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But for those who want to skip straight to the ending, here is the final build list.
Measured weights are in bold. Final estimated build weight is consistent with my bathroom scales.
I've been riding a custom-build Reynolds 531 frame since 1994. It was the first 'real' bike I ever owned and I bought it with my money from my part-time job at university. When I moved to Englad in 2006 I worked for a company that dealt with ATB, the distributers for Wilier in the UK. Many people at the company rode Wiliers on the lunchtime rides (the factory was located in beautiful rural Oxfordshire so the lunchtime rides were spectacular). I almost bought one in 2008 (maybe a Mortirolo) but decided on a ski holiday in Austria instead (it was one or the other).
When I returned to Australia I couldn't commute to my job and the weekends were full of parenting so the bike went back into the shed for a year until I started commuting once a week to a new job in the city. The next year the commuting was 2-3 times a week and all through the winter. I began to return to all the old rides that I used to do in my youth and found that I was much fitter and stronger than in my 20's. However, the bike was now requiring lots of maintenance to keep it on the road (e.g. replacement rear derailleur, seat post bolt snapping) and so the wife gave financial clearance for a new bike. At this point I thought my budget would be at a Trek Madone 5/Giant TCR Advanced/Focus Izalco level. The new bike would be a bike for now, not a 'lifer' like my current steel roadie. Originally I figured a rough breakdown of $1000 on wheels, $1000 on a frameset and $1000 on groupset would make a good ride.
At this point, when my Dad found out I was getting a new bike he said I 'had to get a titanium one'. He's a real bike nut (one of the reasons I got into cycling) and his retirement present to himself was a Litespeed touring bike which he bought in the late 1990's. When I replied that a titanium bike was out of my budget, he said he'd pitch in some cash, at which point the budget began to embrace a Lynksey frame.
By this point I had test ridden a Trek Madone 4, Giant TCR/Defy Advanced and a Moots CR. I had considered a Wilier Izoard and Focus Izalco Pro as well.
At the same time I was helping Dad start up a new business. We made a sale a few months later and subsequently he said that some of the corporate profits to go towards a new bike. "Get the best" he said, to which I replied that he should be careful what he says as there is a bike builder in Geelong who builds titanium frames and who has a world-class reputation, but his frames are very expensive. The price for the Baum Romano (entry level frame with straight tubing) was pretty close to the Moots CR so I decided to visit the Baum factory and talk to Darren for a while to see what all the fuss was about. I have a background in mechanical engineering so I asked him lots of technical questions and I was very impressed with the depth and knowledge of his answers and his particular viewpoints regarding bicycle design.
So at this point I was considering a Romano with standard sized tubing would be a good bike for my needs (i.e. recreational climbing). This soon crept up to a Cubano (mid-level butted frame) with paint. On the day of the factory fit, Darren offered to let me ride his own bike (the Corretto) as the geometry of his would be close to my bike. I decided to take him up on his offer and after belting it up and down the street a few times I was rather amazed that a metal bike could respond and feel like that. So at this point all rational thoughts began to fly out the window and I began to wonder how could I justify the Coretto frame and how on earth could I afford it
To be continued.
Here is a teaser pic
Pedals - Time RXS Carbon titanium.
I ordered other components early as I was worried about a potential drop in the AUD (which never eventuated).
HED rims from Bikeman in the USA
Alchemy Hubs and CX-Ray spokes from Zen Cyclery. Build was 32 3x rear, 28 2x front.
Groupset components from ProBikeKit
On advice from a friend (who races SRAM Force for road and CX) I went with a Dura Ace 7800 chain.
Crankset came from BikeBaron. I decided to go with the older 2011 chainrings as I thought the 2012 black anodized chainrings would look a little out of place against an 'old school' metal bike.
Skewers were KCNC Titanium from ebay
Wheels were finished with Velox rim tape. Final weights were a bit over the target weight of 1500 grams.
The frame build was running a bit behind schedule at this point so I decided to fit them onto my old bike over the summer.
Certainly lighter (by about 400 grams) than my old wheels (which were Shimano 600 Ultegra hubs with Campagnolo Omega 'V' section rims). And a little bit stiffer two in the rear.
While on a commmute I slashed the rear tire of my Pro Race 4 Endurance. I decided to try the Michelin Pro Optima tire instead.
I finally picked the frame up in February of this year. This was the weight of the frame including headset and bottom bracket
Enve 2.0 fork was 395 grams uncut.
And onto the build
I had quite a lot of drag from the PF30 bearings. I've been told that this is normal and will improve once they are bedded in. It certainly doesn't spin like my old square-tapered bottom bracket.
Lovely welds of course
Test ride - still altering the handlebar/shifter position so I haven't wrapped the bars yet. Once I've finalised the handlebar position and wrapped the bars I'll take some nice photos.
Cielo by Chris King Cross Racer
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