The longest bike build in history is almost complete. With the exchange rate being so good against the U.S. at the moment I purchased the last components I needed with money I don't have.
This is the first time I've assembled a bike from scratch. I've just worked at it methodically at night and don't think I've stuffed anything up. The wheels were built for me and I had my LBS install the headset but I've done everything else myself. I don't particularly enjoy the wrenching part but there is a certain satisfaction to be had from it and I am saving money in the process.
Only a few hiccups along the way:
- The only front brake cable-hanger I could source in "silver" has no barrel adjuster so adjusting for cable-stretch will be a bit more fiddly.
- I cut down the "long" brake cable inner when installing the front brake then was doubly stupid when I rushed out to the LBS to purchase another one when I had a spare in the bike cupboard that came with my secondhand bar-end shifters!
- I can't get the rear derailleur indexing properly. This is not the first time I have failed indexing school despite trawling the internet for how-to's. The gears work perfectly in "friction" mode so I will have another go later or visit the bike shop as a last resort.
My "work-stand". I'm sure when I get a proper bike workstand it will be one of those "why didn't I do this 15 years ago" moments like when I bought a track-pump for the first time. They are very expensive in NZ and impractical to mail-order so I am making-do for now.
Setting-up the drop-bars and controls. This was new territory for a mountainbiker and I won't tape the bars until I'm sure everything is in the right spot and comfortable.
The "shakedown" ride around the block and through a nearby park. Feels light and FAST.
The Cross-Check rides beautifully but I am a bit stretched-out and the bars are lower than I would have liked. I will see how I go but a post with no set-back will be in the next parts order.
I kind of expected the bars to be a bit low as my legs are ridiculously long. Even on a big frame like this there is a lot of seat-post showing. Short of a custom frame there is not a lot I can do about this. If it had a threaded fork I could use a long quill stem but I like the strength and convenience of the threadless kind. I could extend the steerer with one of those clunky after-market bolt-ons (which I don't think I can buy locally) or I could buy a weird looking high-rise stem like they use on trials bikes.
The riding position is fine on tarmac and not as much of a drop as on a modern road-bike. It's only when riding technical stuff off-road that it becomes a problem. The budget is used up for now anyway. Down the line I could always have a custom stem made with my exact measurements in mind. Fillet brazed steel with a built-in cable hanger sounds just right.
So now I have a new road-bike, touring-bike, commuting-bike, city-bike, trailer-puller, cyclocross racer and geared-mountainbike and it's all the same bike ;^)
If it stops raining I'll get out there and ride it.