After thinking about my cycling goals for 2019 my thoughts turned to a bike to use for these rides and climbs.
One of my suppliers ChickenCycleKit is the owner of the Tifosi brand. As I wanted a bike that I could use all year round their aluminium framed, carbon forked CK7 frame seemed like a suitable starting point. As a comparison the 2019 partial 105 build specification complete bike retails for £1149.99 and the frame on its own is £349.99 (though the prices and specs seem to vary around the web).
I also wanted a decent build specification, along with trying out some things that were new to me, including tubeless road wheels and tyres and a carbon seat post. I settled on the previous generation Shimano 105 5800 groupset as the base for the build, both for reliability and some great deals since the new R7000 105 series was released.
So I built up a pair of wheels using Miche Primato hubs, Sapim Race spokes and DT Swiss R460 rims. I settled for a 28 2-cross pattern for the front and a 32 3-cross pattern for the rear. I see online that this build sells for around £275 which is somewhat more than the £99.99 stock Miche Excite wheels that come with Shimano 105 spec complete bikes. I fitted these with tubeless compatible Schwalbe Pro One tyres,Schwalbe tubeless rim tape, valves and Doc Blue fluid to plug any leaks. I’ll get a chance to see whether I feel any benefit from going tubeless.
Having purchased a full Shimano 105 groupset I was also able to see an upgrade over the stock bike in terms of replacing the FSA MX Chainset, FSA Road MegaExo Bottom Bracket, Miche Performance Brakes and Miche Primato 12/27 Cassette. The groupset came with the Shimano Ultegra bottom bracket and R7000 11-32 Cassette, a welcome change considering the coming hills.
The brakes proved slightly more problematic as I didn’t initially realise the frame needed 57mm drop brakes and the 105’s only come with a 49mm drop. So I substituted the longer drop non-series Shimano R451 at the rear (upgraded with cartridge brake pads) but found that there was just enough room to keep the 105 at the front. The frame is designed for 25mm tyres with mudguards or 28mm without. Visually it looks like there is room for the front mudguard with the 105 brake, but I will see when I attempt to fit them.
ChikenCycleKit also distribute the Deda brand so I specified the Deda Zero1 handlebars, Zero2 Stem (having initially tried a 100mm stem I have decided to change this for an 80mm as it feels like I am slightly overreaching for the brake hoods) and as a real treat a Super Zero Carbon Seatpost. all in Black On Black to compliment the blue frame.
Saddles are a very personal choice and I have generally stuck with the Charge Spoon on the other bikes I have built or refurbished, partly because of its value for money, partly because I like the look and partly because I haven’t had any significant comfort issues. However, this time I took the plunge and went for something different, settling on the Pro Griffon Saddle, having first measured my sit bone width to get the correct size. These have an RRP of £89.99 which is considerably more than the Charge so I will have an opportunity to see whether it’s worth the extra.
Several hours of construction, cabling, inserting and bar tape wrapping later and not forgetting to finish off with a good all round tourqing, I am ready to ride. I will install the accessories over the next few days, reflectors, bell, lights, bottle cages, saddlebag, computer mount and for the winter a set of mudguards. This frame also has mounts for a rear rack should the mood take you, though I would like to try some of the bike packing gear I stock, such as the Zefal Z Adventure R17 Waterproof Saddlebag.
I am also trying out their Console Pack which is large enough to take a phone behind its transparent lid.
There is a great sense of pride and fulfilment in building yourself a custom bike from the component parts, tailoring the parts to what suits you and not needed to upgrade or dispense with tyres, or brakes you didn’t really want in the first place.
If you are interested in building a bike yourself then please let me know by Email or phone/text on 07583 589589 as I am planning to run a series of bike building workshops where you can come for a weekend workshop and ride out on the bike you just built all included in the price. This build was part proof of concept to see whether it was financially viable to offer this kind of workshop. It’s looking good.