Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rebuilding my Merida - step 3

This is a bit late, but things are happening fast with D-day approaching at an alarming rate. Voting day -Wednesday 18 May 2011 - was the ideal opportunity to finish off the rebuilding. So I started early:
  • Fitted the three chain rings to the right crank arm.
  • Serviced the trusty Shimano SPD 540 pedals. Basically I just tightened the cones, made sure the lock nuts are well locked and pmped it full of new grease.
  • Installed the crank set.
  • Stripped, cleaned and greased the front and rear hubs. Again I was amazed at the elegance of the Shimano XT hub design.
  • Fitted new tubeless front and rear tires. Maxxis Crossmark UST 2.25 back and Continental Mountain King 2.4 front. A "heavy" combination, but one that I hope will get me to Cape Town and then some. I might still change the front to a Schwalbe Rocket Ron 2.3, since I struggled to inflate the Continental.
  • Fitted a new casset to the rear wheel and installed the wheelset.
  • Fitted the new XTR shifters, cables and sleeves.
  • Fitted the trust XT hydraulic breaks and serviced the plungers.

  • Fitted a brand new saddle - a tried and tested Fizik Arione Tri 2.
The bike was starting to look like a bike now, but the day was gone and I was stuffed. So I did other stuff and also spent some time at packing my boxes and sorting through the spares and clothes that need to go along.
On Thursday morning I continued working on the bike:
  • Fitted break pads and bled the breaks.
  • Fitted the grips and bar ends.
  • Cut my 2 chains to size.
  • Fitted a chain and set the gears.
  • Tightened all the loose ends like straightening the handlebars and tightening the stem. And then the stem split open around the front fork. So I had to rush to town to find a new stem. I am happy with the one I found so I will have to search a bit more. Fitted the new stem.
I took the bike for a maiden test ride of 38km where I fine tuned the saddle height, steering angle, saddle angle and grip/bar end position.
On Friday I did 52km and made sure everything is working as is. The gear cables are nicely seated so I fine tuned the gear settings to get crisp, precise shifting. When I returned I changed the chain for Saturday's final test ride.
Saturday morning me and Steve Painter set off and we did a 6 hour 82km ride. The bike seem to be 100% ready for the trip, I just wish the engine was as well prepared...

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