Posts: 5

Bike re-build project, part 2

Over the last few days I've ordered a number of components, attached the brakes (I found an almost new set of Shimano XT M785 brakes with cooled brake pads) and mounted the rear derailleur to the frame. Fitting the shifter alongside the XT brakes and guiding the shifter cable through the various housings and then attaching it to the derailleur was an exercise in frustration.

Next week I'm going to take the frame to one of the excellent bike shops in Trier to have two things done:

  1. Get the brake hoses shortened and the brakes bled if necessary. I want the cables shortened and positioned in a way that'll allow me to easily use a handlebar bag.
  2. Have the SRAM DUB bottom bracket fitted. Yup, I can go with the DUB because…

Success Kid Qapla'

The chain line works out perfectly fine with the standard NX Eagle crankset combined with a 6 mm spacer on the drive side and a 4.5 mm spacer on the non-drive side (the bike has a PressFit BB86 bottom bracket shell). I aligned everything to be perfectly straight in gear 7 (with the big 50-tooth sprocket being gear 1).
Note that using the NX Eagle cassette on a 11-speed Shimano free hub requires a 2 mm spacer between the cassette and the spokes, so that might be a contributing factor.

This is particulary great because there is no documentation for this on the web and SRAM states that MTB drivetrains don't work on CX or road frames because the chain lines are not compatible. Apparently that's bogus and considering how much more expensive 1× road cranksets are compared to the excellent NX Eagle cranksets, this opens up a lot of possibilities.

My biggest concern right now is that DHL are going to continue being asses making me wait another week to receive the wheelset I bought. It’s been sitting in their warehouses for the past week and I'm not happy about it. It complicates the entire project.
Another thing that is going to be a bit of a challenge for me is setting up and tuning shifting. I've never had a SRAM shifting setup before and even shortening the chain works differently than on my Shimano setup.

With any luck the bike will be ready next week and I can't wait to ride it and find out if the decision to go 32-tooth for the front chainring allows me to pull the bike trailer up the local hills without collapsing into a sweaty heap of regret once I’m at the top.

Bike re-build project, part 1

About two months ago I switched frames, taking the majority of components from my Canyon Inflite AL 9.0 cyclocross bike and moving them to a Litespeed T5G gravel cycling frame. Since then I’ve been enjoying riding the new bike madly and I’ve tried to sell the Canyon frame set online. Sadly, nobody was interested in it.

Having given this some thought and since I’ve been contemplating ways to use my car even less, I decided to build a new bike using the Inflite AL frame set.


This new bike is going to be used as a commuting and shopping bicycle, to be used when riding downtown (literally, because I have to roll downhill and pedal uphill) and when I do my big weekly grocery shopping trip in the shops close by.

Since I don’t want this to become too nice of a target for thieves, it’s not going to be spec’d with expensive components. I’m trying to find a balance between fairly recent technology and reliable, fuss-free components, buying used parts whenever possible, to end up with a versatile bike.

Component choices

These are the basic ideas I’ve had:

  • Flat bar instead of a drop bar for riding position simplicity and easy installation of brakes, grips, and shifters.
  • A mountain bike 1× system. I’ve pieced together a SRAM NX Eagle 1×12 group that will have a 11-50 cassette in the back and likely a 32-tooth chainring in front.
  • Why such low gearing? Because we have a lot of hills here with ~ 12% incline, meaning a) I want to be able to cycle downtown and back up without ending up a sweaty mess, and b) when I have the dog/shopping trailer attached to the back axle (which by itself weighs 13 kg) I need to be able to make it up this kind of hill at all, even if I do end up a sweaty mess.
  • As for wheels, I might’ve gotten a good deal on a new DT Swiss P1800 SPLINE db23 wheel set. I’ll believe it when it’s here and once I’ve switched it from ThruAxle to classic quick release, hopefully with the adapters I still have from converting my CR1600 SPLINE db 23 from QR to TA.
  • Not sure which tyres I’m going to get, yet, but I want a road tyre with 35 mm – 37 mm width for comfort and grip. Sadly, most of the puncture-proof stuff Schwalbe offers has an ugly reflector strip on the side of the tyres.
  • Brake-wise, I’m looking at some variant of Shimano’s MTB post mount disc brakes. Everyone I spoke to tells me these are the most reliable brakes I can buy, requiring little bleeding over time. I know, I know, mixing components is a no-no for some purists but I don’t care.
  • Saddle and grips: For these I’m likely going to go with Ergon. For one because they’re a company from this region, secondly because I can get them easily, and thirdly because for what they cost, they’re very comfortable.
  • Fenders. Yes, fenders. This things will be ridden in sunshine and rain and I still have a fitted pair of fenders for the frame anyway.

Current state of things



Potential problems

There’s really only one: the bottom bracket and crank set choice.
There are so many [dickquotes] standards [/dickquotes] out there, I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around it when I built up the Litespeed frame. The Inflite AL frame has a PressFit 86 bottom bracket housing, meaning a width of 86.5 mm and a inner diameter of 41 mm. So far so good.
Currently in there is a Rotor 4130 PressFit BB30 bottom bracket that—of course—is not compatible with any of the BB30 crank sets SRAM offers. So far so bad.

What I ended up ordering for now is a SRAM NX Eagle crank set using their DUB “standard”, a matching SRAM bottom bracket, and a few spacers because the crank set is built for a 89 mm or 92 mm bottom bracket.
The big question here is not going to be whether it will fit but whether the chain line will work out, since I’m going to be using a MTB cassette on a road back wheel equipped with a Shimano 11-speed freewheel hub.

I wasn’t able to find any information about compatibility, just SRAM’s recommendation of a 49 mm chain line up front and the rough estimate that barring any changes, the chain line on the back will be 45.5 mm. So far so ARGH.

I’ll just have to put everything together and see if I get a straight chain line across the center of the cassette when I put everything together. If this doesn’t work, I’m going to have to replace the NX Eagle crank set with one of SRAM’s road bike crank sets, which are much more expensive and will also require the purchase of a smaller Direct Mount chain ring.

Empfehlung: Schotterradelstrecke im und um den Mattheiser Wald

Ich habe seit etwas über einem Jahr wieder enorm Spaß am Radfahren und bin beim Fahrradtyp CX/Gravel hängengeblieben. Leider sind viele Strecken auf Komoot eher für Mountainbikes ausgelegt und mit einem ungefederten CX-Rad kommt man da häufig weder gut rauf, noch gesund runter (selbst, wenn ich als Streckentyp "Fahrrad mit Schotter" angebe).

Ich bastele mir also seit einiger Zeit so meine eigenen Touren und teile hier meine erste, fertige Tour. Sie verbringt viel Zeit auf Schotterpfaden, Waldautobahnen, in den Weinbergen, und unbefestigten Wegen im Wald. Außerdem gibt es am Anfang/Ende einen richtig hübschen Anstieg den Petrisberg hoch. Start- und Endpunkt ist das Restaurant "Jahreszeiten" am Turm Luxemburg, in dem ich immer wieder gerne einkehre.

Viel Spaß!