What do you think is the hardest part of installing a new group?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by jsull14, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. jsull14

    jsull14 New Member

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    For those who have experience building up a frame from scratch, just curious what you feel is the most challenging aspect. I might soon take on the challenge, because I know going through the process will teach me a lot about bike mechanics and general bike maintenance.

    My knowledge thus far consists of swapping out a cassette (pretty easy with a chain whip) and adjusting limit screws.
     
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  2. scirocco

    scirocco New Member

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    None of the installation is hard with modern groupsets. You can find all the info you need to know on Park Tools or Sheldon Brown's websites, plus the groupset manufacturers' sites. The hardest bit is ensuring you get compatible parts in the first place (correct FD clamp size, stem, bars, seatpost diameters, right BB for frame and so on), but it's not rocket science.

    I built my first road bike from parts a couple of years ago (no previous experience) and could not believe how easy it was. Just don't mess up the obvious like not realising that left and right pedals and BB's have opposite direction threads, pay attention to torque settings particularly with carbon components, and use the right lubes and thread lockers. Searching the forum brings up some good info, and people here will always help you out if you have specific questions.

    Installing a headset may be best left to the LBS, though, if you haven't done it before. And wheelbuilding is an art in itself.
     
  3. Phill P

    Phill P New Member

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    The bit that tops me from building a frame myself is the bottom bracket (and second would be the head set).

    To do a bottom bracket well you need to chase the threads (correct tool), face the frame (correct tool) thread in align and space the cups, and torque the crank bolts. Geting the alignment and spacing right is the difference between good enough and excellent. Frames don't just come square and straight.

    Head set you also need a press, and again alignment is an issue, but probably more scope for error here.

    OK if you have the tools I'm sure it's not hard, but I'd rather have somebody with more experience have a go at achieving perfection than have me maybe get it wrong.
     
  4. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    Front derailleurs, by far. Most of the bikes we see have poorly adjusted Fders, particularly with Sram, shimano and now Centaur and below shifters.
     
  5. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with Phil concerning facing and tapping the BB shell. Of course once it is done, you will probably never need to have it done again. One thing you do need to be careful of is that all of the parts fit the frame correctly. Brakes can be particularly frustrating if you don't get the right reach and/or mounting system. I had a Univega build where I had to enlarge one hole in the brake bridge and alter the mounting nut. It was better than buying a new brake to go with a vintage set of components.
     
  6. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    One other thing, don't be shy about trying to build your own wheels. Take your hubs and rims to your LBS and they will supply you with the spokes and nipples. Go to Sheldon Brown's website, he left some great wheel building directions on it. Follow these directions and invest $50.00 on an inexpensive trueing stand (see Performance Bike). Wheel building is not so much an art as it is practical experience. If I can do it, anyone can. You just have to have patience and the time to invest in it. My first wheel took three hours to build but now I can build one in about 20 minutes.Link to Sheldon Brown's website: http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html
    Link to Performance Bike: http://www.performancebike.com Look under Tools, Workstands.
     
  7. scirocco

    scirocco New Member

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    Well, that certainly hasn't been my experience with 3 bikes I've built up in the last couple of years. In fact I was in the LBS this morning and asked them how much work they have to do on a typical BB shell on bikes they build. They said the only thing they ever find they have to do is chase out some paint from threads, and even that is unusual. Of course, with more and more carbon bikes around, the problem shouldn't exist at all with the pre-fabricated BB shell.

    There's no aligning and spacing of cups with a modern system like Shimano Hollowtech. You screw in the BB from the drive side, screw on the non-drive end, and torque it up. You push the crank axle through, slide the non-drive crank onto the splines and torque up the two bolts on it. My eight-year-old could do it if he had enough strength to torque the BB. Literally childs play.
     
  8. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the bottom bracket 'cups', without a doubt, although the modern 'cups' aren't really cups anymore, they're housings for the sealed bearings.

    If the threads are dodgey ('messy', covered in paint, need tapping, or whatever), and/or the outer BB surface needs facing, the frame can be wrecked by a 'newbie' builder. Plenty of people have stripped BB threads and wrecked their frames.
     
  9. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    BUT this new design is very unforgiving of frames that don't have the required 68 or 70mm shell widths. Facing a BB shell, not only to ensure it's the proper width(if too large) but also to ensure the 'faces' are parallel are as important as ever with this new 'standard'.
     
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