Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another day, another build...

This time a Lynskey HB310R frame, with an AlphaQ GS10 fork and finishing kit supplied by Bike Fixation. I got the Campagnolo gruppo and Eurus wheelset from NZ Campagnolo distributor W.H.Worrall and Co. Ltd...which was nice.

Hope I'm not overdoing it with all this wall to wall titanium but it's in my nature to share! By the way, this sort of premium bike build usually takes me about 3 to 4 hours per bike, not including building wheels.

Step 1: Grease AlphaQ post and fit Flite saddle. Put in stand. Wipe off drool.

Step 2: Install Chris King headset then AlphaQ GS10 forks. These forks require a reinforcing sleeve/star nut to be epoxied in and cured overnight, so here's one I prepared earlier...Fit AlphaQ stem and lovely carbon 'bars, as well as carbon spacers. Fit tubes and Vittoria Rubino Pro tyres to Campagnolo Eurus wheelset. Fit 13-26 cassette also. Fit wheel to frame.

Step 3: Discover I am supposed to fit a Campag seat clamp instead of the Lynskey one (blush) so do that and set seat height while I'm at it. Fit AlphaQ carbon bottle cages. Chase bottom bracket threads using my cool Park Tools BTS-1 threading and facing tool.

Step 4: Install Campagnolo Record Ultra-Torque bottom bracket cups. Marvel at near seamless juncture between frame and cup...

Step 5: Install Campagnolo Chorus Ultra-Torque compact crankset. Fit Chorus Ergolevers, front derailleur, chain and Skeleton brake calipers. Fit front wheel. Set derailleur limits and brake pads as well as possible.

Step 6: Install Campag cable kit with appropriate grommets, o-rings and cable end caps, pre-stretch all cables and properly adjust gears and brakes.

Step 7: Fit Specialized Bar Phat handlebar tape, run through the gears and brakes one more time, fit pedals and take for test ride. This bike is too small for me to really judge effectively, but it felt damn good as far as I could tell. This photo was taken with the bike on my Ultimate scales, where it weighed in at only 7.3kg sans pedals. An awesome weight for such a solid bike that will literally last a lifetime...

After the test, I recheck the headset, brakes, gears, quick releases and all bolts, just in case things have bedded in during the ride.

A couple of things a test ride won't immediately reveal are the incredible quality of the welds on these beautiful machines, as well as the artistry in the shaping of the tubes. At first glance it appears to be almost conservative, then you notice the gently curved seat stays, then the asymmetrical chainstays, the moderately ovalised down and top tubes, all wrapped up in a semi-sloping frame package. There aren't many current frames that really inspire passion in me these days, but Lynskey definitely do.

Thanks for bearing with me over the last two days - I promise not to post every step of every frame I ever build! :-D

Pedal on, Oli

P.S. More congratulations are due Garry Humpherson for his bronze medal in the 70+ Points Race at the Masters Worlds, to follow his gold in the IP earlier this week. What an inspiration and an absolute legend Garry is!