The components on my 2007 Raleigh Cadent Carbon, while functional, were getting a little long in the tooth and I was ready to move up to an 11 speed double from the 10 speed triple that came on the bike. Originally the bike was built with a Shimano drive train by Raleigh with 105 Shifters and Ultegra Derailleurs. The triple would usually stop shifting to the big ring at least once a year when the cable housing started splaying apart on the shifter end of things. Luckily I got used to this and had some spare housing to fix when that would happen. Other than that, the 10 speed triple set up has been very reliable for the last seven years.
I started looking at piecing the new groupset together over the winter and my friend that owns a local bike shop offered me the NikNik discount to get me going on the project, but I did not want to order the parts through him and put him to the trouble swapping out items if something needed to go back that he couldn’t sell in the store. Being the procrastinator I am when it comes to big decisions, I held off until I came across some Ultegra 11 speed shifters on the clearance table at the local Performance Bike store. According to the mechanics, the shifters were new and had been installed on a customer’s existing bike, but then the customer decided against the upgrade and returned everything and had the same mechanics remove the stuff they had just installed. The wasted effort of the endeavor was evident in the bike mechanic’s tone as the story was told. So I grabbed these up with no idea where I would come up with the rest of parts. As I was checking out, one of the managers, Luke, said if you want those, take a look at this and we went back to the clearance table where there was also a FSA Gossamer compact 10/11 speed 170mm crank. I wasn’t sure if it was my size or not, so I held off until I could check my current crank arm length. Once at home, what I had thought were 172.5 mm crank arms were actually 170 mm just like the Gossamer crank on the clearance table. So back to Performance the next morning to grab the cranks. With two major parts down at a very good discount, it was time to figure out where to buy the other parts.
While talking with my friend at the local bike shop, I asked about Shimano pricing and how it was supposed to be cheaper now that they have limited the number of the distributors and he said he sees the same prices on Wiggle that he gets from Shimano directly. Sure enough, my price comparisons showed Wiggle generally beats any of the online bike part retailers so I placed an order with Wiggle for derailleurs, cassette, bottom bracket, cables and housings. I ended up needing a bottom bracket as the Gossamer crank set had a press fit bottom bracket included with it and I needed a 68mm english. The final pieces for the project were not part of the drive train, but I wanted to upgrade to save some weight. Those were the fork, stem, and seat post. I ended up going with an Amazon source for the carbon stem in my size of 100mm 17 degrees, and Bike Nashbar for the full carbon fork and seat post.
Finally, I did want to spend some money with my friend’s local bike shop even though I would only pay cost due to my close relationship with NikNik. Maybe I will blog about NikNik one day. This final purchase was a new wheelset. I bought the Mavic Equipe S wheelset based on what was left in my budget and think they will work fine for me and my style of riding.
Once my wife had left for the weekend to kid sit the nephew while her sister did some house hunting in D.C., the bike rebuild started. I don’t remember what order I did it all in, but eventually I ended up with all of the new parts installed and in need of some tuning and adjustments. I watched a few YouTube videos, especially on the shifter install and cabling as I have no experience with routing the cables along the handlebar. It was not too bad to get going once you get the shifters in the lowest or highest setting so the hole for the cable lines up so you can get the end to catch in the right spot. Cable housing length was a guesstimate, but seems to be working. The longest and hardest part of the build was the alignment and adjustment of the front derailleur. I don’t think it would take half as long next time, as I now know that with a compact crank and an 11-32 cassette it’s almost impossible to get the set up to be completely silent. The rear derailleur was easy compared to the front, but it was the one that needs some adjusting after the first ride.
One issue I did hit while doing the rebuild was trying to get the crank spindle installed into the new bottom bracket. I was pretty much convinced that I bought the wrong bottom bracket or the crankset was not compatible with the bottom bracket. Finally a timely YouTube search lead me to a Park tools video that explained it could take a couple of hits with a rubber mallet to get the spindle through the bottom bracket. A couple of whacks with the mallet and the crankset was installed.
Some other items I spent a little time researching before installing them were the cutting of the fork steerer and determining chain length. YouTube was helpful and remembering I had bought a tube cutting guide a few years ago made it a lot easier to get a straight cut. I did not wrap the steerer with tape where I planned to cut. I just used a mini hacksaw and went slow and steady rotating the fork and trying to make as much of the cut to the outside of the steerer tube. There was not any fraying of the carbon on the last cut from the inside to outside of the tube and I ran a sharpening stone (I couldn’t find my file) over the top of the steerer to smooth out everything before installing it. The biggest pain with the fork was getting the crown race off the old fork and getting it installed on the new fork. I was able to get it installed, but it was really tight on the new fork. To determine the chain length, I used a video that walks you through using a little piece of coat hangar to hold the chain together while you adjust the chain manually from the smallest sprocket and small chain ring to check the rear derailleur tension. Then repeat the process with large chain ring and largest sprocket. I ended up cutting off about 6 links before installing the link pin.
By the time I finished everything on Saturday afternoon it was in the 90’s outside and I was mentally beat. So I delayed a ride until I had some rest and cooler temps and that was this morning at 6am. I took the bike out and did my normal route from my house to edge of Lake Jordan, which is 30 miles round trip. When I got on the bike, front and rear shifting were working fine; but a couple of miles into the trip the rear derailleur did not want to go down to the 11 speed sprocket and there was some chain chatter in the smaller cogs. Pulling on the rear derailleur cable let me know that tightening the tension on the cable should make that stop and it did, but it did not address the shifting into the 11 tooth cog problem. What I think has happened is either the cable stretched or the set screw for the outermost position wasn’t quite right, but I am leaning toward another theory that when I wrapped the handle bars I had already made my adjustments and wrapping the cable housing on the handle bar may have resulted in adding some tension to the cable. I also wrapped the bars too close to the stem which puts more tension on the cables, so I will cut that back and then adjust the set screw and see what I get.
Overall, the ride was great. Being on the road between 6 and 8 am on Sunday was quite different from my normal ride times of weekdays between 6 and 8 pm. The front derailleur shifted smoothly and looked like it was going to let the chain fall off onto the crank arm a couple of times, but never did so I think I need to tweak that set screw as well. The wheelset is pretty quite and rolls well. While I took meticulous measurements and tried to match all of the new parts so they were measuring the same, I may have missed something on the handlebar and shifter set up as I did get a little numbness in my hands on the ride and come to think of it I did the shifters and handlebar angle by eye and never did measure like I did on the seat and seat post re-install. Update: Measurement of the shifter hoods showed I was off my about 4cm to the high side and I was able to adjust the angle of the handlebars to get the new hoods within a few mm of the old measurement.
At this point I am very happy with being able to do the upgrade and stay around a $1,000 budget including the wheelset. Would I try to tackle doing the tear down and rebuild on my own next time? It’s hard to say, but I am glad I did and have that experience now. There were times when I was so frustrated and tired that I made stupid mistakes like cutting cable housing to length while I had the new cable inside of it. DOH! And who knew a front derailleur could be such a pain in the butt. If you remember the original Star Trek movie and Khan goes into battle with Kirk and Khan forgets to think in three dimensions and is easily dispatched by Kirk. I think the front derailleur is the same. You have height, angle and depth. If any of those are off, then it’s not going to work correctly. See the bottom of this post for some photos. Here are parts and prices and weight information.
Parts/Price List and Sourcing:
|Bottom Bracket||Shimano BB-R60 Ultegra 6800/105 5800 Hollowtech ii Black/Grey English Thread||$16.99||Wiggle|
|Crankset||FSA Gossamer Crankset 34-50 CK-C6028||$83.00*||Performance Bicycle|
|Chain||Shimano Ultegra 6800 / XT M8000 11 Speed Chain Silver 11 Speed||$39.01||Wiggle|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano Ultegra 6800 11-Speed Braze on Front Derailleur Grey/Black 11 Speed||$27.99||Wiggle|
|Read Derailleur||Shimano Ultegra 6800 Rear Derailleur Black/Grey GS Medium 32T Max||$51.99||Wiggle|
|Cassette||Shimano Ultegra 6800 11-Speed Cassette Silver Grey 11-32T||$49.99||Wiggle|
|Brake Cable Set||Shimano Road Brake Cable Set||$6.99||Wiggle|
|Shifter Cable Set||LifeLine Performance Gear Cable Set – Shimano/Sram Black One Size||$13.24||Wiggle|
|Shifters||Ultegra 6800 11 Speed||$175.00*||Performance Bicycle|
|Fork||Nashbar Full Carbon Road||$128.00||Nashbar|
|Stem||RXL SL 3K Amazon||$42.00||Amazon|
|Bake Calipers||Ultegra 6800||$78||Nashbar|
|Wheels||Mavic Equipe S & Tires||$357.44||LBS|
|Total w/o Wheels||$752.20|
*- Performance Bicycle Clearance Table Items (new condition and warranty)
For those interested in weights, here is a breakdown as best I can using either the specifications from the manufacturer or actually weighing the component.
|Part||Old||New||Old Weight||New Weight||Diff Grams|
|Bottom Bracket||Truvativ GXP||BB Ultegra 6800||106||76||-30|
|Crankset||Truvativ Elita||Crankset FSA Gossamer CK-C6028 compact||1095||770||-325|
|Chain||Shimano 10s||Shimano KCNHG900 11 speed||–||–||–|
|Front Derailleur||Ultegra ’07 Triple||FD-6800 11 Speed||113||87||-26|
|Read Derailleur||Ultegra ’07 10s||RD-6800 Medium Long Cage 32 max||218||210||-8|
|Cassette||105 12-27 10 Speed||Ultegra 11-32 11 Speed||265||283||18|
|Brake Cable Set||JagWire||Shimano Road Brake Cable Set||–||–||–|
|Shifter Cable Set||Clarks||Shimano Road Shifter Cable Set||–||–||–|
|Shifters||105 ’07 10sp/Trip.||Ultregra 6800 11 Speed||500||447||-53|
|Fork||Raleigh Carbon Alloy Steerer||Nashbar Full Carbon Road||715||367||-348|
|Stem||Eleven81 100mm 17 degrees||RXL SL 3K Amazon||49||39||-10|
|Seatpost||Raleigh Carbon||Nashbar Carbon||306||241||-65|
|Wheels||Forte Apollo||Mavic Equipe S||1650||1690||40|