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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 07-28-02, 03:07 PM   #1
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The Major gets a Promotion

Well... I got the BB problem solved and I stripped and cleaned my Major Jake in preparation for the upgrade to Centaur 9. It's quite an upgrade, considering the bike came with a mix of Tiagra and 105 parts. Those parts are going on a friend's newly-bought 'cross frame.

This is what the Major looks like naked...
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Old 07-28-02, 03:09 PM   #2
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After drying everything carefully, I started fixing on the new components... BB [with anti-seize on the threads], crank. RD, FD... it really felt like a real bike when I put the shifters and handlebar on.

Stay tuned for more...
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Old 07-28-02, 03:48 PM   #3
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Putting together a nice bike is so fun... Nice color scheme, by the way, I like the yellow & black What are you doing for wheels... building some new ones, rebuilding with Centuar hubs, or ???
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Old 07-28-02, 05:44 PM   #4
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Yeah... building a bike to your specifications is a blast! I went by a bike shop i know to get the stuck BB out. The owner -- a guy I've ridden with and respect immensely -- pointed to a Bianchi 'cross frame hanging in the window. "I'm building that up for the winter," he said with a big grin... he understands!

The wheels are no problem. I have Daytona 10 on my road bike, so I'm using the spare wheelset for the 'cross bike [takes a 9sp cassette]. I also have a pair of unused daytona hubs that I'll build into new wheels later, when I can afford the rims and the time to build them. [And... I gotta get a proper truing stand...]

This is going to be an amazing ride. Aside from the fact that I just like Campy better than Shimano, the new parts are saving me at least 400g -- more counting the wheels. I'm really excited that I've been able to spec everything from the 39/48t chainring to the 13-26t cassette just the way I want it.
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Old 07-28-02, 10:06 PM   #5
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Cool V! I love yellow. Wish I had one to build up! Looks like a lot of fun. What are you doing for brakes? Are you putting the shorty 6's back on?
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Old 07-29-02, 05:50 AM   #6
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I'm sticking with the Shorties. I had considered finding something like Pauls or Spookies, but considering the price, the Shorties will do just fine. On the other hand, if a set of vintage Campagnolo cantis turn up on eBay...
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Old 07-30-02, 07:08 PM   #7
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The brakes are on, everything is cabled-up and, except for a crooked rear wheel, everything is almost ready to go except for fine-tuning the shifting and aligning the brake pads... and tape. I played out a fair bit of cable at the front... probably more than I needed, so that I wouldn't get mystery shifts when I over-steered [sometimes happens in mucky rides]. It isn't pretty, but it'll do. I had a devil of a time coming up with some kind of barrel adjuster to fit in the derailleur cable stops on the bottom of the downtube for the FD. In the end, I found a knurled bolt with a hole down the middle that fits one of those knurled washer nuts on inner tubes. With about 3mm sawed off, it fits nicely in the stop. I'll get a picture later.
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Old 07-30-02, 08:46 PM   #8
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Looks good V! Now for some carbon forks...
Are you gonna use the 515's again or are you going to try something else?
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Old 08-03-02, 02:28 PM   #9
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I'm not sure about carbon -- it's awfully expensive and the Jake's steel fork is comfortable, if a bit heavy. As for the pedals... I don't really like the 515s, to tell the truth. I wou;d prefer something a little more solid and better in the mud, but that'll have to wait. [Hey, anyone got a pair of ATACs they wanna get ride of?]

Here's the finished project:



And this...
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Old 08-03-02, 07:15 PM   #10
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It looks great! What kind of tires are those?

What did you ever determine about the rear wheel sitting in the frame wrong, anyway? :confused:
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Old 08-03-02, 09:56 PM   #11
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Very nice Velo. What year is the bike? Is that the older "Jake the Snake"?

BTW, how do you determine the correct positioning of the drop bars? I loosened mine to center it and it rotated....not sure if I have mine set up right.
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Old 08-04-02, 12:27 PM   #12
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Mech: The problem turned out to be a damaged/defective QR skewer spring. I didn't notice that the QR-side spring was deformed just enough to sneak in between the dropout and axle, putting the axle itself off axis by aboout 1mm at the dropout. That was enough to tilt the whole wheel off axis by about 2.5 mm at the seatstay. Lesson learned.

Cadd: Handlebar rotation id a personal thing. What you want to do is loosen [or, if already too loose, tighten] the handlebar clamp bolts so that you can rotate the bar with a little effort, but it doesn't swing down again when you let go. Straddle the bike, and hold the bar by the hoods, rotating it until you get a position that you like. Make sure the bar is centred properly on the stem. Tighten the bolts.

I like my brake hoods [Campagnolo] to be almost perfectly flat and parallel with the ground. Some people like them rotated down a bit more.
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Old 08-04-02, 02:00 PM   #13
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Mech: The tires are Specialized Cross Baldies. I like the tread -- nice semi-slick with good cornering knobs -- and the fact that I can air them up to 100 psi. They're great on dry hard surfaces, but a little squidgy in the muck and skittish in sharp turns. I've noticed that the Kenda Kwiks have almost the exact same tread, though they max at 85 psi. I might try them.

My mud/wet tires are Michelin Cyclocross Mud and Sprint.

Cadd: The bike is a 2001 Kona Major Jake. In fact, 2001 was the only year of the Major Jake... all the other years since 1998 have only had Jake the Snakes.
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Old 08-04-02, 08:57 PM   #14
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Looks awesome V! Have you ridden it yet? I'll bet it feels noticeably better with the new components.
BTW, who took that bottom pic? It's framed perfectly. I have a time getting mine perfectly centered. Doesn't come out exactly like the viewfinder.
Give us a ride report as soon as you take one.
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Old 08-05-02, 06:40 PM   #15
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V, It looks Fantastic!!
Kona's are probobly the Sexiest things!
when I grow Up I want a Kona Cross bike too!
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Old 08-05-02, 07:27 PM   #16
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Okay... I've rtaken the General out for a couple of off-road rides, one yesterday alone, and one today with a couple of friends...

It really is awesome. Campy is ideal for cyclocross; the shifting is exact and has great feedback [click!], the ability to trim the FD makes it easy to keep a useable chainline [I can use every chainring/cog combination without chainrub], and the brakes and hoods feel much more solid. The weight saving is noticeable in uphill sprints -- the acceleration has definitely improved. The gearing -- 39/48 and a 13-26 cassette -- gives me great climbing power with enough top end for most off-road sprints.

The Major was always a great bike, the General is even better. The upgrade is substantial.

I have one small misgiving: The standard 111 mm bottom bracket spindle is a bit short and the small chainring is pretty tight into the chainstay. I think I might swap that out for a BB with a longer spindle. No problem, the Campy BB costs less than US$20.

Riding the General, I kept think that it's a damned shame that Campagnolo doesn't make off-road components anymore.
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Old 08-05-02, 08:00 PM   #17
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If there's enough clearance between the left crankarm and the left chainstay, you could also get a 1mm or 2mm shim to place between the driveside cup's flange and the BB shell. That would move the whole BB over, and you can always go back, or proceed with the other BB later.

Great to hear it's living up to your expectations
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Old 08-12-02, 08:03 AM   #18
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Velo,

regarding pedals, if you are interested in Eggbeaters, there is an eBay seller letting them go pretty cheap, some auctions starting low with no reserve, and other with a $ 75 buy-it-now.

I think it is meant to be, as the seller's name is Velodepot

Dax
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