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:
- 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.
- Have the SRAM DUB bottom bracket fitted. Yup, I can go with the DUB because…
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.