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Help me build a bike

Old 06-12-21, 08:27 AM
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aliasfox
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Help me build a bike

Hey everyone,

So my previous thread, "Help me save 1000g!," was great - thanks. In that thread, I asked how to save about ~1kg off my Lynskey R270 Disc, without changing the frame or going exotic. I got some great suggestions - changing out the wheels (Vision Team 30s @ 1.92kg claimed), changing out the cassette for really anything else (Shimano HG-800, 337g), and changing out the saddle (Selle Italia Onda, 340g). I also got a lot of suggestions that called out exotic (all carbon cockpits and cranks, for example), as well as a few people bluntly stating that the Lynskey really is a bit of a pig (1.7kg estimated weight).

Which got me thinking. If I would have to spend about $2k to to drop 1kg off the Lynskey (carbon wheels, cassette, carbon cockpit would round to about $1500 on the low end), why not try my hand at building up another bike that's a bit different? I love how the Lynskey rides, but I also wouldn't mind having a slightly different toy to play with, too:

- I hate the schwwiiing of disc brakes after a hard stop. Sure, the rotors cool down and become silent again after a few miles, but I miss the days of pure silence. And considering I ride in the dry much of the time, I could stand to go back to rim brakes on another bike. Another plus would be the ability to mount the bike on my old mag-trainer this winter, because despite the vaccine, I'm not going into a gym with dozens of other people breathing hard all around me...
- I've heard that aluminium bikes are a lot more forgiving than when I first got into the sport. Before I bought my 2005 Bianchi in 2006, I rented a Cannondale a few times to transition to road riding. It wasn't especially comfortable. But that rental is 15-20 yrs old at this point, and Cannondale's apparently done some good things in the meantime.

So going with a rim-braked, aluminium alloy frame bike would give me something that's close to 1.5 kg lighter to start with, all else being equal. So I figured why not have some fun with this idea over the next few months - I picked up a NOS 2016 Cannondale CAAD8 frame/fork, with FSA headset included. Everything else is up for discussion:

- Wheels: Was considering a set of DT Swiss P1800 Splines. Anything in this price range ($500) or less that's worth considering? Should I ask my LBS to build something instead? Definitely avoiding carbon rims for a rim-brake bike.

- Groupset: I have Ultegra on the Lynskey, wouldn't mind trying SRAM - was thinking Force 22 (mechanical). Any major concerns there? Is there any indication that SRAM's going to switch their mechanical groupsets to 12-speed in a few months? Alternatively, I could build up with R8000, which would give me familiar shifting performance and touchpoints - but the point is to be a bit different. I've never tried a higher end Campy setup before, though I imagine Chorus to be more expensive than either Force or Ultegra (haven't researched yet)

- Cockpit: I actually really like my FSA Omega Compact handlebar. Are there other compact options out there with a similar shape?

So on a cool, drizzly morning (in Poughkeepsie, at least), would love to hear thoughts on how to build up a road bike that's good, but different, from what I already have! Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-12-21, 04:00 PM
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If your frame and fork together don't weigh less than 4 pounds, then don't bother. Maybe even less than 3 lbs.
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Old 06-12-21, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox View Post
So going with a rim-braked, aluminium alloy frame bike would give me something that's close to 1.5 kg lighter to start with, all else being equal. So I figured why not have some fun with this idea over the next few months - I picked up a NOS 2016 Cannondale CAAD8 frame/fork, with FSA headset included.
I'm out.

Originally Posted by aliasfox View Post
would love to hear thoughts on how to build up a road bike that's good, but different, from what I already have!
Since you asked.

First thought: find a frame set that's made of carbon fiber, not aluminum.

Cervelo R3 Frameset
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Old 06-12-21, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
If your frame and fork together don't weigh less than 4 pounds, then don't bother. Maybe even less than 3 lbs.
It's arriving next week, I'll let you know when it shows up. I expect right around 4lbs, based on what I've read. The Lynskey with ENVE fork probably comes in right around 5lbs.

I also expect to save 3/4 lbs from lighter wheels and another 1-1.5 lbs if I go with Force 22 mechanical, rather than Ultegra hydraulic disc.
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Old 06-12-21, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
I'm out.



Since you asked.

First thought: find a frame set that's made of carbon fiber, not aluminum.

Cervelo R3 Frameset
I've never met a carbon frame that I've bonded with, though I've never ridden a Cervelo. Neither the Bianchi Infinito nor the Specialized Roubaix Comp left a positive impression on me... or really any impression, I guess - aside from disliking FutureShock 1.0. I'll keep testing/renting them as the opportunities arise though.

Also, I'm nowhere near the 61cm that R&A has available, and already purchased the CAAD.
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Old 06-12-21, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox View Post
I've never met a carbon frame that I've bonded with
Try a different glue or epoxy?! This might help.
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Old 06-12-21, 11:29 PM
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Get the lightest carbon seatpost you can find, that'll do wonders for the ride while shaving weight where you can really feel it.
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Old 06-12-21, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Get the lightest carbon seatpost you can find, that'll do wonders for the ride while shaving weight where you can really feel it.
On my Lynskey, I swapped an entry level 400mm FSA for a Thomson Masterpiece 250mm, saving about 150g - the Thomson is sub 200g. I did it mainly because I like Thomsonís clamp - I broke the head on a single bolt post in the past, and vowed never again. The Thomson Elite thatís now on my Bianchi hasnít given me a peep of trouble in nearly 20 years - 15 years on the Bianchi, and four on a Giant hardtail.

Itís definitely lighter than the FSA, but I would think saving 150g on rims and tires would matter more than in a seatpost?

Anyway, the FSA will be a stand in while the CAAD8 is being built over the next few months, but would definitely entertain options for finishing kit, including a good carbon post with a solid head.
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Old 06-13-21, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox View Post
Itís definitely lighter than the FSA, but I would think saving 150g on rims and tires would matter more than in a seatpost?
The higher up on the bike you save weight, the snappier it'll feel when you stand on it. But the main reason for going light there is to soften the ride. So when you're looking at weight and length, also consider how much of that weight is in the clamp - you want a nice light tube.
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Old 06-13-21, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
The higher up on the bike you save weight, the snappier it'll feel when you stand on it. But the main reason for going light there is to soften the ride. So when you're looking at weight and length, also consider how much of that weight is in the clamp - you want a nice light tube.
Sure. Got any recommendations? I actually looked at quite a few carbon posts a couple of years back, but settled on the Thomson Masterpiece instead because:
- At 158g, the 240mm unit is in the same weight class as most carbon posts
- It has a similar head design to the Elite, which I'm familiar with and trust
- It has zero setback, which is closer to what I need/prefer than most setback posts (relatively short legs for my height)

In my experience, a seatpost with a front and back twin-bolt design works better due to the fact that it's infinitely adjustable, and it limits the saddle's ability to rotate around one point. Seatposts with a single vertical bolt going through the cradle (most OEM setback posts) have distinct teeth preventing precise angle adjustment, and seatposts with single horizontal bolts going laterally through the clamp have to rely on the same kind of teeth, or a friction fit to prevent the saddle angle from changing - neither of which I'm a fan of.
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Old 06-13-21, 08:02 AM
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The lateral bolt style does tend to blow massive chunks; I've never seen one I liked. The single bolt type doesn't inherently suck IMO - it's usually only a problem if you don't happen to like one of the positions the all-too-often overly coarse teeth provide - I reckon you could file the teeth off one side and most designs would still hold. There's that ugly style Kalloy do that's infinitely adjustable, and I've seen that type in carbon, but of course every single-bolt post has more or less setback.

I'm not sure what two-bolt posts fit the bill; the seatpost that gave me the carbon post revelation was a single bolt FSA number. I could measure the wall thickness on that and get back to you...
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Old 06-13-21, 08:23 AM
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Looks to be 2.5mm, 27.2. Bear in mind the stiffness of a tube is proportional to the square of its diameter, if you need a fatter post. I have about 7-8” exposed, hanging out, not sure how to avoid the obvious entendre.



The fact it says 20mm on it suggests different setbacks are/were available... Looks like it could go as low as 15mm. Those teeth are nice and fine, too.
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Old 06-13-21, 06:21 PM
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Yeah, I have nothing against carbon posts, will likely pick one when it comes time to fill out the cockpit.

That FSA post has a similar head to the one I got. To be honest, my dislike for this style of head comes from a Kalloy setback post that came on my old Giant XC hardtail - I'm pretty sure I had a hard landing and the bolt sheared off. Maybe less of an issue now that I'm on the road, though I'm probably about 25-30 lbs more than I was in high school, too...

The FSA alloy post is still useful in other ways though, even if it won't make it into the final build - can probably clamp that in the stand as hard as I'd like without risk of crimping/crushing it...
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Old 06-16-21, 07:56 AM
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Update: FedEx says the frameset is supposed to show up today. Will be curious to see what it weighs and see if it meets Iride01's benchmark. It would be nice if it does, though I suspect it will be a smidge over, especially with pre-installed headset and uncut alloy steerer (to start, obviously).

Planning on spending about $600/month on this over the next few months as I decide on componentry.

Been looking over my options, and I still think I'm going to try SRAM Force - though I might wait a bit to get the shift/brake hoods, given the pricing right now. I just checked a spreadsheet from the end of 2019, and it said that a pair of Ultegra R8000 levers were about $250 - now, both Ultegra and Force are about 50% higher ($369 for Force at one website). Don't know if those prices will drop, but that's definitely eye opening.

I think I'm going to go with the PG-1170 in a 11-28 sizing, mainly because of its single tooth gaps between 11-17. I currently mostly ride in 15 and 17 tooth with a 50-34 crank, and always want the 18, 16, and 14 as the road goes from +.5% to -.5%, or as headwinds turn to tailwinds. As I rarely use 13 and almost never use 11, I'm considering going with a Praxis Zayante Carbon-S, with a 48-32 setup. That gives me a very usable five gears between 13-17, vs the two that I have now (with rarely used 50/13 being taller than a proposed 48/13).

My frontrunner for wheels is still the DT Swiss P1800, coming in ~$500. I've looked at less expensive options, such as:
- Vision Team 30 (rim). I have the disc version on my Lynskey, not doing that again. Slow and heavy.
- Ritchey Comp Zeta. Appear to be even heavier than the Vision Team 30s
- Mavic Aksium. I feel like nobody ever has anything positive to say about these.

It doesn't appear that Mavic has anything comparable to my old Ksyrium Equipes, which were about 1700g and retailed for $400 or so a decade ago. Would love some other value options, in a <$500 alloy clincher.
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Old 06-17-21, 06:49 AM
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Frame and fork came in yesterday. Both look to be pristine and brand new. The seller forgot to include the headset, seatpost clamp, and derailleur hangar, so they'll arrive next week.

The positive news is that I was able to weigh the frame by itself without any embellishment - 1.370kg (for a 54cm), according to my luggage scale. The fork, uncut, is 570g, though I'd expect it would drop to about ~500g (if not a bit less) once I trim it down - no intention of riding with four inches of steerer tube showing.

As reference, the frame was advertised as 2 lbs, 11oz - about 1.220kg, so just a tiny bit disappointed that the number wasn't closer to that, but regardless - it's still a reasonably light aluminium frame that I picked up pretty cheaply, and I've wanted to try a CAAD for a while. And the fun will be in the building!
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Old 10-12-21, 08:38 PM
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Old 10-13-21, 03:01 PM
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Well, here's an update:

Wheels:
Ended up picking Campagnolo Zondas. With skewers, they came it just over 1700g. Nice looking wheels, and spin up faster than the Vision wheels.

Drivetrain:
Picked SRAM Force 22 for shifters and front/rear derailleurs. The shifter weight (~100g less than Ultegra) was nice, but really I just wanted to try something different, given that I have Ultegra 8000 on the Lynskey and Ultegra 6500 (9-spd) on the Bianchi.

Brakes:
Found some SRAM Force AXS rim brakes on eBay for about half the cost of an online dealer. so went with those. So not quite matching, but you'd really have to be a stickler to notice the difference. And besides, the gunmetal AXS brakes match the black/grey of the frame better than the chromed Force (non AXS) brakes would have.

Crank:
Picked the Praxis Zayante-S. Reviews on the SRAM Force crank were that it wasn't anywhere near as good as the Ultegra from a shifting and stiffness perspective, so cast my net wider and found the Praxis. At 640g, it's lighter than the SRAM option, and feels reasonably stiff - though it doesn't look nearly as bulletproof as the Ultegra crank (can't tell if there's more flex just by feel). Shifting is good, though I may want to play with the setup of the shifter a bit (SRAM's throw seems a bit long to get the chain up to the big ring).

Cockpit:
Got a good deal on a Fizik R1 Bull carbon bar, and matched it with a good deal on an R3 stem at 120mm. The stem is a stem, and nothing fancy, but the carbon bar is about 120g lighter than a reasonable alloy bar. The lighter bar and Force shifters definitely made that bit feel a lot lighter than the FSA alloy bar and Ultegra shifters on the Lynskey. Ended up with an Ultimate USE carbon post, which at 130g is a smidge lighter than the Thomson Masterpiece on the Lynskey. Total length is longer (270mm), but usable length appears pretty close between the two.

Tires:
I initially threw two spare tires on - an old Vittoria Zaffiro 23mm in the back, and a new Conti Ultra Sport 2 28mm in the front. The Conti wouldn't fit past the rim brakes (it really inflates closer to 32mm), so I had to put my last Conti GP4k on there.

Pedals:
When did SPD pedals get so expensive? I got some M520s (or something along those lines) from Amazon a couple of years ago for $40, now they require double that? Anyway, went with the Look X-Track again, same as the Lynskey. No, they're not light or sexy, but SPD retains compatibility across my other bikes, and they were $55 shipped.

All said and done, she comes in at 18.06 lbs, and if I wanted to swap out for lighter pedals or latex tubes, she'd be under 18lbs. Rides well, though I'm not a fan of the Force brake lever shape - it feels like my fingers would slide off more easily. The big difference I notice about going back to cable pull rim brakes is lever feel - in the dry, both the Ultegra disc on the Lynskey and the mechanical rim on the Cannondale stop well, but the hydraulics make you feel like you're pulling on something much higher quality with nicer hand feel.

The 11-28 cassette is weird coming from the 11-34, but once you get used to it, it's much easier to find a pedaling rhythm on mostly flat terrain - unlike the 11-34, this cassette has a 14 and 16 (along with the 13, 15, and 17), so the gaps are as small as they can reasonably be.

Haven't taken her on bad roads yet, but the ride quality doesn't seem bad. Not as planted and 'Mercedes" feeling as the Lynskey, but nowhere near as harsh as I was expecting an aluminum Cannondale to be. Of course, my last ride on a C-Dale was on a rental from 2004, so a lot's changed from both the frame (much more shaped tubing) and cockpit (mostly carbon) perspective.

And here she is:
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