Half a year is a long time. Long enough, one would suppose, to make final decisions about every aspect of the bike.
But there’s one thing I still haven’t made up my mind about: What should I do for the handlebars?
Here are my choices:
- Titec J-Bar : The multitude of hand positions for this bar really interests me, and I’ve already found that I’m really comfortable with my hands at this angle. Since I like to brake with my middle fingers, though, I’m not exactly sure where I can mount the levers. Also — and I’m kind of ashamed to use this as a serious negative — I also find this bar to be very ugly. And those bar ends out front may prevent my bike from working with the truck bed fork mounts I’ve got in my truck — they’d bump up against the back of the cab.
- On-One Fleegle Pro: Angled similarly to the Mary, but not as extreme, and lighter, too. ‘Course, I’ve got about thirty pounds of my own to take care of before I start seriously considering the difference in weight between handlebars as a deciding factor.
- Bontrager RL Big Sweep: The sweep of this bar is very close to the Fleegle, and I’d say this is the lightest and nicest-looking bar of the bunch. Without the Fleegle/Mary-style bends, though, the bar comes back pretty far from the stem.
- On-One Mary: I have this bar on both the geared Superfly and the Waltworks, and I love it on both. Which brings up the question: why am I even considering any other bar? Because I like to fiddle, that’s why.
Probably, I’ll try out all four of these eventually, but I’m still agonizing over which to go with first.
I’m interested in your recommendations.
LiveBlog of the SingleFly build begins around 10:30am MDT today! (Just three more hours!)
10:42: Here’s the box:
And here’s Troy, who’s building the bike:
And here’s the unboxing:
And now we’re set up on the workstand, ready to get started:
More in a few minutes…
10:56: Troy’s got the SLR saddle and On-One carbon fork on and is getting started on the Noir cranks.
These cranks are a thing of beauty.
The dropouts are, too.
Just so you get what I was like this morning. I was so anxious to get everything together and out the door, I very nearly forgot to bring the fork and saddle.
It’s still totally possible I’ve forgotten something equally important, but haven’t realized it yet.
11:07: For those of you who gave input on what handlebar I should use, thanks. I’ve made my decision, though it was pretty much by default. I didn’t want to go with the J-Bar as my first setup, and both the On-Ones require a shim (which is not in stock) to work with the stem I’ve got. So I’m going with the Bontrager SL-Big Sweep.
Though I would like to call out that Brent at Twin Six emailed me with an interesting option for future consideration.
11:45: Mark (SkiBikeJunkie) just joined me here to say nice things about my bike. Which, I might add, is an invaluable service.
The handlebar’s on, and the tires are mounted with sealant in.
Mike Curiak did a fine job with these wheels:
It’s all coming together.
11:52: I have decided on a 20-tooth cog, instead of the 18-tooth cog that comes with the Chris King hub.
Because I am a big fat pansy, that’s why.
12:25: The fork’s cut down (with a little extra up top for tweakage reasons), the handlebar’s on. Troy’s working on the front brake right now.
This thing is beginning to look a lot like a bicycle.
1:16: The shop’s really busy right now — everyone’s coming in during their lunch hour to get bikes fixed up for the weekend — so I’m just hanging out while Troy helps other folks.
1:17: Hey, this is interesting: The Team Fatty jersey pre-order last week raised $13,296 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Not half bad!
2:21: Something’s was weird with the anchor bolt on the cranks — it stripped before it even got tight. Luckily, Troy has another one on hand and is going to try again. Then I’ll take another photo.
2:29: Troy just let out a whoop; the second bolt worked fine. Here’s how the bike looks so far:
Oh, and I especially like this:
Avid, Fisher, Chris King, and Surly: all getting along together just fine. And in a few minutes, there’ll be an SRAM chain on there, completing the bike company porridge.
2:57: Getting darned close.
Now we just need to get the saddle positioned, get the bottle cages on, and…I’m going riding on my brand-new bicycle.
Anyone want to guess how much it will weigh?
3:11: Here it is! All built and ready to ride.
Annnd… here’s how much it weighs, as shown (i.e., with pedals, bottle cages, and everything else):
Yes, I am the proud owner of a sub-19-pound mountain bike.
I’m going riding!