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Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of putting components on my bike and was wondering if there was a logical order to it all. :confused:

I've had my LBS install the bottom bracket and I've pretty much got the proper tools for the remaining assembly so that's a non-issue.

The only thing I've gleaned from the technical documents thus far is that it's best to install:

1) the wheels before the calipers

and

2) the crank before the front derailleur.

Is there a particular order which you wrenchers follow when building a bike?

Your help is much appreciated.

A_B
 

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Disorder

There is no particular order of assembly. Since you have to sort everything out once it's all together, you just put the parts on the bike. For example, you can't do final position adjustments on the front derailleur until the crank is in place, the chain installed, the rear derailleur on, and the wheels and shifters installed, but you can roughly set it in place. You can put the brakes on, but you can't do final adjustment until the wheels are on. Etc. Otherwise, order of installation makes no real difference.
 

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Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've heard legends of your wisdom...

...oh, wise one. :D

Thanks for the tips, Kerry. Much appreciated.


Kerry Irons said:
There is no particular order of assembly. Since you have to sort everything out once it's all together, you just put the parts on the bike. For example, you can't do final position adjustments on the front derailleur until the crank is in place, the chain installed, the rear derailleur on, and the wheels and shifters installed, but you can roughly set it in place. You can put the brakes on, but you can't do final adjustment until the wheels are on. Etc. Otherwise, order of installation makes no real difference.
 

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eminence grease
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largely personal preference, so here's mine.

seatpost, headset, bottom bracket, crank, rear derailleur, front derailleur, fork, stem, bars, shifters, brakes, saddle, wheels (cassette, tubes, tires), cables, final adjustments, bar tape, computer, pedals, bottle cages.

No real reason, I just like to work on "sectors" of the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
More sage advice from a highly respected member of the RBR community...the wrenching gods are smiling down on me today. ; )

Thanks, Terry. I think I was so overwhelmed with the project on the whole (as this is my first attempt at building), so I was trying to do too many things at once.

I'll break it down and focus in on one area at a time.

Cheers,
A_B
 

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Indicators of a quality build

This has also been on my mind a lot recently so this is a great thread for me as well...

But as an additional question, what do people look for as indicators of a shop's quality & care in build. I want to reflect these sorts of things into my upcoming build.

Examples I know of:

Lining up the tire label with the valve stem
Attaching the spoke magnet opposite the valve stem
I also heard something about not too much crossover/overlap on the cables in front

What else...?
 

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I generally start with the seatpost so that I can use it as a place to clamp the stand. Then I do frame prep - facing, chasing, reaming, crown race cutting etc. Then I install the fork, headset, stem and handlebar with levers. Then I install the bottom bracket and crankset. Then the wheels. The rest (drive train and brakes) is installed any way that's handy. Cabling for me is the next to last item followed by the saddle which is the very last item. Of course, you can put it together any way you like. I've always done it the way I do it so that I don't have to go back and undo anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, Fred.

BTW, are you currently residing in Indiana or simply a former Hoosier?

I'm in Indy myself. When I get this bike put together, I need some ideas on where to ride and could use some input.

Cheers,

A_B
 

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Antonio_B said:
Thanks, Fred.

BTW, are you currently residing in Indiana or simply a former Hoosier?

I'm in Indy myself. When I get this bike put together, I need some ideas on where to ride and could use some input.

Cheers,

A_B
I live in the North Central part of the state so I have no advice for you on the Indy area. It would probably be worth a trip to Brown county in the Fall, though.

I'm lucky enough to live in the country so the quiet country roads start right at the end of my driveway. I can usually ride for 5-10 miles in the morning before seeing my first vehicle. I'd be scared spitless to ride around in the Indy traffic. Good luck with the build.
 

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eminence grease
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Personal nits (I build mine, so if I did use a shop, these would be my OCD expectations):

Performance:
-zero post set-up adjustments required. perfection on the stand that leads to perfection on the road.
-silence when being ridden

Fit/Finish:
-tire label/stem alignment
-tire label on drive side
-labeling on front hub readable from the front of the bike
-cables correctly sized - no slop, no pinches
-neat bar taping, symetrical taping with correct results
 

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But as an additional question, what do people look for as indicators of a shop's quality & care in build. I want to reflect these sorts of things into my upcoming build.
Assuming that your adjustments and everything works correctly (not all shop builds do)... Here are a few things that are part of my pro builds:

1. Handlebar wrapping. This is one of those things that doesn't start to look really good until you've done a lot of them, so if a pro mechanic built your bike, the bar wrapping ought to look top drawer.

2. Chain set to the correct length.

3. If your headset has a label (a la Chris King) the cups ought to be pressed in with the logos aligned and centered. Some people have different preferences, which is fine - I like to have the King logo centered above the head badge, but others' likes might be different.

4. As you said, tire labels above the valve holes and, as a more subtle touch, Velox strips inside the rims, regardless of what the manufacturer of your wheelset might have used.

5. Skewers on the non-drive side - sometimes, I'll see QR on the drive side in the front, and it makes me want to rage.

6. Rubber cable grommets.

7. Cables cut to the correct length. Not one that looks aesthetically pleasing, but one that is correct. This affects shifting more than the quality of your shifters - DA or Record shifters still yield crappy performance if the cables aren't cut and finished correctly. It is rare (nigh on unheard of) that I see cables cut correctly in my shop - pro mechanics are usually worse at this than home mechanics, IMO.

That's about it for aesthetics.... Now for some performance and adjustments... I typically start from the rear of the bike and work forward, but you can work as you like. This habit is probably sired from being constantly interrupted and needing to efficiently get tunes and builds done. But, as long as you have a method, you're in fine shape as long as you get all the parts put on and cables installed.

1. Tires properly inflated and installed.
2. Wheel bearings adjusted properly - on some wheels, this has to be done in the frame, but at any rate should be done before truing (on some wheels, like Mavics, overtighten them out of the bike, so that they aren't loose in the truing stand and then readjust them in the frame)
3. True the wheels and put in the frame (adjust hub bearings if needed).
4. Adjust the rear brake.
5. Set rear derailleur limits.
6. Make sure that the bottom bracket is installed correctly and torqued properly. Same with the cranks and pedals.
7. Set front derailleur limits.
8. If using a Shimano chain, make sure that the reinforced connecting pin is installed correctly - this can lead to serious damage if it isn't, as in a trashed frame.
9. Adjust the shifting, front and rear.
10. Adjust the front brake.
11. Adjust the headset and torque the stem and handlebar bolts. Most of the time, stem bolts are much to tight. A sure sign of a sloppy build, as are QR skewers that are cranked down too. Seriously - if I need to use a cheater bar to get it open they are too tight and will cause premature bearing wear.
12. Check and adjust tightness of the shifter mounting bolts. These also are chronically over-tightened.
13. Check handlebar wrapping and endplugs (I know a customer that was disqualified in a triathlon because his endplug had come out)
14. Tighten seatpost and collar to correct tightness (grease seat tube if necessary - ie, not carbon fiber)

That's pretty much the checklist that I go through. There are probably other things that I look for, but to be honest, the difference between a mediocre build and a pro build is not all that much. The biggest thing is attention to detail that all mechanics ought to have - bicycles aren't art - they are machines that need to be assembled, adjusted, and maintainted like any other high performance machine. Ferrari mechanics don't get paid to be creative - they get paid to be meticulous and methodical. Treat your bike like a Ferrari and it'll ride like one.
 

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Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
gmcastil said:
13. Check handlebar wrapping and endplugs (I know a customer that was disqualified in a triathlon because his endplug had come out)
Why the heck would they disqualify him over that?
 

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Antonio_B said:
Why the heck would they disqualify him over that?
An unplugged handlebar can take a core sample out of someone's gut (leg, neck, groin, etc., you get the idea) in the event of a multiple rider crash. Could be a problem in a single rider crash too, I suppose.
 

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But what about the part about sitting back between steps to admire one's work and emerging bicycle with a choice beverage in hand...or is that just me?
It is assumed that if you have the tools and experience to do a pro build that the requisite choice beverage is already present. If not, all the advice and tips in the world are worthless.
 
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