Tuesday, October 21, 2014

VB-R-027: the completed bike

I finished assembling the bike just a couple of weeks after my last posting about the frame's arrival, but I have been very busy (including moving to a new house) and didn't get to writing about it until now.


Assembly of the new bike was pretty easy. I had read online about headset installation and expected to need special tools to get the headset bearings installed into the fork crown. I eventually figured out that the headset included with the frame (which did not come with any instructions) just snaps into place with no tools required.

The shift and rear brake cables are all internally routed, and have liners built into the frame. The shift cables were very easy to install, while the brake cable hit a bit of a snag (literally) because the liner didn't seem to line up perfectly with the exit tube. Eventually I discovered that I could get a cable into the liner from the reverse direction. Using a reverse inserted cable to hold the liner in place while I threaded the cable through in the forward direction finally got the cable in relatively easily.

As noted in a previous post, my old frame had a 59 cm top tube, while this one appears to be only 57 cm (despite VeloBuild's geometry chart claiming 58 cm), so I replaced my 110 mm stem with a 130 mm stem, and have been able to replicate my position on the bike pretty well.

At the moment, I've got quite a stack of spacers on the steerer tube. I'm still considering going 1 cm higher with the stem, and then I may trim about 1 cm from the top of the tube to reduce the number of spacers.

The components to build the bike were taken off my 2005 Fuji Roubaix Pro, which had a 9-speed Shimano 105 group. The old bike was an aluminum frame with clamp-on front derailleur, but this frame has a bolt-on derailleur mount, so I needed a compatible derailleur. Shimano Sora is now 9 speed (and probably made with the same machinery as the old 105 parts), and the derailleur can be bought for about $25 on Amazon, so that's what I bought.

Finished Product

Here's the completed bike.

I've taken it out for a few rides now. With careful measurements, I succeeded in replicating the position I had on the old bike pretty well, so I haven't really had to adjust anything. It's a very different feeling from my previous aluminum frame--the increased stiffness and responsiveness to pedaling is immediately apparent. I don't have many points for comparison in terms of ride comfort. It seems at least as good as my old bike (aluminum frame with carbon seat stays), but I don't doubt that more expensive frames could further improve on it. It's a fun bike to ride, and I have no regrets about buying it.


  1. Hello Quentin!

    Nice build! ;-)

    I wonder what is your body height?

    1. Thanks! But I meant your body tall/height, not weight. :-)

    2. I don't know how I misread that. I'm 6 feet 3 inches, or 1.9 m.

    3. I don't know how I misread that. I'm 6 feet 3 inches, or 1.9 m.