My last ride for this year was a bit unique, nothing stellar but different none the less. I woke up this morning and started building up the carbon frame. Everything went pretty smooth but I hadn't considered having to route the front derailleur cable any differently and I quickly learned that those little plastic cable guides that I normally use on steel frames wouldn't quite fit the setup that I had. For one, with all the carbon plies the bb shell has a larger diameter and then when you consider the chain stay setup has a big block of carbon there is nowhere to run the cable. For the quick fix I just opted to drill a hole in the bottom of the chain stay the same size as a piece of cable housing and on the top I drilled a smaller hole
just big enough to run the cable through. Kinda looks like a Di2 setup. I probably should have just drilled both holes the same size and epoxied in a piece of housing and be through with it. Now that I think about it, I didn't even glue the piece of housing that I used and if it somehow gets pushed up in there it will just be floating around in the chain stay, but I guess as long as the cable is through it I'm safe. Ok, now for the test ride. As soon as I got it all together I just jumped on it for a second in my jeans to take a quick spin around the block. Thought I would at least make sure it wasn't gonna just fall apart. I was extremely surprised how smooth it felt. "Did I build this?" This was the first time I've been on a carbon frame since I started building frames with steel, roughly 4 years, and it was feeling pretty good, and the roads around the neighborhood here are a bit rough, all chip and seal. So after a short loop I came home and parked it, got some lunch, put on my riding gear, and hit the streets. It wasn't the greatest of days to be product testing. The wind was wailing on me about 25 mph and I didn't feel real good to start with. The bike felt a bit awkward as a new bike always does, plus my levers weren't tight and were slipping because I didn't bother putting any bar tape on, not to mention I cut my rear brake housing too short and it was pulling my bars to the left and I couldn't turn to sharp to the right or the brakes would drag the rim. But none of this was gonna stop me from testing this frame so i rode on. The bike rides really smooth when your in the saddle, way smoother than i expected. When i stood up and torqued on it a bit I thought I could see the rear end swaying just a bit so I immediately thought that I didn't wrap enough carbon around the bb area and I got a bit worried that I might crack it, but I kept riding trying to get out of the wind so that i could maybe get a good feel of what was happening. It didn't happen. Good news is that it held up, and on the way home I actually stood up on a couple of hills and put a little leg into it (which is all i have these days) and I couldn't tell if it was flexing or not, it definitely wasn't making any cracking noises, not that I could hear anyway. I'm not so sure that its the actual bb area layup and not just the carbon stays flexing. Anyway a couple extra layers of laminate can only make it stronger. So its back in the shop leaning against the wall waiting for the new year and I'm gonna go give it another test ride in the morning before the wind wakes up. It tipped the scales at 16.5 lbs and I can still shave it down a bit more, no weight worries here. Check out those pedals, think they don't have some miles on them. I've got 2 pair, one pair is more than 10 yrs. old and the other set is over 12 yrs. They are just as good as they were when I bought them and i've never touched 'em. How could you even consider buying new ones? Its been a good year here at MEECH and I'd like to say thanks to everyone who has helped me out. Customers, riders, racers, family, etc. I wish you all well in the year to come. Gonna be more frame building, experimenting, testing, etc. here at the shop. Larry Yancey is fixin to go to the Masters Cyclocross World Championships here in a couple of weeks. He's been putting in miles, drinking fruit-punch flavored gasoline, and slapping tigers for this one. He said he wants to get MEECH some rainbow stripes and I'm all for it. Happy New Year! By the way, that elf has had way too much egg nog.
famous words by Larry Yancey
and stand on the gas!