Monday, November 1, 2010

Trek 520 Build - Part Seven - Roadworthy

This is Part Seven in 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.

Well, it has been a long time since I posted on my progress with the 520, partly because I have been very busy and partly because I haven't really gotten very far. That said, the bike has crossed the line that exists between idea/project and functioning machine, and some good things have definitely happened. When I left off in the last part, the bike's foundation was together, but the more complex components weren't on it yet.

The first order of business was cleaning all the old parts. I prefer to dismantle things about as far I reasonably can, getting every last bit of old grease and grit out of them. Something like a derailleur is easy enough to take apart and put back together (at least the parts you should), but the cantis from this bike frightened me a little when taken fully apart:

I managed to get them back together OK after studying pictures and diagrams online and footling about for a while...

More on brakes later. Once I had brakes, I slapped on cables, derailleurs, a chain and all that. I am pleased and surprised to say that all went very easily and I spent very little time bemused or puzzled. This was rather new to me.

The old components, while less than pristine, cleaned up pretty well, and the new stuff looked, um, new!

The moment of truth had arrived. I had tuned everything as best I could. It was time to ride it. I set out with a few tools in a backpack so I could adjust seat height and such along the way.

The test ride went great! Other than tweaking handlebar and seat height a little, everything worked. I was particularly pleased with the shifting, which was smooth in both indexed and friction, and it would seem I got the limiting screws set correctly the first time. I rode the bike to work a couple of times and I recalled why I like racks and panniers over backpacks. Anyway, that produced the desired "cable stretch" and I've re-tuned things since.

The brakes, while sufficient, are a bit of a let-down. I have fiddled and adjusted and tuned myself insane, but they still haven't got the power I'm after. I am strongly considering some Tektro 520s like the ones on my fixed gear. They have been great and are about a million times easier to install and adjust and use modern cartridge style pads. The current brakes will do for now though, because I have to abandon work on the 520 to get Mutant Winter in shape before the snow flies.

Besides, the 520, while functional, is not finished and other things matter more than new brakes. Still on my list, in order of importance:

1 - Racks

2 - Fenders

3 - Bar Tape

4 - Stickers/decals

5 - Headbadge

While getting the headbadge back on the bike will be relatively quick and easy, in my mind it is the very last thing, the finishing touch. I will be back with another instalment on the Trek when I manage to get anything more done. Don't know when that'll be. I mean, I got the frame in August of 2009. That should give you an idea of the quickness with which I work.

Thanks for tuning in, whether its your first time or, god help you, you come here often. I really appreciate it.

PS - I almost forgot about the money again!

Build $ Tally:

Used Frame + some parts I will re-use: $80
Used Wheelset front wheel: $100 (arg!)
Blasting of frame: $50
Powder Coating of frame: $50 (super deal)
Components from Part Four: $246
Taxes and Duties on shipment: $40
14-34 Freewheel: $22
New Rear Wheel: $62

Cables and Tubes: $30

TOTAL to date: $680


Apertome said...

The bike looks great -- I bet it feels great to finally ride it!

Mighk said...

Shortening the straddle cable on the cantis might improve the braking performance.

Classy-lookin' ride!

Big Oak said...

A great looking bike!

Steve A said...

Hmm. ALMOST makes me feel guilty about my Falcon. After you finish the stuff on the list, then you get to start redoing and tweaking stuff. Like putting on pink brake cables...

Kokorozashi said...

Oh, wow -- lookin' good! I'll second Mighk's suggestion on the cantis, too; I've had success with that in the past.

Kokorozashi said...

One more thing -- am I the only cyclist who thinks 'Strong Bad' every time I see 'Stronglight'?

I fear I probably am, but here's hoping.

RANTWICK said...

Thanks all who say it looks good... I'm pleased so far.

Mighk & Koko - I will definitely shorten the straddle cables. I will wait for the fenders to be on forst so I know how close I can go. Thanks for the tip!

RANTWICK said...

Steve - You are obsessed. No pink cables for this one, you hear me?

Koko - You are the only person who thinks Strong Bad. Sorry.

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