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My New Road Bike Build

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

My New Road Bike Build

Old 06-27-12, 12:40 PM
  #1  
Altbark
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My New Road Bike Build

I used to own three bikes. The first is a '98 Specialized FSR that did double duty as a weekend trail ride and a daily commuter machine. It has now been modified for my wife's use. My second bike is a 2010 Cannondale T1 touring bike. It is set up for touring with a trailer. My third is a rather delightful, cheap singlespeed road bike. Love 'em all.

Everything was fine until I took up with the local bike club and started doing the weekly rides. Starting on a Monday and finishing on a Thursday, the rides increase in difficulty, duration and speed. I routinely ride the first three nights and have never tried the Thursday night road show. Both the T1 and singlespeed do a good job on the rides. But the T1, given that it is set up for touring, sucks at speedy hillclimbing on Wednesday night and I usually choose to ride my singlespeed on that ride. Riding the singlespeed on the Wednesday night ride is like bringing a knife to a gunfight. It can work out but if you lose the draft or the road boys and girls decide to click up a couple of cogs, the game is over. I needed a proper road bike. So what to do?

Instead of buying off the rack and swapping out the parts I wanted changed, I decided to build from scratch. I picked up a double-butted alloy road frame and a carbon fork from Nashbar (just a note: the frame is designated a 48 setapost measurement C-C instead of the actual measurement of 52cm C-T). They also provided the compact road crank, the Deore XT pedals, the B17N seat, the 13-25 cassette and the chain. The new Shimano 501-30 wheels and tires came from my LBS. The 105 FD, the Ultegra RD (both used) and the bar-cons (NOS) also came from my LBS. Tektro R540's do the stopping.

The bike is a delightful package. The 50/34 compact crank married to the 13-25 cassette gives me the 101 GI top end I need to ride with the big boys and girls and the 30 something low end gives me all the grunt I'll need for climbing the hills. I haven't weighed it but while it won't be classified as being light as a feather, I'm fairly sure that nobody will ask me to ride it for the Canadian Olympic team.

I have a pair of Ultegra brifters sitting in my parts box but chose to go with the Dura Ace bar ends. Why? Brifters are OK. But they're kind of big and heavy. I watched how people were shifting around me on the rides and think that the bar end shifters will do the job as well and maybe even better. I decided to top out at around 100 gear inches because I realized that at 57 I would have to ride off the top of a cliff to spin out 122 GI's.

Pictures of course. By the way - red bar tape because it is the fastest kind. Al

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Old 06-27-12, 01:52 PM
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sevenmag
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Good work on the build, I'm sure it will ride every bit as good as it looks.
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Old 06-29-12, 06:59 PM
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The bike is running very well. The Dua Ace bar end shifters really are a very good alternative to brifters. For those who might be interested, the Nashbar Integrated Alloy Road Frame is a pretty nice set up. I have no regrets with the choices or the build up. Al
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Old 06-29-12, 07:11 PM
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I like it. Especially those wheels. I personally love brifters though. After a misspent youth using down tube shifters, brifters are a panacea :-) Enjoy and ride the crap out of it.
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Old 06-29-12, 07:23 PM
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it looks like a very sensible and reliable build. better looking than many of the entry level road bikes as well. you have my approval.

i typically dont like seeing black spokes laced to silver rims but it works nicely on this build. props to shimano for having a silver rim available. is wish campagnolo would bring one back.
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Old 06-29-12, 10:26 PM
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welcome to the nashbar frame+fork club



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Old 07-02-12, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by abstractform20 View Post
welcome to the nashbar frame+fork club



Very nice bike. You have excellent taste! I see that you also decided not to use the decals supplied with the frame. Who decided that "Frame'" would be a nice name for a bike? Al
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Old 07-02-12, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by phee View Post
I like it. Especially those wheels. I personally love brifters though. After a misspent youth using down tube shifters, brifters are a panacea :-) Enjoy and ride the crap out of it.
I'm just waiting for the day when Shimano decides on electronic shifting for the masses. Al
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Old 07-02-12, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Altbark View Post
Very nice bike. You have excellent taste! I see that you also decided not to use the decals supplied with the frame. Who decided that "Frame'" would be a nice name for a bike? Al
the frame has since been molested with stickers...the dark side of being a commuter bike.
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Old 07-03-12, 09:21 PM
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Can I join the Nashbar Frame club too? Mine's the AL/Carbon version though.
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Old 07-03-12, 09:51 PM
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cool bike. 13-25 junior cassette for group rides, though?
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Old 07-04-12, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Altbark View Post
The bike is running very well. The Dua Ace bar end shifters really are a very good alternative to brifters. For those who might be interested, the Nashbar Integrated Alloy Road Frame is a pretty nice set up. I have no regrets with the choices or the build up. Al
Nice build - looks like a lot of fun. In an age of Di2 and eleven speed cassettes, hard to argue with a shifting system that almost never needs adjustment and just . . . works. I rode a 1x7 commuter for two years in all sorts of nasty weather without ever touching it, and as far as I know the person I gave it to is still riding it that way.
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Old 07-09-12, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Syncmaster View Post
Can I join the Nashbar Frame club too? Mine's the AL/Carbon version though.
Great looking bike! Al
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Old 07-09-12, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
cool bike. 13-25 junior cassette for group rides, though?
If you ride with a group of former racers and are still relatively young then having access to over 120GI's of top end makes sense (50/11). However, if you are like most you will find that something around 101GI's (50/13) makes more sense. More of the cassette is usable for more of the time. I've found that the riders in my club tend to tuck and coast on the big downhills anyway. I don't ride on Thursday nights. That's when the big boys and girls come out to play. But, I would suggest that something around 100GI's would still work there. Remember, you have to spin for speed.

I started group riding this year with my club using my singlespeed (73.6GI's) and my touring bike (3X10, 95.5GI's) and was able to keep up on most of the rides. I tended to spin out with the singlespeed when the Wednesday night group got sporty and lose the draft. My T1 is a truck and like a truck it tends to slow down on the hills. I sat on a lot of rear wheels watching people shift before going with the 13-25. Al
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Old 07-09-12, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by elemental View Post
Nice build - looks like a lot of fun. In an age of Di2 and eleven speed cassettes, hard to argue with a shifting system that almost never needs adjustment and just . . . works. I rode a 1x7 commuter for two years in all sorts of nasty weather without ever touching it, and as far as I know the person I gave it to is still riding it that way.
Brifters are kind of neat and can make for some super fast shifting if you tend to ride on the hoods a lot. They are the flavour of the day right now but I have to think if people really analyzed what they wanted from a shift system more would go with bar end shifters. Shifting the front rings of a compact crankset with the friction shifter is so fast and silent. Pull up for the big ring and it's there. Push down for the little ring and it is there. The same at the back. Each click is an ultra fast shift into the next cog. Pushing or pulling the right lever all the way instantly sweeps the cog.

Racers might not find bar cons to their liking but I would suggest that most group riders would like them. They are something well worth trying when one of your brifters decides to go south. Al
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