Monday, February 15, 2010
Legendary framebuilder to the Stars Dario Pegoretti with star Roadworks client Richard Tait at Dario's factory in Caldonazzo 2004.
For months and months I've been looking forward to building my friend Dave's custom built Pegoretti, and finally it arrived, necessitating the latest in my sporadic series of step-by-step build logs.
I've been lucky enough to have sold one and built two of these delicious machines over the years, and have long been a fan of Dario Pegoretti's aesthetic and his superlative construction, so I was rapt last year when Dave announced he was going to order one. He asked me to help order his Columbus steel Marcelo frame and if I'd like eventually build it up, and I didn't need very long at all to answer with a resounding YES.
In the end my advice was restricted to fitting advice and component spec (and building it, of course!), as he eventually ended up having to obtain it through the Australian distributor Stanmore Cycles due to the New Zealand wholesaler sadly not being able to help at this time.
When Dave brought the boxes containing the frame and components in to the shop I was almost as excited to unwrap it as I would be if it were my own. The flawless white "Thelonius" paintjob and clever understated graphics looked very cool, and even a cursory glance showed that yet again Dario has created a virtuoso performance out of some simple tubes of Columbus steel.
I clamped it very carefully into my Park stand and examined the frame carefully...
...from all angles - I love the lasercut headtube badge!
Check out the neat new dropout design. Also look at the beefy stays, a big part of the stiffness this frame will exhibit.
Before prepping the frame I gave it my customary base coat of wax, which really showed off the groovy graphics.
Dario had kindly given me the perfect location for my corporate branding.
I brought out my dwindling supply of Campagnolo grease for the seatpost sleeve - nothing but the best on a job like this!
I then installed the Selcof seatpost and Fizik Arione saddle to the correct height.
Before ogling (and waxing) the top tube...
Once I was satisfied the frame was clean, waxed and as well protected from the ravages of my greasy mitts as possible, I set to work proper. I ran my facing tool through the bottom bracket threads only to find it was totally unnecessary - Stanmore Cycles had done a good job of chasing (cleaning the threads) and facing (creating perfectly parallel surfaces) the b/b, and facing and reaming (ensuring the inside surface is perfectly round) the headtube. They had also taken the time to rust protect the insides of the tubes. Good stuff, and essential details that are often missed by supposedly reputable bike shops.
However, I was able to feel a slight amount of unnecessarily smug satisfaction by discovering I still needed to run my taps through the derailleur hanger...
...the bottle cage mounts...
...and the down-tube cable-stop mounts, to clean excess paint from the threads.
Now the fun really begins! Installing brand new Campagnolo parts to a new fully-prepped Italian steel frame is an almost orgasmic experience if you're a sad old bike porn addict like me.
First I fitted the b/b cups.
Then the headset cups. Integrated headsets are all very well but I like the look of a more traditional external bearing one - plus I do love using my veteran VAR headset press.
Then I Park Tooled the hell out of the crown race.
I faffed around with various spacers before satisfying myself I had the handlebar height numbers exactly where Dave would like them (using his Cervelo R2 as a template) plus with a good amount of wiggle room in case the different geometry necessitated a slightly different position. I then cut the steerer of his colour-coded Mizuno carbon forks to length, cheating a bit by doing it with them in the frame - not a technique for the inexperienced or inattentive!
Hmmm, maybe a tad over-conservative? Don't worry gentle readers, I'm not distracted by the Tour dvd playing but, as I always say, you can cut it down later but you can't cut it back up again! I am mindful of the bad experience years ago of being told against my advice by a client to cut the steerer of his new Colnago C40 so the stem was flush with the headset only for him to find it was in fact too low, necessitating a new pair of $900 forks!
I fitted the beautiful front and rear Chorus Skeleton brake calipers. I actually prefer the satin silver lustre of these over the top-level Record calipers in black.
Then I fitted the sexy King bottle cages - classic lines never date, nor does good taste. Nice work, Dave.
On with the alliteratively cool Chorus carbon cranks.
And the new 11 speed Chorus rear derailleur. It's much chunkier than the previous 10 speed version, and I am honestly not sure I like the look of it as much, but the 11 speed kit certainly shifts better than the the flexier predecessor gruppo.
The rear wheel slotted precisely into the dropouts as you'd expect. I built the wheels for Dave well before Christmas so it is nice to see them finally on their intended mount. The training tyres will be swapped out in short order as soon as his proper Michelin Pro3 Race ones arrive from the UK.
I had missed fitting the bottom bracket cable guide earlier, so did so now.
I clamped the Deda Zero100 handlebars into the ITM Millennium carbon/aluminium stem. Most likely Dave will be going to a different and slightly shorter stem but establishing the perfect fit takes time and actual on-the-road experience to determine, so this will suffice initially. The white bars look great and will definitely be staying!
Next I set up the Chorus Ergolevers. The dramatic new shape of Campag's brake/shift levers lends itself to better positioning on the hoods and drops and are more comfortable than the old models - the superb function of the lever blade and excellent thumb-shifter has only been enhanced...
Time now to sort out the lengths of the various brake cable housings, double-check them then cut and fit them.
Once the cables are wired up I make the the pads are carefully aligned to the rim braking surface before snugging everything up tight.
We were waiting for an errant front derailleur mounting band to turn up - thanks to the guys at Capital Cycles (check out their blog too) for sorting us out there. Once Dave dropped it off to me I was able to fit the front derailleur and proceed with the rest of the drivetrain.
I sussed the gear cable housing lengths and wired up the rear mech.
Then taped the housings to the bars.
Under Dave's scrutinising gaze I carefully cut down and installed the 11 speed chain, using my precious Campagnolo UT-CN300 11 speed chain tool.
I then set the limits on and wired up the front derailleur, then gave the front and rear gears a run-through before giving them the final tune and check. My God, the 11 speed stuff shifts well - to my mind only Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 electronic shifting is better, and not by very much...
I fitted Dave's pedals then it was time to tape the 'bars...
One last check over of the whole bike, another swipe of wax where I'd handled it, and I am done. Much to Dave's dismay I insisted it would have to be me who test-rode the bike first so, as he sobbed inconsolably on the couch, I took it out for a quick sprint up and down the street outside before taking a couple of the usual shots for posterity.
Obviously it's too small for me and I was wearing sneakers, but man it still feels damn good on first impressions. Hopefully I'll get Dave to write up a wee review now he's ridden it for a few weeks, as I'd be very interested to hear his thoughts on the ride characteristics of this incredible machine. I'm not often jealous of other guy's bikes but I sure am with this one!
Here's Dave's thread on Roadbike Review.com - read on - and some close up photos that he took...one day I'll get me a camera that can take close-ups! Cheers very much to Dave firstly for the job, and also for the link and the pics.
Welds at the seat cluster.
Another shot of the dropouts/stays.
The bottom bracket.
The Chorus chainset in all it's glory.
The front end of the Marcelo.
And an arty shot of the head badge to finish off with...
Until the next time, thanks for reading. Cheers, Oli