Thursday, August 12, 2010

Trek 520 Build - Part Four - Have Parts, Will Dawdle

This is Part Four of an ongoing series of posts documenting my painfully slow progress in building a light loaded touring bike. If you care to read the whole thing so far, use the "Post Series" link to the right.

Now, on with the bike building blog post that shows no sign of ending, ever!

There is something very wrong with me. I mean, there have always been lots of things wrong with me, but this is a new thing. In the past, the main stumbling block to building a bike was getting everything I needed together. I have always preferred to have all the parts necessary for the bike to function before I begin. I mean, having a bike that has everything but, say, a toilet would be utterly maddening.

Once I start putting it together, I will use every spare minute I've got until it is rolling and tuned as well as possible. Then I'll turn to the non-mechanical points like stickers or racks or fenders or whatever. Thankfully shortly before my Out Of Pocket van rental experience I had ordered and received the new parts I was going to need for this build:

When combined with the old parts that I saved when stripping the bike down in Part Two, I do believe I've got everything needed to put this thing on the road. I have a good saddle that I will use for now. I want a Brooks (since many of you told me that they are worth it) for the long-range bike, but for now the saddle I've got should be fine and is an exact match to the one on my daily commuter.

Anyway, here's what's wrong: I can't seem to get started. My tool room / workbench is such a mess I can't even work in there. Normally that wouldn't stop me; I would just work on the porch. There is something else going on that I don't understand... I want to build and ride this bike, but I'm almost scared to begin. What happened to excited? Perhaps I am just self-aware enough to know how emotionally invested I get once I start, and I'm waiting for the right time when my immersion won't cause undue hardship for my family. Let's go with that for now and you can suggest other reasons I'm unable to pull the trigger. In the meantime, long-winded explanations of my new component choices should be downright riveting, don't you think? These purchases were made at a major online cycling retailer in the UK. God help me, I found my best deals across the Atlantic again.

Crankset: Stronglight Impact Triple - Price Paid: $58

I wanted a Sugino XD500 Triple, but didn't want to pay for it. These come very close at a much lower cost, although I think they are hard to get in North America. I even read somewhere that the arms are forged by Sugino. There's an XD2R and XD2L forged into the inside surfaces of the cranks, so it seems pretty likely. JIS square taper, nothing fancy. Mine has aluminum middle and outer rings with a steel granny, which was the cheapest configuration I could find. 50-38-28.

Bottom Bracket: Shimano UN54, 68mm $15 or $25

I was told that UN54 was a perfectly good bb for touring by bike shop people, and I believe them. Again, fancy isn't my goal, but reliability does matter. Two bottom brackets? Wah? I have two of these because I ordered the first from the aforementioned UK online retailer, using the spindle length of the old bottom bracket (122mm) as a guide. Having already made my order, I learned that your bb spindle length is normally suggested by the crank manufacturer. Looked it up. 115mm. So now I have both. If neither work out, I'm hoping I could swap with a LBS. Before anybody beats me up for not shopping locally, check this out: 122mm Online Price Paid: $15 115mm LBS Price Paid: $25. On one item, no big deal. On a bunch of parts, big difference in cost. I hate it, because I want to support my LBSs, but can't afford to when I'm buying lots of stuff like this.

Pedals: Shimano A520 - Price Paid: $39

I started out looking for MTB pedals like the ones I use now, because I like spd shoes, but came across these. They're only one-sided, but some say the more spread out design reduces hot spots where your foot contacts the pedal. I don't know about that, but they sure look nice.

Bars: Oval R300 - Price Paid: $41

26.0 mm clamp. I like wider bars than the ones I took off the bike. These are 44cm wide and have that little ergo bend, which I like.

Tires: Schwalbe Marathons, 27 X 1-1/4. Price Paid: $51

Good tires, I'll bet. My winter Schwalbes have been excellent.

Bar Tape: SRAM SuperCork - Price Paid: $13

I used Deda tape on my fixed commuter build. I love the way it feels but it hasn't proven super durable. How often do you re-tape? This stuff looked similar so I thought I would try it. The bar end plugs provided are pretty nice looking too.

Chain: SRAM PC870 - Price Paid: $19

SRAM chains with their power link are what I like best now, although I didn't always. I always get the lowest price chain that features nickel plating, because I love the look of them with the alternating black and silver. I figure that buying at that price point also ensures some measure of quality.

Wow. I must actually build this bike, because I never want to write anything this boring again. Or at least this kind of boring. A different, something actually happening kind of boring would be OK with me.

Now that I am the proud owner of all these bits, please feel free to inform me how I have messed up in my selections... I mean it.

Oh! Oh! I almost forgot the running tally. Maybe I subconsciously didn't want to see it...

Build $ Tally:

Used Frame + some parts I will re-use: $80
Used Wheelset: $100
Blasting of frame: $50
Powder Coating of frame: $50 (super deal)
Components listed above: $246
Taxes and Duties on shipment: $40

TOTAL to date: $566


GreenComotion said...

what do u have in mind for headset, brakes? so far, with the little yhat i know, looks like you have made good choices, patrick!

peace :)

Steve A said...

The Fizik tape looks very nice and has been very durable on Frankenbike. The Trek needs to be aged like a fine whisky.

RANTWICK said...

Chandra - Headset will be original, with one of several quill stems I've got lying around.

Brakes - Also origianl - Shimano Cantis

Derailleurs - original - Deore with original downtube shifters. I'm hoping the front will work too with this more "classic" style triple.

Steve - Lots of people seem to like the Fizik tape, but for some reason I haven't seen it around. On my UK webstore, this SRAM stuff was less, so I that I would give it a try. I may well re-wrap my fixed commuter with the Fizik and have two fresh wraps for comparison.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat with you, build-wise (and workspace-wise).
I should be all charged up and ready to build...but just can't get started. WTF???

Anonymous said...

As fun as it is to read, I can't help but think that between the typing, photography, hunting down images of a toilet bike, etc. that that blog took considerable time to write! I wonder how much of the bike would have been assembled had the time been utilized as such....

Chris L.

RANTWICK said...

Hey, Chris L! Shut up.

Apertome said...

Too much black, not enough silver. Back to the drawing board!

Just kidding of course, I look forward to reading about how you build up a bike, as someone who doesn't know how to do that ... maybe I'll learn something!

Pondero said...

I'm enjoying the Trek build-up. I've got a soft spot for black bikes, old Treks, and touring bikes. So I'm eager to the see the finish. Don't change a thing.

Andrew said...

Durable bar tape. Good old cotton under a few coats of shellac was good enough to last me about 5 years. I just replaced it over the weekend with some inexpensive cork stuff (Planet Bike?), with a couple of coats of shellac.

I think the cotton tape looks better, but I like the way the cork stuff feels so far.

RANTWICK said...

Apertome - As you will find out in posts soon to come, what you will learn is that I am stupid.

Pondero - Roger that. And thanks for stopping by!

Andrew - I've used cotton before and quite liked it, and it did hold up well even without shellac. For longer distances, however, I'm going to want a little more cushion.

Kokorozashi said...

Maybe you're suffering from a kind of builder's block similar to the writers' block I get when I bother to actually outline the plot of a story I'm working on.

Once I've done that, some part of me shrugs and says, "Well, the whole plot is there, so..." And then I move on to something else, usually indefinitely.

I think your choices for parts seem just fine. The only wrong choice you seem to have made (one I seem to have made as well, I think) is living on the wrong side of 'the pond!' :)

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