I’ve been fancying getting into some semicompetitive cycling for a little while. I’ve dabbled with a few duathlons and the odd sportive, but never before have I committed to actually doing something that ends up in a proper measured finishing time. That is until now.
I’m very lucky to have a great mate who had a spare TT bike kicking about in his garage. Yes I know, who has a spare TT bike just kicking about? when I say spare TT bike what I mean is he kind of got bored of it and bought a new one because you know….. he thought it was on its way out. The truth is a mechanical experience where the bike felt unsafe has changed his perception on it, and I can totally understand that. That and the work needed to get it up to scratch was a large portion of the cost of the dream tt bike.
That’s it, not quite a rolling chassis. It is fairly complete though. All that was missing was a rear brake and some wheels……. Or so I thought.
On disassembly it turned out there were a couple of other ‘issues’. Now being almost the typical triathlete (he promises he’s not pissed himself on this bike) the bike was in a bit of a state…… covered in lube, sweat deposits, and with quite a bit of built up detritus. Unfortunately with sweat deposits…… you get corrosion.
Luckily his penchant for keeping the bike well lubricated helped avoid any real problems but there were a few semi seized bolts and furry aluminium parts. I would say I got my hands on it just in time.
Next thing I realised was the absence of something… the front brake fairing! There’s supposed to be an aerodynamic covering for the front brake assembly.
As you can see between the fork and the stem there’s a carbon cover. I couldn’t build this bike with that missing, that’s not my style. I needed to find one. A quick trawl through the internet showed that Shark composites were out of business, bollocks. Some further digging though showed that they were just reselling a Chinese made frame, a HongFu HF-FM109(TM6). Catchy eh! More internet showed HongFu we’re still in business… result.
A few emails later and I had a new cover on its way, and for a very reasonable price. Have to say that HongFu were super helpful so kudos to them for helping me out with a three year old frame.
Next outstanding item was the rear brake. A direct mount under chain-stay mounted affair. Which wasn’t too hard to sort, a quick eBay found me a new Shimano 105 one for £35 delivered in a couple of days. Ideal. Although on inspection of the brake area I found a very corroded bolt hole (so corroded it had completely sealed up)…….. what could that be for?
Back to the HongFu website and I was quick to discover a rear brake aero cover. Damn. Taking into consideration the state of the mounting hole combined with the fact I’d already ordered the front cover, I left it. It’s not going going to be make or break. I need to draw the line somewhere.
Although I didn’t really draw the line that hard.…. The ex owner suggested that I paint the bike. I thought about it for about five minutes and, with near zero self control, decided that I would pursue the idea……….
That’s it’s for now, I’m going to get started on the repaint. There’s enough content in that for a whole other story, I’ll be back soon with my progress.