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Daily Archives: February 5, 2016

Getting the Road Bikes Ready for A Big Spring…

Yesterday was a flurry of activity as far as my road bikes went.  Spring is just around the corner already!  I lucked out, timing wise because I had to pick up a check in Flint, just 13 miles from my home.  I also had my Trek in the back seat because it’s Thursday so I was taking the bike and trainer home for the weekend…  A perfect storm of happenstance.

After picking up the check, I headed straight to the bike shop to pick up yet another shifter cable and to look into touching up some paint that chipped (DAMMIT) because I dropped my chain frogging around with my front derailleur the other day.  Long story kind of shorter, I hate the older STI shifters that don’t route the shifter cables under the bar tape…


Worse, on many bike models, you can cross the cable housings on the opposite side of the bike, then cross the cables under the down tube, which saves the head tube paint from being rubbed by the shifter cable housing when the wheel is turned…  Not my 5200.  The bosses, where the cable housings attach to the frame, are too high on the down tube which causes the cables to rub the down tube when they cross the down tube.  I had to settle for paint protection stickers but I didn’t like the way the cables crossed in front of the bike with the original length of the cable housings.

Over the few days that I’ve had the bike back, the more I thought about it, the more it drove me nuts.

Yes, as a matter of fact, it is good to have my problems.

Anyway, from the cockpit, it looked like one cable was off slightly which threw the whole sight line off.  Stupid things like this will drive me nuts, given I notice it in the first place.  I decided to snip one of the cables to see if I could even it up a little better.  Brilliant, right?


When I snipped the cable, I increased the angle that the cable and housing had to bend to make it to the boss.  This made the front derailleur impossible to index properly.  I stopped by and picked up a new length of housing Wednesday evening.  Then I got the bright idea to install it before I rode at lunchtime yesterday.  With the longer housing, I barely had enough cable to snug it into the derailleur… I only had a quarter of an inch above the bolt.  It shifted right though, so I got the derailleur where I needed it to ride and left it alone…

So anyway, it was off to the shop for a new cable:


Matt also installed a protective plate over the tiny paint chip (brilliant!):


When I got home, my wife had a friend over.  Being the cool guy I am, I unpacked my stuff and headed straight for the bedroom so they could continue their conversation without worrying about me hearing it.

While I was sitting there, I got to looking at my Venge and decided while I was sequestered I may as well get the stem cut down.  I’d been wanting to get to that done since last summer anyway.   Here it is before:


That’s 15 mm of spacer on top of the stem… and in my world, that looks obnoxiously goofy.  It had to be fixed.  So I disconnected the brake line, loosened up the stem bolts, took off the spacers…


Took the stem off the stem/handlebar, the wheel, and the fork and took the fork back to the shop.  Matt cut it down, gave it back to me (3 minutes, maybe 4) and I was out the door again.  When I got home, I took the bearings and washers out of the frame, cleaned the dirt off, lubed the bearings and replaced everything.  I reconnected the brake line, centered up the stem, wheel, main cap and the computer and voila!

Now here’s my setup:


Was I being picky?  Absolutely.  It was worth the trouble though.

So that’s it…  The Trek is now perfect as I can get it, the Venge has a clean and stylish headset, and I’m ready for spring.  Everything is cleaned, lubed, polished and good to go.

Now all we need is some sunshine and 55 degree temps…  At least for the Venge.  The Trek will get mileage in everything but snow.