Okay this is lengthy but so is the surgery………
The Zero Gravity brakes came in this week and I was really excited about putting them on the 5900. They will shave a few more grams off my bike plus the black color of the brakes actually will go very well with the charcoal/blue/sliver color of the frame. They also claim to do a better job with braking power as well. For what these buggers cost I just know they’re going to greatly enhance my riding experience. I could have fed one of my kids for a whole semester in college for what I gave for these fine pieces of titanium.
After reading the instructions very closely (very unusual for me) I'm thinking, hey.......this ought to be a one hour job tops!!!! Just loosen a few bolts and swap them out and go for a test ride.
The brake pads that came in them were the synthetic ones for carbon wheels. No problem, just pull them out and insert the rubber ones for aluminum clinchers. So, I tug and tug on the pads and they don't budge. Out come the pliers and tug and tug and oops.......the pad cracks and breaks into. Oh well, lesson learned. After some more "gentler treatment" I was able to remove the pads.
Now just put the rubber pads into the housing. Wait a minute, which way to they go??? There were no instructions for that and I was too lazy to walk inside and google for answers.........as this was going to be a quick job. I think I've got it right but it was not as straightforward as other pads such as Kool Stops that I'd messed with recently. Okay, pads replaced. A 5 minute job that took about 30-45 mins. I’ve only got 15-20 mins left to finish in an hour!!!
Now, remove the old Dura Ace brakes. Let's start with the rear. No issues there. I was even careful to not let the star washer fall off the bolt and even put the nut back on the bolt to keep things together. I’m so proud of myself.
Now, just insert the new ZG brake into the rear fork. Wait a minute, there are two different sizes, which one goes in the front fork and which one is the rear? After looking at the width of the two forks, I figured out which one goes where-at least I think I have it right. I insert the brake and put the nice super lightweight nut into the other end. Ooops, the nut is not long enough. No problem-they provide three different sizes so it must be one of the others. Since I used the middle size I tried the very longest one. Oops, it's too long......it sticks all the way through the bolt hole and out the other side of the frame so there's no way to tighten it. After 10 mins of retrying the different sizes and stuff, I finally take the old nut off the Dura Ace and it's the perfect length. Dang......I probably gave up 0.000001 grams using the heavier nut.
At least I got the rear brake tightened down and on the frame. Now let’s put the brake cable back on it and see how this thing works!!! Uh ohhhhh. The old cable housing is now too short because the old Dura Ace brakes were taller than the Zero Gravity models so the cable housing will not reach all the way from the top tube to the nut on the brake. Geez…….Since I don’t have any cable housing I better stop right there on the back one.
Then I look over at my wife’s bike. She will probably not ride for a couple days. I bet I can swap some of her stuff over……..No-better not go there!!!
I repeat the process for the front brake and fortunately I was able to get one of the new nuts to work with it. But, I have the same problem with the cable housing being too short on the front. Hey-since the front cable housing is longer than the back, all I need to do is remove it and put in on the rear.
Of course that means removing the handlebar tape……….and while I have that off I still need to swap the front shifters between the Madone and 5900 to match them back up so while I’m at it I might was well do that…….
Aaaaarrrghhh!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was supposed to be a one hour job!!!!
I’m taking a break from it all. I have a tee time for golf this afternoon so the brake job will have to wait…… I need to wait until I have another hour so spare!!!!!!
At least I still have one bike I can ride until I can get some more cable housing!!!
Surgery outcome to be posted at a later date-maybe even with some pics.
You know, LBS’s are a very, very good deal!!!!