Sunday, March 24, 2013

Why wait - I received the greatest of all packages the other day. I must be living right because I was able to snag some CarbonSports Lightweight Standard wheels for an unbelievable price. Those who are into cycling know these wheels are the holy grail of wheels and the measuring stick for almost every other set of wheels. I think I have read that even the pros pay for them - no freebies from CarbonSports!!

I had a set a couple of years ago but sold them to help my ex-wife start-up her insurance you can see that obviously didn't turn out that well; and the worst part was I was out the wheels. Fast forward about two years and I found a guy selling his set on Weight Weenies and couldn't pass up the deal. I was forced to sell my beloved Cervelo SLC SL to fund the purchase but in reality I have no need for two top end road bikes (even though they were intended for completely different purposes: aero Vs. weight).

I special thanks to Kfreytag; the guy lives in California but actually grew up in my town (small world).

Rear wheel with Vittoria Corsa Evo CX and Vittoria valve extenders- only 876 grams.

Front wheel with Vittoria Corsa Evo CX and Vittoria valve extenders - only 754 grams.

I will take photos that do teh wheels and bike justice once it is completely build up; right now these are just teasers for the weight!

It's really starting to come together. Today I'm going to show you the cassette I will be using. This is one of the easiest places to lose some real weight; I realize durability will be a trade-off but light weight isn't without a price which is typically ACTUAL DOLLARS or DURABILITY...OR BOTH

In this case, I actually saved money compared to buying a SRAM Red cassette. I have no idea the maker of the cassette because to tell the truth I actually didn't look. The cassette is two pieces - first six gears being titanium and the last four gears being aluminum. I know companies like Recon make something very similar to this set-up but couldn't say for certain so I will just say it's brand "generic."

Once again I have Weight Weenies to thank for this part. I can't begin to say enough about the fellow cyclists on the forum. If you are looking for great weight savings ideas or modifications someone on that site knows how to do it. I purchased the cassette from CBRE - Can't thank you enough!

Can't beat 97 grams for a 10 speed cassette. The lockring was 4 grams so a total of 101 grams! Can't wait to get these installed on some wheels...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I am getting close now to finalizing the parts, but it is amazing that every time I purchase something I find another item I covet 10 minutes later. Now I know why I typically get a new bike before I even need to change the tires on my wheels. Friends now just wait for me to move on to the next project and pick-up the stuff I'm bored of for cheap. Don't get me wrong, I don't give the stuff away but I hate dealing with the hassle of shipping bikes, etc and I value my time more than most so I'm usually willing to make an exceptionally good deal.

Enough about that - the next parts I received were some spectacular AX Lightness Perseus brakes. Man these things are gorgeous!! There are some cheaper brakes and there are some lighter brakes, but these just make me drool...

I believe this model was phased out by the Orion version but I couldn't pass up the deal. As much as I personally hate selling things on EBay I love buying stuff. If you wait long enough you can eventually find it. I will admit I could have probably saved about $200 and bought some Camillo Gravitas brakes at about the same weight but I'm a self confessed brand snob; so, any body could get those but not everyone can have the Perseus!

In my haste, I didn't review the auction that closely and failed to see that the brakes didn't have the cable clamps (potentially big issue). When I went to install the brakes on my frame that's when it became apparent that something wasn't right. I didn't even know what the part was but reached out to the Weight Weenie community which pointed me in the right direction.

I searched the Internet but couldn't find any retailers advertising the items I needed. I decided to write AX directly (didn't give that much hope based on other forum member's experience), reach out to some e-retailers in Germany (AX is a German brand so I thought that might be the best option) and also on a whim to Fairwheel Bikes. To my surprise all of them responded within 24-48 hours and were able to help - even AX Lightness!!

I ended up getting the parts from Fairwheel because it is located in the States and I thought it would be the easiest to deal with (I buy a lot of stuff from them). I was actually really lucky because they no longer carry a lot of AX stuff but happened to have two cable clamps left.

As I mentioned before - the Camillo Gravitas are about the same weight but definitely not as exclusive; these are going to look great on the finished bike.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sorry for the delay; another great piece arrived today. When I cam home today I had one of those wonderful sticky notes on my door informing me I had a package at the office.

I picked up the package and honestly couldn't remember exactly what I had ordered. I am still missing some things and this package was light and delivered from Germany - Man I love the Internet and the truly global economy!

I couldn't wait, so I literally ripped open the package right outside the office to see what was inside. It turned out to be my long awaited handlebar. I decided to pay a little extra for this item just because of the name factor. There are several cheaper alternatives that are relatively close to this piece in terms of weight but from a self admitted brand snob nothing beats this name when discussing weight weenie products: Schmolke.

Not only is the name synonymous with quality and extravagance the logo actually matches my frame perfectly: a little red with pure black carbon bars.

The bar I selected was an oversized SL version in 42 cm. Here is a picture of it on the scale.

As I mentioned, there are some bars I could have purchased that would have been close to this bar or better in weight but not as exclusive or as plain gorgeous for the build I'm working on. In the end I am happy and that's what matters. Bars and other contact points in the end are a personal preference and if they work for you so be it!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Well, I really hate to admit this but after all this careful planning I got so excited to start getting things together I forgot to take pictures of the two most recent items I received prior to installing them on the bike! I can't believe I did that but am entirely too lazy to take them back off to do the job correctly. Also I have a slightly bigger reason - I have not one mechanical bone in my body, so I actually had to pay the bike shop (thanks Richardson Bike Mart) to install the headset and bottom bracket.

I realize most people at this point are completely appalled and can't believe a "Fred" like me is out there riding but I accepted that fact long ago and couldn't be happier. I am sure my local shop appreciates the business but I am sure the sales people hate me because I spend more time looking at things and buying else where because of my first rule to Never Pay Retail!

I did remember to weigh the two items and have included some stock pictures from the web for reference.

My headset was actually slightly better than advertised in the weight category. It came in at 61 grams. I actually found a picture on another headset on a scale with the same weight so I included that as well for reference.

Credit on this photo obviously goes to r2-bikes in Germany but luckily you can find anything on the web if you search hard enough.

And as I mentioned, I also forgot to take a picture of the bottom bracket. I went with a Chris King ceramic GXP version. The red anodization is gorgeous however as of right now the crank isn't as fiction free as I thought it would be...

I have seen several videos on YouTube and other locations that show ceramic bottom brackets installed and the cranks spinning forever without the chain. This isn't happening with the CK bottom bracket at this point. I am hoping it just takes longer to "break-in." It does feel extremely smooth but just not as "spinny" (I know this isn't a real word). On the plus side, the bottom bracket was advertised as 99 grams and mine was actually 97 grams on my scale. Once again here is a stock photo for reference since I am a complete dufus!



Monday, March 18, 2013

Moving right along - I guess the next part to discuss is the crank. I wavered more on this purchase than any other on this build. I wanted so much to go all out and buy something only seen on the most exclusive bikes like THM, Stork, AX Lightness or perhaps a Tune. The only problem; no matter how much a searched I couldn't find a good deal. I looked in all the usual spots Weight Weenies (found one - not the right length), EBay (absolutely nothing), other e-shops (asking way too much), so in the end after reading a lot of reviews I decided to go with the new 2013 SRAM Exogram.

As you can see from the pictures not a bad starting weight but not great either. This is a compact version and GXP. The BB30 cranks are lighter. In every review, I read that the the chain rings were the culprit.

And guess what - the reviews didn't lie. The rings alone weigh a terrifying 157 grams! I knew for a fact I could find something lighter but perhaps give something up in shifting quality. This was a small price to pay in my mind because I don't race. I looked at several options and was going to by some Fiberlyte chain rings to keep the carbon mantra going but decided to go with the next best option: Extralite.

Simple enough process even for me to change the rings and saved 65 grams - meaning the Extralite 50/34 came in at 92 grams!

I am anxiously awaiting the bottom bracket. I had to get a GXP compatible bottom bracket which aren't very light.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A new day, so a new post...literally a new post as in seat post. I will admit that I feel like a fool on this one. I decided to go true boutique brand on this part and settled on AX Lightness. Luckily, I found a used post in the Weight Weenie classifieds, Thanks to Jesper aka Eigner!

Now this is how/why I feel like an idiot. I received the post and weighed it.

As you can see; 129 grams! I was completely ticked off because I was expecting this to be a lot closer to 100 grams. I had reviewed several websites prior to making my decision and would never have bought this if I had known the real weight (this is a L2 if you are wondering or know anything about AX products).

But hold on; this is where I prove I'm a fool. I actually installed the post and called Fairwheel Bikes (a great e-bicycle shop based in Arizona) to get a carbon cradle because I thought Jesper had failed to send with the post. Jason at Fairweel said he would send me one for free because he had it sitting around in his parts drawer. Once it arrived, I installed the post and saddle and was going to live with the weight. However, when I picked up the frame I kept hearing a rattle that I thought was coming from the water bottle bolts but listened closer and it was coming from the post/saddle so I took the post out and what do you know I found this:

The parts I thought were missing and thus the additional weight! Turns out Jesper sent everything but it was stored in the post - sorry for my cursing him now!

End of the day the post was about the weight I was expecting - 106 grams.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Well another day and another part. This time I have the saddle which I think was one of my best finds. I actually bought a blemished Specialized Toupe 143 off EBay. I knew I was going to modify this piece so the markings and rubs didn't bother me and at the end of the day all it cost was $90 and some labor of love.

There are several posts on Weight Weenies concerning modifications of saddles and the process was relatively easy even for someone as non-mechanically inclined as myself. All I had to do was strip off the padding and sand the saddle a little. I actually went a little further and bought some clear coat in a spray can from an auto shop to give the saddle some added protection and the glossy appearance. I think the project turned out well and took me about 3 hours total (not including drying time).

SO, a Sub 100 gram saddle for less than $100- that can't be beat!

In the future I might upgrade the saddle to the new AX Lightness saddle that has a cut out. I can't convince myself to spend that kind of money yet but who know Christmas may come early and it can save about 30 additional grams (and every gam counts)!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Well continuing to receive parts a little at a time. I can't say enough about the fellow members of Weight Weenies. The stuff on there may be used but most of these guys are as anal as I am about keeping their stuff pristine and you can always get a deal if you wait long enough or get lucky. My motto: Never Pay Retail!

The next parts to arrive actually came from the dreaded I love that site I don't know why some people hate it. I have only had one bad experience and for the most part you can't beat the deals. I will say that my local bike shop probably hates me because I spend a lot of time there learning about items to buy them cheaper on EBay. I do try to buy consumable items there like tires, bar tape, etc

Well onto the next parts- I received my front and rear derailleurs.

The font is a SRAM pre-2012 Red and appeared to be in really good condition from the listing and only cost me like $16; yes you read that right $16 with shipping. I was a bit surprised to see it was pretty marred on the attachment portion but I had planned on doing some modifications to reduce the weight and figured I could sand and buff out the scratches with my dremmel. One thing you should know is I'm not really that handy so I actually made the entire thing look worse; Thank GOD for primer and spray paint. I actually like the final look better than the original and will get some more decent shots; right now I am only documenting the build and weight.

The original weight was 68 grams so I did get a 2 gram reduction even with the primer and flat black spray paint which turned out well. I also replaced the bolts with a Far and Near bolt kit.

The rear derailleur was also a pre-2012 SRAM Red and again I got it from EBay but this was actually in great condition and only cost $110 shipped. I had already planned to do modifications to it based on postings from Weight Weenies but on my recent experiences with the dremmel thought better of actually cutting and drilling and decided to just use some after market parts I had already received from other EBay transactions. I had a Far and Near bolt kit, Fiberlyte rear plate, and some custom carbon jockey wheels made by some guy that goes by RothShek. I actually had experience with the RothShek jockey wheels in the past from an old Campy Record build so I trusted the quality.


I only dropped 17 grams from the original but was fearful of really screwing this thing up. I know I could drop another 4-6 grams by easily replacing the jockey wheels with the ultralight version as well as the swapping the rear plate for the Fiberlyte ultra version but for now I'm okay with the savings.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Just received new (well new to me) custom Parlee Z3 frame and going to venture into the realm of True bicycle weight weenie'ism - as can probably tell grammer isn't my best attribute and I have no idea how this made-up word would/should be spelled. Over the next several days, more likely weeks, I will post more information and pictures about the frame and upcoming build.

As a little bit of a teaser until I can get some better pictures- here is a quick picture of the fork and frame on a scale to document the project from start to finish.

A little disappointed in the overall weight to start the project but the Parlee has been one of my dream bikes. I am definitely going to have to make up this weight with savings in other locations which might push costs higher than expected.

Right now JUST FRAME & FORK sitting at 1352 grams. This doesn't even include headset, seatpost clamp or front derailleur clamp but did include rear derailleur hanger.

The fork is the most disappointing part - I was thinking that the fork was the Enve/Edge 1.0 but it is actually the 2.0 version. This might be one of the items that throws my budget out the window if I decide to replace it with something more suitable for a frame of this quality.

Overall, I would like to thank a fellow weight weenie forum member for this previously owned frame. It was in immaculate condition; THANKS Carbon2329!!