Tech Cervelo Soloist Budget Build - Completed (for now)

Conrad

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Dec 8, 2014
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#1
I recently bought this frame from Michael on this forum, who by the way was a true gentleman and a joy to deal with, Hello Michael if you're reading this! I'd like to do this frame justice and build it up with some nice quality lightweight parts, best suited for mid-distance riding with some occasional hill climbing.

I have my own ideas about parts but I'd like to hear everyone's opinions, suggestions, offers to sell parts, jokes at my expense, etc. I'd like to eventually end up at about 7kg without breaking the bank and hopefully without making too many embarrassing mistakes.

Here's a picture of the frame in it's current state:

 

Conrad

Maximum Pace
Dec 8, 2014
399
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#2
Here are my ideas for the wheels.

TNI AL300 rims, 700c 30mm 460grams


Novatec hubs, probably in red


Or I could go for Powerway hubs


I'd like to lace these with Sapim Laser spokes, which would bring the wheels to a shade over 1.5kg for the pair.
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
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#3
Good to see another build thread!

Wheels

Spokes; Sapim Laser are alright. They are bladed which makes building the wheels a lot easier and more precise than round spokes. (Sorry if you know this already)
Hubs; The weights on both those sets are OK, but I would recommend getting something more premium. Going cheap on hubs is always a false economy and pot luck on whether you get a decently machined set or not (ie, will the bearings be seated correctly?). If you want to go cheap, get a traditional cup and loose ball set up which allows for huge manufacturing discrepancies. This will add weight though.
Rims; Those TNI ones look like the standard Chinese factory output rims with stickers on (where have we seen that before...) so you can save money here by getting them direct, or finding a sale like those $12 Kinlin rims that where going around earlier in the year, which will be the same as these.
 

Conrad

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Dec 8, 2014
399
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#4
I've always wanted to try bullhorn handlebars, I spend almost all of my time either on the hoods or on the flat part of the bars so in theory it makes sense. I haven't actually tried it yet so I could be completely wrong of course :> but I'd like to give it a shot.

Carbon bullhorns, about 160 grams


Dura Ace 11 speed thumb shifters, about 160 grams


Flatbar Brake levers, about 90 grams


Once again, this is just a shopping list so I'm more than open to suggestions, ideas, criticism etc.
 

Conrad

Maximum Pace
Dec 8, 2014
399
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73
42
#5
Thanks for the heads up on the hubs TCC, that's exactly the kind of info that I need and it'll save me a lot of trouble in the long run. What were those cheap Kinlin rims you mentioned, can you post a link?
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
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#6
I've always wanted to try bullhorn handlebars, I spend almost all of my time either on the hoods or on the flat part of the bars so in theory it makes sense. I haven't actually tried it yet so I could be completely wrong of course :> but I'd like to give it a shot.

Once again, this is just a shopping list so I'm more than open to suggestions, ideas, criticism etc.
Just no. Get normal bars and shifters.
 
Likes: stanc

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
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#7
Thanks for the heads up on the hubs TCC, that's exactly the kind of info that I need and it'll save me a lot of trouble in the long run. What were those cheap Kinlin rims you mentioned, can you post a link?
http://wheelsmfg.com/products/wheels-goods/rims.html?dir=asc&order=price

This was ealier in the year though, so they are all sold out. This should give you an idea that you should not be paying much money for metal rims from China. Any sticker on them from a 'company' who 'makes' them will end up with them boosting the price up, but they are the same product whatever, so pay accordingly. There will be other deals on stuff like this though, no doubt.

Check out Yeoleo and FarSports for cheap rims direct, and have a look at Kinlin (use www.fairwheelbikes.com for the best info on these; the main Kinlin website is typically pathetic, like all sites from this area of the globe). The weights you are looking at around 460g seems about right for those rims. If you go lower profile you can get lighter, obviously, which would be better for climbing.
 

Conrad

Maximum Pace
Dec 8, 2014
399
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#8
Here is my idea for the brakes, Planet X forged calipers, about 220 grams/pair


These Exustar pedals caught my eye, 250 grams/pair
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
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#9
I am adamant that everyone should just get Dura Ace brakes and be done with it, and have no experience with those Planet X brakes, but my instinct says they are not going to have that much stopping power. Happy to be corrected on this though.

Pedals, again, I reckon the best choice is Dura Ace; nothing is harder and nothing lasts longer. I have melted Time pedals and Look pedals get wobbly knocking bearings as soon as they have stopped being hilariously tight after breaking in, so unless these pedals are better than Look or Time, then I would not imagine them to be a good choice. Also, where are you going to get spare cleats from? Shimano cleats are everywhere in Japan, from the smallest Asahi Cycle Base, to the most exclusive 'maniac' store.

If you fancy crunching around on metal cleats when you waddle into Family Mart for a coffee, then you could also consider Speedplay.
 

George5

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Oct 16, 2014
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#10
seriously, wouldn't it be easier to just buy a groupset and pre fab wheels? Piecemeal assembly usually ends up (a) more expensive (b) not as user friendly. It might be fun scooping out parts but the weight savings aren't worth in my experience. What's your budget for the sub 7 kilo build? It seems like you are looking for the lightest parts and a black and white theme and maybe not the best mix. What drive train do you want? Dura or Ultegra, 105 ? What are your weight limits for wheels?
 
Likes: TCC

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
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#11
seriously, wouldn't it be easier to just buy a groupset and pre fab wheels? Piecemeal assembly usually ends up (a) more expensive (b) not as user friendly. It might be fun scooping out parts but the weight savings aren't worth in my experience. What's your budget for the sub 7 kilo build? It seems like you are looking for the lightest parts and a black and white theme and maybe not the best mix. What drive train do you want? Dura or Ultegra, 105 ? What are your weight limits for wheels?
Agree on the groupset part, entirely. Wheels; yeah, a set from Mavic, Shimano, Campag, or whoever, using their proprietary parts will be strong and tested. Building yourself using light parts means you are going to have to know your stuff to keep them serviced, or know someone who can consistently do it for you. If you can sort the wheels yourself, then that is cool, obviously. Building wheels yourself though, you are going to be able to get them down to weights not currently available from the big manufacturers (which is not a coincidence; they don't sell weak wheels that need constant fettling, as that would massively shag their business model and eat their profits / reputation in no time).
 

Conrad

Maximum Pace
Dec 8, 2014
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#12
I am adamant that everyone should just get Dura Ace brakes and be done with it, and have no experience with those Planet X brakes, but my instinct says they are not going to have that much stopping power. Happy to be corrected on this though.
The Planet X brakes are an unknown quantity, not much info available on them yet but I'd like to hear about other people's experiences with these.

Pedals, again, I reckon the best choice is Dura Ace; nothing is harder and nothing lasts longer. I have melted Time pedals and Look pedals get wobbly knocking bearings as soon as they have stopped being hilariously tight after breaking in, so unless these pedals are better than Look or Time, then I would not imagine them to be a good choice.
Same goes for the Exustar pedals, They're a relatively new brand, they might have gotten their quality control down or they might have gotten it horribly wrong. Dura Ace certainly has a proven track record and would be a smart choice.
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
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#13
So there you go, Dura Ace brakes and pedals, which will go nicely with a full Ultegra or Dura Ace groupset.

The added bonus to getting that, other than constant flawless performance, safety, toughness and longevity, is that when you decide you want to get rid of it, you can sell it on very easily. Buying a high end groupset is more of an asset than a liability, loosely speaking, you don't make money off it, but there is the chance of reselling for some actual money. I have yet to see anyone selling a randomly assembled groupset for anything other than tree fiddy, and that is if anyone wants it at all.
 

GrantT

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Oct 2, 2012
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#14
Full Dura Ace is not really budget conscious though. An Ultegra 6800 group set is about 80,000 yen, Dura Ace 9000 about 155,000 yen, so in terms of weight that 75,000 yen difference saves around 300 grams.

I've used the CNC'd planet X brakes for the last few months including some long mountain descents. The rear is fine while the front is good enough when paired with good pads, but not nearly as good as the 105 brakes I had before. I weigh 68 kg, so if you are around that weight I think you can be happy with them for occasional hill climbing. They are much more of a faff compared to Shimano brakes though.

That TNi AL 300 rim also goes by the name of the Kinlin XR-300 rim. Personally I like the look of Pacenti SL23 rims, but they are about twice the price of the ones you chose.

For the stem a Kalloy Uno "7" is about 100 g and can be had for cheap off ebay.
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
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#15
Budget is surely subjective...

Anyway, yeah, Ultegra or Dura Ace. Ultegra at 80,000yen for a 3 year lifecycle full groupset which works perfectly and excellently. That is 27000yen per year, if bought on the day of release and you get rid of it the second 6900 comes out. Less if you keep it longer. That is excellent value. It also means you don't have to mess about with dodgy sub-Shimano level brakes.

Ha, so the TNI AL 300 is exactly the Kinlin XR-300. Haha cool. Pacenti, meh; they will be of a likeness to the Kinlin ones I reckon and build into pretty much the same wheels, so raw Kinlins seem to be the ticket; you dont have to spend the afternoon with a bottle of nail polish remover rubbing the logos off that way, either.

That stem looks alright.

The other thing that has not been mentioned here already, is the possibility of buying second hand. There is a load of stuff in the Classified section on here, so get searching through that. There are always some serious bargains going there.
 

Conrad

Maximum Pace
Dec 8, 2014
399
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#16
A quick update on parts - I've ordered a full Ultegra 6800 groupset (compact crank 50/34, 11-28 cassette), Merlin had a 10% off sale with free shipping if anyone is interested.

I think it will go quite nicely with my frame.

I also got some Shimano PD-R550 pedals. They're not light at 300g but they should be reliable and of course they were less than half the price of Ultegra pedals.

I decided to try a Forza Cirrus Road Bike Saddle in red/black. 240g and supposed to be reasonably comfy on long rides.

And Deda Mistral red bartape, I'm not sure if it will work or be a bit on the nose, anyway it seems to fit in with the red/black theme of the bike.


I also got a small front light. Smart 7 Lux Super Slim in black. It only takes one AA battery but puts out a decent 7 lux light. I don't plan on doing much night riding with this bike, but it'll come in handy for tunnels.


All of this is in the mail so I'll be able to upload some real life pictures reasonably soon.
 
Likes: George5

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
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#17
If you have not yet received the Deda tape yet, consider changing the order to Fizik; it is about the same price, but unlike Deda tape does not come with 'nearly impossible to remove from your bars' sticky stuff on the back.
 

Conrad

Maximum Pace
Dec 8, 2014
399
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#19
Parts update, I bought some used farsports 38mm tubular rims, 24H/20H. I'm looking for hub ideas for these, so far I've looked at Bitex, Powerway and Novatec.


 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
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#20
Extralite have a new set of hubs called the CyberFront and CyberRear.

I have a direct contact with them, and have have emailed them to get a quote on these. They are closed until 8th January (Italians love their holidays). Will let you know how much I can get them for when they reply. Might be good for you, if they fall into what you deem 'budget' to be.

Extralite are definitely at the extremely superb end of the hub brand scale, making the lightest and most exotic hubs ever in the world ever, and actually releasing engineering diagrams and testing videos of their stuff. The Cyberhubs are simplified versions of their stupidly high end Ultrahubs. They are not as light as the Ultra hubs, but still insanely light at about 134g for the rear and 48g for the front. ie, well light.

I have no idea how much they cost yet, but the Ultrahubs are about 600 USD for the rear and 300 USD for the front, so they will be less than that (you will be relieved to hear).