Tuesday, March 13, 2012


All a good bicycle build needs is Time...

Recently a long-overdue visit from my old mate Glenn was most welcome, as was his delivery of his new Time RXRS ULTeam frame "module" and a large selection of fruity bits and pieces. It's been a while since I blogged a build, and I thought you might enjoy this one of a very fine machine indeed...

The first step on a frameset like this is establishing the seat height, and as cutting an extended seat mast requires extreme and absolute diligence in measuring seat height, doing so without all variables accounted for is out of the question. To eliminate any possibility of dimensional error I decide it behooves me to fit the cranks before doing anything else, so to begin I carefully press in the Campagnolo adaptor cups with my custom-fabricated adaptors that work with my storied VAR headset press.

Campagnolo Super Record. There truly is nothing like it.

A reverse-threaded crank fixing bolt is torqued into the titanium bottom bracket axle. As the frame probably isn't well enough supported by my stand, and/or strong enough for a 100kg behemoth to be be swinging off a long lever as I deliver the high torque required, I whack the pre-tyred and cassetted wheels in to help facilitate the leverage required as I work on the ground.

With the wheels removed once more and no less than six careful measure and remeasure attempts I feel confident to gently secure the frame in my stand and veeeeery carefully begin to cut the seat mast using the Time-supplied cutting guide. Into the hands of Fate!

Not too much removed. After cutting I spend some time carefully sanding the "stump"

It's always a relief when the post-cut double-check shows that my numbers are on the money - millimetre perfect. I love it when a plan comes together, and this one sure did.

Cutting the steerer tube also requires great precision and, with the forks already installed as part of the "Module" it necessitated carefully lying the frame down and having at it. Again, the Time guide came into play.

Stem fitted and the clever "Quickset" headset given a tiny tweak to silky-smooth adjustment.

Out with the lubrification - cheers, Dave!

Time to fit the SR rear derailleur.

Look Keo Carbon Blade pedals installed.

The rear brake caliper goes on next...

...and I do my best to line up the pads to the Zipp 404 Firecrest wheels without yet being at the stage of fitting the cables.

An eponymous bottle cage looks the part.

The latest iteration of the venerated San Marco Regal saddle is as comfortable as the earliest versions dating back around 20 years.

I carefully set up and align the Super Record Ergolevers on the Time carbon handlebars...

...then fit the 'bars into the stem, using carbon paste and careful wielding of my torque wrench.

I whip out my beloved UT-CN300, measure and shorten the chain, then push through and peen the joining link pin. 

I manually set the limit screws to ensure the chain won't go into the spokes or down into the frame, checking first that the hanger is aligned - unusually for a new bike, this one was perfect.

All done except for cables and handlebar tape.

Gear cables cut to length and fitted...

...gears adjusted and working perfectly, with traditional Campag precision.

Getting the cables to cross over just so is one of my OCD fixations - I just can't stand seeing bikes with fucked-up differing length bits of cable hanging out all over the place like the spaghetti dropped on the manager of the Death Ray Chemical Corporation's head. I am cognisant, however, of the fact that this photo doesn't exactly demonstrate my point...

Brake cables fitted. Ah, just so.

Handlebars taped.

Almost finished...

Anti-rattle tape in place - thanks to my man Doon for this tip from back in the day.

Onto the scales is the final step before the test ride. 7.04kg with pedals and bottle cage is pretty damn good for a larger bike like this!

And finis. Glenn's Time RXRS ULTeam built and ready to go. May he enjoy many, many kilometres of fun aboard this stunning machine that was the most fun build job I've had in ages. Cheers, Glenn.

Thanks for reading, Oli


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the valve anti-rattle tip. Much better than trying wedging stuff in the gap. :-)

Chris Y

Davo said...

Good read OBW. I had to Google 'behoove'!


Anonymous said...

Love the OCD to detail Oli. There's nothing more satisfying than getting a build perfect. Well, apart from then riding it!
Will have to try the anti rattle tape trick