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  1. #1
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Advice, please, odd situation with the TT bike

    I've been alluding in other posts to the fact that I'm getting a TT bike. The process was: I went to my fitter, had a prepurchase TT fit, got a list of candidate bikes, reviewed the list with my coach and decided on the Fuji Norcom Straight 2.5. Part of the decision process is that I don't want to spend a ton of $ on the TT bike for usual reasons- I'm going to be spending a lot on TT equipment. And also in my case because I'm new to this whole thing, pretty sure I'm going to like it but you never know. Runner up bike was the Cervelo P2. The Fuji was $1900, the Cervelo would be $2200.

    I ordered the Fuji on Thursday from Performance, which means ordering online and then having the bike delivered to a local shop, in this case a shop I'm unfamiliar with about 40 minutes from my house. When I call them during the process, no one in the shop sounds too knowledgable, which doesn't seem to matter much, they're just going to be assembling the bike and handing it to me. I have a written fit report and will ultimately go back to my fitter to make sure everything is set up ok.

    When I get to the shop to pick the bike up, they seem a little surprised that I'm planning on taking it for a spin before taking possession. Off I go with the bike in the big ring up front. Seems noisy right from the get-go, I'm trying to figure out what the noise is and shifting through the gears. Eventually I get it cross-chained and there's a huge racket from the drivetrain, something is very obviously wrong.

    I get it back to the shop and go in to tell them about the problem and their response is "well you have it cross-chained" but this is not your typical cross-chain noise, it's a huge racket. They say the just need to adjust the front deraileur. They take it to the back for about 40 minutes and then hand it off to me again, saying all is well. I shift through all the gears. Same noise.

    Upon closer inspection (which is done by myself and my husband rather than the shop's mechanic), when crosschained, the chain is rubbing on the inside of the big chain ring. Upon even closer inspection, the inside of the little chainring is rubbing on the brake cable. The shop's response is something to the effect of "oh that's weird, we'll have our 'good' mechanic take a look at it on Tuesday". Supposedly the cranks came already installed on the bike, so whatever issue the bike has must have happened at the factory, although no one in the shop seems to really know who put the cranks on the bike. I guess I'm willing to let the shop take a look and I've told them they have to replace the affected brake cable before I take possession. I also plan to call Fuji directly tomorrow if possible. But I really do not have a warm and fuzzy feeling about this particular bike and this shop. (There were some other issues with the assembly, the grips on the bars for example were so loose that they rotated downward when I was just holding the bike up for husband to install the pedals for the test ride.)

    I like the bike and still would rather have it over the P2. The $ aspect of this is not huge for me, I can spend a little more on whatever bike I get. As I see it I currently have three options:
    1. Let the process play out with the current shop and see what happens and how ok I feel about what they say
    2. Call Performance, tell them I want an entirely new bike shipped out and have them send it to a different shop, see if I have better luck with that. There is another Performance shop about an hour from my house.
    3. Abandon the Fuji idea and go with the P2. The shop I'd be getting that from is the BMC dealer I currently use, they are excellent, it's very doubtful any similar issue would have happened with them, they would have picked up on the noise before I did. They are unfortunately a 2 hour drive for me. Willing to do that to get things right however.

    There is some timeliness to all this as well, my next TT is mid-September and I'd like to spend some quality time of the bike before that. And lots of gear decisions to muddle through as well, as a newby that takes me way longer than it would take most of you.

    Also: Any ideas as to what could be wrong with the Fuji? It seems to me like somehow the crank is installed too close to the frame, maybe there is some kind of spacer that was missed during the assembly process?

    Thanks, appreciate any help I can get, just not sure what to do at this point. If it helps, the crankset is coming off the bike anyway, will be replaced with Shimano stuff (cranks are too short & I want compatibility in cranksets because of the power meters).

  2. #2
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Heathie, what kind of crankset it it? The bottom bracket might be the wrong one.
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  3. #3
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarals View Post
    Heathie, what kind of crankset it it? The bottom bracket might be the wrong one.
    Its the crankset that comes with the bike, I haven't bought the new one yet. Its an Oval Concepts 520.

    The entire bike is still as it comes from the factory, I haven't upgraded anything yet.

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    See if the dealer you like can order the Fuji and assemble it for you, or order it from performance un-assembled and have your dealer build it.
    ...

  5. #5
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    See if the dealer you like can order the Fuji and assemble it for you, or order it from performance un-assembled and have your dealer build it.
    The dealer cannot, he doesn't sell Fujis

    The assembly as I understand was just the shop putting on the bars, the rest of the bike was factory assembled. I actually posted this same question in the Addiction thread & got some pretty helpful replies, so I think I'm going to let the "good" mechanic take a stab at it as the next step and take it from there.

  6. #6
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Have the 'good' mechanic look at it to see if there's an easy fix. Just because the BB came on the bike, for instance, doesn't mean a mistake wasn't made. If it doesn't resolve to your satisfaction after the mechanic has a look you might want to go with the P2. You also might want to call performance in the meantime to let them know you have an issue and to see if they have any advice/knowledge that something might be speced wrong. If there's something wrong they're likely to pay the return shipping and all that so it might be prudent to loop them in. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    You have the bike. I'd wait to see how i plays out before making any rash decisions. If the brake cable housing was damaged, it should be easy to repair. Just make sure they get it right.

    I'm a bit surprised that the bike is designed with both the chainrings and the brake cable on the right side of the bike. The company may have chosen some stock parts, but it would have made sense to put the brake cable over onto the left side of the bike, and out of the way of the cranks, chainrings, and chain.

    Anyway, it is likely that most of the bike came pre-assembled, but the bike shop should still be responsible for final assembly and to make sure everything is working properly.

  8. #8
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody. The "good" mechanic is in tomorrow, I'll let you know what he says and how much sense if makes.

  9. #9
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    I sped read the Addiction comments....

    According to the owner of the bike shop that I use, many manufacturers slap bikes together and leave fit and finish problems with the shop to resolve or the customer to accept.

    As a consumer, I find it pretty disconcerting. Racer Ex and I purchased Dolan track frames. The seat post bolt holes were not drilled properly so that the seat post would not tighten properly. The holes had to be redone at the shop. I think R' Ex did it himself.

    I assume there is a shop mechanic fix to the problem and that Fuji slapped it together and shipped it to the shop.

    If the fix is not simple or to your satisfaction, return the bike for a refund.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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  10. #10
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Heathie, all sound advice. My experiences with some of my bikes echo what's been said here. And, I can't see where you'd have a problem returning the bike to Performance if you need to. Let us know what your good mechanic says.
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  11. #11
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Update

    All is well with the Fuji, I'm happy to report.

    The "good" mechanic was indeed very good. Got everything sorted out in 5 minutes. He has the exact same bike, knows everything about it from personal experience.

    Here's the scoop:

    1. Brake cable. The issue is that the tolerances are very small and the rear brake is located just to the inside of the chainrings. What was rubbing was just the extra little bit of brake cable that is left after the cable is run through the caliper. That extra bit just needed to be bent at a right angle to get it away from the chainrings. If I put wider wheels on the bike, this might rub again, in which case re-crimp it. It may be that it was previously crimped as it should be but the type of wire in this particular cable does not hold a bend well. If necessary, it can be replaced with cable that will hold the right angle bend better.

    2. Chain rub. This bike has adjustable dropouts for the rear wheel, this allows you to use tires of different diameters and adjust the position of the wheels such that there is minimal clearance between the tire and the seat tube, for aerodynamic reasons. It turns out that the rear wheel was installed with the dropouts in different positions, so the rear wheel was actually not straight on the bike. This was the source of the chain rub, which is gone now that the wheel is on straight.

    The bike is a beautiful, graceful thing, slender like a gazelle. Pics once we get the horrible reflectors off the spokes.


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  13. #13
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    I'm glad you got everything working.

    Is this what the rear brakes look like?



    Ahhh... I see, it is that "extra bit" of cable that is bent to a 90° angle...

    Too tight of tolerances.

    I would be tempted to just cut the cable short.

    Do you have any fine adjustments somewhere?

  14. #14
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    thumb_up like thing

  15. #15
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
    I'm glad you got everything working.

    Is this what the rear brakes look like?

    ... I see, it is that "extra bit" of cable that is bent to a 90° angle...

    Too tight of tolerances.

    I would be tempted to just cut the cable short.

    Do you have any fine adjustments somewhere?

    Yep, those are the brakes. I wouldn't say the tolerances are too tight. They are tight on purpose to make the bike more aero. Everything starts to become a trade-off when you are trying to optimize aero, right? Something's got to give, it's not going to be the same as a regular road bike.

    It certainly is an option to cut the extra bit of cable shorter, the mechanic said if its a persistent problem that is one thing you could do, although he personally went with the cable upgrade to the cable type that holds the crimp better. If you cut the cable too short, you might not be able to adjust brakes for wider wheels. And I'm not sure yet what race wheels are going to go on this bike. That decision will be made based upon input from my fitter (who is Mr Aero, does a lot of aero testing on bikes and bike component and people on bikes who care about aero) and my coach (who actually has a more complete picture of me as a cyclist). Those wheels are in motion. Haha.

    Its really cool to look at this bike from behind. The entire frame is no wider than the wheels, Fuji has successfully hidden the frame behind the wheels. I can see now why people take bottle cages off these bikes for races. The frame is way narrower than a water bottle, you'd get huge drag from having a bottle on the downtube.

  16. #16
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Hydration placement...not that obvious...Hydration and Aerodynamics - Cervélo
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

    Cat: Killer

  17. #17
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    Hydration placement...not that obvious...Hydration and Aerodynamics - Cervélo
    I aimlessly wander around the Internet randomly reading TT/aero stuff like this & actually had read this particular article awhile back.

    I should have probably modified my original post to say "regular round water bottle". It's interesting and I'm sure will be *somewhat* different for different people with different bikes/setups. I'm sure I will hear all about this when I go for my follow up fit.

  18. #18
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    There is the Campy Aero bottle which never quite caught on.
    Campagnolo C Record Road Bike Aero Water Bottle Cage 500cc | eBay

    I've been wondering why they don't build a bladder inside the main tubes of these bikes. Access via hose like the camelback.

  19. #19
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
    There is the Campy Aero bottle which never quite caught on.
    Campagnolo C Record Road Bike Aero Water Bottle Cage 500cc | eBay

    I've been wondering why they don't build a bladder inside the main tubes of these bikes. Access via hose like the camelback.
    Some bikes actually have this. Hard to clean, after you removed it to clean it, hard to get the bladder back into the tube in a manner in which its to all wadded up.

    I was waiting to see my fitter once for a road bike fit. He was running behind so there was a bit of a back up and this triathlete was also waiting. He admired my bike, we got to chatting and I was talking to him about this hydration system he had mounted on his bike between his downtube and his seat tube.

    The guy was hilarious, German and an ex-pro soccer player in Europe. Funny accent and he's telling me all the tribulations he's had with this hydration system, how he just can't suck hard enough. (I guess it was the guy's accent and demeanor that made it funny because it doesn't sound at all funny as I write this.)

    Anyway, there's aero on the one hand and there's practical on the other hand. Yes, his hydration system was aero but as a practical matter useless because he couldn't get a sip out of the thing.

    I think TT people do actually use aero water bottles? Not 100% sure but I think so.

  20. #20
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    I saw part of the Bradley Wiggins hour record... I don't think I saw any hydration. That seems like an awful long time at high power to be without any hyddration.

  21. #21
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    @Heathpack I read a lot of internet articles about cycling and most are rubbish. The Cervelo article makes sense if you understand what happens when an object move through air or water. For example, at the bow of a ship, there is a pressure wave, Bernoulli's principle, that is formed ahead of the bow. As water approaches the bow, it is already slowing down while water to the side, is speeding up.

    Air is similar such that a cyclist in the time trial position creates a pressure wave in front of the bike. Air hitting the aerobars is turbulent and moving slower so items mounted on the handlebar create less drag.

    If you extrapolate the principal to the cyclist entire body, it becomes clear why the size and shape of the cyclist determines CdA (drag force) and dominate the effect on the bike. Likewise covering the cyclist's body with better material that has a better Reynolds number reduces drag e.g. a skin suit.

    One of the reasons I did the aero testing with ERO is that I wanted to test my own equipment on me and learn more about aero effects on the bike from Jim versus relying on information from others that is generally flawed in some way or not applicable to me.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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  22. #22
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    I have three friends that have set hour records. It is impractical to drink while doing an hour record. In Wiggans case, he was doing 16.7 second laps or 34 mph at approximately 100 rpm. When would he reach down and take a drink since he his in a turn every 4 seconds?

    When I was in Aguscaliente Mexico a couple of weeks ago, I witnessed Molly V H set a new women's national elite one hour record. She beat the old record by 23 meters averaging 19.4 seconds per lap. One drink and the record could have been lost.

    What racers try to do is drink just the right amount of fluid before, spray down with water for cooling and hope for the best. They are definitely dehydrated at the end which is a problem for drug testing since one has to pee afterward.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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  23. #23
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    @Heathpack I read a lot of internet articles about cycling and most are rubbish. The Cervelo article makes sense if you understand what happens when an object move through air or water. For example, at the bow of a ship, there is a pressure wave, Bernoulli's principle, that is formed ahead of the bow. As water approaches the bow, it is already slowing down while water to the side, is speeding up.

    Air is similar such that a cyclist in the time trial position creates a pressure wave in front of the bike. Air hitting the aerobars is turbulent and moving slower so items mounted on the handlebar create less drag.

    If you extrapolate the principal to the cyclist entire body, it becomes clear why the size and shape of the cyclist determines CdA (drag force) and dominate the effect on the bike. Likewise covering the cyclist's body with better material that has a better Reynolds number reduces drag e.g. a skin suit.

    One of the reasons I did the aero testing with ERO is that I wanted to test my own equipment on me and learn more about aero effects on the bike from Jim versus relying on information from others that is generally flawed in some way or not applicable to me.
    Lol, totally agree a lot of this internet stuff is rubbish, you have to really try to read through it and separate the wheat from the chaff. Not always easy to do as a newby but you do start to get a sense for it- who is just repeating something that is so oft-repeated that you've got to wonder if its dogma vs being actually true, who obviously just doesn't understand what they're writing about, who is writing from a narrow perspective that the author cannot see beyond. Sometimes you come across something that totally rings true with your own experience, finally explains something you've been wondering about (like that Climbing v TT Power article I linked to in Addiction), that seems really "right".

    It might sound weird because I'm allegedly an expert at what I do, but I recognize that I don't really fully understand 100% what is happening in my patients always. The key is to develop a theory as to what you think is going on, to treat accordingly and then to modify based on response to therapy. But to always keep in mind the degree of certainty you have about something, to be constantly reassessing and modifying your thoughts as necessary. So I'm used to thinking like this, this is what I do with a lot of cycling stuff. I'll think about it, try to understand it, ride for awhile with my current understanding, read some more, modify what I think, test my theory on the bike, etc.

    Also invaluable though is connecting with people who know more than you, because you can somewhat just follow their lead- if they clearly think something is important, then that thing probably is important and worth my attention. Plus you can glean all these little insights as you go along. I should stop participating in threads in the 41 that discuss whether a fitter is worth it, people have no idea. Hugely valuable for me to just get a chance to interact with someone like Jim, not solely for the fit, but all those little stray details I can pick up just by being there. Haha, I even sometimes learn something by talking to other people who are waiting to see him too.

    Its not that you have to blindly follow the recommendations of other people with more expertise than you. I think the person who knows your own cycling best is yourself. So far it is my experience that its really really really hard for people to consider *your* paradigm when they recommend something to you, almost everyone is making some kind of incorrect assumption about you based on their own experience. You just have to filter things through that perspective. Except with your coach, of course. With your coach, you actually just have to do what he/she says.

    Aero stuff is its own category. There's what make sense in theory but that's not always what makes sense on a given person and a given bike, every situation really is unique. So aero testing makes complete sense to me, you don't really know if what should work in theory is what is actually the best thing for you individually. Without aero testing, you have nothing but theory upon which to base decisions, but really its got to be tested to know for sure.

  24. #24
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    "like"
    Me, too!
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

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