Bike assembly weeks are always busy. There are so many details to focus on and little improvements to make. I try to make something better each time a bike goes together. I try to look at details with new eyes each time.
The big news this week for a lot of framebuilding folks is the new Paragon B4091 34mm hanger designed to SRAM 1x specifications. This summer I was a victim on an old school hanger and new school parts. Granted it was on a slider hanger (those out soon). It sucked. Word got back to Mark.
The hanger tab on some of the old parts are just too small for the new derailleurs. Recently, Mark fixed the design and has new parts rolling out. I got some of the very first parts for putting the Blackbird together. Comparing the old to the new, from a performance point of view, the new is vastly better on the 10-50 cassette. Shifts are noticeably smoother and the tab wont skip over. If you have an older B4038 30mm hanger, and you are running a SRAM 1x drivetrain, this is a real upgrade.
I just did a post on an upgrade for how I am modifying ODI Lock Jaw clamps. Now I’m modifying the caps. The cap modification is to smooth everything out and my the end of the bar more slippery to rocks and trees. The faster you go and the more risks you take, the more your bars rub on things. We want them to slide whenever possible. Years and years ago in the late 1990s or very early 2000s at Interbike, I showed the folks at ODI some delrin plugs we were epoxying into mountain bike bars to keep them sliding against rocks and trees. The folks there must have remembered that because within 2 years, they had a hard plastic cap system. I secretly think that their caps exist because of me. Anyway, after that, life got easier.
Note on below pic. I use up scuffed parts until they are done. Bikes are often photographed with new bling but swapped out after for actual riding. Here, old scuffed pieces went onto the running setup. They look far nicer when new.
Lastly, more of my fancy water bottle bolt modifications. These get used up quick. Stainless steel freshness.