Two Nice Recent Builds

There have been a couple nice builds going out at the start of this fall season and I wanted to share a couple eye candy photos of them.  Even a short test ride displayed the ride quality top end components and frames have to offer.  Parts List after each set.

Specialized Venge ViAS Pro Disc –

Specialized Venge ViAS Pro Disc –

Shimano ST785 levers / calipers, Dura-Ace Derailleurs (Di2), Roval CLX60 Disc wheelset, Specialized Carbon FACT crankset

This is really neat to build since we had some challenging times with the rim brake model earlier in the year.  Once the front brake dilemma was figured out, it was a matter of following a series of steps, but the pre-routed lines through the frame wer only marginally difficult to correctly measure and feed through the stem and the handlebar.  The routing was pretty tight, but not kinked due to it being hydraulic rather than cable actuated.  The paint was really nice too with the minimalist fading of grey and black.

Pinarello Dogma F8 Team Sky Edition –

Pinarello Dogma F8 Team Sky Edition –

Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Hydro groupset, Enve 2.3’s on Chris King R45 hubs with Sapim spokes, Centerline V2 rotors (6 bolt), Garmin Edge 820, Enve handlebars and stem, Arundel waterbottle cages, Dura-Ace pedals.

This bike felt so nice to take on the test ride before a final fitting.  It felt responsive and quick with a total sense of confidence in handling.  I felt zero ‘twitchiness’ and the wheels and frame absorbed the rough Arling pavement with ease.  The brakes can stop on a dime and still maintain a nice interval of modulation when descending.

Specialized Roubaix Future Shock

Hey everyone!  Quick post this morning about the new Future Shock from Specialized that is going on their Roubaix lineup and likely several other models (i.e. Diverge, maybe Crux) that I got a chance to build and ride the other day.  At first I was pretty skeptical about it and thought it was a lot like the proprietary suspension on a K8S Pinarello.  Obviously different components and placement, but the nagging concern that parts for this might not be available in a few years.  However, other than one particular part, I find that the shock will likely last as long as the bike and does comes with 2 additional springs (of different gauge) that could be used down the road.  The springs are really well built and the cartridge everything fits into is very well made and contained in a single unit.  Possibly this tech will evolve into something like a BRAIN shock.

Riding it felt great and I observed that the suspension accurately stayed in the middle of the travel while riding, so forces from the ground were smoothed out as well as pulling on the bar.  Even with this ‘smoothness,’ the bike felt agile and quick.  The disc brakes continued from the prior model were quick to stop and powerful (thanks Shimano).  Overall, my impressions are good on this.  The bike was really thought out and they redesigned enough features to make it a very noticeable performance improvement.

Now, the main thing that I question somewhat is the headset bearings for this bike.  Because of the Future Shock cartridge sits in a reinforced carbon steerer tube that is not 1-1/8″ or tapered, it requires special headset bearings.  I checked with pretty much all of our distributors and none of them have this bearing (not even close).  Thus, I hope Specialized has a great backstock of these and as a shop, you should definitely have some ready to go yourselves.  Other than that, I can see this technology making its way to other models and staying a features of the gravel grinder and cross category.  Here are some photos of the headset assembly.  Enjoy!


Dura-Ace 9100 Preview

Hey everyone!  I wanted to share a few photos and thoughts after seeing and riding the new Shimano Dura-Ace groupset.  It features some really nice improvements and has some new tech that stays in line with the prior model.

The lever throw is significantly and noticeably less that 9000 and has a slightly crisper feeling to the shift.  It reminded me of old school 9 speed Dura-Ace and how the lever actuation felt like there was a beginning and end to the throw for each shift.  The hoods are redesigned as a single compound hood with some grip pattern in the right places.  While it resembled the more ergo feel of Campagnolo, it had its own unique feel overall and was pleasant to hold on to.

The front derailleur is by far the most innovative piece of the system (other than the power integration with the cranksets, which I haven’t seen yet).  It uses a separate spring tension to actuate the derailleur that is separately adjusted from the cable tension.  It is kind of like having a built in inline barrel adjuster at the actual component rather than in the housing routing.  It gets rid of the tall arm that was getting in the way of some gravel grinder frames in the 9000 series because it would rub the fatter tires (thus, most were coming spec’d with 10 speed front derailleurs).

The brakes are slightly more responsive and use a nicely redesigned cam action to open and close the brake for narrow or wide rims.  It moves opposite to the prior models.  The dial goes inward towards the brake rather than opening to the outside.

The crank looked slightly more molded and shaped to accommodate strong pedal forces in the downstroke while giving it a nice blacked out finish that might appeal some more than others.

Lastly, the rear derailleur seems to take a lot of its tech from the XTR derailleur.  It now sports a shadow plus style mounting system, but doesn’t include the clutch (likely for weight savings0.  A full carbon parallelogram holds the pulleys, which are different in size and closely resemble the slightly larger pulley on 11 speed 105 derailleurs.

Anyways, on to the photos, shown below.  I’ll be adding a build review and other tech as we begin to install it in the shop in the weeks to come.  Enjoy!  Stop by and check it out!  I’ll also being adding a few more detailed photos below in the next couple days as I have a chance to take it apart.