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New Build Superstitions

Old 05-08-20, 03:51 PM
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New Build Superstitions

Finally finished a new build that I'd been working on, so naturally I got all excited for a shakedown ride... and it was raining. Had another chance to finally take the maiden voyage today, and it's raining again. Is rain on your very first ride supposed to be good luck or something? Like rain on your wedding day, or stepping in dog poop? Cause I can't bring myself to immediately subject my new baby to the rain and muck.

So I'm here posting instead, and this got me thinking: does anyone have any particular rituals or superstitions you observe for a first time ride or a shakedown ride? Me personally, even if I'm 99% sure I have my levers in the right position, I always do my shakedown ride without bar tape. Gives it that un-finished and special feel, and provides for that added bit of satisfaction when you finally do wrap the bars.
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Old 05-08-20, 03:55 PM
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When I was younger I would get stoned for a bike's first ride Andy
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Old 05-08-20, 04:04 PM
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Can’t think of any. Bikes I build are ready to roll with tape or grips depending on the bike. Now my bike builds are seldom “finished” as I’m always adding and subtracting things. The pictures I post are seldom accurate as to what the bike currently looks like.
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Old 05-08-20, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
When I was younger I would get stoned for a bike's first ride Andy
i like it.
When I was young I got stoned all the time.
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Old 05-08-20, 04:47 PM
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I always ask my mechanic to put a good scratch in it for me. That way I won't be upset when I get the first scratch.
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Old 05-08-20, 04:48 PM
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I always took a couple of hex keys with me on the first ride. That way I could make on-the-fly saddle height and angle adjustments, bar angle adjustments, etc. No matter how carefully you measured everything on the repair stand, it didn't feel quite right on the road initially.
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Old 05-08-20, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
I always ask my mechanic to put a good scratch in it for me. That way I won't be upset when I get the first scratch.
My buddy used to whack his new surfboards against the corner of the house to get the first ding out of the way.
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Old 05-08-20, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
So I'm here posting instead, and this got me thinking: does anyone have any particular rituals or superstitions you observe for a first time ride or a shakedown ride? Me personally, even if I'm 99% sure I have my levers in the right position, I always do my shakedown ride without bar tape. Gives it that un-finished and special feel, and provides for that added bit of satisfaction when you finally do wrap the bars.
In the Amateur Radio community an antenna put up in a snow or ice storm is rumored to work the best; crappier weather the better.
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Old 05-08-20, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
I always ask my mechanic to put a good scratch in it for me. That way I won't be upset when I get the first scratch.
Ha, not a bad idea. That first scratch can be a little soul crushing, and my only method of coping is to convince myself that the bike is now unique to me, and in a worse case scenario it has an identifying feature should it ever get stolen.

Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I always took a couple of hex keys with me on the first ride. That way I could make on-the-fly saddle height and angle adjustments, bar angle adjustments, etc. No matter how carefully you measured everything on the repair stand, it didn't feel quite right on the road initially.
Yes, absolutely. Will usually have a couple of tools with me, although lately my shakedowns involve circling the block multiple times (with one way streets and rights on reds (illegal in the city, but who cares)), so I'm never too far if I have to dismount and walk back for an adjustment. And you are right, there are always small fitment things that need to be dialed in.
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Old 05-12-20, 10:24 AM
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Well, I finally got out for that shakedown ride. It wasn't raining, but I managed to find some "good luck" for the new build in the form of a flat. Luckily it was a pretty small strand of wire that only caused a slow leak, so I didn't even notice until after I got home.

Everything went well, but I did get a bit of noise from the cables rubbing at the exit of the handlebar routing hole. Anyone else ever dealt with this? They are carbon bars with the internal channel for internal cable routing, and they exit past the bar tape line, so I can't use that to hold them in place. Any simple tricks for something I can use to keep them from rubbing? The sound is slightly amplified by the carbon, of course...
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Old 05-12-20, 12:38 PM
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Every time I wash my car I swear it gets rained on the first time I drive it. I could park it in the garage for two weeks after washing. Then I need to go somewhere, rain. Even if it's not in the forecast!

Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Everything went well, but I did get a bit of noise from the cables rubbing at the exit of the handlebar routing hole. Anyone else ever dealt with this? They are carbon bars with the internal channel for internal cable routing, and they exit past the bar tape line, so I can't use that to hold them in place. Any simple tricks for something I can use to keep them from rubbing? The sound is slightly amplified by the carbon, of course...
Is there room to wrap a small piece of electrical tape around the housing where it exits the bar? That might do it. Odd noises are the reason every bike must be extensively test ridden before it's "done." Noises happen that could never be predicted in the stand.
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Old 05-12-20, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
Every time I wash my car I swear it gets rained on the first time I drive it. I could park it in the garage for two weeks after washing. Then I need to go somewhere, rain. Even if it's not in the forecast!

Is there room to wrap a small piece of electrical tape around the housing where it exits the bar? That might do it. Odd noises are the reason every bike must be extensively test ridden before it's "done." Noises happen that could never be predicted in the stand.
I think some tape might help, but I also can't tell exactly where the rub is taking place. These bars have a rather wide/broad channel, and both the brake and shifter lines are sort of "floating" around in there, for lack of a better term, and I'm not sure if it's more the rub against the bars, or the cables rubbing against one another that is causing the noise. Ideally I'd like to find something that also keeps the two cables off of one another. Something along the lines of this thing:

https://genesisbow.com/wp-content/up...lide_OnBow.jpg

Mind you, this is a relatively minor issue, but when has that ever been consolation to people like us?
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Old 05-12-20, 02:27 PM
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Might give you an idea. On the bike I just got, the cables have some black springy stuff around them where they enter bike frame behind the head post. Don't know what it is, could be black silicon or something like that. I think it was put on to stop water or sweat getting inside the frame. The holes where cables exit handlebars are not treated like that, cables are loose in them.

Maybe there are some rubber grommets (cut on side to be able to slip them on the cable without having to free one end of it, sort of like plumbing insulation pipes) fit for the use like this one?

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Old 05-12-20, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
In the Amateur Radio community an antenna put up in a snow or ice storm is rumored to work the best; crappier weather the better.
I know in the photography community there used to be a thing where rich folks who owned the most expensive cameras and lenses would sometimes artificially wear corners and whatnot so it looked like their cameras were actually used, rather than just owned because they had the money.

I knew a guy who brought his brand-new pickup truck to a service project that would involve people shoveling gravel into the back of it and then shoveling it back out somewhere else. Folks were asking him if he was sure, since it would inevitably scratch up his brand new truck. He insisted, with something like "well it's going to happen eventually, may as well get it out of the way now so I don't have to worry anymore."

As a programmer (of sorts) I always, without fail, write a "Hello World!" program as my very first program in any new language or environment that I'm learning. Without fail. It's tradition.

I have yet to build up a complete bike from the frame up, but I've done tons of upgrades, swapped parts, replaced worn out things, etc. I don't really have any traditions around the first ride except a certain cautious optimism that I did it all right tempered by fear that maybe I didn't, then relief when yes, in fact, I really did.
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Old 05-12-20, 07:30 PM
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In my experience rain makes the first ride official. My last two bikes got rained on good and they’ve been my favorites. I took my Della Santa on a pretty long ride and in the middle it started pouring. Completely unprepared, no jacket, no hat, no pump, no tools, no patches, just water dripping off my nose. And wondering if those Campy Delta brakes were as bad as some people claim. More recently (5 years ago) I took out my Biria after assembly (bought it online) and it rained too. Not hard though. When I got back I put it in the garage and went inside. No cleaning required, I could tell this was an everyday bike. No pampering required.
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Old 05-13-20, 07:11 AM
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I'm not superstitious. It's bad luck.
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Old 05-13-20, 04:15 PM
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Here's a shot from the new station wagon's first pleasure ride (yesterday was the real first but it was only to and from work). Note that the bars/cables are temporarily taped with electrical tape. This to not waste real bar wrap while I tweak the lever's position on the bar. Also note the rather long cable casings.

Next step, now that I have settled on the lever's position, is to trim casings and wrap the bars. I use a base layer of good old Tressostar cloth then Cinelli cork on top. This will include a rubber ramp at the lever's top edge to better feather the hood/bar transition. The front tire, currently a Avocet Fast Grip (yes, you read that right) 32mm will be swapped for a 28 as the fender clearance is just a few mms too tight and road grit scuffs through the fender at times. My compass bell, map holding Velcro clip and TA bar bottle cage will be installed. Everything else, build wise, will get double checked (like crank arm retaining bolts). The last note is that I've left a bit of steerer standing above the stem cap. While I am happy with the seat/bar drop we don't tend to get more flexible as we age and I plan on riding this bike for many more years and can always either raise the stem, or cut down the steerer should I wish to back into a dead end street.

This pattern of test fitting then final set up has been my standard way for many years. Even after placing levers on the bars with a well established bike toe strapped adjacent to compare with I find a tweak or three is usually needed. So now I test ride more then up and down the block to confirm before taping the bars. I do carry the needed hex wrenches during this in my pockets for quick on the road readjustments. Andy (who now does this straight, not that if some brain food came along...)

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