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AndrewJ 01-24-2008 08:44 PM

Margo II: the build (project thread)
So as you may or may not know, Harold and I recently parted with our good friend Margot.

She was a good bike, but there's a new utility-bike coming soon that will be better suited to my needs.
Since said bike will only be sold as a frameset, I'll soon be building up my first bike from scratch.
Funny thing is that I believe the hard part is already over. It turns out that just choosing the parts is an unbelievably tough thing to do. The choices are truly endless, but at the same time, there are pretty strict limits to part-compatibility.
Do you need a front derailleur with a 28.6mm clamp or a 31.8mm?? Now just a dozen more little things like that...:eek:

So here's what I have amassed so far.

The keen-eyed among you may notice two seatposts, (neither of which is the correct one) and two front derailleurs (one of which is the right one). I learned a few of those parts-compatability lessons the hard way.

Shown above:
Nitto Albatross handlebars
120mm 15 degree rise stem
Shellacked cork grips
Shimano Dura-Ace bar end shifters
Tektro brake levers
Avid BB7 brakes (203mm front and 165mm rear)
Brooks B73 saddle
FSA the pig pro DH headset
Sugino MTB crankset with 42-32-22 rings
11-34t nine-speed cassette
26" 36 spoke disc brake wheelset
Shimano XT rear derailleur
Shimano XT front derailleur
Kalloy seatpost
Eggbeater mallet pedals
Various cables
Two 9-speed chains

And here's what I don't have yet.

Hopefully I will pick it up around February 25, when I'm back in Missouri. This particular frameset has had it's release date pushed back countless times now, but it's supposed to come out in mid-Feb, so I'm keepin' hope alive.

I know the thread's a little premature, but I couldn't help myself :D
I'm gettin' too excited about it not to post.

AndrewJ 02-21-2008 12:23 AM

Just got word from my LBS that the frame will be waiting for me when I get there on Saturday :D

Pics of the headset and BB install to follow as soon as my parents 28k modem allows.

Gone4 02-21-2008 12:31 AM

In buying my new bike, I considered trying to do a build, but I gave up for lack of knowledge on compatibility. This definitely looks fun (and informative for me) so keep posting the details. Thanks!

AndrewJ 03-03-2008 11:19 PM

The Waiting Game, or "About Shipping Bikes"
So, my frame was indeed waiting for me in Missouri, but a problem remained. How to get it back to California?

Sure, I could have just bought the damn thing from a bike shop here in Cali, but I wanted to support my old LBS, those guys are frickin' awesome.

Because of the sheer size of the boxed frame, shipping was going to be a nightmare. UPS, FedEx and DHL would have charged "oversize III" charges (the box is about 66" x 22" x 12") and it would have cost about $120.

I would have been able to take it back to Cali on the airline for $80 extra if only the plane would have been a 757 or bigger. (I had a connector flight on a regional jet) If you ship a "regular" sized bicycle you may not have to pay the $80. :thumbup:

So at Karl's (the shop owners) recommendation I looked into shipping via Greyhound. It allegedly takes 7-10 business days to ship Greyhound, and that's pretty good. Normal UPS ground takes about that long in my area. But by far the best thing about it is the price. It only cost about $58 to ship by Greyhound.

Oh, and in the rest of the build, I won't be covering headset installation because I had my LBS do that part for me. Since I don't install that many headsets it's a lot more economical for me to pay them to do it than to buy my own tools ($175ish for the park press/crown race tools)

Lazarus 03-03-2008 11:27 PM

You must have the patience of an oyster. It's not my ride and I can hardly stand it. Look forward to pic's when it make it home. Are those the wheels and tires you will be running?

Was that a Brooks saddle on the original Surly?

AndrewJ 03-03-2008 11:39 PM

All good things to those who wait...

Or something like that :)

And yeah, those are the wheels and tires I'll be using. I just ordered bigger (slick 2.3") tires today, so those will be going on when I get them.

And the Brooks is new, I sold the old one with the bike, This one is a bit wider and has three coil springs instead of "just" two :D
It took exactly zero miles of breaking-in to be comfy.
The saddle was a pretty big consideration when I was choosing parts, I'm gonna have a pretty upright seating position with the "albatross" handlebars, so a wider saddle is pretty important.

MetroMPG 03-04-2008 08:24 AM

OK, so what's up with the funky architecture at the back of the frame? Is it an extended wheelbase... sort of an OEM xtra-cycle?

AndrewJ 03-04-2008 08:40 AM

exactly like an OEM xtracycle!

AndrewJ 03-06-2008 02:09 AM

The hardest day at work ever...
So about 30 minutes after I got to work today I get a call from Greyhound.

My bike is in, I can go pick it up whenever I want.

Sweet. :D

Oh wait, I'm at work. :mad:

Must work faster!!! :eek:

Several hours later, I'm glad I have a hatchback. This same box won't fit in my wifes Cavalier or my parents Plymouth Breeze.
(apologies in advance for the crappy pic. white cars in the sun aren't exactly easy on the camera...)

And here's what was in the box.

AndrewJ 03-06-2008 02:28 AM

Where to begin?
So. Step one. Install the fork.

Pretty easy really, just slide it in the headtube, slide the top bearing, spacers and stem over the forktube. Cap it all off with the headset cap, tighten, and you're done.

Next, we have the bottom bracket (BB)

So you need a special tool for most bottom brackets. Older bikes (and a lot of cheap department-store bikes) use different tools, but the one I'm using in the picture is pretty standard for "modern" bikes of decent-and-above quality.

To install your BB, simply grease the threads, install the cartridge first (the big part) and then put in the other (smaller) side.

Now the cranks. Slip them over the BB axle and then put in the bolts so they don't fall off. Tighten and you're done.

Pedals need to go on next. Depending on your pedals you'll have to use either a hex wrench or a pedal wrench (sometimes you can use either). In my case I use a hex wrench, the pedal wrench is just there for show.

Oh, and don't forget, pedals are threaded backwards on the drive side. So on the drive side (the side with the chain) it's "Righty-Loosey, Lefty-Tighty"

Now throw on those wheels and a seat and it's actually starting to look like a bicycle.

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