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My First Bike Build pt5 : Final Post


Maximum Pace
Aug 27, 2012
This will round out the Bike Build articles with just a few last parts to mention.
First up, the chain. I started with the latest Ultegra chain. Directional and seemingly well reviewed I had no problems fitting it, but from the start it didn't seem happy with the Sram crank (noisy contact). More worryingly was that it seemed slack width-wise sitting on the cogs (D-A 7900) at the rear - like it was slightly too wide. After the first ride and little improvement on the noise front I decided to jump back to the same brand as my on my Boardman Pro - KMC. In this case a X10-SL.

I got gold because I thought it goes with the Yellow, but I think next time I replace I'll go back to silver - the gold is slightly too bling (?) Mechanically it's definately better than the Ultegra chain. Sits better on both front and rear and less noisy
For the seat I decided to try the Fizik Aliante (having tried just about every other seat in their range). Seems very comfortable and I covered the 100km last Monday without any complaints apart from when on the drops. Think it might be even better on my Pro where I sit more upright. I'm going to try my Fizik Arione on this bike in a few weekends to see if its more comfortable on the drops and if not, that will go on sale (used it once on the Pro and found it didn't suit my sit bones when more upright). Pleased with the saddle bag (size M) using their PA:K connection - fits spare, inflator, tools, cable lock, and mobile phone in without problem and far enough back to never touch my legs

One of the extras I'm most pleased about is the Garmin out-front mount. Looked like an expensive bit of plastic when I ordered it but, is really well engineered, fits well, very rigid and even has a replaceable insert if you manage to wear it out. I've tightened and loosened it many times when playing with the bars and it always bolts nicely tight on the bar without suggesting the thread is about to give up like so many plastic attachments usually do.

Talking of Garmin I had to figure out where the cadence monitor was going to go, given the battery sits on top of the left rear stay. If I left it on top (and to the rear of the battery) then the crank stem magnet was nowhere near it. Putting it underneath reverses the unit and thus I had to bring it forward, but not so far forward that the magnet on the spokes was missing it. A lot of little adjustment before winching the cable-ties tight got it so both magnets passed close enough to light the LED

The one bargain buy on the bike turned out to be the water bottle holders. A close-out sale at a local (now ex-) bike shop turned up some carbon ones. Normally I would avoid them given the plastic ones only weigh a gram or two more and do an equally good job for a 1/5th of the price, but these were down to 1/8th of their starting price!

So finally back to the Bars. As you may remember I wasn't happy with angle of the shifters onto the bar for my hands. The bar was comfortable by itself and shifters were good - just the combo seemed wrong, even after trying a multitude of positions (and then fitting the tape) on a second ride. So after reading a few items on the web it seems the latest D-A and Ultegra shifters which are smaller than say SRAM, or even Shimano's own 105 shifters, need a tighter radius bar. To make sure I got it right I popped along to Y's and picked up a PRO (ie Shimano) compact bar. You can see the difference in curvature between them (and reach!), when I hold the old bar in front of the fitted PRO

Fitting the shifters on the new bar instantly showed they were right for each other - the transition from bar to shifter is flat and soooo much more comfortable. I didn't have a great side photo of the old bar to shifter transition, but I hope this one alongside a new bar photo shows what I mean with a little bit of blue graphics help -

Anyway it does mean I'll have another part I'll be selling off in the classifieds - a smart and light Carbon BBB Bar recommended for use with SRAM, Tiagra, 105, etc shifters

So thats it for the build. The bike has clocked up 200km's in the last two weekends and I'll take it for a mountain ascent this weekend. It picks up speed beautifully and goes like the clappers (with only my clapped-out legs holding it back). The brakes are now working much better since I used the Tacx adjustment tool. Best of all it's soooo light.
Not yet 100% happy with all the gear transistions so an E-project Di2-PC adaptor turned up in the post this morning for me to play with the electrics, but that's for an entirely different post......


Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
Looks great; let's have a pic of the whole bike in all its glory!
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