Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ebisu is Here!

I got a call from Jitensha Studio last friday that my frameset is sitting in the shop. I went over on saturday to drop off the Stronglight A9 headset and the Phil Wood bottom bracket for Hiroshi's son to install. I picked up the frameset later and chatted with the young Iimuras for a while before heading home.

Later in the evening, I decide to frame-save the frame even though the bottom bracket and the headset are already installed. I spray T9-Boeshields into the frame through various openings and shook it around.

Sunday morning I woke up and began building it up. I had asked Jitensha to install the phil wood BB with 1 mm offset toward the driveside because I was afriad that the 108mm spindle might be too short for the triple sugino XD-2 I have. I put together the drivetrain--sugino crankset 165mm, shimano ultegra 6500 rear derailler, XD cassette 11-30t, 105 triple front derailleur and silver shifters from Rivendell--and began adjusting various settings. Very quickly I realized one of the pulleys on the ultegra rear derailleur is making a griding noise, and on the largest cog in the rear the mid-cage derailleur was having some problem. Another thing i noticed is that the crankset appeared sticking out way too much, making the angle between even the middle chain-ring and the largest cog untenable, causing the drivetrain to "ghost-shift" from middle (in the front)/large (in the back) to granny/large.

I removed the rear derailleur and put in a new XT long-cage derailleur, which worked flawlessly. I also removed the Phil Wood bottom bracket, clean the residual framesaver and loctite, and reinstall it with an offset now toward the non-drive side. After re-installing the crankset, the ghost-shifting seems to have gone away, though a more strenuous ride will give me a better indication of whether the problem has completely gone away.

The Grenouille brakes I got, with adjustable brake shoes from VO look great, are light and extremely reasonably priced. They are, however, difficult to set up (with need to use 1mm allen wrench to tighten cables up), and lack stopping power the way they are set up right now. With Ebisu's front canti-boss I can't rotate the brake post so that the brake pads can make complete contact with the rim. I also have exhausted the length of the transverse (straddle) cable and the yoke can't be any higher. I am considering changing brakes--to Tektrok CR720 or NOS XT high-profile brakes, or even IRD cantis--unless folks can tell me what I might have done incorrectly.

I rode around the block a few times. It's a very responsive and spirited bike, reacting to my pedal stroke with a jolt forward. The hetre tires feel wonderful--cushy, smooth, yet very fast. I will have to report later after a longer ride.

I also set up the front rack that came with the frameset, and will get fenders sometime this week. Even though I have a Schmidt wheel built up and a IQ Cyo coming in the mail, I might hold off installing them once I get everything else dialed in first.

It's such a beautiful bike--the color and the paint job are both superb. Initial measurement indicates that the trail with hetre tires is ~ 45mm (my kogswell P/R with 40mm rivendell fatty rumpkins tires has ~ 40mm of trail, using the same method) . I can ride with no hand fairly easily and so far there is no indication of shimmy.

More to come later! See pictures here
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