An Equal Opportunity Offender


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Pile of Shiv

It has been rumored that the shop will be receiving the biggest Shiv award this year. Seeing that we have built 7, four from this model year. The first six have been fairly straight forward if you don't mention the time spent customizing Di2 cables so that the build looked descent (21 hours plus having to outsource to a small electric motor specialist). Number 7 turned into a pile of Shiv.

As you can see from the pic, the first issue I ran into was the fact that the factory did not thread the hanger. Being the kick ass wrench that I am, I did 'em a solid and took care of the problem After tapping the hanger I completely finished the build with a full group of Super Record 11 including the new return-to-center shifters (which as a side note are kick ass and way fucking better than the shit that ScRAM makes. I mean you can adjust the angle of the lever, and smooth, I mean smooth shifting...). Finishing a Shiv build takes a while, try 5 hours due to the intricacy of the cable routing and the thousand piece extension stacker.

To finish up I just need to straighten the stem and torque 'er down. Customer is patiently awaiting their $10,000 bike.

Before I continue with this little tale of Shivness, let me interject some personal philosophy. Torque wrenches are awesome and absolutely vital for high end builds/repairs. I know a lot of "old school" wrenches that refuse to use a torque wrench because they claim their elbows are calibrated or some other dumb ass shit. Well, take your calibrated elbow and see if you can consistently hit 40 inch pounds without going over ten times in a row. Can you? Fuck no. A good, careful technician will be under 7 times and over 2 and pretty damn close once. What does all this mean? If you are a bike mechanic who likes to work on high end stuff, invest in a god damn torque wrench. And I don't mean the shit that is floating around the industry and  toted as a "torque wrench." Park's wrenches are a joke. Pedro's? Don't make me laugh. Topeak? Getting better... I personally prefer Snap On's digitial. Good to within 1% accuracy and the read out gives you an exact number for the amount of torque reached. Vital! Plus they self calibrate when turned on.

Ok, to continue.

I grab my trusty Snap On torque wrench and a 4 mm bit and begin the daily task of torquing a stem on a carbon steerer. The recommended torque is 4.5Nm. Yes, I looked it up to be sure before starting. I'm tightening the top bolt but just as I feel things start to slightly tighten I feel a slight pop and then the bolt will only tighten to 3.77Nm (trusty digital read out). Being that I am deprived of sugar in my blood and have been working on this bike for almost five hours, I try the bottom bolt. Same result. A little confused, I check the stem and see that the threads have pulled out of the stem...

Five hours and a bike that can't be ridden... Thanks Special Ed.

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