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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:28 pm 
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Now that I'm a few weeks into my vacation, I have finally had a chance to put some miles on this bike. Here is some feedback.

1. I'm disappointed by the cranks. They are constantly coming loose... ever so slightly, but enough for me to feel it. They develop lateral play that requires constant attention. They have to go.

2. I tried installing my THM Clavicula cranks. They looked beautiful, but there is simply not enough clearance in the bottom bracket to accommodate the oversize spindle. It rubs on the internal wiring creating significant drag... and will likely damage the wiring in time. This was disappointing as the cranks looked great on the bike. I will likely install a set of older FSA SL-K cranks I have until I can come up with a better solution. Perhaps regular DA 7900.

3. Rear shifting is still problematic. The Red cassette is installed without a spacer between it and the hub. If I am on the largest rear cog (lowest gear) and apply any kind of power, particularly out of the saddle, the chain skips and pops to the point I am nearly pitched over the bars. When pedaling smoothly, seated, in this gear, it still drifts off the cog and the chain skips between the largest two cogs. I took a close look at the setup on my workstand and noticed something strange. If I shift onto the largest rear cog, the derailleur seems to drift back outward (toward the next cog) after a few pedal revolutions. This causes the chain to jump between the cogs. It almost looks like the derailleur is auto-correcting to an ideal location about 1mm outboard from the cog. I believe installing a spacer behind the cassette will resolve the problem. The only way to keep the chain on the cog is to hold the di2 button down. I don't have this problem in any other gear.

4. Front end. The custom fork/steerer came loose once. I think it may have been the change in temperature affecting the bolts. Regardless, it was a simple thing to preload the headset and tighten up the front end. No big deal.

5. Brakes. I am really dissatisfied with the Zero Gravity brakes. They are a pain to set up. They refuse to remain centered. And they just don't feel that good. I tried installing my M5 brakes with some improvement. The front is superb. But the cable routing to the rear was optimized for the ZG brakes. Using the M5 in the rear requires a circuitous routing of the brake cable and increases drag markedly. I may go with M5 front and ZG rear which looks horrific but should function well.

In general, the bike is wonderful. The fit is fantastic. Everything Rob constructed is as advertised. A few of my component choices have proven to be sub-par. But I can't blame the builder for that. di2 is leaving me underwhelmed except the front shifting which is divine. There is something absolutely beautiful about the auto-trim feature on the front derailleur. Regardless of rings, the front shifts perfectly every time. Hopefully the added spacer in the rear and a change of cranks/bottom bracket will improve the drivetrain. It's a shame really, because the I want to love the Sweet Wings cranks. The bearings are smoother than any other crankset I own.

Oh well... :noidea:

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:30 pm 
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Definitely go with a regular 7900 crank. It may not be the lightest out there, but the quality is top notch and they are very stiff.


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Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:30 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:55 pm 
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What about a Lightning crank?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:07 pm 
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I like the Lightning crank, but am not sure what the spindle diameter is. I thought it was oversized like the THM crank. That's an option I would really consider.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:01 am 
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Lightning spindle diameter is 30mm.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:03 am 
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That's the same as the THM... so it won't work.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:46 am 
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Location: Canada
xnavalav8r wrote:
That's the same as the THM... so it won't work.


Thats a shame its so tight in there. Is there anyway of adhering the wires to the shell to get them out of the way? Maybe epoxy them?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:31 am 
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With regard to rear shift, the Di2 derailleur is designed to overshift and correct to the 12/11 - if it's set up correctly, it should be perfect. The problem sounds like flex - if it's not the frame, check the skewer - it's common with light /flexy skewers and is easy to check and solve. If it's the frame, a good skewer will still help.

I'd recommend swapping in a Shimano DA / Fulcrum / Campy skewer to check. Have the derailleur checked first - it needs setting slightly differently to a mechanical one in so far as the outer limit.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:24 pm 
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I'm disappointed by the cranks. They are constantly coming loose... ever so slightly, but enough for me to feel it. They develop lateral play that requires constant attention. They have to go.

Have you tried a locking compound on the fixing bolt? I had these cranks years ago when I still rode BSA bottom brackets :roll: And can never remember a problem with the cranks coming loose, I used LOCKTHREAD on the bolt from day one. I also replaced the stock fixing bolt with a Ti one to save a few grams.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:46 pm 
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I'm taking the bike out for a century on Sunday. I've applied loctite to the fixing bolt on the cranks but will be bringing along an 8mm allen wrench just in case. I put the ZG brakes back on as I couldn't get the M5 brake to work well on the rear. After playing with them for a little while they seem to be performing well now.

As for the rear shifting, I am mystified as to what is going on. I was able to adjust the limit screw so that the rear derailleur goes to and stays on the lowest cog without skipping. But now I can't get into the 11. It seems to be one or the other. I don't get it. When I am on the largest rear cog (lowest gear) and shift one gear higher, the derailleur jumps two gears higher and I have to shift back to the desired ring. Interestingly, performance in the stand is completely different from performance while riding. I can get it to shift properly on the stand, but it skips madly when I am riding. I am on the verge of ditching di2.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:14 pm 
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Checked your hanger alignment?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:04 am 
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Kwalker- Yes, but thinking about bringing it by to have you guys take a look. I've never been completely stumped before but di2 requires a new level of expertise. Anybody in the shop a di2 guru?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:46 am 
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xnavalav8r wrote:
1. I'm disappointed by the cranks. They are constantly coming loose... ever so slightly, but enough for me to feel it. They develop lateral play that requires constant attention. They have to go.

2. I tried installing my THM Clavicula cranks. They looked beautiful, but there is simply not enough clearance in the bottom bracket to accommodate the oversize spindle. It rubs on the internal wiring creating significant drag... and will likely damage the wiring in time. This was disappointing as the cranks looked great on the bike. I will likely install a set of older FSA SL-K cranks I have until I can come up with a better solution. Perhaps regular DA 7900.


If all else fails, there's always the DA cranks. Albeit a little porky, but will work flawlessly.

xnavalav8r wrote:
3. Rear shifting is still problematic. The Red cassette is installed without a spacer between it and the hub. If I am on the largest rear cog (lowest gear) and apply any kind of power, particularly out of the saddle, the chain skips and pops to the point I am nearly pitched over the bars. When pedaling smoothly, seated, in this gear, it still drifts off the cog and the chain skips between the largest two cogs. I took a close look at the setup on my workstand and noticed something strange. If I shift onto the largest rear cog, the derailleur seems to drift back outward (toward the next cog) after a few pedal revolutions. This causes the chain to jump between the cogs. It almost looks like the derailleur is auto-correcting to an ideal location about 1mm outboard from the cog. I believe installing a spacer behind the cassette will resolve the problem. The only way to keep the chain on the cog is to hold the di2 button down. I don't have this problem in any other gear.


The 'Spacer' is essential.

Noticed that you've got steel dropouts ? Then suggest changing your rear skewers for a change. Get one of those high clamp force ones like Shimano / Campag / Fulcrum / Mavic ones. Its a problem I've seen with a few steel and titanium bikes. The skewers clamps do not have enough 'biting' force to clamp securely onto these harder dropouts. Essentially, once under load the wheels get out of alignment.

Follow the Di2 rear shift procedures exactly to the 't'. It often makes the difference as its a little different from traditional shifting tuning.

Basically : Tune the gears before toying with the end-stop limit screws.

xnavalav8r wrote:
4. Front end. The custom fork/steerer came loose once. I think it may have been the change in temperature affecting the bolts. Regardless, it was a simple thing to preload the headset and tighten up the front end. No big deal.


Check the 'Starnut' in the steel steerer. Many of these are of poor quality and made more for aluminium rather than steel steerers. They will not be hard enough to bite into the steel steerer tube and as you tension, they just slide along. I had this problem with my Colnago CT1 years ago as it was using a steel steerer carbon fork. I eventually got a good one from a Chris King headset that didn't use it.

xnavalav8r wrote:
5. Brakes. I am really dissatisfied with the Zero Gravity brakes. They are a pain to set up. They refuse to remain centered. And they just don't feel that good. I tried installing my M5 brakes with some improvement. The front is superb. But the cable routing to the rear was optimized for the ZG brakes. Using the M5 in the rear requires a circuitous routing of the brake cable and increases drag markedly. I may go with M5 front and ZG rear which looks horrific but should function well.


I've found ZG to be pretty finicky with the cable length. Using Nokons, it was like 1 connector too long or too short and it would not happily stay centered. But if its just right, it seemed ok.

xnavalav8r wrote:
In general, the bike is wonderful. The fit is fantastic. Everything Rob constructed is as advertised. A few of my component choices have proven to be sub-par. But I can't blame the builder for that. di2 is leaving me underwhelmed except the front shifting which is divine. There is something absolutely beautiful about the auto-trim feature on the front derailleur. Regardless of rings, the front shifts perfectly every time. Hopefully the added spacer in the rear and a change of cranks/bottom bracket will improve the drivetrain. It's a shame really, because the I want to love the Sweet Wings cranks. The bearings are smoother than any other crankset I own.

Oh well... :noidea:


The DA cranks can be smooth too, you just need to swap out the bearings for a set with low contact seals. (Be it ceramics or otherwise.)

Hope the above will be of help. I've had Di2 on my bike for for 2 years now, had my fair share of :noidea: moments ... but all turned out well once I learned the quirks. :beerchug:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:19 pm 
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OK. All my di2 problems have been resolved. Apparently my derailleurs were not properly centered on the gears, therefore the system didn't know exactly where the chain was.

I found the Shimano di2 tutorial ( http://bike.shimano.com/publish/content ... ining.html ) and followed it step by step through the adjustment process. Lo and behold, all my shifting problems are resolved.

Of course, I feel a little less intelligent than I believed myself to be after discovering what a simple process this was. But I didn't know this tutorial existed. These detailed instructions were not included with my components or, if they were, they may have been misplaced during the build.

Anyway, I hope this information helps someone else as I feel like a true and complete idiot.

I'm still trying to get the cranks to stay tight for more than 25 miles. They spin so well and I really want to stay with the steel theme of the bike. But having to carry an 8mm allen wrench on every ride is ridiculous.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:09 pm
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Also, as much as I love the Crud Road Racer mk2 mudguards, the rear does not work with the dropped seatstays on this frame. The struts are too short. bah!


Attachments:
crud-short.jpg
crud-short.jpg [ 101.61 KiB | Viewed 965 times ]

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Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:50 pm 


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