Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Trek 520 Build - Part Six - Getting Started

This is Part Six 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 near the top of the sidebar.

Before I begin with this instalment on my Trek 520 build, I need to issue a disclaimer. I don't really know what I'm doing and I learn as I go. If you are looking for guidance in building up a bike, you're better off going to one of the many excellent instruction sites out there. If, however, you're into seeing the process of an unskilled hack, read on.

Having gotten most of the necessary bits and pieces together, I finally got a start last weekend. I elected to assemble the headset and fork first. I began by giving the headset parts a nice bath in degreaser. After they were all cleaned up, I was happy to find that the cups, cones and bearings showed no pitting or scarring worth mentioning. I wondered if the headset had been replaced at some point, they looked so good.

On the last bike I built I almost wrecked the headset trying to use a home-made headset press that consisted of a long bolt and some big washers and stuff. I had gotten the design from one of those DIY/MacGyver style web sites. This time, I was going back to the tools I had used in the past...

I use the PVC pipe to seat the crown race. I just slide on the race, then slide the steerer into the pipe, flip the fork over and bang it on the floor. The hammer and block of wood are for seating the cups in the head tube. Like I said, don't look to these posts as an example of how to things the right way, but rather the Rantwick way.

Next, I installed the bottom bracket. I had the correct tool for that, at least. Up until now I have just used some good grease to install a bb, but my bike shop friends had suggested anti-sieze compound instead, so I used that this time. The bb went in smoothly.

Having suffered a little confusion about what spindle length would be correct and having become something of a chainline nazi thanks to my fixed gear build, I was anxious to see what chainline I ended up with having used the 115mm bottom bracket. I installed the crankset to see what I got.

Chainline measures 47.5mm. From what I have read, that chainline probably favours the middle ring and granny over the big ring. That is likely a good thing since a loaded tourer and a less-than-fit me will probably make more frequent use of them than other bikes and riders might.

The used bike I originally bought came with a black stem that I didn't like much. I replaced it with a silver Nitto stem that I had lying around. It is slightly shorter, but that is good because the frame is a little big for me anyway.

I love the look of a classic "7" shaped quill stem. It is just plain sweet. I popped on the bars, seatpost, saddle and wheels, and here's where the bike is now:

There's something about a bike that doesn't have any of its fancier components on it yet that just looks beautiful to me. I guess that's why so many people love the look of a track bike. I know the bars look a little whacked, but I'm nowhere near final adjustments yet. Anyway, that's how far I got last weekend. The more fiddly components come next, but I don't know when I'll have time. It's a busy old life, ain't it?

As Always, Thanks for Reading. Yer Pal,

I'm skipping the build $ tally this time, because nothing I did cost me anything. OK, anti-sieze. But I'm not counting that.


Kokorozashi said...

"Like I said, don't look to these posts as an example of how to things the right way, but rather the Rantwick way."

LOL, this reminds me of a tagline from a radio show I have never heard, but which is nonetheless extremely popular with my friend Robert's family -- "That would be the easy way! ... but it wouldn't be ... The Cowboy Way!"

This is pretty much my personal motto (that and 'complex solutions for simple problems' and now 'OMG A PALM TREE!').

I'm really enjoying watching the progress on your Light Tourer build. It's shaping up nicely!

Kokorozashi said...

Oh, BTW, I love those old-skool 7-shaped stems, too. I didn't realize that 'til the hyooge group ride of doom yesterday, when I realized how sleek the one on the Allez looks when compared to more modern stems.

I suspect that the graceful old 7-shaped stem is part of why classic steel bikes look sculptural to my eye, while more up-to-date bikes, while still cool, look more technological.

Of course, I love them all, anyway.

cafiend said...

Anti-seize, grease -- whatever you use, just remember to use plenty of it.

Steel on steel, as in a steel frame and most affordable bottom brackets, presents less of a risk of electrolytic reaction and the undesired joining of metals than titanium (numer uno cold welder) or aluminum.

RANTWICK said...

Kokorozashi - Thanks man, and agreed.

Cafiend - I've got steel on steel then, which is good, and believe me I'm not stingy with the anti-sieze or grease.

Big Oak said...

I like your approach to seating the headset races. Any operation that uses a hammer and block of wood has to work!

That bike looks really hot with the quill you have.

RANTWICK said...

Big Oak - Yep, it ain't elegant, but carefully done it works. Thanks for the "hot" comment... by the time I'm finished with it I'm guessing it will be something of a hot nerd.

cafiend said...

I used the hammer and block of wood for many years. Also used a big screwdriver to tap crown races off. Working in a shop i could do major frame stuff there until I finally invested in all the heavy prep tools. If I get out of the biz I want to be sure I can still work at the standard to which I have become accustomed.


Steve A said...

It's gonna look sweet. Until you put the pink brake cable housing on it...


RANTWICK said...

Not this time, man, no way. This thing will be BLACK and silver.

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