Half of the reason I enjoy bikes is the fact that they’re easy (were easy?) to mess around with. So, I spend an unnecessary amount of time and money playing around with different setups on my bikes.
I’ve done some questionable things (rigid fork on a Top Fuel being one of them… not terrible, surprisingly), but the latest upgrade? downgrade? to my Lynskey R300 has turned out well, I think. I wanted to add a bit more off-pavement bite than 32mm GP5000s could offer, so I swapped out the fork to a slightly taller and slightly more roomy Enve AR and installed 35mm Gravelking SKs. The frame lists a 32mm as the max, but it looks like a 38mm would fit just fine. So far, so good. Not a huge change, but it made an already fun bike that much better for the type of riding I like to do, plus I already have a normal road bike for road bike things.
I also changed the rear derailleur cable routing from the silly setup from Lynskey to a full-length housing that runs with the rear brake hose. It’s still not ideal, but it’s better than the cable sticking about an inch out of the side of the bike like a guy wire. 3M’s brushed titanium vinyl doesn’t match quite as well as I’d hoped, but it’s better than a hole or two in the head tube.
So, what are you working on, be it something questionable that you’ve been curious about, restoring something, or just fixing what’s broken? I have a BMC Twostroke that I’m not wild about as a MTB, so maybe I’ll dig into my parts pile and do something ill-advised but fun to that one next.
I’m building up a gravel bike using a Carbonda CFR707 (open mold!) frame. It’s my first full bike build so I’m expecting a few “learning experiences” along the way. I’ve scrounged up all the major parts for my GRX 2x build and am just waiting on the frame to arrive. It will probably be a lengthy process, as I’m also doing the painting myself, but I’m looking forward to getting started. Plus I have bikes to ride in the meantime, so not a huge rush!
It’s starting to get wet around here, so I’m putting fenders/mudguards back on my bike and switching the front wheel over to a disc brake. This means replacing the front carbon fork with a heavier steel fork that has about the same axle-to-crown measurement.
Besides the carbon fork being lighter, I like the rim brake because it just has better braking, but I want the disc for the rain because reasons. I realized the poor disc braking power is partly because of the 105 levers- they have less mechanical advantage and they’re made for the 105 dual pivot rim calipers, not the TRP Spyre cable disc calipers. I’m clamping the cable on the other side of the bolt on the caliper, trying to match the mechanical advantage of the lever.
I might file a slight groove in the clamp to help keep the cable in place, but I don’t think this is too unsafe- sure, if the cable slipped, I’d lose all braking ability on that wheel, but it would be no different if it slipped with the cable routed properly. Note to self: make sure cable bolt is tight.
Braking power still isn’t great. I’m playing around with different rotors and pads- mix and match of TRP and Shimano pads and rotors- and it seems full TRP works best. I’ll make sure to bed the pads a bit more too. Maybe I’ll look for other pads- I hear people like SwissStops.
I’ve also received a new sheet metal part for my 12 speed shifter conversion to change the cable pull a little, but I want to record the teardown and reassembly process for the shift lever, so I’m still setting up for that. Maybe I’ll get to it tomorrow. If that goes well, I’ll post the project on Thingiverse and update the thread I started here.
Have you tried metallic pads? At least in my experience with discs and rain, standard resin pads and discs don’t really offer a whole lot of advantage over rim brakes (or are sometimes worse). They both work, but neither are ideal. Metallic pads seem to do a little better in wet conditions.
The DIY paintjob on the carbon frame sounds fun. I’ll be interested to see how that works out.
My last big cycling project was rebuilding an old (2006) Specialized Rockhopper with my son. It was gifted to us by some friends who were moving - perfect timing since he was outgrowing his old bike. We spent a few weekends pulling out all apart, cleaning everything, and then putting it back together.
He was actually quite interested in the process and looked forwards to seeing the progress at our next work session, and now he has a much better bike. I think he has a lot more pride in it too since he did most of the wrenching.
Everything was in decent shape other than the tires, brake pads, chain, cables, and grips, so it wasn’t a very expensive project either.
If only I get get my daughter interested in working on her bike…
Converting my winter bike from Sram 10-speed to 11 (easy, just needed new shifters) to be able to use its very nice alloy wheels on my 11-speed summer rocket. Also replacing the bars (31,7 Dedas suck, they slip in 31,8 Pro stems), which is a bit more work as it requires bartape job to be done again.
For now I have just changed the cassette and set the alloy wheels on the summer bike, and have to do all the wrenching on the winter bike (brilliant as I am entering the wettest month of the year where I live ^^).
Other than that I am considering building some kind of a gravel shredder with parts I mostly have, but life happens and money is short, so it is not happening for now
My current project sounds mundane, but I defy any of you to sneak a complete Campy SR disc gruppo into your shed without getting busted! I suspect that I can possibly get away with a wheelset, but once the frame lands the fireworks will start. On the plus side I cannot belive that I have managed to get a 50% deposit paid on that without any suspicion. Handlebars were meant to arrive this week, but I have diverted them until my missus is out of town next Friday.
So what is the project? Can’t elaborate too much as I have promised to Dave Rome that I will write up something for the site, but it is a custom steel Italian road bike. My major outstanding task is to decide on the paint finish. And probably to finalise accommodation options once the steel bits arrive.
My daughter and I are currently dealing the shifters on her new bike to grip shifters. She’s not super excited about bike maintenance, but she’s finally admitting to outgrowing her beloved 24" bike. I found a secondhand bike in decent shape and the same color. Once we’re done with the shifters it will meet all of her specs.
I have no delusions that this will spark a love of bicycle mechanical work, but hopefully she’ll see it’s not too hard to keep a bike running and will be comfortable with simple adjustments.