If any of you check out the Mechanics or triathlon forums You may have seen me before, but if not I'll just say hi, I'm Tom from Freeport LI and I am becoming a Bikeaholic.
Anyway I'm sure you can figure out I'm going to do a triathlon and I had this Bianchi Sport SX I was gonna make into my Tri-bike. However I found it was too small, so on the suggestions of some here I checked out Bikesdirect.com. I decided on the Mercier Galaxy AL seen here: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...galaxy_al8.htm
So I read the e-mail from them which basically says that all the nice stuff your LBS does, you will need to do, which since I got myself a book and some tools (and I'm very mechanically inclined)I should be able to do myself. So I got it Friday and put it together today. They weren't kidding about having to make adjustments! First off you might as well toss the instruction book that comes with it, its worthless. They did e-mail a nice youtube video though that is helpful. I ended up using my repair book and the pictures from their website to figure out the stuff that i couldn't figure out on my own. I got it all together and found that the wheels were REALLY out of true and trying to do it myself was just a disaster, so after a whole bunch of frustration I pulled them and brought them to my LBS, who when I called ahead I asked "can you do these on the spot?" they said "sure, if they aren't too bad", I replied "how bad could they be, they are brand new!"... Well maybe it was partially my fault but once he got them on the rack he said "I thought you said they weren't that bad!". Admittedly I totally didn't help it by trying to do them myself, but they were pretty darn bad when i got it. I had the front and rear brake adjusted perfectly and they would jam up every time.
So I get the wheels back home, put it together, hop on...... and proceed to take a dump in front of my parents house! This is the first time I ever rode a road bike, it doesn't take bumps like my mountain bike does! So theres a scrape on my handlebars and my right brake handle. And my hands hurt! Lucky I had my helmet on!
Try #2 went much better, and it really rides nice, I didn't realize how much faster you can go on a road bike. A few observations though: Tighten EVERYTHING, even the stuff that they already bolted together, I mounted the handlebars which were already attached to the stem and seemed solid... then I got on and they twisted down after 2 bumps. The wheels.. well I mentioned those already, same as the useless instructions. The brakes were a bit tough to get right and honestly I don't know if I have the front perfect yet.
Overall if you could do the work, even a newbie like me could get this thing going, and when it was done it is REALLY nice. After you have it together the build and workmanship looks far nicer than the low price they have. It took me a hell of a lot longer to get together than it probably should, but someone experienced should have no problem.
I also installed a VDO C3DS wirelss with cadence sensor (which I can't get to work), which i like but don't like. I like its functionality... but it doesn't function when theres interference, which if you are riding on the street around where I live is everywhere. Ah at least it will work when I'm on a nice bike trail.