Monday, October 29, 2007

PowerTap Wheels

I love to build wheels more than almost any other job; bar fitting Record gruppos to beautiful road frames, of course! Here are a wicked pair of wheels I built up over the weekend for my friend Glenn. He obtained the PowerTap hubs (carbon rear and rare matching front) and I supplied my favoured Mavic Open Pro CD rims and some black DT Swiss Competition spokes and alloy nipples. I laced them up standard 3 cross, as per PowerTap's recommendation, and also to provide a lovely responsive ride...

These hot wheels are going on this very cool Time VRXS that Glenn rates as his best frame ever - high praise from a man who has owned several Colnago's, including a Master Olympic, a titanium CT-1 and a C-40! Full Campagnolo Record gruppo, naturally.

Note that the PowerTap is wireless. Also note that the tyres are yet to be fitted. ;-)

Cheers, Oli

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!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Labour Day - No rest for the wicked!

After yesterday's great ride up Makara Peak with my eldest son Kester, and against the whole ethos of today's public holiday, I spent Wellington's third consecutive sunny day in my cave building a Lynskey Pro 29er. I thought you might enjoy an insight into one of my builds, so here's a small sequence of pictures. You can easily see why I didn't mind working Labour Day so much...

1st Step: I use Tacx Dynamic Compound to fit the Thud-Buster seatpost, then use the post to clamp the frame in my workstand. Note the glimpse of sun outside my workshop door...

2nd Step: I check out the funky sliding dropouts, grease all threads and reassemble them to torque.

3rd Step: Now I have fitted the Bontrager Race Lite rear wheel (pre-built, although I fitted the Avid rotor), Sram X9 rear and Shimano XTR front derailleur, FSA carbon crankset and MegaExo bottom bracket, and Sram 971 chain.

Step 4: Now I have carefully pressed in the Chris King headset, cut down and installed the White Brothers forks, chucked in the front wheel, as well as fitted the AlphaQ stem and X Roc carbon riser 'bars, Sram X9 shifters, RaceFace grips and Avid Juicy Carbon front and rear disc brakes.

Step 5: Then I install the derailleur cables, give the gears and brakes a run through in the stand, recheck all torques and it's almost done!

The final step is to fit some flat pedals and test ride the machine. While not a true test (I didn't go off-road at all...) I found the handling to be much more nimble than I assumed, and the bike felt light and agile. I look forward to a proper test up Koru one day soon, as I'm sure it will be as sweet a ride as it was fun to put together...

Hope you enjoyed watching me build it as much as I enjoyed doing it! Cheers, Oli

Thursday, October 18, 2007

If this is Spring I don't wanna be sprung...

Curse this fickle Wellington weather! One day sunny with extreme galeforce winds, the next day freezing with extreme galeforce winds and hail...No sign of sustained decent Spring conditions at all, dammit. I'm used to the wind at this time of year (okay, all year really...), but not the amount of rain and cold we've been experiencing. Even Jacques Anquetil would be getting ratty!

Apart from the weather it's been cool, though. After escorting Bodhi on his Tour de Botanical Gardens on Saturday, I managed to get out for a sifty Sunday blast on my MTB for the first time in months, which totally rocked. Nice to reconnect with the dirt on my GT I-Drive. I rode Mt Albert and Mt Vic and cruised home through the Basin Reserve, where I stopped to listen to a young woman playing the bagpipes (!?) superbly in the late afternoon sun. This was followed the next day by a fun road ride around the Bays on my Hillbrick, which was only slightly marred by the wind slowing me to a 12kph crawl around Point Jerningham!! "There is always wind on the road" is there, Jacques?

The shop is still cranking, and among other jobs this week I especially enjoyed building a set of 1570g MTB wheels for a friend. They had supplied me with an XTR rear hub and an XT front hub, and a pair of 32 hole Mavic XC717 disc rims, then I used DT Competition spokes on the rear and DT Revolutions on the front with aluminium nipples all round. Lovely! Lightweight without losing strength and durability for a hard-charging downhill oriented XC racer...

I also had a nice time today fettling my friend Nick's Litespeed Vortex by swapping out his 1997 original edition 9 speed Dura Ace for a 2007 10 speed version of same. The bike is finished with FSA's cool shallow drop handlebars with Fizik gel tape, an FSA carbon post with a Fizik K:1 saddle, Bontrager carbon cranks and a wicked pair of Real Designs carbon/aluminium clincher deeps. I've posted a pic of this lovely bike below...

Lastly, but by no means leastly (?) I wanted to give a massive shout out to Welli's own Garry Humpherson who just won the World Masters Championships 70+ Individual Pursuit Gold! This was a Champion ride by a Champion bloke. After the impressive feat of setting a World Record in qualifying, Garry had to come from being down at the start of the final to finishing clearly on top and winning the gold medal! Absolutely brilliant, and thoroughly well deserved by this multiple (both title and discipline) New Zealand National Champion. I'm proud to have one of Garry's National Champion jerseys hanging in Roadworks and you can be sure I'll be badgering him relentlessly for a loan of his World Champions one...

Ciao, Oli

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Nothing to report...

That's not to say it's gone quiet at Roadworks - far from it! The pre-Taupo build-up is well in swing, and I've been building wheels like they're going out of fashion, as well as doing general services, the odd TT conversion and all the usual stuff...that combined with my son's 12th birthday last weekend, Friday night drinks at Revolution Bicycles in Northland and other pressing social engagements have conspired to keep me offline a bit. Also no new pics of fruity bikes makes for a slightly more dull post, but at least you know I'm still here! I'll post again as soon as I have something more to offer. :-D

In the meantime, please get in touch if I can be of help, though remember I am flat out at the moment so need as much notice as possible. Generally I am booked out for a given week by the end of the Monday!

I'm off for a ride with Bodhi now! Cheers, Oli