somewhat daily mutterings

/Cycling Colnago Build-up, Phase IV

Let's just make a long story short and say I finished up the build this weekend. I actually rode the bike today, on a 40-miler, with no catastrophes. The bike handles great and is stiffer than I expected (like the Serotta was a few months ago. I was however, riding with a hack. To understand that, you have to read the long story.

colnago side view

Colnago, side view


  • Having gotten the bushing for the front derailleur from the bike shop, I prepared to hook up the derailleur. I had tried hooking up the rear derailleur earlier in the week, and impatiently had gone ahead and mounted the chain to see it in action. Of course, this meant that I had to break the chain to put on the front derailleur. This, I screwed up mightily. I don't know what came over me, but I put the chain into the wrong "saddle" in the chain tool, and proceeded to bend the thing all out of whack. What a mess.
  • Mounted front derailleur and installed new chain. Of course, this is a new chain on an old cassette, but my boss must not have put many miles on this casette, because it doesn't skip nearly as much as I expected. Just a tick here and there every few minutes/miles. I can live with it.
  • Now, I set about adjusting the front derailleur. This went relatively smoothly, except that the derailleur body wouldn't sit at the right angle to the chainrings. So, I used a very special repair technique to fix it: I bent it into submission. Adjustments here went pretty smoothly.
  • Hooked up the rear derailleur and tried to adjust it, again. Had lots of trouble. All the trouble, it turns out was related to this cable-hanger thingy on my chainstay. It's too big for small SIS cable, which slips right through once enough pressure is applied (which explained my problems with adjusting the indexing), and too small for the larger 4mil cable. I ended up using the larger 4mil cable and cutting the housing away, leaving about 5mm of exposed housing wire. This housing wire acted as a ferrule of sorts that fit into the cable hanger. Once this hack was snugged up, it was fairly stable and gave reasonable shifting, but I knew I needed a real fix.
  • Mounted the seat on the lovely Thomson seatpost.
  • Wrapped the bars. Most beautiful job I've ever done. This was my first time with Deda bar tape - I like it. Of course, I wrapped the bars before double-checking the brifter lever position. Luckily the levers aren't too much lower than I normally like them, and I could scoot them up a bit, even with the tape on. I rotated the bar a bit higher than I normally keep it, to get the levers even more to what I'm used to.

At this point, the bike actually is a bike, rideable and all. I test rode it around my neigborhood, and my first impressions were that it wasn't as nimble as I'd assumed it would be, and didn't turn as tightly as I'd expected. However, it rode fine no-handed, and with the history that this bike seems to have (the top tube is a mess), that was good news.


  • While riding this morning, I took note of a few adjustments that I needed to make: scoot seat back .5", lower bars 1.5cm, tighten cranks again, tighten pedals again. I made these adjustments as soon as I returned from the ride.
  • Went out in search of the proper part for the rear derailleur cable hanger, and other niceties. After a couple of trips, I had exactl what I needed.
  • Re-installed another set of front/rear shift cables (the ends of the ones I'd just put on days ago were frayed). This time, I used a plastic inner-housing-like material (one of the other niceties I picked up) routed through the BB shell cable channels to save wear and tear on the frame, and to get smoother shifting. On the rear I used the nifty ferrule to properly install the final loop of housing at the derailleur.
  • Adjustments went quickly and smoothly this time. The bike is, dare I say it, done.
colnago side view

Colnago, front 3/4 view

Posted: Sun Aug 08 16:31:24 -0700 2004

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