Monday, February 7, 2011

Continued Cold

It has been a while since my last post/ride, and the weather has been brutal. More cold, a couple of snow/sleet/freezing rain storms, and a trip to Miami have kept me off the bike. But all is not lost, I have spent the downtime combing through all of my old hobbies in the basement, and selling off the remains of them (RC Car racing, slot cars) on Ebay. I then turned that money around into my current hobby in the form of converting my bike to Campagnolo from the Shimano drivetrain it came with. I had been accumulating parts for about 2 weeks, and finally got them all in a couple of weeks ago, so the conversion was on.

Here is the bike up on the stand to start the stripping down process.
I ended up getting new wheels, as Campy doesn't use the same cassette (rear gears) pattern as Shimano does. As a bonus, these wheels are about a pound lighter than the stock ones they replaced.
At this point in the evening I was rolling right along, all the while it was snowing outside, but then I got to this point.
This is the bottom bracket, and like everything else, Campagnolo and Shimano don't use the same mounting so it had to come out. I spent a pretty goodly amount of time trying to remove it, but had no luck. The last attempt was to put the tool in the vice, set the bike on top of the tool, and use the frame as the lever to turn it out. I started to turn and all of a sudden this huge bang, I was sure I had just broken the frame, but in fact this is what broke.
This brought my project to and end for the evening, it was time to take it to a pro to have it removed. Here is the scene on my bench, that flat metal thing is Kathleen's kitchen scale, as a total geek, I weighed all of the old and new parts to see how much weight I was saving. Also there is my copy of Zinn and the art of road bike maintenance, very handy for this job.
The next morning I put the bike up on the car, and drove through the snow to work, figuring I would run out on my lunch hour and get that done. Well the snowstorm from the night before had caused quite a mess on the roads, there were cars like this all over the place.
The storm had hit the afternoon before at rush hour, and there were hundreds of cars abandoned on the roads and freeways, several of my co-workers had commutes home that lasted 4-8 hours. Luckily, the guys at 20 Twenty Cycling had made it in to their shop, and with one guy holding the bike and the other one standing on the wrench handle (their wrench was more sophisticated than mine, but since I saw theirs, I know how to modify mine for the future), they got the old bottom bracket out.
So it was back to work that evening installing new parts, here is the Token carbon fiber crankset installed, pretty sexy don't you think.
Here is the rest of the drivetrain installed, including the Campy Veloce front derailleur, and the Carbon Fiber Centaur rear derailleur.
At this point it is starting to look like a whole bike again, but in reality there was still quite a bit more to do, as those are the Shimano shift/brake levers still on the handlebars. But since it was getting late, I stopped here for the night.
Continuing on on Saturday, I stripped down the handlebars and removed the old shifters, this necessitated a trip to the bike shop for new bar tape, the old tape ripped while I was trying to (carefully) remove it. But I did get them stripped down.
Then the new Veloce shifters went on.
Once I was happy with their placement, I stared the cable routing, the Campy shifters route the cables under the bar tape.
Once I had gotten the cable routing right, and the shifters/brakes adjusted, it was time for new bar tape.
At this point the bike was ready to ride again, so I wheeled it out of the garage for the official picture (drive side out, chain on the big ring in the front, small ring in the back, in front of a white garage door).
Unfortunately there was no hope of going for a test ride with it, when I took that picture I was standing in 8" of snow and slush in the alley. So back into the garage it went, and off to Miami for work I went. While I was in Miami my last ebay purchase arrived (from Taiwan no less), a set of Mr Control Brakes. Kathleen sent me a picture as a tease.
Unfortunately, I was still facing a week of 18 hour days in Miami before I was going to be able to do anything with them. Here I am at work, learning a new skill, I am operating the video switcher here for an evening breakout session, 25 years in the production biz, and I have never touched any of this kind of stuff.
I survived my week of work, and spent part of a day in South Beach with Kathleen (she came down mid-week and enjoyed some sunshine and my hotel room while I was working) before we flew back up on Superbowl Sunday evening. While Kathleen soaked in the tub that evening, I went back to work in the garage getting the new brakes installed.
Then this morning I got up early and finally went out for a ride. I went down to the Inner Harbor, and saw the evidence of the continued cold, I have never seen this area iced over before.
It was still farking cold out, the phone said 34 degrees when I got up, and as a result my hands were a little cold, so I made it a fairly short ride and headed for home to get ready for work. The good news is that all of my work actually worked, no problems shifting or stopping on the shakedown ride, and I ended up shaving shaving a little more than 2 pounds off the bike weight by changing all of the components, plus I went from 18 speeds to 20 speeds. The Campy stuff shifts like butter, very smooth gear changes, and the Mr Control brakes did in fact stop the bike. Hopefully the weather will warm up a little soon so I can get out again.

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