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New bike build log

Old 01-30-22, 02:57 AM
  #1  
Ryan_M
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New bike build log

I thought I'd start a log on a new road bike I'm going to build. Kind of a crazy time to do this, it's already dicey to get parts, plus supply issues, and erratic pricing, etc... It doesn't look like this covid thing is going to sort itself out anytime soon, and parts may get harder to come by with the season coming up in a couple months so I went for it. Maybe I've been rooked on some pricing due to the current economy but at least I'll have a fresh bike for the upcoming season. This is just a place holder for now but I received the frame and wheels a couple days ago. I'm still waiting for the extra important bits to get here.

My intent is to maybe offer someone else some insight into building a bike, but also hopefully learn something from feedback. Please feel free to offer anything. So a quick rundown, I'm using China carbon. It's cheap and good so why not? As I said I have the frame and wheels in hand so I halfarsed put them together to see what I'm doing. this is how it sits






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Old 01-31-22, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryan_M View Post
I thought I'd start a log on a new road bike I'm going to build. Kind of a crazy time to do this, it's already dicey to get parts, plus supply issues, and erratic pricing, etc... It doesn't look like this covid thing is going to sort itself out anytime soon, and parts may get harder to come by with the season coming up in a couple months so I went for it. Maybe I've been rooked on some pricing due to the current economy but at least I'll have a fresh bike for the upcoming season. This is just a place holder for now but I received the frame and wheels a couple days ago. I'm still waiting for the extra important bits to get here.

My intent is to maybe offer someone else some insight into building a bike, but also hopefully learn something from feedback. Please feel free to offer anything. So a quick rundown, I'm using China carbon. It's cheap and good so why not? As I said I have the frame and wheels in hand so I halfarsed put them together to see what I'm doing. this is how it sits







I like the color, and think the frame looks pretty sweet. Def should have gone with deeper wheels though IMO.

China carbon scares me, with that said my Superteam wheels have lasted 6,000 ish miles with no problem. Good luck with the build.
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Old 02-01-22, 02:40 AM
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So far, so good. Frame looks sweet. Which groupset are you going with?
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Old 02-01-22, 07:38 AM
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I just finished a build and honestly had no trouble sourcing parts and prices were pretty decent too. Everything I wanted was in stock from the wheels and groupset to the seat and pedals. Hopefully you will have the same luck. Looks like a cool frame.
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Old 02-01-22, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bampilot06 View Post
I like the color, and think the frame looks pretty sweet. Def should have gone with deeper wheels though IMO.

China carbon scares me, with that said my Superteam wheels have lasted 6,000 ish miles with no problem. Good luck with the build.
Thanks! I've been from buying from China for a long time, though carbon bike parts is newish to me. I avoid copies and clones, off brand or no brand stuff, don't buy from a store called "Lucky Dragon Discounts 4U Giftstore 8888", etc... If they have their own site selling their stuff with their branding on it then I'll consider them. Also look out for what is clearly another manufacturers product but sold somewhere else. Likely it's something that failed QC from the original manufacturer so somebody else is trying to make a buck on it.

The frame is an Ican A22. What made me pull the trigger on it was Hambini's review on it.
He's not for everyone but I really enjoy his channel. Smart dude, meticulous, and backs up what he says. I went with the 54cm frame. This was a decision I was anguishing over for a while. I'm 181.5cm tall, by a lot of online guides I should be looking at a 56cm frame which I'm not sure is a good measure of frame size since to me all that really tells me is how much seat post is going to be exposed. I concentrated more on stack and reach. The 54cm A22 actually has nearly the same reach (1mm more) as their A9 in 56cm so I chose that size. Having not riden a road bike in nearly 30years I wasn't sure at all what size to get, I went through this calculator and it said even the 54cm might be too long for me, but looking at it in person it seems a little short. I guess we'll see.

The wheels I also bought from Ican wheels. I would have liked to build my own just because I like building things but after looking at pricing (I'd have to get the parts all from different sources) I went with their pre-builts. I've built a couple sets with DT Swiss 350s and 240s and considered Ican's wheels with those hubs. However, looking into it more the hubs on the "standard" Aero Icans are Novatec D411/412, are easy to disassemble and maintain, were 5g lighter than the 240s, and nearly $500(CDN) cheaper. Easy decision!!! I'd went back and forth on rim depth, a lot of people use ~40mm though a lot also recommend 50mm as a good all rounder. I ordered the 50mm but they weren't in stock so I had to choose between 45mm and 55mm, I went with 45mm. They might look a little small in the pic because they don't have tires mounted on them yet.

Last edited by Ryan_M; 02-01-22 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 02-01-22, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by zatopek View Post
So far, so good. Frame looks sweet. Which groupset are you going with?
I'm going with a Shimano Ultegra R8020 groupset. I considered Di2 but I'm not so sure about it... Not knocking it but I drive a standard, I like the mechanical feel and from what I've read the Ultegra has a really nice feel to it. Di2 adds some extra failure modes to it. If I was competitive at all maybe I might have given it some more thought but I'm just a casual cyclist. Also to get Ultegra hydraulic with Di2 was and extra $1700(CDN) as far as I could find so that was a hard no!
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Old 02-01-22, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Rdmonster69 View Post
I just finished a build and honestly had no trouble sourcing parts and prices were pretty decent too. Everything I wanted was in stock from the wheels and groupset to the seat and pedals. Hopefully you will have the same luck. Looks like a cool frame.
I don't have all the parts in hand yet but it wasn't too too bad. There was a little scare with the groupset. I ordered it off Ali. Shimano for whatever reason doesn't want anything sent to Canada right now. A couple days after I ordered the seller contacted me with a potential problem. So the story goes, Shimano is having the shipping companies open packages that contain their parts and send them back to the point of origin. The seller had a plan to try and sneak it past but it all worked out without having to do that.
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Old 02-01-22, 01:19 PM
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I used Euro Bike Parts which is out of Chicago. The owner Dom is super responsive both in the chat feature and in emails. I got my groupset through there and had it in a few days. Cheapest price I could find as well. My Domane has Ultegra mechanical with Hydraulic disc brakes. Great set up and shifting.
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Old 02-01-22, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Rdmonster69 View Post
I used Euro Bike Parts which is out of Chicago. The owner Dom is super responsive both in the chat feature and in emails. I got my groupset through there and had it in a few days. Cheapest price I could find as well. My Domane has Ultegra mechanical with Hydraulic disc brakes. Great set up and shifting.
You may have noticed that the OP is in Canada. Buying from the US ends up being very expensive, the Canadian dollar exchange rate kills us and shipping is usually more expensive than from many other countries
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Old 02-01-22, 01:28 PM
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I didn’t look at the picture carefully enough, I thought tires were already mounted. My bad.
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Old 02-01-22, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
You may have noticed that the OP is in Canada. Buying from the US ends up being very expensive, the Canadian dollar exchange rate kills us and shipping is usually more expensive than from many other countries
I saw him mention that but didn't really think of the shipping or exchange. I recently got a saddle as well as some parts from the UK and Ireland. Shipping was free and the items were cheaper than in the US. The prices were even listed in dollars and not pounds/Euro's. I didn't even know it was a UK business until I got the shipping info. What do these guys have against Canada ? Is that a common thing for shipping /ordering ??
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Old 02-01-22, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Rdmonster69 View Post
I saw him mention that but didn't really think of the shipping or exchange. I recently got a saddle as well as some parts from the UK and Ireland. Shipping was free and the items were cheaper than in the US. The prices were even listed in dollars and not pounds/Euro's. I didn't even know it was a UK business until I got the shipping info. What do these guys have against Canada ? Is that a common thing for shipping /ordering ??
Online sellers in the UK and Ireland are miles ahead of US sellers when they deal with customers in Canada. I stopped buying from US sites almost 20 years ago
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Old 02-01-22, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryan_M View Post
Thanks! I've been from buying from China for a long time, though carbon bike parts is newish to me. I avoid copies and clones, off brand or no brand stuff, don't buy from a store called "Lucky Dragon Discounts 4U Giftstore 8888", etc... If they have their own site selling their stuff with their branding on it then I'll consider them. Also look out for what is clearly another manufacturers product but sold somewhere else. Likely it's something that failed QC from the original manufacturer so somebody else is trying to make a buck on it.

The frame is an Ican A22. What made me pull the trigger on it was Hambini's review on it. Hambini's He's not for everyone but I really enjoy his channel. Smart dude, meticulous, and backs up what he says. I went with the 54cm frame. This was a decision I was anguishing over for a while. I'm 181.5cm tall, by a lot of online guides I should be looking at a 56cm frame which I'm not sure is a good measure of frame size since to me all that really tells me is how much seat post is going to be exposed. I concentrated more on stack and reach. The 54cm A22 actually has nearly the same reach (1mm more) as their A9 in 56cm so I chose that size. Having not riden a road bike in nearly 30years I wasn't sure at all what size to get, I went through this calculator and it said even the 54cm might be too long for me, but looking at it in person it seems a little short. I guess we'll see.

The wheels I also bought from Ican wheels. I would have liked to build my own just because I like building things but after looking at pricing (I'd have to get the parts all from different sources) I went with their pre-builts. I've built a couple sets with DT Swiss 350s and 240s and considered Ican's wheels with those hubs. However, looking into it more the hubs on the "standard" Aero Icans are Novatec D411/412, are easy to disassemble and maintain, were 5g lighter than the 240s, and nearly $500(CDN) cheaper. Easy decision!!! I'd went back and forth on rim depth, a lot of people use ~40mm though a lot also recommend 50mm as a good all rounder. I ordered the 50mm but they weren't in stock so I had to choose between 45mm and 55mm, I went with 45mm. They might look a little small in the pic because they don't have tires mounted on them yet.
Looks good and I think you are right about the wheels looking more "aero" once tyres are fitted. 45 mm is a good all-round rim depth. I presume your saddle height is not set up in the picture i.e. way too high. Otherwise that bar drop looks very aggressive for someone who hasn't ridden a road bike in 30 years.
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Old 02-01-22, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Looks good and I think you are right about the wheels looking more "aero" once tyres are fitted. 45 mm is a good all-round rim depth. I presume your saddle height is not set up in the picture i.e. way too high. Otherwise that bar drop looks very aggressive for someone who hasn't ridden a road bike in 30 years.
Actually the saddle is pretty much where it's going to be - mind you only going off measurements from BB center to top of saddle off my other bikes. I was worried where it would end up since I got a 54cm instead of a 56cm and it's smack dab in the middle of its adjustment range.

From what I've read a 10cm drop from saddle to handle bar (center of top bar) is typical. Mine as it is right now is 11cm but I can add a spacer or two on the steerer tube if required. For reference my two other bikes are hybrids, one is more of a tour around all day, ride 20km stop for beer or wine, repeat. We usually do 90km or so rides. The other one is a little more aggressive for bombing through trails. On the former the saddle is about 6.5cm higher than the bars, on the latter hybrid the bar is 8cm lower than the top of the saddle. So in my near zero experience opinion is doesn't seem to out of the ordinary for a road bike to be a bit more aggressive than a hybrid and 3cm lower doesn't seem extreme.

Just want to point out I am in no way being argumentative with you. You may very well be right. I'm only laying out the decisions I made and why. Right or wrong, it's probably useful info for someone else who wants to do this and is coming from the same spot.
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Old 02-01-22, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryan_M View Post
Actually the saddle is pretty much where it's going to be - mind you only going off measurements from BB center to top of saddle off my other bikes. I was worried where it would end up since I got a 54cm instead of a 56cm and it's smack dab in the middle of its adjustment range.

From what I've read a 10cm drop from saddle to handle bar (center of top bar) is typical. Mine as it is right now is 11cm but I can add a spacer or two on the steerer tube if required. For reference my two other bikes are hybrids, one is more of a tour around all day, ride 20km stop for beer or wine, repeat. We usually do 90km or so rides. The other one is a little more aggressive for bombing through trails. On the former the saddle is about 6.5cm higher than the bars, on the latter hybrid the bar is 8cm lower than the top of the saddle. So in my near zero experience opinion is doesn't seem to out of the ordinary for a road bike to be a bit more aggressive than a hybrid and 3cm lower doesn't seem extreme.

Just want to point out I am in no way being argumentative with you. You may very well be right. I'm only laying out the decisions I made and why. Right or wrong, it's probably useful info for someone else who wants to do this and is coming from the same spot.
Well it's typically aggressive! But then so are your other bikes for their relative purpose. There is no right or wrong here. Some people like a lot of bar drop (pros especially) and that is certainly what you have right there. The post may be right in the middle of its adjustment range, but on that size frame if you put it to the top of the range then it would look ridiculous right? (say with 15+ cm bar drop) Considering you already appear to have a fair stack of stem spacers (30+ mm?) I think you are pushing the envelope a bit on sizing, but it could be perfect for you. Be interesting to see how it works out in the end.
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Old 02-07-22, 09:56 AM
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I gave the wheels a good looking over and I'm happy with them. What I found matches all the other reviews that I've seen of the Ican wheels. Spoke tension was fairly uniform, radial and lateral trueness was very good, and dish was bang on. The only small issue was some of the spokes weren't quite lined up perfectly (bladed spokes). A few tweaks using a spoke wrench to turn the nipple - and make sure the spoke turned with it - fixed it up no problem. I didn't pull the hubs apart to see what they had for bearings but they were smooth and seemed to spin forever. I taped up the rims and got the tires (Pirelli P-Zero TLR) mounted without issue, more detail on that at the end of this thread. I haven't added any sealant yet. The tires will hold pressure for a bit which is good enough to do the build and it could be a couple months before I get to ride this bike so no point having sealant in there drying up for no reason.
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Old 02-10-22, 03:19 AM
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I have aerospokes on my single speed, I just straightened the crooked ones with a pair of plyers.
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Old 02-10-22, 08:23 AM
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Good luck with your build! It's a lot of fun.
For those worried about Chinese carbon frames, well, yes, there are some questionable brands. However, ICAN has an excellent reputation.
ICAN A8 frameset, Boyd wheels, Ultegra Di2 groupset.
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Old 02-10-22, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
Good luck with your build! It's a lot of fun.
For those worried about Chinese carbon frames, well, yes, there are some questionable brands. However, ICAN has an excellent reputation.
ICAN A8 frameset, Boyd wheels, Ultegra Di2 groupset.
That looks sharp. Nicely done!
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Old 02-22-22, 07:31 AM
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Any updates? Have you been able to find the components you need?
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Old 02-25-22, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
Any updates? Have you been able to find the components you need?
Yeah, sorry. Life hasn't been ideal lately. I'm pretty much done now and yes I was able to get all the parts I needed. I'll pick up where I left off.

Examining the frame it looked pretty good though there were some minor issues. When I roughly pieced it together like in the first pic in this thread I noticed turning the fork binded a bit and there was some white powder around the bottom of the headset. After looking at it closer the paint is very thick on the bottom side of the headset. I was contemplating sanding it if was going to be an issue but seems to be wearing itself down just in the time I was building the bike. It's not ideal but it's not in a place that is visible and not like it's exposing any metal to corrode. At this point I think it'll just work itself out. The bearing seat for the bottom bearing of the headset wasn't perfect. It seemed good enough and for a bearing that (hopefully) will never do a full rotation in it's entire life I don't see it as critical.





The top of the headset was perfection.



It was nice to see the bottom bracket had been machined and faced with all the alignment issued that can arise with carbon frames. At least they don't only do it for the frames they send for review. As best as I could measure with my calipers the holes were in spec. It doesn't look like 100% of the mating area had been touched despite the measurements being good. If there's some gap there I'm sure the Loctite 641 will take care of it.




A bit of a peeve but all the screws that shipped on the frame were barely tightened or completely loose. I found one of the screws for the bottle cages in the bag the frame was shipped in. That could have made some paint chips but luckily it didn't. I did find one of the screws holding the FD mount was missing. It wasn't in the packaging so it was missing from the start. It's such a minor thing but still annoying. I pulled the other screw on the mount and they were were a few mm shorter than I think they should be so I replaced them with longer screws and some thread locker.



So the frame wasn't perfect but for the price I'm really happy with it. All the minor issues were easy to address. And here it is on the stand ready for some hardware!

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Old 02-26-22, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryan_M View Post
Yeah, sorry. Life hasn't been ideal lately. I'm pretty much done now and yes I was able to get all the parts I needed. I'll pick up where I left off.

Examining the frame it looked pretty good though there were some minor issues. When I roughly pieced it together like in the first pic in this thread I noticed turning the fork binded a bit and there was some white powder around the bottom of the headset. After looking at it closer the paint is very thick on the bottom side of the headset. I was contemplating sanding it if was going to be an issue but seems to be wearing itself down just in the time I was building the bike. It's not ideal but it's not in a place that is visible and not like it's exposing any metal to corrode. At this point I think it'll just work itself out. The bearing seat for the bottom bearing of the headset wasn't perfect. It seemed good enough and for a bearing that (hopefully) will never do a full rotation in it's entire life I don't see it as critical.





The top of the headset was perfection.



It was nice to see the bottom bracket had been machined and faced with all the alignment issued that can arise with carbon frames. At least they don't only do it for the frames they send for review. As best as I could measure with my calipers the holes were in spec. It doesn't look like 100% of the mating area had been touched despite the measurements being good. If there's some gap there I'm sure the Loctite 641 will take care of it.




A bit of a peeve but all the screws that shipped on the frame were barely tightened or completely loose. I found one of the screws for the bottle cages in the bag the frame was shipped in. That could have made some paint chips but luckily it didn't. I did find one of the screws holding the FD mount was missing. It wasn't in the packaging so it was missing from the start. It's such a minor thing but still annoying. I pulled the other screw on the mount and they were were a few mm shorter than I think they should be so I replaced them with longer screws and some thread locker.



So the frame wasn't perfect but for the price I'm really happy with it. All the minor issues were easy to address. And here it is on the stand ready for some hardware!

Nice shop! and bike stand!
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Old 03-02-22, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack Tone View Post
Nice shop! and bike stand!
Thanks! The stand was kinda built as a proof of concept out of scraps and off-cuts so I could finalize the design before building something nicer but honestly it doesn't leave me wanting for anything so I'll keep it. Not bad for free! lol
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Old 03-03-22, 12:37 AM
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So the build was... educational. It's been nearly 30 years since I worked on a road bike, plus I've never done a build with fully hidden cables. I figured I'd just get into it and figure it out along the way. The first hard lesson was how not to do it! I initially had the thought to fish cables from the handlebars down but the brakes ship with fluid in them (not sure why, probably to keep the internals in oil) but the hoses are attached to the calipers and not the brake levers. So I decided to start from the components and work my way back. This didn't work out well. Also for some reason the groupset shipped with shifter cables but no housing plus the Shimano shifter cables are about as smooth as a bass guitar string so I went with a Jagwire pro kit right off the bat. I really like those polished cables.

I cut the steerer tube and worked on the bike upside down to keep the forks in place. I cut it long enough to use the two 1cm spacers that were provided, much easier to have to cut it shorter later on if I need than try to add some back on lol. The forks were a special annoyance because the brake line enters the steerer tube about halfway in between the headset bearings and poke back out just above the caliper. Here it is getting started on that.





After getting all the cable sheath and hose run it was time to start adding in the special spacer parts and fish through the bars.




I roped up the bars to hang them from the frame while I pulled the cables and hoses through.



And that's where this failed hard and I ran out of swear words. No way I could get them pulled from the stem to the drops. Abort mission! TBH I was second guessing this the whole way so I decided to go with my original plan to start from the bars and work towards the mech. I evacuated the brakes of all oil and pulled the hoses off the calipers and trimmed the ends. I don't know why that clear plastic tube stuff is the de facto for running cables. Unless I'm missing something the only way to attach the cables and hose is with tape which means you can barely pull without it coming off. This happened a few times so I used them to fish some string though for something better to pull. Tied like this you'll either break the string or rip the plastic sheath right off before it lets go. (coloured tape is for identification purposes)



I decided to fish both shifter cable and brake hose at the same time.



Pics of hose and housing in the bars.



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Old 03-03-22, 12:38 AM
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Ryan_M
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Bikes: 2020 Giant Roam 1... at least it was

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All that plastic tubing in the frame was also replaced with string to make pulling easier.



At this point it was time to get all the spacers in place (in the right order and orientation!) and attach the strings and not get things twisted. This took a few beers. After that it was just a matter of take up the slack, move the bar closer, take up the slack again, repeat. I finally got it all into place.









Ha! I win! ...of course I forgot to put the carbon paste on before I got the bars on the steerer. At least I caught it now.


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