Jun 192012

We started with this …

Bike in a Box

It’s Friday morning, 11:30am, and I carry the box of parts into the workshop. Like the person who wields the power in front of the white board because he’s the one holding the Chisel-Tip-Patented-3-Chamber-Technology-Endura-Glide(TM)-Dry-Erase marker, Stan owns the special tools which will save me having to make a substantial investment in hardware for only a one-time use. So while I still need to have the use of his Bottom Bracket Facing Set and Bearing Cup Press I’ll let him continue to believe that his presence is necessary to this whole bicycle birthing operation.

Stan, right, and Ifan

Stan, right, and Ifan

I have already installed the tubeless Kenda Navegal tires on Stan’s custom build wheels. Only after I went through the whole process of seating the tire beads on the rims and having to find compressed air to get them to seat and seal and pouring the Stan’s goop into them did I stop to think: which direction should the tread be? And realized that in my excitement about the whole goopiness of the operation that I had forgotten to check for the less than prominent direction arrows on the Navegal tires. And sure enough, I had mounted both in the reverse direction. However, even I had successfully already fixed the saddle to the seat post. That seat post is the first component to be fitted to the seat tube since it will enable the frame to clamped to the bike stand so that we can install the other components.

It turned out that the supposedly simple act of fitting the Forte Pro carbon fiber seat post into the seat tube was on of the trickiest operations that morning; it just did not want to slide down into the tube and we did not want to crack the carbon fiber post. The other operation that turned out to be trickier than expected was pressing the headsets into the frame. But then, headsets are a whole other experience unto themselves. Where did all that variety and complexity come from?

Building the Skeleton

It was fortunate that I had kept Stan happy and feeling useful because when we came to mount the wheels I needed to use his special equipment again. The tire had to be taken off the wheel, reversed carefully so as not to spill the goop sealant, and could we use your compressed air hose to reseat and seal the tires back on the rims, please?.

To add some color to the rather dull (I call it “sophisticated”) grey-green of the frame I was had intended to use gold sheathing for the derailleur cables and red for the hydraulic breaks. As it turned out, the gold sheathing was not long enough for the two runs, so I have black and red cables. I like the look of the red, it matches the X0 logos and wheel nipples, so I am going to replace the black derailleur with matching red sheathing one of these days.

Putting Flesh on the Bones

By now it’s 3:00pm, having taken out a half hour lunch break, and the labor is over. We unscrew the seatpost from the stand and gently lower the brand new baby Not-a-Horsethief 29r. It’s a bike! It really is a real 29r mountain bike.

… and ended with this

perfect baby