SL3 Weight-weenie build details

More photos are coming sometime this week. It took about a month and a half from ordering the first part to receiving the last part, but the arrival of the frame was the blocker.

Part Name Weight (g) Size Source Notes
Upper headset bearing 22 1 1/8" Specialized team order
Lower headset bearing 31 1 1/2" Specialized team order
Headset top cap 8 1 1/8" Specialized team order Carbon
Seat collar 16 32.6 Specialized team order
S-Works Pave seatpost 204 27.2 x 350 Specialized team order with Zertz insert
S-Works SL3 Module 1548 56 race Specialized team order with derailleur hanger, bottle bolts, cable adjusters, and S-Works 39/53 BB30 crankset
Thomson Elite X2 stem 147 110 Bayarearider with all bolts and face plate
S-Works fork 337 43mm rake Specialized team order cut with filed tabs. 370g uncut.
Fork compression plug 25 1 1/8" Specialized team order proprietary Specialized design
Steerer top cap 8 1 1/8" Specialized team order Specialized logo
Steerer bolt 2
Specialized team order
Spacers 6 10mm, 5mm, 5mm
Specialized team order Estimate - did not weigh. Matte carbon.
Spacers 6 10mm, 5mm, 5mm
eBay Estimate - did not weigh. Gloss carbon.
Zipp 303 front 852 700c Landry's with skewer, Vittoria Corsa CX tire, valve extender
Zipp 303 rear 1117 700c Landry's with skewer, SRAM Red cassette, Vittoria Corsa CX tire
Vittoria Corsa CX tire (rear)
700x23 Palo Alto Bikes Purchased retail.
SRAM Red rear cassette
26-Nov Palo Alto Bikes Purchased retail.
SRAM Red rear derailleur 144 one size Bayarearider
Speedplay zero pedals 166 one size Bayarearider Titanium, black
Specialized Toupe gel 208 143 Sheepshead Cycle from prior build
SRAM Red front derailleur 69 one size Bayarearider
Shimano CN-7900 238 106? eBay from stock
Master link 2 10s eBay from stock
SRAM Red front brifter 144 2x Slowtwitch
SRAM Red rear brifter 144 10x Slowtwitch
Pro Vibe carbon bar 232 42cm round Chain Reaction Cycles http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=33770
Zero G front brake 90 OG-07 Slowtwitch with pad holders but without pads
Zero G rear brake 82 OG-07 Slowtwitch with pad holders but without pads
Zipp brake pads 25 Campy Bayarearider set of four
Yokozuna Reaction cabling 195 SRAM Palo Alto Bikes before/after weight
Profile Design bar wrap 47 one size REI uncut
Deda bar plugs 4 one size ?? stock
Hudz white cable donuts 1 one size GrabTheHudz.com weight for four, from pack of 30

TOTAL 6120


delta 0


Specialized Tarmac SL3: 13.5 lbs

13.5 lbs in 56cm with Zipp 303s and SRAM Red. More later - goodnight!

No New Bike Until The Room Is Clean

The bike room is the pride of my apartment. It's an entire bedroom dedicated to bike repair. Unlike a garage, it's not cold, filthy, or detached from the rest of the living space. Instead, it had good lighting and is user friendly - when it's clean. For the past month or two, various projects resulted in the room being a complete and total mess. After about 15 man hours of work (Jane helped), I finally mounted the pegboard to the wall and sorted the tools. Not losing tools and having working space is a huge win. Have a look.

The real motivating reason for the clean was to help my old friend Arcady assemble his new bike. After reviewing his options, he ordered a Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro from bikesdirect.com. I think a cyclocross bike is a great do it all bike. It can handle commuting, touring, trail rides, and shopping trips nicely, as well as cyclocross and entry-level road racing. The bike has a titanium frame and new Ultegra 6700 components. It replaces a Bianchi Volpe that he has owned since around late 2001. I hope the new bike suits his needs. The build work was quick and painless with the new tool setup.

I still have plenty more bike work scheduled in the coming weeks. The used Nokon cables will get a second chance on the TT bike. I'm also experimenting with cranks on the TT bike, and tweaking my fit with a Look ErgoStem. (More on that later.) Plus, Jane's track bike will get new cranks in the near future to promote racing.

As luck would have it - and this is big news - my new Specialized SL3 module arrived on Friday! After finishing with Arcady's bike, I used a combination of Caltrain and Zipcar to collect it from my teammate's house. It is at least ten hours away from a raceable state, but I just could not resist posting a first photo here. The entire module consists of a frame, fork, headset, seatpost, and BB30 crankset with chainrings. Uncut and out of the box, the module weighs 2.24 kg.

I will take incredibly detailed photos along the build process and weigh everything to the gram. Stay tuned.

Busy Few Weeks

As usual, just because the blog has been quiet doesn't mean I've stopped riding. If anything, I'm riding more than before, balancing time more carefully, and thus, finding less time to blog.

So I have a Quarq Cinqo power meter on my Fuji Aloha CF2 road bike, mounted to a SRAM S900 crank. Apart from the weight (mostly from the crank itself), I have been very happy with the setup. It is ANT+Sport compatible and works flawlessly in bad weather.

I also appreciate SRAM's consistent use of the GXP bottom bracket standard. All SRAM road cranks, from Rival to Red, use a common BB. FSA uses at least three separate standards for their bottom brackets, meaning that it's impossible to swap, say, a Team Issue for an SL-K quickly. Why, pray tell, would I want to do this? Well, I happen to own one in a 175mm length, and another in 172.5mm. I would like to see what my ideal crank length is in time trials, experimentally.

As such, I ordered new SRAM Rival cranks, in 172.5 and 175 lengths. Now, I'll be able to swap crank lengths on my road and TT bikes, and use a power meter on both. Granted, I can't both use the Quarq and play with crank length, but for that, I have a PowerTap.

Another small project is inspired by Mavic and California state law. Lately, sunset in the Bay Area has been around 5:15pm, meaning I ride home in the dark. California law states that wheels must be reflectorized. I saw that my Mavic Ksyrium ES front wheel had reflective decals on the rims. So, I ordered some black retro-reflective tape, designed a stencil for the correct decal shape, and stuck on the reflectors. You can't see the black reflectors at all against the black rim, but they light up when photographed with a flash!

Another project was to experiment with Nokon cable housing. The plan was to use it on the next generation race bike, the still on order Specialized SL3. Since I ordered the wrong part (Shimano instead of Campy, for SRAM shifters), I figured that the spare set could go on the Aloha. I could test the cables and the installation process. I could also test the trick under-tape cable routing option for Shimano shifters. All I can say is, thumbs down. First, I had to drill out my frame cable stops to accommodate the liners. Then, installing the system amounted to stringing beads on a wire for about an hour. Once I had the system lubricated with Tri-Flow and installed, after about three hours, I just could not get good shifting out of it. My Dura Ace suddenly became Tiagra or Sora. I have to admit, it looked pretty cool.

Of course, the kicker was when the front shifter cable failed on a ride.

What, seriously? I followed the instructions precisely, including leaving exactly 3mm between the end of the liners and the end of the cable. My guess is that the sharp bend was causing the wire to rub against the inside of the metallic housing, causing fatigue. As a direct result of the failure, I opted not to use Nokons on the SL3. After reviewing the options, I put Gore Ride-On cables on the Aloha, which has been great so far. (I used it on the Roubaix for months until the frame died.) I will experiment with Yokozuna Reaction cables on the SL3.

Apart from all of this mechanical fun, my continuing experiment at self-coaching and learning continues. I am following Joe Friel's plan, almost to the letter, with 700 hours a year. This translates to about 12,000 miles. I have a spreadsheet on my computer which helps me compute hours and rides for the whole year. On a shorter time scale, I put the week's plan on the board. It helps keep me honest. One of the weeks is below.

This is my first year with this system, so, again, it is an experiment. I am continuing to tweak and improve my practices with regards to nutrition and training with power. Thusfar, my algorithm for fueling on long base rides is:

Food: 1 Larabar 60 minutes into the ride, and every 45 minutes thereafter.
Fluid: 4 oz Cytomax every 15 minutes (one bottle lasts 90 minutes).

I'm not hungry or dehydrated on my training rides, nor do I need to use the restroom. This will likely change as intensity or temperature increase, but for now, staying fueled and happy on long rides is easier than ever.


Specialized Delays

The glorious SL3 (and it's less-glorious credit card bill) still are not here. Hmm.

3-4 weeks is a little long to ship a production frame, isn't it? Not so, apparently. The Great Specialized Bicycle Making Company, the Apple of the bicycle industry in so many ways, has no qualms about being a tease. I recall how the 2008 Specialized Transition took about six months to hit store shelves; that was supposed to be the great TT bike purchase of 2008. I'll be lucky if I can get my hands on a Shiv for the 2011 race season.

Yes, I admit that it's "hard" to get subcontractors to make a quality product reproducibly and ship it around the world, and it's equally "hard" to evaluate demand. Then again, I'm not aware of any particular delay with the SL3. I saw one in a store and know a friend who has one. If this were Boston I could care less, but here in Foggy California, the race season is already underway!

So, why the wait? I want to get on this thing and start riding it! All of the parts are here!