Monday, November 07, 2011

Bicycle Assembly

By reading this post you should be able to construct yourself a bicycle as shown above.

In my case the self build allowed me to specify exactly what components I wanted, and reuse some parts from my crashed bike, and now that I know it has worked, allows me to sit back with smug mode on :-)

Due to the high end components used it is questionable if I saved any money.

Disclaimer:  I am missing quite a few explanatory photographs ... sorry!

The principle objective was to build an extremely light and strong, road bike.  I wanted to reuse my crashed bikes components if they were undamaged.

Cost was not an issue except in the area of the frame. Research uncovered that you can spend thousands on a frame which may not even be light or asthetically attractive. I would not be doing that!

The Dedaccaiai Scuro RS frame was chosen as an ultra light weight frame  at a medium price point. 

The parts were ordered from Wiggle UK in the sequence I thought I would need them and with regard to their stock levels (which are shown online at order time).

Some cost heart ache surfaced as when Wiggle splits any order into multiple packages ibound to Switzerland each incurs a 15CHF inspection fee (11 GBP) before they charge me duty.  Lost of packages meant lots of 15CHF surcharges.

In practice I reused the Deda Zero 100 handlebar and stem  because one Wiggle order did not complete within 4 weeks of ordering & would have prevented me completing the build.

I used the Shimano Dura Ace Cranks and Chainset, mostly because it is seemingly impossible to order a 55 chainwheel.  New Bearings were used.

Start with the Frame

The Scuro RS  is a sub 1kg Carbon Fibre frame including seatpost.  That is light.

It has a traditional BSA bottom bracket so I ordered the Shimano English Bottom Bracket fitting. Ironic since this is an Italian frame.

I wanted to order a more exotic Bracket but could not figure out which to order on Wiggle.

I ordered the T47 Small frame.  It was within 2 cm of being too short.  Measure carefully your existing frame from crank centre along the fame to top of seatpost to get the dimension you need.

As usual I covered most of the frame in Black Duct tape.  This time not just for reasons of protection but also because the Green and White frame was too loud, but there is no options on the colour!  So after taping I have a Green and mostly Black bike with a touch of white peeking around in places.

Front Wheels

My front Mavic RSys SL front wheel was badly damaged,  the The Bike Lausanne are Mavic dealers and sent it off for repair  (400 CHF estimate!).

But due to a postal problem it ended with a > 6 week delay.  So in order not to wait further I bought a new RSys SL front from Wiggle.

Wheel received and all stickers both inside and out removed.

Rear Wheel and Block

The Mavic R SYS SL rear wheel was lightly crash warped and so this was put right at The Bike Lausanne

Meanwhile the ultra light single piece Aluminum block was sloppy against the spline of the Mavic wheel.  So using white duct tape I built up the spline fractionally  (zoom to view).  Then mounted the Block, trimmed off the excess tape & voila no more play.

Damn Bearings
The frame is supplied with a matching fork and 2 sets of bearings.  The bottom bearing has a part (Crown Race) that fixes to the fork and another part that is inside the bottom edge of the frame.

First there was paint on the inside bearing surfaces.  I had to eBay some emery paper and sand it down.   Then no matter how hard I tried  (with hammer and tube) I could not press down the bearing base onto the fork.

Next, I ordered a Crown Race fitting tool but 4 weeks later it did not arrive so I had to take the fork and crown race to a Lausanne bike shop for fitting.


The clever Shimano design means the right crank and chainwheel is one unit.

So first you screw in the bottom bracket cups, then place the right side of the crank with chainwheel in, then attach the left crank.

You need to buy this Hollowtech tool to tighten the crank in then clip a little after tightening the perpendicular hex bolts.

Cutting the Seat

The Scuro RS has an integrated Carbon Seatpost.  You need to cut it to your seat height.  The seat mounts on a bracket with about 1cm travel.

I wanted to have that mounting plate hard down on the carbon seatpost, so I needed to get the height 100% correct.

The Effetto CarboCut Hacksaw was used 5 times to cut that seatpost.  Process was to measure seat, tape with masking tape, then cut with saw.  When done fit seat and ride around.  Last 4 cuts of more and more precise, fine and timid cuts to get it right.

I kept a Dyson DC35 handy at all times to make sure all Carbon dust was instantly removed.

This was definitely the most stressful part of the build.  Get the cutting wrong and you have to throw away the frame and start again!


At last something trivial to fit. I chose not to use the old Dura Ace Brakes but bought some TRP R970 Magnesium brakes. They don't have a quick release mechanism ... good!

Front Mech

Do the research.  My previous bike had a braised on mech bracket.  But the Scuro frame has none.  So I needed to order a Band on version and to measure the circumference to establish I needed the 34.9mm version

Rear Mech

The crashed mech was damaged so a new Dura Ace 7900 rear was ordered.  The problem actually came in fitting it.  It should screw into the aluminium frame end (drop outs)  But these are very fragile and I did not want to cross the thread, because if you did - well again the frame is useless.  So over 30 minutes of careful screwing, with greece and hand tightening and it was in.  Phew.

Note: There is a trend to make all Carbon frames to save some weight. In other words the drop out and the place to screw the rear deraileur into would be made of carbon.  To me this is folly, surely it needs to be metallic to survive repeated clamping/insertion. Maybe on my next frame!


A Dura Ace 7901 chain was overall difficult to fit.  First you fit the chain. But as diagram shows it is too long and must have links removed.  How many? My (un googled) theory is with top gear at the back (small cog) and 55 chainwheel at front see how slack the chain is.  Now you need to break the chain in another place and remove as many links necessary to make the chain tight, on this the loosest setting.

Shortening the chain, or more exactly putting in the second special link (provided) was difficult since I only had an Extraction tool not an insertion tool. I had to improvise with BlueTack and some screws to act a plunger to push out the pin.

It wasn't obvious but a Shimano cable set is enough for front and back.  So you need one Gear set and another brake set.  And remember to order the right colour housing.

It essential to have a decent cutter so I got a Park Tools professional  This tool made it very easy to cut cables


Download and read very carefully the manuals for the Dura Ace Road Levers.   First thread thru the brake and derailleur cables.  Next mount the rubber hood loosely, then clamp to handlebar.  Then tension the cables and when you are all correctly adjusted put the hood back 100%.

You need to put the rubber hoods on first since you cant pull them over from outside to inside if you first mount just the levers.

What I did is once levers mounted then with black duct tape secure the cables to the handlebars.

Tape and Caps and Pedals and Lights

Speedplay Zero Titanium pedals.  Rescued from crashed bike.  A bit scuffed but functional. Unusual design is that there is a fairly large cleat attaching to shoe, but actually very low total weight.

Double 0.5 W LED rear light from MEC Canada

Aerodynamic Bottle.  Awkward -ish to use but this is early days so far.

Handlebar tape: News to me but a single packet is enough for left and right side of handlebars.  You start from the centre and work towards the plug ends, going around the levers.  The tape underside has a central sticky area and I overlapped the tape so that that sticky area is on the handlebars.  Hope that is correct.  If not I have plenty of over ordered tape to do it again :-)

BTW: I waited 1 week before applying tape in case any last minute cabling/ hood adjustments were necessary.

And So
Yes the bicycle is bult and rides very well, brilliantly in fact.  Why didn't I build my own bike before is the question I am now asking!

Dedacciai website scuro RS