Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Equipment - Tsunami Parts Plan

Once I get the frame, the natural question is "So what group are you using?" In fact, someone posted the question on my last post.

Will it be a radical departure from the current stuff? Maybe Di2? Or SRAM? Or even Microshift (rebranded Sampson among other things)? I'm always willing to consider what's out there, but I have to balance it with what I have, cost, and what I want.

Fit is most important. My saddle, bars, and zero setback posts are non-negotiable.

Ergonomics is next. I can't deal with Shimano's STI brifter, for example. So STI is out.

Cost gets bumped to third, but it's important, more now than ever. I want to get away from the ridiculously expensive Campy cassettes but can't figure out a sensible way of combining Ergo brifters and Shimano 10s wheels. Leonard Zinn did a bit on using a SRAM rear derailleur with Ergo brifters but I haven't been able to confirm that this actually works. I figure eventually I'll do something along these lines.

Anyway, those are my criteria. So what's the leave me?

As exciting as this orange is, I hate to say it but I'm gonna be boring on the build kit.

Let's start on the basic pieces, the order in which I'll build the frame. A lot of the pieces will come off the partially disassembled Giant TCR (aluminum). A bunch will come off the TCR carbon. I hope to accomplish much of this parts-gathering today so when the frame arrives I can install away.

By taking parts off of bikes other than my Cannondale (my primary bike), if I was really smoking a lot of crack when I ordered the frame and it's simply unrideable, I can pack up and bring the Cannondale to California without too much work.

Fork: Reynolds Ouzo, a fork on my aluminum TCR. 1 1/8", longer steerer tube than necessary.
Headset: A yet to be revealed headset courtesy the missus. Beautious for sure. The headset too :)

Cranks and BB: BB30 SRM Cannondale SI cranks. This is the only piece I'll carry over from the Cannondale. The frame will come with bearings pressed in, so I just need to tap in the spindle and figure out how many 0.5 mm spacers to use.

Seatpost: Thomson. 'Nuff said.
Seat: I'm debating, but it'll be a Titanio regardless. Debate continues after parts list.

Derailleurs: Some combination of Chorus and Record 10s, whatever I have on the aluminum TCR.

Brakes: Probably the Ultegra brakes off of the TCR. I may get the Skeleton brakes off of the Cannondale.

Stem: Ritchey.
Bars: Crit bend 41s, probably the Mavics off of the aluminum TCR.

Ergo levers: 10s Carbons of some sort. I loaned out a set of Records, if I get them back those will go on. If not, the ones off of the carbon TCR.
Cables and housing: I'll buy new cables. Nokon housing off of the carbon TCR. Hm. I may have to totally strip the Cannondale of cables since I think I robbed the Giants to outfit the Cannondale.

Chain: New 10s chain.

Wheels: Unless I sell them, my DV46 clinchers will go with me to SoCal. I may be bringing other wheels, pending some other situations out of my control.
Cassette: 11-25 for training, 11-23 for racing.

That's pretty straightforward, except for the "debate" I mentioned. Doesn't seem like much to debate, right?


There's the whole thing with color.

Orange frame. Black fork. Black post. Black stem. Silver bars, at least the bit you see. The rest of the parts are either black (Ergos, carbon bits in derailleur, Skeleton brakes) or silver (the alum bits, cranks, the Ultegra brakes).

The question is, what color saddle and tape?

I have a white Titanio which I dearly love. I also have a bunch of black ones.

I have about 6 sets of white Cinelli cork tape that I can use up. I have no black sets left.

I thought it'd be pretty straightforward. My lightest Titanio saddle, the white one, with one of my many sets of white tape.

Then I thought about what the bike would look like.

A Creamsicle.

Orange + White = Cold + Delicious
aka Creamsicle to me.

And as much as I like them, I wasn't sure the Creamsicle look was the right one for this bike.

Or fuzzy, as the case may be.

Orange + White = Cute and Fuzzy.
Tiger, when we got him, with his ever-worried look.

Orange + White
A few years later he's still warm and fuzzy.

Orange and black, a bit more racer-like, a bit less clown- or pet-like.

That's the major debate - white or black "touches".

The minor one is a bit less important. My box section aluminum wheels are blue. Orange and blue, not my favorite color combination. Of course my friend Bill, ever the Knicks fan, would disagree, but since I can't name a single Knicks player, riding around in Knicks colors doesn't seem appropriate.

Therefore I'll have to dig up a pair of black wheels somewhere. Or just one. Maybe I'll rebuild that Eurus front wheel I got from a friend.

I'll put that on the list of things to do.


WMdeR said...

Dear Aki,

Which color tape/saddle for your orange bike? Isn't there a traditional answer to this question:

White after May Day and before Labor day, Black after Labor Day and before May Day.

So the classics are all done in orange/black, and the high summer series are done in white....



William M. deRosset

yaniel Cantelar said...

orange and blue, if you come to florida again you'll be labelled a gators fan.

orange and black - halloween theme

orange and white - cute fuzzy creamsicle

as great as orange is, you can't win. but i think orange and white should be the winner. but then you have the whole thing about keeping white clean. i doubt i've made this any easier!

Aki said...

Of course, the May Day Labor Day thing. Solved. I have to go buy some black tape.

I'll save the white for the weekly/bi-weekly re-tapes in the summer. And the lighter weight too, for peak form :)

Anonymous said...


Have you tried the newer shimano stuff?

The hood shape might be more to your liking.

The SRAM stuff is definitely the better bang for your buck though.


Aki said...

I think what I'll do, after poking around a bit, is to do the Ergo brifter + SRAM rear der + Shimano/SRAM cassette.

I have 3 Campy cassettes about to wear out and it'll cost the same to buy 2 SRAM derailleurs and a whole lot of Shimano cassettes. I've also officially ordered the first of my 2010 wheels (in Campy though). When I order the other two pairs I'll prob get them in Shimano freehub configuration.

I'll also have only 1 primary bike. Later I'll have a backup. But if the Tsunami works out, I won't be able to ride the other frames. So I'll only have to get 2 derailleurs for me, 1 for the missus, and that'll be that.

Oh and I can also use Shimano-compatible hubs to build wheels. I seem to have them laying around, like fancy 217 gram rear hubs, but have no Campy rear cassette hubs.

Anonymous said...

Anndddd when the time comes, you can sell the old bike(s) and order another custom tsunami ;)

-You know who.

brian said...

You said Campy stuff is pricy, but that's only if you insist on using their top-tier stuff. Have you considered Veloce or Centaur cassettes and chains, for example? There's really no functional difference between them and Chorus/Record. In fact, the lower-tier cassettes tend to last longer since they use all-steel cogs instead of titanium or alu.

Anonymous said...

Get the C'dale ready, my money's on the crack!

Aki said...

I basically plan on replacing my "fleet" with custom frames. If anyone wants to buy a size S carbon TCR, size S alum TCR, or even the 52 SystemSix, let me know :)

I figure that even if I got this one wrong, I can adjust for the second road frame (my theory - always have a backup to your primary bike). I'll have to do another experiment for a track frame.

Parts - I'd like to be able to use, say, Ultegra cassettes, or maybe the super light (and better wearing) Red cassettes. Currently I'm using Centaur or Chorus cassettes, with even a Miche thrown in there. The Cannondale came with a 12-25 Record (lots of Ti cogs) so I used that as a filler cassette - it's currently a training cassette on the Reynolds clinchers. I prefer an 11-25 for training, 11-23 or 11-21 for crits.

I checked some prices last night. I didn't realize that Campy rear hubs are cheap, relatively speaking. But I don't plan on buying too many rear hubs for builds, at least not road ones.

And we'll see about the crack :) Yesterday I tried to simulate, as I usually do, the new frame's position. Five to six cm longer, not much lower, and I felt better and better as I finished up a 2:45 ride on the trainer.

Anonymous said...

Campagnolo shifters with Shimano wheels?

Surely you've seen the American Classic cassettes that are campy spaced but shimano splined?

Aki said...

I have an AC cassette that is Shimano splined, Campy spaced. Not totally satisfied with it so I've discounted it as an option. If it had all of the below - relatively cheap (under $150), lightweight (comparable with a DA or Record), and didn't feel like it was going to fall off the freehub body, it'd be hard to beat. At $200/80 for light/regular cassettes, light ones as low as the Ti cassettes, the SRAM/Shimano cassettes appeal to me.

Also I wanted to avoid buying into a system that may become obsolete quickly, or where parts become hard to buy. I was worried that perhaps JTek would become big enough that these "hybrid" cassettes would become rare. That hasn't been the case, but that was a worry back then.

For example, Mavic made a few different interesting drivetrain pieces but if I'd committed the bike fleet to them I'd have been scrambling for replacements as they wore out.