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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 01-15-08, 11:26 PM   #1
Gee3
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Tips or tricks assembling my first build?

I got in on the BD CF Bottechia Frameset GB. So I am doing my first build. I'm getting the IS2 headset installed by my LBS but I'll be doing the rest on my own.

Any tips or tricks or things to watch out for when assembling the bike?

The main thing I'll be worried about are the length of the chain and installing the cables for the brakes and gears. Any special things tolook out for those?

Oh yeah... since the steerer tube is aluminum can I use a pipe cutter to cut it down to size or should I also utilize the LBS for this?

I have a Park Tools book and website to help me as well. And of course your help!

Thanks in advance! I should have all the parts in a week or so. So I hope to get started in a couple of weeks. Or sooner if I get impatient! hehe!

Gary
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Old 01-16-08, 12:40 AM   #2
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I just finished my first build, so the first things that come to mind are:

Chainlength won't be a problem (provided your derailleur capacity is correct for your drivetrain).

Cabling, in particular cutting cable housing to correct length, is indeed one of the 'hard' parts of a build. I would suggest:

1) Go very slowly.
2) Consider VERY carefully your desired cable routing, handlebar/stem height, and shifter placement on the bars before you go to cut or route any cables.
3) Cut longer than you think you'll need, you can always trim it shorter.
2) Get a Park cable cutter and a file, or a dremel.

Other than that, none of it will really be *that* hard, just be patient and read every instruction 17 times
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Old 01-16-08, 01:08 AM   #3
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Cool! Thanks!

I'll be sure to keep the cable longer and take my time. I planned to do the cables last [once I have the handlebars and brifters in place].

FYI, I am planning to install the Ultegra SL 10spd gruppo.

Thanks!
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Old 01-16-08, 08:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Gee3 View Post
Cool! Thanks!

I'll be sure to keep the cable longer and take my time. I planned to do the cables last [once I have the handlebars and brifters in place].

FYI, I am planning to install the Ultegra SL 10spd gruppo.

Thanks!
One other thing on cables: Take the inner cable out before you cut the outer cable. D'oh!

Also grease all your threads and use Locktite on the important ones...brake bolts in particular. Don't force anything If you thread it into place and it won't go in by hand most of the way, back up and try again. The fine threads on bottom brackets are particularly finicky...and easy to cross thread and bugger.
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Old 01-16-08, 09:17 AM   #5
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I just did my first two build-ups in the past year. Everything went fine, though not without a few hiccups to remind me I'm fallible. The tip about taking the inner cable out before cutting the outer cable is a good one. I don't know how I managed to avoid screwing this up, but I do remember realizing that I was lucky; it's an easy mistake to make.

Getting the chain the correct length isn't hard. Park's website has a good page on this, as does Sheldon's. One thing to remember is that there are "outside" links and "inside" links. The "outside" link on one end of the chain has to match up with an "inside" on the other. You can't have "outside" or "inside" links on both ends. Remember that when you decide how much to shorten the brand-new chain.

Both times I threaded the chain through the rear derailleur I made the same mistake. Between the two "pulley wheels" (I can't come up with the proper terminology this morning) there's this little metal "finger" that sticks out from the cage. You have to put the chain on the right side of that little finger or it will rub. Both times I got it wrong. After the chain was assembled and I started turning the pedals to check the adjustment of the derailleurs I heard the rubbing but didn't know where it was coming from. I thought, "Oh no, I bought the wrong bottom bracket. The chainline is out of whack!" When I finally found what was wrong the chain was together and I didn't want to take it apart, so I had to dismantle the derailleur cage to get the chain threaded properly. The wheels, the little washer things, and the bolts keep falling off. Putting it all back together is a pain. It's easily do-able but a big pain nevertheless.

Before you thread the chain through the rear derailleur, take a look at one that's assembled and check on which side of that little tab that the chain goes. I certainly intend to get it right the next time I install a new chain!

The left side of the bottom bracket and the left pedal have left-handed threads.

Threading the bottom bracket seems easier if you use the tool instead of just trying to align the threads with your fingers.

Hmmm. I'm trying to remember all my bonehead moments. That's all I can think of at the moment. Have fun.
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Old 01-16-08, 09:28 AM   #6
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Chase and Face. Two things that should be done on ANY new frame that is not factory assembled. Both the headtube and the Bottom Bracket need to be done with the proper tools. The LBS or a good frame builder can help here. I also recommend that the derailleur drop out if painted be also chased out with a tap just to be sure. If it's a replaceable drop out this might not be an issue.

Installing the crank with the Ultegra 10 speed group will be a BREEZE! Nice choice.

As others have stated, the proper lubes in the proper places sure helps in assembly and then down the road when you take it back apart. Take your time, do it right and you will get years of service and MUCH satisfaction from knowing the bike was done right.

Good Luck!
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