I bought the frame early November. I began to select parts piecemeal as the wallet and the door warden permitted. I managed to tinker on it in fits and starts, primarily half hour increments after the toddler went to bed. So it’s taken about seven months, but I’m happy to report that the build is finally done. This was my first bike build ever, and I’ve put nearly 100 miles on it since. I'm thrilled with the result.
First things first. The weight! I do not fish or otherwise own a hanging scale, so I measured the mass of the final build in three steps, employing the additive property of mathematics to solve for X
Figure 1. Everything except wheel assembly: 4525g
Figure 2. Rear wheel/tire/skewer/etc.: 1252g
Figure 3. Front wheel/tire/skewer/etc.: 831gItem 1 + Item 2 + Item 3 = A Grand Total of 6608g / 14.5681463 lbs
Yeah, suck it, 2010 Dogma! Just kidding. We love the Dogma. But I’m very satisfied with the final tally given the weight of the frame and fork here. Frankly, the wheelset was the saving grace, as I wouldn’t have broken 6.8kg with the Eurus set up. (If you’ve followed this thread, you’ll have read that I bought a set of Reynolds 32mm tubulars, which I’ve since confirmed are the Cirro Mid V, produced circa 2005-2006. They weigh somewhere in the vicinity of 1200g. I figure I’ll keep them for a while, and maybe in a season or two pop for a set of Zipp 303s or Reynolds DV46 ultralite whatevers.)
So, the preliminary ride assessment. I’ve put about 90 miles on the bike, and climbed about 3000 feet so far. In a word, it's awesome. The ride is smooth, and the power transfer feels super efficient. Also, I must say, the shifting is amazing – no misses, powerful and near instantaneous shifts. I don’t know how much that is aided by the Yokozuna housings, or is more a reflection of the advancement of Record from my older Veloce, but ... wow! Also, I am loving the Campy UT crankset. It spins along smoothly and effortlessly, and it’s super stiff when you bang it (again especially when compared to the crap Bontrager Race Light crankset on my other bike, which I hate). The whole bike, frame/drivetrain/BB feels stiff and effecient. This is particularly meaningful on the climbs. I don’t have much of a data-set available to me yet, but so far I’ve been pretty amazed at the improvement. With this build I've moved from a Compact to a full 53/39, while running the same 12-25 in the rear, and so far my concerns about that change were entirely misplaced. In fact, I find myself on familiar climbs in the same or a smaller rear cog than I run with the Compact. Whether it’s a result of the ~5 lbs I dropped in bike weight, or the manifold efficiency increases I’ve gained with the new equipment, or some psychological effect of the new toy, I don’t know, but let’s just say the combination seems to be good for at least 5-6 teeth worth of drivetrain leverage over my old setup.
My “complaints” such as they are, are minor. First, the KCNC CB-1’s braking (swisstop yellows on carbon rims) is not as solid as the soviet-style Campy Veloce with aluminum clinchers, and the front squeels a bit, too, all pretty much as expected. (It probably also is a bit of overkill for a brakeset like the CB-1s to be mated to the compressionless Yokozuna housings, but who konws.) Nonetheless, I’m already used to the brakes, and I probably need to adjust the toe-in a bit anyway. Plus, they definitely stop the bike just fine, even on a couple 40mph descents I played with today. Second, the ride is not nearly as cushy-comfortable as you can imagine it was on my steel-framed, slack-geometried Sarthe, again as one might expect from a race bike. I figured with the relatively wide wheelbase (982.3mm on the 52cm frame), it would be a bit of a sedate ride, but not at all. It descends very solid, but it’s also nimble and very stiff, and simply put, will buck you if you're not paying attention when you hit a bump or pothole.
As to fit, it feels pretty good right out of the box, but I do feel like my weight might be a bit forward – the rear brake has locked the rear wheel a couple time (could be a result of the lesser amount of modulation then I'm used to, though), and I feel a bit further over the front in out of saddle efforts then I prefer. Not sure I like the shape of the drops on the Ritchey Superlogic II bars, either. But I’ve hardly got any time on the bike yet, so I’m sure I’ll square all that away.
Finally, the wheelset – 05 Reynolds Cirro Mid-V (32mm). Well, I’ve got to admit, I really like them so far. They’re light, they spins up fast, and they’re stiff as hell. I can also say the rims can take a hit. I pounded a nasty pothole straight on today doing over 30mph, and the front remains perfectly round and true. So that transaction actually ended better than originally I thought it would.
There's also some amateur-hour in the build for sure. I didn't do the greatest wrap job in the world, I've got a few cable ends that are not as neatly clipped as they should be, and for all I know I've probably installed some random part somewhere backward. But see my sig line.
So, anywho, I'm more than happy. To wrap up, here’s a couple picture sets of the finished build, both immediately afterward and then with 90 miles of fairly hard riding this weekend (and lookee, I already lost one of my bar-end plugs):Set One, Before: Set Two, After:And, finally, a few from her maiden voyage late last week down around the Nation's capitol (the USA's, that is, for those of you who subscribe to other sovereignities!):
Obeiscence to the memorial of a great President.
Closer view at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
And at the seat of his successor.