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Wednesday 31 March 2021

Bike build - Part 7

The bike build has got to the stage of looking more like a bike.

Dropper Post

My preferred Brand X Ascend dropper.


I'm re-using a SRAM Eagle NX 1x12 groupset. 

I cleaned up the old cranks and fitted a new chainring.

Finished off the wheels by adding the brake rotors and a new 12 speed 11-50t cassette.

A spacer is essential with a Hope 142x12 hub when paired with a SRAM Eagle 12 speed groupset.

Twice I've made the mistake of looking at the spacer and thinking it is too thick. It's not, it needs at least a 2mm spacer otherwise the SRAM Eagle derailleur cannot index to the lowest gear!

At this point I have made a balance bike :-)

I have the correctly sized drifts and press to fit the SRAM dub bottom bracket. That makes it a fairly easy job to press the cups in. Without the correct drifts it is a troublesome job. 

I remembered to add the spacer before fitting the cranks.

Lastly for today I fitted the derailleur.


Bike build - Next instalment

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Bike build - Part 1


Tuesday 30 March 2021

Bicycle workshop guide

I regularly have to look up the same information when working on bikes.

I've created my own quick reference sheet. This is an amalgamation of various sources of information. It is most applicable to the types of bikes I work on but I've added other pertinent information as I've come across it. It's intended to be just two sides so it is easy to refer to.

Most of the information is from manufacturers data sheets or well respected vendors. There are bound to be some slight errors, let me know any you spot so I can fix them.

Download as a higher quality PDF


Monday 29 March 2021

Bike build - Part 6

This morning, I did one of the jobs that I find the most nerve-racking!

Applying the Decals

I bought a readily available vinyl set. These can be found on eBay, for many popular bike brands, in a choice of colours. I have gone for Gun Metal Grey.

I was thankful about how easy they were to apply. The clear supporting laying is a big help.

Where the chainstay protector fits, I needed to align the brand with the gap in the rubber cover.

I glued down the chainstay protector. I'm not entirely sure about my choice of adhesive. I'm sure it will be strong enough but it's a lot messier than I would have liked. I'm going to have some cleaning up to do once it's had a chance to set.

The other logos went on fairly easily. I just had to get them central.

As a finishing touch, I had some vinyl year and sizing stickers produced. 

I purchased these from an eBay advert that offered better quality materials and equipment. The advert is for a single logo produced lots of times. It was the most cost effective way I could find of getting what I wanted but I expected to have to cut out the different types of sticker myself. However, the supplier contacted me to say that the artwork I had supplied him made it easy to setup the machine to cut out each individual sticker. At no extra cost he kindly did this.

I would thoroughly recommend them.

I took the opportunity to include some of my own branding.

The artwork was created, to scale, as a vector graphic using Inkscape and saved as a PDF.


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Bike build - Part 1


Sunday 28 March 2021

Bike build - Part 5


I'm not sure putting tyres on the wheels really counts as being part of the bike build but as it is essential, I thought I'd include it.

I've selected the same tyres and wheels that we have on other bikes and I have some tips, in another article, about fitting them.

All our mountain bike tyres are setup as tubeless.

The Schwalbe, Hans Dampf, tyres need a lot of effort to get them on the rim.

I like Hope Fortus wheels. Their Pro 4 hub just feels and moves as a quality component should. The 26mm rim size suits the 2.35" width tyres that I like to run.


Bike build - Next instalment

Bike build - Previous instalment

Bike build - Part 1


Saturday 27 March 2021

Bike build - Part 4


The last part that I needed arrived today.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made getting bike parts a little hit and miss.

I had no trouble getting the rear wheel I wanted but finding somewhere with stock of the matching front Hope Fortus 26 wheel with a black hub, took me a couple of weeks.

I have a box of bits destined to go on the bike.

I've been cleaning parts as I go. Silicone oil is not much of a cleaning agent but leaves a very shiny finish on most things and tends to stop dirt sticking. I have made sure that I have not got any of it on surfaces that I will need to stick something to in the future.


The plan for today's job was to fit the forks.

I grease all the moving parts.

I've left the steerer tube at the length it was, for the time being. Once I've ridden it a few times I'm fairly confident I'll cut that down a bit.

The forks are now fitted.

I reused the Giant branded top cover to the FSA headset. I swapped the old rubber seals with the new ones.


With the handlebars fitted I could run the brake hoses and fit the brakes.

The front forks are SR Suntour Aion 35 (E45). They have post mounts already sized for 180mm disc rotors. 

The rear mounts on the frame are sized for 160mm rotors but I am fitting 180mm front and rear. Therefore I needed to fit a spacer on the rear calliper mount. The Shimano adapters are sold for the front mount but, at least on Giant Trance's, those same adapters are also used on the rear mounts.

I bled the brakes. Typically instructions say to rotate the levers so the bleed port is uppermost but I think rotating the whole bike makes the hoses face more up hill. Better for bleeding.

The brakes are now fitted and ready to go.


Bike build - Next instalment

Bike build - Previous instalment

Bike build - Part 1