Archives for posts with tag: Bicycle Parts

My MTB construction project continued with the installation of the second of three sets of contact points – the bar and grips. I had already got the frame (part 1), the forks and stem (part 2) and the seatpost and saddle (part 3) assembled. I had an idea that the additions of bling could be continued, but not at a ridiculous cost. Now the Velominati Rules also state in Rule #8 that saddles, bars, and tires should be matched. One must adhere to the rules 🙂

On my new MTB dualie steed (my BMC Fourstroke FS02) I have carbon 3T Xida bars, and the comfort is seriously noticeable in the difference between a set of standard alloy bars. The other main thing about these bars is that they are not very wide, 640mm in width. I like the gloss black look.

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For the grips, I have tried many types and landed on a set from an American company called Oury who are famous for making BMX bar grips and also for motocross. They are clamped grips and have these big cushy patterns on them which leave funny marks without gloves but with them on are super comfortable and responsive.

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This bike was going to have bar ends on the ends on the outermost position against the grips. Bar ends are fantastic for climbing and give me that same sensation to grabbing the hoods on my road steed. The basic ones are big, ugly, and oversized. These ones from PRO are slightly smaller in size, but big enough to grip and angled in slightly. They also have an oval cross-section – a little more aero.

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So I started with installing the bar within the stem. The 3T Xida has micro measurement marks for accurate placement and the white paint is all for the logo of the stem faceplate. My wife took this photo.

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Installing the faceplates and the bolts, it is critical to apply even tightening against the bar so it maintains its position. So diagonally opposite bolts tightened first. My Park Tool torque wrench came into use as there is a maximum torque setting of 5NM on the faceplate bolts.

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Next was attaching the clamp ends to the Oury grips. On my other bike I had to pull out the mallet on these, but for whatever reason I just had to apply some muscle and they popped in.

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My son, AKA ‘The Pok’, wanted in on the action and was begging me to allow him to help. So I told him that he could install the grips on bar. He loved it, but got an icky sensation when he felt the carbon alloy assembly compound that I placed on the bar for the clamps to grip.

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Installing the bar ends was next. This bit was tricky because you have to get the angle of the ends right, on both sides. No doubt I will be adjusting the angle after I take it for a spin. The bolt that you see on the bottom tightens the ends in place.

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The bolt that tightens the bar end again required the use of a torque wrench to tighten. The torque tightness required for these bolts was 5.5NM.

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The Oury grip clamps also needed to be tightened into place, with smaller 2.5mm hex bolts. The torque tightness on these ones was 5NM. I was worried about snapping the bolt heads.

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The final bit of the installation was plugging the bar with the caps that came with the grips. This required a bit of cutting as they were slightly over sized on the plug inserts. But once in these babies were not coming out again any time soon. Here is the finished installation. The cockpit looks quite clean, but it will quickly get cluttered when I installed the shifters, brake levers, light, and computer mount.

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Here is how it looks blinged up against the saddle. Remember – red stripes make you ride faster.

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Next part is the rubber and wheels. I have an interesting choice up my sleeve. The project continues!

 

My new MTB Project had taken a pause with… life, but super sales from online cycling shops allowed me to acquire two key components for the contact points. The seatpost and the bar (handlebar). So construction was able to continue on from where I left off on the previous two stages of the build (part 1 and part 2). While I thought the next components of construction were going to be the wheels, I couldn’t resist installing a bit of bling with the saddle.

The frame that I acquired was quite unique in that seatpost clamp is built into the frame within the seat tube. The other aspect is the way the top tube and seatstays are connected to the seat tube is quite unique as well. I guess it is typical BMC Swiss design style.

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My saddle of choice for this build is the same as the one that I ride on my other MTB (VTT), a fi:zi’k Gobi XM. But not just in black, the one I acquired on eBay is bright red! Bling! I intend to match the colour to my bar grips. The Gobi XM is an awesome saddle, and perfect for anything off-road. It has the “wingflex” capabilities of the other fi’zi:k saddles and has that little bit of extra cushioning. On my second 200km Around the Bay in a Day, I swapped out my road saddle for the Gobi to get that little bit of extra comfort and it worked (i.e. my butt was not sore from the ride). So from a comfort point of view it works on the long distance haul too. The other great characteristic of this saddle is the clip system that allows me to connect up my saddle bag directly into the clip under the saddle. I have no intention of grabbing another saddle bag, just swapping it out between my two off-road rides when needed.

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Being a hardtail ride, I wanted a bit of additional comfort for my rear contact point. The frame is alloy, so I chose to spec up the seatpost to carbon (flex and strength rather than just strength). Keeping with the Italian component theme, I found a heavily discounted 3T Ionic Seatpost in the team edition colours (i.e. with a bright red stripe). It looks the business, if only they made it in white…

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To assemble the seatpost into the frame, I was going to need both my Park Tool torque wrench and a special fluid compound for carbon and alloy assembly. Again I sourced the Park Tool stuff for the job – the SAC-2 compound. This stuff is critical for two reasons, primarily it provides extra grip between the two different material types through silicon bits in the fluid, but secondarily it provides a waterproof seal down the seatpost.

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After first measuring the distance between the centre of my crank and seatpost to saddle clamp, I liberally applied the compound around the part of the seatpost that would be inserted into the seat tube. I then inserted the seatpost to give me the same saddle height. It felt quite different inserting the seatpost with the assembly compound, and straight away I knew it was already doing the job.

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The 3T Ionic is again unique in being able to set micro adjustments to the saddle forward angle with a series of concentric teethed cyclinders providing the mount. Some of the online bike store reviews call this a gimmick, but for me it allows me to set the exact same saddle forward angle between all my steeds.

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I tightened the inbuilt clamp bolts to the specified 5 N m of torque. This is critical not to over tighten carbon components, otherwise they quite literally collapse under the pressure. You can see my assistant mechanic, The Pok (AKA my son), in the background. He once again attempted to “steal” my hex keys.

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Next I set the saddle into place, using the measurement from the centre of the headset cap to the tip of the saddle as my guide. I will probably still have to adjust my saddle front angle after I have the bike parallel. The saddle bolt clamps were specified to be tightened to 7 N m. Again the torque wrench came to use.

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The frame is looking a bit frankenstein-like, but with the installation of the bars, that should make it look a lot more like a “bike”. Having said that, it is coming on! This is from the front…

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and from the back…

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The build continues 🙂

 

Sometimes the things your child does just make you proud. My 2 year old son – the Pok – is growing at a rapid rate and never ceases to amaze me with the things he does or spits out. One thing that I have really enjoyed is that he has taken to my love of bikes. It should not surprise me as he sees my road steed near the entrance of our home every day, and whenever I am adjusting it or getting it ready for a ride he rushes over to both me and the bike. Not to mention the number of times he has fallen asleep in the trailer behind me while I am towing him along.

I have been trying to teach him all the parts of the bike as he has been studiously observing me. He has proven to be a quick learner. I regularly quiz him on where the parts are on the bike, asking him to show me as I name them. His pass rate so far is about 90%.

Parts of a Bicycle LabeledImage source: Jim Langley – Bicycle Aficionado

So in true father – son fashion I took him into a BMX bike store on our pre-Christmas trip to visit my brother in Melbourne. My son was awestruck when he saw all the chrome accented bikes hanging on the walls. He was especially chuffed when he saw a cabinet containing a kaleidoscope of metallic coloured cassettes, stems, and cranks. As it was a BMX bike store, I knew that most of the bikes would be custom made to the buyer’s tastes and design. We found the workbench where the store mechanic was putting together a new steed and I stood him up on the bench so he could see. The mechanic barely acknowledged we were there until…

Daddy (me): “Pok can you show me the wheels?”

Pok (my son): points to the front wheel and then rear wheel, “there, there”

Daddy: “Pok, can you show me the pedals?”

Pok: points to the right and left pedal, “there is two Daddy”

Daddy: “Pok, can you show me the forks?”

Now at this point the mechanic turned ever so slightly to see who was invading his workshop space.

Pok: pointing to the forks, “there Daddy”

Daddy: “Pok, can you point to the saddle?”

Pok: pointing to the bike seat.

Daddy: “Pok, can you show me the stem?”

Pok: pointing to the neck stem, “there Daddy, its glued to the bars.” (everything that is joined together is glued)

This definitely caught the attention of the store mechanic, who properly turned around and noticed a two year old standing on his work bench.

Daddy: “What is the man holding?”

Pok: “Allen key”

INSTANT JAW DROPPING RESPECT FROM THE BIKE MECHANIC!

Mechanic: “How old is he?”

Daddy: “Two!” with a grin beaming from ear-to-ear.

For 15 seconds, I was the proudest Dad in the world!

And with that we said our goodbyes to the store mechanic and went off to find the rest of our troupe.

So now the problem I am going to have is one that I imparted on my father, pinching his tools and not returning them to their rightful home.

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At least I know that he will know what to do with them once he uses the tools in anger. Who said that these were the terrible twos?

Pok - bike fixing

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