Well, as I mentioned the last time, I have been building up another bike.  I would have to say that for the most part it is complete.  But is it ever really done?  I think not.  That said, even though it was working and I had something to get out there on, I realized there were somethings I just wasn't that happy with.

For starters, Ultegra!  I hate the looks of the crank and the annodizing color of their parts.  I will admit that I found the 6700 STI shifters to be quite comfortable on the hands but I can't stand the way they work.  I don't mind that you have to twist the actual lever.  But for some reason, the front (left) derailleur dragged.  It took a ton of effort to shift the damn thing even after setting it up over and over.  It just wasn't smooth.  I also disliked that they don't just shift when you hear the click.  It's like you have to go just a hair past the click and then it shifts.  Again, I reset the rear derailleur several times and still experienced the same thing.

I decided to go ahead and go with Sram Red.  I already had the crank and figured that Dura Ace would only be a more expensive version of the crappy shifting as the 6700.  My past experiences with Red were ok, but I thought they were very hard to get dialed in and keep that way.  It was also my first time using that platform coming from Campy (which is the best of all in my opinion) so I actually had to learn how to use them since one lever does both jobs.

So I managed to win some auctions and get the bike rolling this past week with a new drive train.  I should also add that I went with Red because both sets of wheels that I currently have are Shimano/Sram splined and there was no way I was ordering new wheels to make this happen.

Ok, back to the story.  I looked up a couple of install how to videos on Youtube.  Not that I needed to know how to install these parts mind you.  I have been working on my own bike for as long as I can remembers in addition to working in several different bikes shops over the years.  But I figured why not see what Sram has to say on the matter.

I will say I did a couple things different than I normally do but followed Sram's directions to the T.  Sure enough, I test shifted the bike while in the stand and all worked great.  I think rode around the neighborhood and shifted under load and to my surprise it worked there as well!  Not a single adjustment needed to be made.  It just frickn worked!  Click, clunk!  In gear, every damn time!  Crisp and solid.  Couldn't be happier!  Not to mention it weighs less so that is like a double win.

Put two rides in on it.  One for about 9 miles and another for 34.  Still not a single adjustment made!  I will add that I also installed all new cables and went with the Jagwire metal beaded style.  They took forever to get set up (the first one took over an hour and then I still had 3 more to do).  In total, I think it took me about 2.5 hours to do the cables and rewrap my bars.  In the end, I shaved a few more grams, my brakes feel great, as does the shifting.  Couldn't be happier.

I now have over 100 miles on my Chinese carbon wheels.  Again, they are working great.  Bearings are tight, wheels are true, they are loud as hell, and look SO sexy!  They also weigh less than my Ksyrium Elites (those things are frickn bomb proof tho) so that is also a bonus.  As soon as the scale shows up, I'll post some pics of them on the scale (both Mavic's and Chinese).  I won't break the tires off them as they have the same tires on both sets.

For now, things are coming along and I'm happy.  Just gotta get out there and keep riding when I can.


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