All I need is a drive train

I cannot believe it’s going to be another three or four weeks until my rear derailleur arrives. In the meantime, I’m just slowly – leisurely – adding the various components. I’ve installed the Tektro levers and by mounting the bike to a trainer have managed to position the bars and the levers as I’d like them to be. The Shimano eight-speed bar end shifters are also installed. As is illustrated above, I use black electrician’s tape to position and secure the cable and housing to the handlebar.

I’ve also developed a taste for the brown Salsa wrap. I like the feel and grip of the tape and I also like how it stood the test of time and road and conditions last year. I debated about going with cotton wrap and shellac for a while but decided against it for reasons of comfort. Cotton tape would have left me with a bar diameter smaller than I prefer to grip. Certainly it would have been more durable – most cotton and shellac combos have lasted nearly forever for me, but I want to be able to ride this bike for the long haul… and I decided against twill for that reason.

Tires are on the way. I’ve going with 700 x 28 Schwalbe Marathons for the moment but I’m staying open minded about how the rubber meets the road and will consider something better if necessary. The fenders are laying about the studio… can’t really do more than roughly position them until the tires are installed, so I’m not wasting time with useless effort on them for the moment. I also still need to figure out the decaleur problem: I really want to try something that integrates with the front rack and avoids the handlebars altogether. I have a couple of designs in mind but haven’t yet settled on the one I will fabricate.

The front derailleur, a Shimano 600 (RD-6700) is now in place, cables are dangling from the frame, the 11-28 cassette and chain will arrive day after tomorrow … and then I get to wait for the final piece of the drive train to arrive: an Ultegra 6700 GS rear derailleur, a long cage changer that will accommodate my compact front.

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