[Editor’s note: In his defense, Scott submitted this article days before Courtenay raced last Sunday in Hartford. So I am fully to blame for the post-cxnats publication of this prep article. On the plus side, these bikes aren’t done as they are heading to Luxembourg for cyclocross worlds. And Courtenay’s fifth place finish at nationals are proof the bikes were all in good order.]
Thank you for following along in this journey of bike preparedness, yes I know that’s not a word! Today is the final installment in the series of me preparing Courtenay McFadden’s race bikes to take on US CX nationals! If you want to read part one, part two, or part three go back and check them out; otherwise just keep on reading.
At the end of part three the cleaning and re-assembly has mostly been completed. All that is left is a few touch up things, and adjusting and tuning.
The next thing to do is bleed brakes. There are many on line examples of this so I won’t bore you with tons of pictures of it but I will show you my brake bleed specific tackle box. It’s all the brake bleed stuff that I use. It’s mostly SRAM stuff but there is a few Shimano things in there as well. It just provides me with an easy way to keep all my brake stuff together.
With the brakes all set it’s time to cable the derailleurs. A couple of things here, cabling a SRAM shifter is pretty straight forward, I like to use these Felco cable cutters. They seem to work amazingly well and last forever.
And if you have an extra second, sometimes I like to just put a dab of shrinkwrap on the cable ends instead of crimping a cable end.
With that done the final couple of things to put on the bike are the chain. Always use a new power link!
And wrap the bars!
Then I do a quick check with the torque key to make sure all is at least tight for travel.
One other thing on this. If you look at the stem faceplate on this Easton stem you might think it is improperly placed as there is no gap at the top. However this is an Easton top lock stem and that is how it is supposed to be adjusted. The top is tightened first leaving all the gap at the bottom. These stems have given us no problems all season.
Also in preparation for travel I put these brake blocks in to avoid compression while traveling. Remember the wheels will all have their brake rotors off so even if you travel with wheels this is a good idea. If you don’t have these blocks just use cardboard.
Wheels are all set to go.
With wheels that we have multiple treads of I like to put a number 2 or 3 depending on the order that I think they should be ridden.
And finally I load up the van!!!
Typically I’ll put the training wheels on the frames for transporting while the race wheels get tucked nice and cozy in wheel bags in my back seat.
And we are off to Hartford!
These bikes will also be traveling with Courtenay over to Europe while she races over there so this complete overhaul at this point is a nice precaution. Being the sport of cyclocross, as we know, anything can happen but having things ready always helps.
Thanks for following along on the project and feel free to ask any questions about what we do mechanically that I didn’t cover.