I did it! I managed to build up a road bike from a bare frameset without totally messing something up! It’s even come in slightly lighter than expected. With two bottle cages and pedals it weighs bang on 8kg (that’s 17.6 pounds in old money).
With a bit of care and attention to detail it’s actually not that hard a task. Not to say some jobs weren’t without their issues, but the key is to take your time. The two most difficult tasks were;
1. Installing the press-fit bottom bracket. Most sources say you need a specific BB tool to press in the bottom bracket cups, but I didn’t fancy buying one and was fairly confident I could do it at home. I rigged up a makeshift press using my bench vice with wooden supports, then slowly and carefully pressed in one cup at a time, making sure to keep everything lined up perfectly. It was actually a relatively easy task.
2. Cutting the carbon steerer. This was a little more nerve inducing! Once again there’s a specialist tool for this job but with a little patience and a steady hand it’s easily taken care of at home. I measured (more than once) and marked the steerer, wrapped some masking tape around the area and re-marked my cut line. The masking tape reduces the chance of the carbon fraying when you cut it. Using a pipe clamp as a cutting guide and a brand new hacksaw blade I carefully cut around the steerer. The result was a perfectly straight and professional looking cut! I even impressed myself with this one.
I didn’t need a lot of specialist tools to complete the build, but there are some that make life a lot easier. A quality set of Allen keys are essential and a torque wrench is highly recommended, especially when working with carbon fibre components. A sturdy cycle workstand will make life a lot easier. Everything else you probably have in your garage or shed. Actually the only tool I had to buy was the new hacksaw blade.
Full specs to follow…