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Major bike surgery; Doing your own bike repairs; Headset press for $5.00.

Monday, February 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

February
20
2012
My Trek Fuel EX 8 is prepped and ready for surgery. The stock Shimano SLX crankset, bottom bracket, front/rear derailleurs, shifters and cassette will be replaced with SRAM/Truvativ XO parts. The 90mm/7° Bontrager stem will be replaced with a 70mm/5° Truvative stem, and the Bontrager RL handlebars will be swapped for Truvativ T40 Noir carbon bars.

My Trek Fuel EX 8 is prepped and ready for surgery. The stock Shimano SLX crankset, bottom bracket, front/rear derailleurs, shifters and cassette will be replaced with SRAM/Truvativ XO parts. The 90mm/7° Bontrager stem will be replaced with a 70mm/5° Truvativ stem, and the Bontrager RL handlebars will be swapped for Truvativ T40 Noir carbon bars.

In yesterday’s weekly progress report I was happy to announce that I’m down to 181 pounds and 7.7% body fat. My 2012 cut is going very well, and the fat continues to come off at a very satisfying pace.

In addition to my own weight loss, I have also put my main mountain bike on a diet…

I’ve already replaced the stock Bontrager Evoke 2 saddle with a WTB Devo Carbon Saddle, converted the WTB Velociraptor front/rear tires to tubeless, replaced my old Shimano PD-M647 clipless pedals with a pair of much lighter Shimano PD-M540 clipless pedals and swapped the stock chain for the lightweight (yet strong) KMC X10SL Chain.

The above changes reduced the weight of my bike by more than a pound, but the most significant weight and performance changes are coming this week. 🙂

As you can see in the picture above, I have prepped my Trek Fuel EX 8 for major surgery. Yesterday I removed the stock Shimano 3×10 175mm SLX crankset (42/32/24), the Shimano BB91-41A bottom bracket, the Shimano SLX front and rear derailleurs, the Shimano SLX front and rear shifters, the Shimano HG8110 cassette (11-36), the Bontrager Low Riser 31.8mm/25mm rise/9° sweep handlebars and the Bontrager Race Lite 90mm/7° stem.

Stock Shimano SLX and Bontrager components removed from Trek Fuel EX 8. These items are in excellent condition and for sale as a package (see description above). Make me an offer.

Stock Shimano SLX and Bontrager components removed from Trek Fuel EX 8. These items are in excellent condition and for sale as a package (see description above). Make me an offer.

I’ll be replacing the parts I pulled with a SRAM/Truvativ 2×10 175mm XO carbon crankset (26/39), a SRAM/Truvativ GXP bottom bracket, SRAM XO front/rear derailleurs, SRAM XO front/rear shifters, a SRAM 1070 cassette (11/36), Truvativ 700mm wide/15mm rise T40 Noir carbon handlebars and a Truvativ AKA 70mm/5° stem.

These changes will not only provide a significant reduction in bike weight, they will also greatly enhance my bike’s performance and reliability.

I’m selling all the parts I pulled as a package. There is some normal cosmetic wear to the cranks, but everything is in excellent condition and works perfectly. Make me an offer, and let me know if you have any questions.

As sort of a natural adjunct to my mountain biking passion I’ve also developed a very strong interest in mountain bike maintenance and repair. Taking your bike to the Local Bike Shop is expensive and time-consuming, and no matter how good your LBS is no one will ever care more about your bike than you do. In addition to the huge amount of money I save, the satisfaction I get from doing all my own bike repairs and maintenance is immense.

Growing up I worked on my own cars, but when I took up mountain biking a couple of years ago I didn’t know the first thing about bike repair. Thankfully there are excellent books and online resources that make learning about bike maintenance and repair easier than ever. If you’re interested in learning about bike repair, you should definitely check out the detailed tour (video, pictures and links) of everything in my garage bike repair shop.

The cool thing is that once you invest in a tool it’s yours forever, and once you learn how to perform a repair you’ll never need to pay someone else to do it for you again. If I had to pay a bike shop to do all the work I’m currently doing to my bike it would cost a small fortune. The regular maintenance that I do to keep my bikes in great condition is not only free, I also don’t have to be without my bike for several days while the shop works on it.

My homemade headset bearing cup press. Works perfectly and cost me just five bucks in parts at the hardware store.

My homemade headset bearing cup press. Works perfectly and cost me just five bucks in parts at the hardware store.

While I’m all for investing in quality tools for my bike shop, there are have been a couple times when the cost of a tool can’t be justified for home use. Take, for example, a headset bearing cup press. A headset press is used to install headsets and pressfit bottom brackets, and the price for the two Park Tool headset presses are ridiculous. The top-of-the-line Park headset press is the HHP-2; it’s a beautiful and well-made tool, but at almost $200 (MSRP) only pro mechanics would probably want to invest in it. The HHP-2’s little brother is the HHP-3, but at $80.00 MSRP is still horribly overpriced.

In order to install my new bottom bracket I require a headset press, but I was not about to spend that kind of money on what amounts to nothing more than a threaded rod and a few washers. I decided to build my own, and so yesterday I went to Home Depot and picked up an 8 inch long 5/8″ threaded rod, a couple 5/8″ nuts, two 5/8″ washers and a four 3/4″ washers. I tested it out by re-installing the Shimano bottom bracket (along with with the bushings found in the Park Tool BBT-90.3 PressFit Bottom Bracket Bearing Tool Set) I’d just removed and it worked perfectly. I love Park Tools, but the prices on their two headset presses are ridiculous when you can make the same damn tool for five bucks and a quick trip to the hardware store.

Lisa left for a business trip to Vegas this morning. Her alarm went off at 3:00 AM, and it woke me up, too. I’m feeling a little loopy right now, and by the time my leg workout time rolls around I’m probably going to be pretty tired. I’m going to have to dig deep for this one!

John Stone Fitness Comments

5 Responses to “Major bike surgery; Doing your own bike repairs; Headset press for $5.00.”
  1. A couple weeks ago you mentioned you didn’t want to go overboard with weight reduction on your bike, but it sounds like you’ve seen some great benefits from it.

    Do you think you’ll ever consider trading the frame itself out?

    http://www.delta7bikes.com/arantix-mountain-bike.htm

    I bike a little, but nothing too serious, so I haven’t experienced how much of a change some of your improvements make first hand.

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    • I saw that frame posted on PB (I think) a few days ago. While interesting, it’s not something I’d seriously consider (only 200 made, way too expensive, the available frame sizes are too small for me, etc.)

      For now I’m very happy with my Fuel. If I were to swap the Fuel’s frame there would really be nothing left of the original bike except for the front fork assembly (which I would change way before the frame), the Fox rear shock, the Avid Elixir brakes and the Bontrager rims!

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    • I saw two of those that broke in half at Interbike 09. Not a pretty sight. Given they were prototypes at the time but I think it clouded their image forever. So may good carbon frame offerings these days, I still like metal underneath me though!

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