Building The Gravel Bike – Real Time Complete Build | Garbage To Gravel-ish Episode 3

(“Heavy Breeze” by Thompson Town Flowers) – Welcome then to episode
three of garbage kind of bike into a gravel or adventure bike. Today we’re going to run
through a build up of the bike. As you can see, it’s not
totally stripped down. It’s kind of in the same
state that I got it, other than, well, Doddie was
having a little play around actually, with these brakes, because he had no bikes kicking around and he wanted to see
exactly how’d they work. So the rear canties,
they’ve already been fitted, but as for the rest,
well, let’s get to work. Let’s start off with the wheels then, so we turn this bike into
something that resembles more of a bike to start with. So we’re going to fit the rear cassette, or, well, the only
cassette, onto the wheels. So, just going to whip out
the quick release skewer, and of course, then slide
that Shimano cassette on. Remember, I’ve gone for a 10
speed cassette here, 11 to 34, and, of course, we want to make sure that the splines of the cassette match up with the splines
of the freehub body. So you can see here, we’ve got one which is different from all of the rest. Which makes it oh so simple to install. Of course, depending on what
type of freehub you’ve got and what style of cassette body, depends exactly on how
it’s going to go on there. Now sometimes you actually
have to put a very thin washer behind the actual cassette body, sorry behind the cassette
and on the freehub body. It takes up a little bit of slack. But I had a little play
around behind the scenes and I didn’t actually need this today. But sometimes you do, and they are pretty thin those washers. They are thinner than a spacer in between a cassette sprocket. I remember years ago I
once I had to file one down for a rider and try and
get that nice and flat to make sure his gears
were indexing right. And that was an absolute nightmare. All right, so it’s on
there absolutely fine. Before I put on that lock ring and torque it up to 40 newton meters, I’m just going to put a little
bit of my favorite on there, a little bit of grease, just
to make sure that it’s okay when it comes to removing it
in the future, if we decide to. So I’m just going to put a
little dab of that on there and then it’ll all be okay. As you can see, the toothbrush,
still not replaced it. Pretty manky, covered in grease, but just got to give that
a little bit of coating. Try not to drop all of your bits. Benefit of having a nice
clean workshop floor there. Nothing gets lost. Of course, if you’re doing it at home you may well drop something
down your floorboard. That’d be a nightmare wouldn’t it? All right, it’s on there. Just tighten it up by hand, just at first. Lay the little cassette tool on there. Then I’ll put it into the torque wrench and put it up to 40 newton meters. Of course that just relies on everything being here in the right place. Who was in here last? Doddie I bet. (“Heavy Breeze” by Thompson Town Flowers) Right, then just a case
of refitting that skewer, there is already a light
amount of grease on there so I’m not going to worry about
putting anything extra on. It’s only going to weigh
down this bike even more, it weighs a ton. But, it’s not a lightweight
bike, let’s face it. So we’re going to put that wheel in. So, we got horizontals dropout from here, slightly old school,
they’re not that long, but we’ll make sure when
you’re putting a wheel in a dropout like this, You want to sort of use your
thumbs on the seat stays to push that wheel back into place. Now, I will always, always
put wheels in normally when the bike is on,
well out of a work stand ’cause you can just work with gravity, but on this I could definitely
feel it’s totally and utterly butted up against the
end of those fork ends. Locked it up nice and tight. There we are, all right,
let’s put the front one in and let’s get to work on this beauty. After years and years of
doing this sort of thing you know how much pressure to put, and then when you know
it’s locked in slightly, you can work with your other hand, it’s quite difficult to explain, but after donkey’s years it feels like, tell you what, super smooth these hubs. Spot on. Headset luckily that’s
nice and smooth too, so I don’t have to do anything with that. I must’ve taken care of this one before I, well, let it fall to
the bottom of the shed. And again, the axle there
on the bottom bracket, that’s nice and good too,
there’s no play in that. Nope. You wonder why I’m looking away, now the reason being is that,
sometimes when you look down there and you see something rocking it’s because the bike is
rocking in the work stand, so it’s easier just to use your senses or take away one of your
senses, in this case my eyes, and just try and feel for anything, try and listen for anything. No, nothing at all there. So that’s absolutely great, good news, I don’t have to worry about any bearings or anything like that inside of there. From memory, those were
actually inside of a cage, so it’s nice and easy so, there’s
nothing going to fall apart. Loads of bearings though, you have to fill up the cups
of those bottom brackets and then put each bearing in separately and then hope that when
you put the axle through, they don’t all fall out onto the floor and you lose them through that, well, gap in the floorboards. Yeah, you could tell I’ve had
that happen to me in the past. Right, so we’ve got that done. Now you’ll remember I
had that quill to Ahead stem converter, here it
is, I put a stem on it. Looks absolutely horrific
right now, doesn’t it? But also cast your minds
back and you’ll remember exactly why I decided
to go for one of these. And the reason being it’s so simple to swap out the actual stem itself in order to get your position
right and everything, and another reason being, you remember I had that cable hanger that I was going to put on
in between the two nuts, so the actual adjusting nut and the locking nut of the headset. Sadly, whilst tinkering around, honestly, I can’t help myself, it’s a bit of a problem
I’ve got I suppose. I wanted to do this all on video for you, but I just wanted to make sure that everything was going to be spot-on. And there wasn’t enough
thread on the fork steerer for that cable hanger to
go in between the two. So, it meant I was either
going to have to go out and try and find a different
headset internally threaded. Fairly common I guess, but I didn’t want to spend
too much money on it. So went down actually to a local bike shop and had a rummage around
in their parts drawer and found this cable hanger. However, now on here another problem. So, this is designed for a 28.6 clamp, which happens to be what
this stem is fitted onto, a 28.6 at the top. The bottom bit though is 25.4,
so I’ve had to shim it out and what I actually just
decided to go for here, at first I experimented
with some bits of can, aluminum can, thin stuff. In the end I actually
went for an inner tube, That I wrapped around
really really tightly, I had to get a couple of
lads in the office as well to help me with it, hence why
I’ve not done it on camera because these arms weren’t
really up to the job. But I managed to get it on there and I’ve also got a different stem on. The reason being, when I would
have the bars in the stem the routing of the cable, it just, a normal stem would be at such an angle that the cable wouldn’t
be able to enter here sufficiently or efficiently
even if you like. So, what I have got is a V-brake noodle. That’s right, so that
will go in here like so. And it means that I’m
going to be able to get a brake outer in there and I’m
going to be able to use it. It’s a bit of a hack,
it’s a bit of a bodge, but it should work, I don’t see why not, there’s no reason for it not to. And like you can see there
if I had any other stem that was going downwards whatsoever this noodle wouldn’t work, unless I was then going to trim that off. But I don’t really like to trim things down that much, so there we are. Right, anyway, we’ll fit
this into the fork steerer now I’ve got that little
story out of the way. I think you lot tend to like that though, when I go on about these exact reasons, you know, the real technical bit. So I’m going to grease up this, we’ll also put some on
the thread in there too. We are going to be playing
around with this really just to get the position
absolutely spot-on at some point, so I’m not going to worry too much because, can easily put a bit more on, but you can never have too
much grease on these things. As that old frame builder,
a good friend of mine who’s no longer with us, told me one day, every six months,
everything off, regreased, put it back together. We don’t have to worry about
that so much these days, but about 20 odd years ago
I remember going down there to see him and yeah, getting
a bit of a lecture off of him and I’ve always listened to those words, I’ve always taken care of
those words from then on. So, there we are, I’m going
to put that down in there and then just tighten up that stem. So you expand a bolt, expand a wedge, it’s going to go up against
that steerer tube internally. Get it lined up as well as we can before we go to fit the bars on. Let’s put the bars in
place inside of that stem. Nice and simple job here really, four bolt stem, four millimeter Allen key. That’s lucky. Do that, just get these bolts off. Again, Every mechanic’s
favorite, a bit of grease. It’s nice though this isn’t
it, carbon fiber front plate. Lucky. Oh, it does look good. Right, okay, we’ll put a
bit of grease on those bolts before we torque them up, six
Newton meters so not a lot. Years ago, saw guys building bikes on a production line at Ridley in Belgium and they had air tools. It was the first time
actually I’d ever seen anyone using air tools
to put bikes together and it was so quick, so efficient,
they’re all dangling down so they didn’t really
have to reach or anything, they just grabbed them
and went from there. I think a full bike,
they would build it up in approximately 35 minutes, and then cross bike that
had a load of cable runs, of course, you know, before
disc brakes and everything, Di2, eTap, EPS, all of those, you
had a lot more cable runs, whereas these days it’s pretty simple. But yeah, they take about
45 minutes for a cross bike. They had a guy as well just all day long he just put tires on rims. That was it, all day long. I bet he pinched a few. Not that he stole them, I don’t mean that, I mean, bet he pinched a few inner tubes putting them on all day. So of course, when you
put things like this on you try and keep an
even gap top and bottom most of the time, not always,
it depends on the stem, but this one for instance you do. And you never work, tighten
both of them at the top, you know, up to six Newton
meters, then do the bottom. You work opposites, so you work there, then there, then there
and then there, generally. Can depend of course on the stand, the manufacturer, the pattern, all of that, but you want
the gap to be the same. Therefore you got the
same clamping pressure both upper and lower. So I’m just going to
do that one a fraction, just so I can slide them along. Handy marks on here too, so
you can see how central it is, helps for someone like me, who doesn’t have the best eyesight. Right, we can worry about
the angle of the bars a bit later on, but we’re
trying to get the bike as straight as possible in the work stand. Those bars they’re a right
bad angle there aren’t they? Terrible, just loosen
that, just rotate around a fraction like so. Then we’ll put the other bolts in before torquing them up six Newton meter. So I’m going to put the chainring
onto this crank set now. As you can see one of the mounting bolts is hidden away behind the
spider, so if you were to have, some chainring bolts have a
hex key or an Allen key head on both sides, meaning that
if you try to put one in there it just wouldn’t work right? So, that’s why we’ve got
the standard sort of nuts that have got these slots in them, which go on the backside. And of course, we’ve got
these pretty funky blue anodized bolts here. You want to make sure
you don’t do these up really really tight and
importantly you use, yeah you’ve guessed it right, some grease because alloy and the
steel, those two things they can combine together and
they are very very difficult to remove, you end up having to drill out one of the two components. So, what we use to actually
hold these nuts in place is a very cool tool here,
it’s called a CW-2 actually, I think it’s called,
CNW-2 in fact, from Park. Having different widths on each end, very very slightly different I believe. And the way that works is
that it holds the actual nut in place like so, thanks to
the serrations in the nut and then, the tool the way it’s designed, it means you can hold it with one hand and then do up the bolt with the other. A really great bit of kit here. Before I had one of these, as a youngster used to have to use a screwdriver or just hope it would stay
in place when you were trying to tighten or untighten
the chainring bolts. But we are going to put,
yeah you guessed it, that little bit of grease. And as for mounting the chainring, for the time being, I’m
actually going to put it on the outer side until
I go out on the bike and see how the chainline runs because it’s going to
look better ain’t it. And well, we want it to
look good on this video let’s face it. So, rather than going on the inside where, nah, just don’t do it does it, I don’t think so anyway. So, we’re going to go with that for the time being,
there’s no specific place to line it up or anything, You know, the logos, they’re
all the way around it, these Race Face logos, pretty cool. And we will just put a few bits of grease, you only need to put a
very small amount actually on each one of these chainring bolts. But just enough that
you’ve got some on there ’cause when you’re tightening it up it will get pushed around no problem. Can be a little bit fiddly
when it comes to actually tightening up these chainring bolts. And again you do it not
necessarily in a circular motion when you do the final tightening. When you’re assembling
it, not a problem at all, you can just work your way around, but you want to make sure
you were almost opposites like a star if you like when
you’re putting it together. So, there we go, we just put that on, make sure it’s nicely lined up, like so. So again I’ve done that
up really really loosely for the time being. Just enough, I’ll just
put a bit more on there. And of course when
you’re torquing these up, you don’t want to use
the same amount of torque as you would on a pair
of steel chainring bolts you might find on some old bikes, ’cause they can cope with it a lot more. Soft alloy heads of bolts are not designed to be really really torqued up. You need to use decent tools as well, make sure you don’t round
off the heads inside of them. This last one, this is
going to be the fiddle, ’cause look at it, where it is, not much room in there have we? Bit of a guessing game as well, well not really guessing game,
almost like fishing here. We’re going to push this
around, get that down in the chainring, there we go. That’s in place, the tool,
maybe it’ll fit in there maybe not, no, I can see now why that man at the cycle jumble, about 20 years ago or 15 years ago, sold
this to me on the cheap. But I can use a little screwdriver to definitely hold that in place, you know in those slots
before tightening it up. And sometimes they do even just catch in the metal, the actual chainring itself. So you can see there,
it’s actually caught, how good is that? Look, no more spinning,
(chuckles) what a result. Imagine that didn’t work,
the grief you lot would give. Shivers down my spine. Right, so now we can just go around and just work them up
to a decent pressure. I’m not going to use a
torque wrench for this I’ve done so many aluminum
chainring bolts over the years, I know where the limits are. And it, as weird as that sounds, you just feel, you can just feel it. Final one, backside. There, okay, don’t look too bad does it? It will do, so yeah we’ll
put that then on to the axle. You want to make sure actually
on square taper bottom brackets now some people, they put
grease on them for some reason and I said last time, when I built up that single speed bike,
the reason I don’t do that because if there’s grease on there and if the taper of
either the bottom bracket or the internal taper of that chainset or the left hand crank is not quite good and there’s a bit of wear in there, that grease almost acts
as like a cutting paste. So, as you’re pedaling
along it begins to wear away the softer alloy component,
generally of the chainset, and then it’s going to leave you with, essentially a damaged chainset. So we’re not going to do
that, I just need to grab a little bit of shop towel just to make sure it is nice and clean before putting that on and doing up the chainset bolt or the crank arm bolt and we’ll put the
left-hand side one on too. A little bit of grease,
so we’ll just make sure there’s none on there. All right, and what I’m
going to use first up, is actually the crank arm
bolt to tighten it in place and then I’m going to replace it and use the standard Allen
key bolts to put it on there. The reason being, like I said last time, this really just allows you
to put a little bit more pressure in there and gives a better feel when tightening it up. So, we just put that
on to the square taper (“Knocked Off My Feet” by Barbatula) We’ll get that nice and tight on there, before taking it out and putting
it in with a normal bolt. Can already tell you, that chainline is not going to be the
best, so we are going to, I reckon, change that chainring around after a ride or two, just to
get it in the right place. Yeah, it’s going to be on
the inside pretty sure of it. So, just take that off. I can do that with the chainset in place, no biggie whatsoever to
actually change that over. So I’m just going to put that
normal crank box in there now. I say normal, these aren’t really normal if you’re a little bit
old school like I am. So I’ve just dabbed a little
bit of grease on there again. Put it there on the end and
we’ll just put it inside. This doesn’t need to be up massively tight because I’ve just done the crank bolts up really tight with that big
extension bar on there. I haven’t chosen yet actually, what pedals to put on this bike. Something wonderfully retro I think, maybe a pair of toe clips. Okay, time for that left
hand crank to go on. Being worth making sure
there’s just nothing kicking about inside of that. Of course, line it up
in the correct place. So this bottom bracket is pretty long, at a guess, I’d say it’s
probably over 120 mil wide. I can even, if I wanted
to fit a standard sealed cartridge bottom bracket on
there, a modern day bit of kit, probably go down to like
115, something like that, just to try and get it in a bit more. But for the time being I
think it will work fine. But once, I’ve got it
on there nice and tight, just back it off and
I’m going to replace it. I just prefer it actually to use these, I have got some crank caps here. Plastic chrome bits, yeah, they just, no, they don’t look that good do they? So that’s why we’re putting
on a pair of the standard, these Allen key end bits and
pieces that’ll go on there. There we are, you know the drill by now, any thread, near enough, we
put some grease on there. Or a bit of Loctite, depends
where it is on the bike. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Every six months. Right, let’s fit this
GRX rear mech on then. I’m only going to do the first bit of it, I’m not going to put
the cables in just yet, ’cause I need to put the brake levers on, but the good news is, I
have pre-greased the bolt, that’s right, so I don’t
have to go through that whole rigmarole again. Although, some of you quite
like the old grease kept. So, let’s just fit that into
that rear derailleur hanger. Of course this bike doesn’t
have a replaceable one, what were they thinking back
in the day on mountain bikes. Well, everything was a
bit of a mystery back then I suppose wasn’t it? But we’ve got a couple of tabs here, just want to make sure
they’re in the right place, ’cause they can act as
a stopper if you like. Hope you remember it’s a
clutch rear mech on this one, so at the moment it doesn’t
have the clutch activated and when I flick the magic switch, look at that, it moves of
course as a parallelogram in the right direction,
so we can change gear. But importantly, there’s no
traveling that rear arm there in this direction, so like
in a downwards direction, meaning the good news is, your chain is not going to be rattling
around, bouncing around and causing loads of trouble. Let’s check out the alignment of it. So we don’t, looks pretty good, I just need to give it a
gentle turn of the screw, ’cause the high and low one, looks to be a little bit too far
outward on the H-screw, so we’ll just tighten that. Inwards, just to get that jockey wheel lined up underneath it. Sometimes you want it
just a little bit further to the outside if you like,
to aid any gear shifts. But you don’t want it to be too much over. Phwoah, this is starting
to look good actually. Well I think it’s going to look nice without a front derailleur on it. Yeah, all right, let’s
put some levers on it, let’s get it cabled up, because well, we’re nearly there now. So let’s fit the levers onto the bars. Someone obviously thought
they were doing me a bit of a favor at my
desk, ’cause I had cables lying around and bits and
pieces and the levers, and they decided to wire them up. And well, they’ve put a shifting cable in the left hand lever,
well, we don’t have a front derailleur in there, so whoever that was, it was probably Ollie, he tends to fiddle around a lot with bits and pieces. He’s created me a little
bit of work here hasn’t he? Luckily it’s not underneath
any small grub screws which is what Shimano used to do. But he has managed to,
actually I’m not going to blame Ollie for this, ’cause it
could well have been Hank, Opie, Lloydy, Si, I don’t know
it could have been anyone. But yeah, shift cables
used to be underneath some little grub screw on some STI levers, I just need to peel that back and actually get that shift cable out. So ’cause I peeled back
the hood, good news, I’ve got easy access now
to that clamping screw. So we’ll slide it up onto the bar. And how cool is this, I don’t
have to do any guesswork, any judge work, we’ve got
handy indication lines printed on to the sides of these bars, meaning, oh yes, it’s going
to be oh so simple this bit. I do like things like
that, when it just happens, because you don’t have to
worry about lining them up and getting out your
spirit level or anything. Although, just need to look at the side and make sure they’re in a decent place, one, two, three, four, five, five down. Oh and by the way, no one yet has sent in or I mean, I guess that maybe the postman has got a bad back because
he’s been carrying in so many donations of handlebar
tape after I requested them. But no, we haven’t seen any yet, so I’m not going to be wrapping the bars, so you’ve still got time to
send it in before the pro bike. Good feel that. Right and yeah they did
the other lever as well. They’ve handily cabled up that one for me, bit of a nightmare, thanks guys. I’m only joking, I’m sure they did it just the help, ’cause, well,
the cables were probably loose all over their desk as well,
that’s why they’ve done it. I just thought they were doing me a favor. That’s all good, you
can always fiddle around with these bits afterwards,
but generally the more you do at this stage the better. If you do have cables by the way at home, never store them awkwardly, if anything, I’ve got a load of old brake
cables and gear cables, or new ones and I actually keep
them as straight as possible sort of like dangled over
two screws at either end, don’t coil them up or try not to. When they come from the factory coiled up, they’re done really well. But quite often when we
try and do it ourselves, we don’t quite have the technique. You don’t want to a kinked cable. A kink cable is just going to give you bad shifting, bad performance. We’re going to put an
outer gear cable on first and put it into the cable stop here, of course, this then going
to be a uncovered cable. You could actually on this bike, run a fully cabled outer all the way to the rear derailleur, but
then you’re going to have to use some zip ties and it’s not
going to look quite pretty. So we’re going to do that, just thread it through the under cable, the guide underneath the bottom bracket, and then thread everything else through. Of course, we have actually
got a special piece of cable that came with this bike, oh sorry, came with the derailleur. So, it’s pre-lubed, it’s
got a liner inside of it and everything and that’ll
just easily go in like so. That’ll go down in there,
nice little loop that for that shifting. But yeah, we’re going
to cut some outer cable and just make sure that it’s fine. So I’ve got my outer gear cable here, freshly cut off the ends
and also have a little pick and just rounded off those inside. So I just sort of really
made them quite big, that way the inner cable
can work really smoothly and efficiently inside. I am going to put ferrules on the end, now not all shift levers
actually accept the ferrules in. But these ones, led to
believe they do anyway, so we’ll have a look, we’ll
thread that inner cable through. The moment of truth, oh
that is going through oh so smooth, that is a relief. Always pays to use decent
cable on these things. So put that into the
end of the lever there, you can see, there we go. that’s going to be enough cable too, once it goes into that cable stop. Going to put a different ferrule
on the end of the outer cable there to try and stop
any dirt, grime, rubbish or road debris, you name
it, from flying up inside. So I’ve got one here with a tail on it and it’ll hopefully do the job of that. And of course you want
to make sure the ferrules are pushed onto the end of the cable, so that there’s no ghost shifting, ghost braking anything like that. Right, let’s chuck it through there. Oh, don’t need to actually,
it’s got a slot in the bottom, which makes it even easier to install. In a minute I’m just going to
loosely tape on this outer cable onto the handlebars just
to keep it in position, in a little while. First up, let’s just put that, get your cable through that
guide, through to the rear end through the outer cable and
we can clamp it into place. And then play around with the indexing. I say play around, fix it. Right, of course these rear
derailleurs have got the… Bolt for clamping the cable down in such an unusual almost awkward place. Which I guess is not really that awkward, but it’s just unusual when you’re so used to them being somewhere
else, just clamp that up. Right, so if we push that
hood back in place now we can get the gear
lever working properly. There we are, good news
the rear derailleur is working A-okay. Play around with the
cable tension shortly, but essentially it’s good that
it’s all working fine now. I’m just going to tape
that cable in position, just ’cause it’s bugging
me a little bit really. Stop it from flapping around. No one wants flappy cables. (“Octagonic” by Luwaks) Actually we could do the chain now, but there’s no real reason to. I’d rather get all the cabling done and out of the way really,
’cause then you’ve got some sort of system going on. So, I’ve got some brake outer cable here. So here we are, what have we got. What did I bring in. Course you know if it’s a brake cable because the strands on the
inside like a spiral all the way. There’s a little bit of compression in it, whereas with shift
cable, the inner strands all run in one line. I’ve actually got a bit of red cable here, I was tempted to go a little
bit funky on this bike, but not I’m not funky. And besides it would match,
you wouldn’t be able see, but let’s look then at these strands, and hopefully we can pick
this up, can you see that? They all run in one long line. So they just come out,
there’s no spiral whatsoever, they’re just like that. The reason being then
you can’t compress it when you’re changing gear, when you putting it through
all that shifting pressure, these cables they just can’t,
there’s nowhere for it to go. Okay, which one to do, front or back. Let’s do the back one first. So we are going to use Ferrules on these because again, we’re going
to to use it off-road, so we don’t want bits of mud to be coming on the inside of the cables
and give poor braking, braking’s pretty important. The only thing I’m unsure of on this bike, is whether or not the cable that this, it’s an internal cable, you can see here, enters just there, exits there. If there’s a channel inside, I’m really, it looks like there is
or a guide of some sort, because if not this is
going to be a bit of pain and I’ll have take the
seat post and everything. So we’ll have a, well
cross your fingers for me, but let’s let’s try and thread
it through first of all. It sounds… Oh, what a result, I’m just
very very happy about that because if it wasn’t, like I say, it would have been an absolute nightmare. So we will route it just like so. Now I’m going to put a
ferrule on the end there. And have a bit of a,
don’t really want too much of a sharp curve on there or anything. We can get away with something
like that, be all right. Back brake don’t use that much anyway. No, in all seriousness you
use the front brake more. Loads of you will remember as well, I always have my rear brake on the right, so that’s what’s going to
be going into this lever. Also it gives you a
smoother line if you look. So where it’s going to enter there, it’s not going to have such
a tight Bend going around and it’s not going to
have such a horrible, unsightly brake cable
or brake outer cable. So, you need to chop that
down and then thread that inner through it, before all
of the the rear cable work comes into play. Good quality cable cutters,
worth their weight in gold. You want to do it in one
smooth sharp bit like that and then hopefully you get a
nice smooth end like I have. You lot don’t realize how happy I am. I’m not showing it, but
inside, oh I’m so chuffed that that cable was
channeled or routed through, or that would have been
awful, truly truly awful. So let’s take that out just temporarily. And then pull it through, hoping this accepts the ferrule because they don’t always. Oh, surprise surprise. I don’t
need a ferrule on the end. There we are. Some Shimano levers do, some
don’t, you live and you learn. Fine and dandy in there. The good thing actually
about not having to use a ferrule on there,
sometimes if you sweat a lot, they can get corroded on the
inside of the plastic housing. I don’t know how, I don’t
really want to know why either, well I know why, it’s because of sweat, but they become stuck in there and they are a real pain to get out. You have to faff around with
a flat bladed screwdriver to try and get rid of them. I’ve wasted many an hour in
a workshop trying to do that, when we had a heavy sweater among us. No names, they know who they are. There we are. Now basically, it’s just
about repeating the same thing for the front brake cable. At the moment, taping it on,
it’s little bit long possibly. so let’s take a little bit
of that length out of there. Right. Now time to use these cable hangers. So, see that little hole
there, that’s for the cable. Those brake cables to go through
and it’s slotted there too, so you can go all the way through. Some people, they like to
have all sorts of weird angles and everything going on, really wide, all depends on the stance of
the cantilevers you’ve got. There’s some called frog’s legs, very popular with cyclo-cross
riders, kind of thing. But really you want it to
be, so that straddle wire can just do its job. Every now, I tend to
have them about in line at the front with the headset cups, so that’s about there. This is where you want
it to be pretty tight as well with these. There we go. It’s not going to move anywhere. Good we’ve got these straddle cables so I’m going to leave
that temporarily uncut. You can see how it
works now, these brakes. They go through that
hanger and then this wire, this brake cable then clamps just in there and then that is how
cantilever brakes work. I causes quite a lot of
tension actually within the springs of these brakes, which allow them to release, tighten. It’s so long since I’ve worked
on these sorts of brakes. It’s amazing really, still
got it though, still got it. So we will pull that through. And there’s actually a tool for this, called the third hand tool, so it’s where it holds in the both sides. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to sort of do really. We’re going to use an eight
mil I think it is on these, is it an eight, yeah it’s an eight mil. So we’re going to, just hold that in. Of course, if you haven’t
got a third hand tool you could use a an old toe strap or something like that
to hold those brakes in. I think we’ve even got
a third hand tool here. We do, there we go, this is it. Essentially it grabs
and it clamps the cable and you can pull through
loads of pressure like that, then you can tighten it up. So it works like so, you can see there it’s pulled through a bit more. Really you need to find
out that exact position where you want it to be. Cantilevers, you can see
why they went out of fashion can’t you, they were
a nightmare to set up, let alone their braking performance. Things just moved on, it’s good,
it’s good to have a change. Right, let’s get that in place. I’ve never really used these tools. I’ve never really… had a reason to I guess, I’ve always managed to
actually use an old toe strap believe it or not. It’s the old-fashioned
person in me coming out. All right, let’s do up that. We can use a little
spanner to get in there, which would be much easier. Of course, these cantilevers,
they are micro adjust too. You got a little grub screw
there on the left-hand side, that sometimes you just
actually had to bend the springs to get them to
work really efficiently, So, there we go. Probably done that up
too tight, yeah I have. But a few pulls of, get
everything settling in, you can see now, I need to
just cut that cable down in a moment, don’t do it yet. On one side I just need
to work on that grub screw just to undo it a little bit. And we can then have
them working in symmetry, decent braking. Working okay, look at that. Cantilevers, nightmare. Right so we’ve cut those cables down, we’ll put a cable end on them
try and get it fairly short. I should fray that one, although… Put that in place nobody will
ever know apart from you lot. So cable’s stretched
just ever so slightly. (“Knocked Off My Feet” by Barbatula) And we are good, so I
can just tape those on before I do the handlebar tape. Oh yeah the rear one, got to do that. Right, so that one done. Put through that straddle wire and it’s going to be nice and sorted. Bless him, Doddie even come
in and fitted these on, and he’s these line them up perfectly with the wheels and everything. Might do a bit of
modification on this bike too, I might get a different seat post. 29.4 is the measurement on it. Yeah, not got a great
variety of choice for that but I think I know where I can get one from pretty cheap and in black as well, ’cause that would look really good. Original saddle on this bike too. Somewhere I’ve even
got the original wheels that came with it, or I
think it might have been a Saracen after this,
but anyway I’ve got them. They’re Wolber and they’ve
got this same pretty cool like checker style logo on it. Right, anyway enough of the
chitchat, let’s cable it up. Oh sorry, let’s cable it up, chain it up. After a while when you’re
working in a workshop you learn to do things
as quickly as possible, especially if you’re borrowing
things from other people, you can never always
find them because people have a tendency to borrow
things and don’t put them back. Yep that’s right, all those
comments on the GCN Tech show. What’s happened to spanner
number 13 behind you and stuff like that, I don’t
know, I wish I did know, I wish I knew who took it. Okay, let’s fit this chain,
actually let’s measure it up first of all before we
have to cut it down. I’ve got split link
joining link really quick, easy piece of cake,
those things are a real real relief these days. Quick links whoever invented
them, don’t know actually who did invent them, but
whoever did absolute godsend. You can actually use for
this a shoelace, a zip tie all sorts to actually get
the run of the tension there, but there we go. So, put that into place. Also do need make sure
that the gears are working, right now they’re not. And also, I have to make sure
I don’t make the same mistake as what I’ve done now,
I’ve actually routed, can you believe it, the
chain on the wrong side. I wasn’t paying attention. So, you’ve got a little thing
here you need to make sure that the chain is on
the right side of that, and I’ve done it on the wrong side. Mistakes do happen. As much as I’d like a chain
pre-greased like this one, they do make them ever so slippery when you’re trying to do your work. Right, but there we are, that’s in line. Put that in. There. Right. Right, I’m pretty sure,
I can cut that cable down a little bit shorter now. So I can actually operate gears okay and it’s not going to… It’s not going to make a right old racket, so I’ll put a cable end on that. Again, you want to make sure
you do that as soon as possible, once they start to fray you’re in trouble. (“I’m Over You (Skyldeberg
Remix)” by Mondays) (bike chain clacks) There we are, I need to
do that cable tension up a little bit more, because it’s… As you can see that’s pretty loose there. So I could get away with
tightening that barrel adjuster, but it’s not really the
done thing, not around here, not on my watch people. So, I’m going to pull that cable through just with a pair of pliers actually, ’cause the hands by now
are a little bit slippery. So, we’ll get that, we’ll undo that. Is little bit noisy depending
on what gear you’re in, but in essence, we’ve got ourselves, you’ve guessed it, a gravel
bike or an adventure bike. I really like this now. Brilliant, absolutely love it. Right, all it needs to do is
have some handlebar tape on it so remember send it in. (bike chain clacks) There we are the build done. I’ve actually really enjoyed doing this because working on cantilever bikes was, well probably the first type
of bike I ever worked on, so it brought back some good memories and it’s good to have this bike
back on the trails of gravel wherever we’re going to take it. Do need to put some pedals on there and probably play around with
that chainline too as well and maybe a different bottom
bracket in there as well. But I’ve really enjoyed it. All I’m looking for now
is some handlebar tape. So you know the drill, just send some in. And I don’t want something
in a horrific color. Actually no, I don’t really mind, but we are going to have to
do some sort of challenge or test or evaluation of this bike and see exactly how it handles off-road, so keep an eye on the
channel for that one too. Also, have you got any ideas
of conversions or rejuvenations of old bikes that you’d
like me to try and tackle. I’ve enjoyed them, so yeah,
let me know down there in the comment section below. And as ever, remember to
like and share this video with your friends too. Give it a big old thumbs up and also remember to
check out the GCN shop at And now for two more great videos, part one on why I chose this frame and part two, all about
the components, well click just down here and just down here. And I’m going to take this
bike down memory lane, sort of.

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100 thoughts on “Building The Gravel Bike – Real Time Complete Build | Garbage To Gravel-ish Episode 3

  1. Not a mountain bike, but a hybrid. Cannondale Quick Cx 3. Replaced front suspension with CF. Changed to a hollowtech BB and better crankset. And a fresh set of panaracer tires. Also, CF flat bar.

  2. I hope you're going to redo that bar/stem configuration… Let's see a museum class restoration of an original 1970's Motobecane , double-butted Reynolds 531 or Vitus steel with Nervex lugs and full Campag, all period correct, in original white creme with silver gold and black trimmed out lugs. Same bike I rode in college/ grad school. Or… maybe an original Colnago Master, if you can't find an original Motobecane.

  3. I would love to see a 27 inch-wheel, canti-brakes road frame (Touring or older CX) being converted to 700C wheels. There are thousands and thousands of these older 27 in.-wheel, canti-brakes road frames from the eighties and early nineties that are built with high-quality Ishiwata, Tange, Reynolds etc. tubing that would greatly benefit from the much better selection of 700C wheels. That would be a great conversion to show on video.

  4. This is mental healing therapy. I love to fix vintage bikes and this is just fun to watch. Jon talks with that really cool soothing British accent throughout the entire video. The only thing left was how to paint the frame, which sounds quite challenging.

  5. I’d love to see you build a rando/gravel/tourer. Old school French style with mafac brakes, TA Cyclotouriste crankset, full length chrome fenders and a front rack.

  6. that cable hanger is a bodge, there's no two way about it :

  7. Sweet build,didnt know about those rear brakes before,im going to find some of those!Have to say though,those quill to threadless adapters are god awful!If you cant find or afford a threadless fork for your bike with a one inch steer tube,you can jam the tapered end of a bmx seatpost down into the top of your fork steerer and weld them together,carefully grind it back smooth,fill the threads with metal filler and sand all smooth,you have a threadless fork that can now be cut as needed!And no,it will not come apart.

  8. Dude, just use the cable hanger that bolts to the crown of the fork, they're relatively stiff too, as the distance between the end of the outer and the straddle cable is much shorter.

  9. Using a dry taper because you're worried about the spindle wearing at the crank arm taper, and then not using the torque wrench that's sitting right there to secure the bolt?

  10. I have a 1993 mtb by peugeot I bought new. I was thinking of putting drops on it and using it as a commuter. I also was thinking to upgrade the drive train on my 10 yr old Specialized Allez from 9 speed Sora to 11 speed 105. So presumably I can put the Sora on the mtb, but what about the wheels? Can I move the 9 speed Shimano hubs onto the mtb wheels, or will I need to replace the wheels altogether? Please advise.

  11. I am totally on board with restoring old bikes and not buying countless new bikes for little reason; but essentially you have just put drop bars on a vintage steel mountain bike – something that John Tomac did years ago!

  12. Great video. Loving Jon’s stuff but really refreshing to see you focusing on reviving an old bike as there’s nothing more satisfying.

  13. Al the ugly headset issues would be solved by fitting a V-brake up front instead. In my opinion they brake better too. I like these videos of messing around with old junk!

  14. Top little series this one, appreciate the full video here of the build as well, neophyte to the mechanic side of bikes myself. Also, Jon, love your presenting style, top notch or super noice as you boys could say.

  15. I finished (-ish) my 'monster cross' conversion. I used microshift type 3 x 7 shifters (I was amazed but they worked straight away with little adjustment.) A set of flared bars, a system X quill stem adapter and System X 110mm variable stem, a Selle Italia X1C cyclo-cross saddle. Now I just need to add the bar tape and I'm finished … for now. Test ride was a hoot with 26 inch MTB tyres. might eventually switch those out for gumwall gravel tyres. The bike cost me £20 and I reckon I've spent another £60 on it.

    I did the routing mistake you did at 42:25 on my road bike on a tour. Had to fix it in a hotel room on the floor.

  16. Yes I have an idea! Take an old steel 26" mountain bike frame and mount on it drop bars and 700cc wheels. Maybe single-speed. The idea is to have a robust commuter that can take on some gravel.

  17. Can't believe you did it again. Built a bike but didn't show us even riding around the car park. Nice job John … but ya gotta show us a test ride at least :-/

  18. Thanks for the great videos, I’ve learned a lot. In America 1 year = 7 dog years. What the conversion for donkey years?

  19. Some people like to watch sexy hands playing with slime/paint… I just watch Mr Cannings building a bike I have no interest in replicating 😂😂😂😍😍😍

  20. seems to me the reason we should not put grease on the tapered crank spindle is because people over tighten and actually split the crank arm. I have a bicycle book that actually says to use grease. I dont better to be on the safe side. I dont want to be walking home or worse.

  21. Looks great ! One thing I would mod in the future with such a big chainring, is a larger cassette for better hills gearing… or at least one with a bigger bailout gear. Of course we have some good hills where I live, so if your terrain isn't so hilly then your all set.

  22. Definitely use a shorter BB spindle! The shortest I've ever heard of anyone using with a Sugino XD is 113mm, and that was with a triple on a touring bike with wide chainstays! I've gone as short as 107. On that bike, with the single ring, 113 or 110 is what I'd use.

  23. Reminds me of when I had to have a gentle reem of the tubing in order to fit a modern metric seat tube into an 'old' British mountain bike 'Reynolds' tube. Joy. Where the f*#k would you find a bike shop with reems these days.

  24. Do another one of these complete bike videos like this with SRAM shifters(Double Tap) or Di Shimano please!! Nice job.

  25. I like what you do for the cycling world,,,YOU—john is NOT using the fancy schhhhhmancy fancy gloves like the new generation,,, uhhh dirty,,, Old school is better,,,

  26. Jon – why are there not straddle-wire catchers? If a brake cable lets go and the cantis pull the straddle wire into the tread, you'll have a full wheel lockup.
    As for pedals, I'd go with some big silvery bear trap style flat pedals. Cleats are too modern, and toe straps might not be the best for a quick dab in the corner. If you want to be old-school then maybe some half toe-clips from zefal or similar, but no to toe straps. However half toe clips could catch a root. Your call.

  27. Some comments (very personal). 1. I would prefer a 700c wheel touring steel frame, there are plenty to choice from in the history of UK bikes (Raleigh, Dawes, Butler, Cartlon). All of them enormously better that the very poor Saracen. 2 Canti brakes, simply do NON brake at all. Much much better mini V-brakes (hands down winning). 3. The modern looking chainring, with the blue bolts, is simply horrible. The saddle follows the blue bolts, a decent saddle costs 20 pounds. For saving some money, no Tiagra shifter but rather a downtube friction shifter that can work with any casette from 7 to 10. speeds.

  28. Ya, I built a 91 miyata triple cross into a drop bar gravel bike / tourer. The drive train is mostly vintage 739 xt and I used bar ends for shifting.

  29. Isn't the chain the wrong way? I thought when they have those small holes they were supposed to face the bike and not the "outside".. Nice video though

  30. The reason you don't have bar tape yet is because you're not yet ready for it! You first need to clean off all the glue from the previous bar tape still stuck to the handlebars.

  31. I buily my old trek into a gravel bike. It works great too. Ive taken in on a metric century. I put hydro disc brakes on it too. I got a pair of shimano RS505 levers off ebay, used a 105 R7000 rd, and MTB calipers and hoses I had on hand. works like a champ

  32. This has me inspired, I have a old hybrid mtb that i've got up and running again to get back into the habit of commuting on a bike. Once it's a habit, the plan was to maybe go a Canyon Grail AL 7, but I'm wondering if speccing out the groupset and wheels on the old frame might not be a worthwhile way to go.

  33. Hey, awesome build, it looks great and it's the kind of bike you won't be afraid to take with allover the place or leave locked. What total weight did it come to in the end?

  34. never thought of using a breaker bar to do the initial torque on a crankset. Not a bad idea! Final torque with a torque wrench of course 🙂

  35. Ideas for other rejuvenations of old bikes – what about a resto mod? Reynolds frame modern wheels and modern groupset? I have done two and they are our main bikes

  36. 7:55 'it's a bit of a hack,it's a bit of a bodge' very Bri-ish of you.
    nice to see the finished bike got a proppa brake cable stop..

  37. When you mount your new inner derailleur cable you can put your chain on the 3th smallest ring on your cassette, your derailleur has a small tension now. Tighten your cable on this setup. Now just shift a couple of times. Your cable will stretch out and should be at the right tension now.

  38. I'd love to see you guys build the absolute lightest single-speed bike possible. The ultimate delivery bike so to speak. Can you get under 10 lbs?

  39. Could you please help me with this problem.I have a cyclorcoss that I've converted to a 1X with the following group. Sram rival 10 speed levers, Sram Rival 1X rear derailleur, Sram 1X 50 tooth ring up front and a Sram PG 1030 cassette in back. I purchased the cassette used and it has a wolf tooth 19 and 42 cog addition and I get terrible shifting at the 19 wolftooth cog and not the best shifting in general through the cassette. Am I running the wrong cassette. If so what cassette should I run to get this range. I'm limited to 10 speeds. Sram offers a 11 speed dedicated cassette but I'm limited to 10 speed cassettes. Would a Sunrace work , I've been told they wont because the teeth are to long. Please any help would be great

  40. One thing I noticed about your use of the torque wrench (3:10): ideally you want the click to happen mid-stroke, not directly after having ratcheted back. If the wrench clicks at the start of your stroke, it's because of the higher static friction (breakaway torque) and will most likely result in a (slightly) under-tightened bolt. I know this sounds nit-picky, but in my opinion, if you spent money on a torque wrench and take the time to use it instead of a simple spanner/ratchet/key, chances are you want the torque to be accurate to spec and not just "that'll do". Simply loosening it half a turn and tighten again trying to get that click mid-stroke is not that terrible IMO.

  41. I'm a little surprised you didn't run the cables round the opposite side of the head tube….. I.e. The rear shift would go round the left hand side of the head tube. If you were running both shift cables, they would cross under the downtube. This way gives you a much smoother curve and no rubbing against the head tube. 👍
    I also run the plastic tubing and tailed ferrules to help keep out the muck n water….. 👍

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