Folks, sometimes gaudy works on a bicycle. It just does. My Specialized started out as a stripped down, base model with some cheap parts on it to just get it on the road for a reasonable price. Over the last several years I’ve painstakingly turned it into what I find to be a beautiful, working piece of painted carbon fiber and epoxy art. Now I’m getting down to the little bits and pieces, even though I thought I was done just a short while ago. Whilst perusing Nashbar a month ago or so back I found a set of brakes on sale that piqued my interest.
The bike started out as a Specialized with an FSA crank to keep the price down. That led to my purchasing a set of lighter, upgraded red and white trimmed set of wheels. Then came a carbon-wrapped aluminum stem that, if you ask me, brought the whole mix together. Then came the S-Works Aerofly handlebar and S-Works crankset:
Unfortunately, I had some serious problems with the rims on the wheels pictured above. They were light but a little too light for my 175 pounds. I kept breaking spoke nipples on my front wheel and the rear wheel wouldn’t hold its true for more than a few weeks. I began investigating ways to get around the issue, because I really loved how the red and white Vuelta decals worked with the bike. Those wheels are only sold as a set though, so I ended up purchasing new rims from Velocity and reused the hubs and spokes. My problems ended. The change cost me a hundred grams, or a quarter-pound, but I’d rather that than all of the problems I had. So the wheels decals changed, and I tidied up the stem, having it cut to size:
After that photo was taken I declared my bike was done… right up until I saw that set of FSA brakes. Originally I closed the webpage without purchasing the brakes. I came back to it several weeks later after deciding to pick up a couple things for my wife… Keep in mind, sometimes gaudy works:
Oh yes it does.
The whole project, installing the FSA brakes on my bike and installing my 105 brakes on my wife’s bike took about an hour, including trimming the housings and cutting the cables to the right length (which occurred after this photo was taken – I had to pick up the pinch-on end caps at the shop and daylight was fading).