This was a good weekend. I swung by Freewheel Bike and had them install the crown race. Terribly expensive ($4) relative to the cost of just buying the tool ($80). Also picked-up a brake and rim tape. The rim tape allowed me to mount tires, which in turn allowed me to sort out the height of the bar relative to the saddle, which in turn allowed me to trim down the steerer tube. Bikes are complicated. Anyway, fork is installed, brakes are installed, cables are run (although I’m not thrilled with the shifter cable), and the cockpit is roughed-in. It’s starting to look like a proper bike. A really, really f-$#%@-ing awesome bike. With no further ado, here are the pictures …

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Check out the sweet rear cables – totally symmetrical.

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Today is a low-net-outcome build day. I still don’t have the crown race installed, so I clamped-in the fork and spent some time “dry fitting” the various cable housing bis to see how they would all go together. I’m generally very pleased with everything, although the line from the shift lever to the normal shift run is kind of wonky. This is due to the lever’s position on the outward flaring section of the bar. I think it will be OK, but it does make for a long loop of cable flopping around when everything else will be tight and tidy. I’m quite fond of the rear triangle – the cables come by the seat post with complete symmetry, and the cable bits on the brake and deraillure are nice. The routing of the front brake cable is nice, and the routing clips were included with the fork – nice touch, IRD! Anyway, here’s the pics.

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The fork arrived today but, because I’m home sick and really am convalescing, I didn’t get the crown race installed. It’s an IRD steel fork, and it seems fine, it did come in a newspaper with chinese all over it, so there’s not a lot of obfuscation of country of origin … ;-) It did have some minor blemishes in the finish, but nothing I can’t overlook in a $130 fork. The big (and I do mean BIG) surprise came when I tried to mount the front wheel. Remember that absurdly large 203mm disc rotor on the front? Well, it actually rubbed slightly on the fork leg – it extended far enough up the leg that it passed the little molded-in relief for the disc. SO, that settles it – the front disc is going back to be replaced with a 185 or a 160. I think I’m going to try the 185. As I mentioned, no crown race today, so I didn’t install the fork on the frame. But I did start to dink around with the Woodchipper bar and the Cane Creek brake levers. The distance between the first bend and the second bend on these bars is SHORT, ergo, there’s not a lot of play room with where the levers go, and there’s not a lot of runway from the first bend to the lever hoods. I’m going to try it out, but I may end-up with a mid-season switch back to regular drops. So, not a lot of progress today, in fact, some REgress. In any case, here’s a couple of pics of the fork and the bar setup. And, yes, as seen in the bottom pic, the steerer tube on the fork is hung like a donkey.

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Some more parts arrived today. Wheels, brakes, and some sundrys.

I installed the cassette on the rear wheel, and installed the rear brake rotor and caliper. Cables have to wait for a fork … It’s starting to look bicycle-ish.

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Oooohhhh! Shiny.

I also installed the front rotor. I got the “big” rotor for the front. 80% of the braking power in the front and all that. Well, after installing the 203mm rotor, it looks a tad bit silly. And it looks like it will have massive front stopping power – which could translate to massive endos for YT. I might swap that out for the 180 down the road. In the meantime, it adds very little weight, and it does kind of go with the “do anything” bike that I have in mind. Hopefully it will look more to scale after the 37mm tires go on it.

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I should mention that the frame is beautiful, and that I spent 20 minutes Monday night just looking at welds. But I’ll do that in another post. The fork should be here tomorrow, and then we can look at all sorts of things coming together then.

The frame arrived today. I gleefully unpacked it and took some pictures. Not much to do until the other parts arrive later this week, but you can see that I installed the BB, cranks, and derailer. And, yes, a brushed titanium finish is simply stunning.

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