I’m sorry — no, actually I’m not sorry at all — to interrupt the 100 Miles of Nowhere race reports (which will continue later today and go through tomorrow and probably the next day, every couple hours or so) — with a liveblog from Racer’s Cycle Service, as Racer builds my new Superfly 100 up.
4:00: Oh wait. Weight! Let’s see what we’ve got: 24.8lbs. OK, honestly I was expecting lighter.
But let’s see how it rides. Back later!
3:46: Saddle going on. I believe we are mere moments from bike completion.
I will post later this afternoon / evening with first ride impressions.
3:25: There’s a race tomorrow at Sundance. I should go race it. On this bike.
You know, I think I will.
3:18: As the bike nears completion, I have a hard time looking away. Racer’s now fine-tuning the shifting. Next up, saddle and the bottle cage. And then I’m going riding!
2:48: A couple people have asked what I got Racer for lunch. The answer is: a Steak Burrito from Mountain West Burrito. He did not want guac or sour cream, which I simply cannot fathom.
And no, I did not get a burrito (nor anything at all, in fact) for myself.
2:15: Just in case you’re interested: I’m going with Time ATAC pedals, a Selle Italia SLR XC saddle, and an Arundel Sideloader bottle cage.
I’m guessing this bike will weigh ~22lbs when fully built. Anyone want to weigh in (ahem) with a different guess?
2:10: Getting close to finished! Things left to do: shifter cables, chain, saddle, brake cables.
And yes, it looks like Racer’s gonna need to shorten the brake cables today after all. Too bad!
1:21: I’m heading out to go buy Racer some lunch. More blogginess soon.
1:13: The line for the front brake is in fact a little bit long, but we’re going to go with it for today, in large part because it’s just a shame to lose the factory bleed. We’ll cut it down later. And by “we,” I of course mean “Racer.”
1:09: Racer’s starting on the brakes. This is a nervous part of the build. If the as-shipped line length goes well with the bike frame, this can go quickly. If the line has to be cut because the frame is too small for that length of cable, then there’s gonna be a lot of work.
1:05: Look at that sad box of parts. Like they’re from Island of Misfit Toys. Don’t worry, bike parts, you’ll find a good home. I promise.
1:01: It’s all starting to come together! Racer’s got the cranks, derailleurs, stem and handlebar on. I believe this is going to be a fine bicycle. Just fine.
12:51: I apparently misread Ashley’s comment. Sorry, Ashley! In answer to your question, yes I work from home most days. Today is a PTO day, though.
12:46: NickP asks, “Is it weird that I want to lick those spokes?” To which I would answer, “See my remark @12:35.”
NickP also wants to know where I’m taking this riding once it’s built. I haven’t yet decided: either Frank or a tour of Corner Canyon. Maybe both.
12:43: From the comments, Ashley asks, “Fatty, you, uh, bored today or something?” To which I respond, “Ashley, not every post is for every reader. From your comment, I’m guessing this one is not for you.”
12:35: OK, the cassette is beautiful, but the new XTR cranks are pure sex.
I’ve always had a thing about cranks, though. Is that weird?
Oh, you can see where I’m blogging from in the background of this photo. Just in case you were curious what kind of a setup I’m using.
12:30: The Shimano XTR cassette is a thing of beauty. I mean that quite literally. Really excellent engineering has an elegant aesthetic that I think qualifies as art.
12:22: James is asking about tires. Crossmark’s don’t come in LUSTs for 29ers. And apparently, I’m actually getting an Ardent front as well. Why didn’t I know what tires I was getting? Cuz I’ve been using the Schwalbe’s and thought that’s what I’d do on this bike. Racer let me know that he couldn’t get Schwalbes (he can again now apparently) and so I told him to surprise me with something he likes.
It’s nice to be able to trust your mechanic enough that you can say “surprise me” without any concern whatsoever.
12:16: Check them out: two tubeless, carbon, 29″ beauties. Keith (Bontrager’s friends call him “Keith”) has reason to be proud.
12:12: Ross asks a good question: what kind of questions should you have when you go into a shop buying your first mountain bike? Racer says you shouldn’t worry so much about questions as have answers to the questions the shop SHOULD be asking you. As in, make sure the person at the shop is someone who asks you what you’re going to be doing with the bike and learns about how you want to use it. If they start recommending a bike before then, wrong shop.
As far as things to ask the shop, ask about whether you’ll get discounts on accessories, service plans, and such. There’s a good chance the shop will want to form a relationship with you and will offer you incentives to come back.
12:07: Josh in Upstate NY says he’s going to be in the area and wants a place to rent a bike. Racer doesn’t do that kind of thing, but there are a couple other places that do. Call Racer’s shop, Josh, and they’ll point you in the right direction.
12:05: David-Marin,ca asks where all the “old” (as in brand new) parts are going. A great question. My plan is to buy a frame and build a mountain bike for my 15-year-old son.
12:00: Here’s Racer putting the tire sealant in the tire for the rear wheel. The tire? A Maxxis Crossmark. I’m usually a Schwalbe Racing Ralph guy, but I’m trying something different here.
11:55: Alert reader Superstantial asked why I have two stems. This is because Shimano is awesome and sent me a couple to try out: a 100mm and a 110mm stem. I’m pretty sure the 110 is going to be what I go with, but the 100 will definitely find a good home somewhere.
I’ll be checking comments as I liveblog, so if you’ve got questions — including questions a bike mechanic might answer — ask away. I’ll ask Racer and probably mistranslate his answers here.
11:53: Racer has asked me if I would like to have the pie plate installed on my Bontrager XXX wheels. I have declined.
11:47: Racer’s working on putting rotors on the wheels. He’s hunched over the wheels and is in general not being very photogenic at the moment.
So I’ll take a moment to give you an interesting anecdote. Specifically, did you know that Racer’s actual name is in fact “Racer?” It is. See, back in the old days, his name used to be “Jared,” but he worked in another bike shop that already had a Jared. To distinguish between the two, we called the other guy Jared and we called the Jared who raced a lot “Racer Jared.”
After a while, we stopped saying the “Jared” part.
And a while after that, Racer made it legal. I’m pretty sure a lawyer did the work for him in exchange for having some bike work done.
Interesting factoid: 85% of bike work is paid using the barter system. For example, I am paying Racer entirely in egg yolks.
11:43: Doesn’t take Racer long to strip the frame to its raw, naked glory:
I just asked Racer, by the way, how long this build will take. He says he’d be surprised if he finishes it in less than three hours.
Yeah, so would I. In fact, In my entire life, I don’t believe I have ever witnessed a bike shop build a bike for me in fewer than five hours. This might have something to do with the fact that other customers — the pests — always want something RIGHT NOW, not realizing that my bike build is much more important and urgent than whatever it is they need done. Sheesh.
11:37: The bike, pretty much ready for all the parts to be taken off and replaced with much sexier parts:
11:35: Racer, as we begin the unboxing, holding the frame.
Is that raw, unbridled lust in his eyes? Probably.
11:30: OK, here are the stars of the show. First, I have a box of Shimano XTR goodness. Which is to say, you know how the Superfly 100 is an unimaginably sweet bike even when it’s totally stock?
Yeah, well, mine won’t be stock. It’ll be full XTR. Behold:
11:22: I just got here; Racer’s about to get started.
Unboxing starts in a second.