 2lbs on a cyclist than it is on their cycle) and bespoke. It’ll be your bike, no one else will have one just like it.

Bespoke… bespoke!

unintentional I promise.

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