Author Topic: Spa Steel Audax  (Read 32815 times)

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #50 on: November 17, 2015, 07:49:35 pm »
OK, thanks a lot.  Not quite what I wanted to achieve, but it's progress.  Maybe I should consider using another photo-sharing site.  Will look into it.

Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #51 on: November 17, 2015, 08:28:58 pm »
I clicked on the link! Thanks, offcumden.

So that’s the 54 cm frame. I’m not trying to copy your position, of course, but how many millimetres of headset spacers is that and what’s your stem length and angle? Did you cut the steerer tube or is that its original length?

I’m on the verge of ordering my frame.

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #52 on: November 17, 2015, 09:01:22 pm »
40mm below the stem, 15mm above. Yes, that's the original length of the steerer tube; I really ought to cut it to make it tidier now that I'm happy with the position.
It's an 80mm stem with a 6 or 7 degree rise, angled down (if that makes sense!). 

Just to clarify, the frame measures 54 cm from centre of b/b to top of seat tube (i.e. at the seat clamp, not to top of top tube).

Regards

Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #53 on: November 17, 2015, 09:26:23 pm »
Thanks. Sounds like my position won’t be a million miles from the one you have.

I had read that the uncut steerer tube on the Spa carbon fork was 300 mm. Yours seems a bit shorter than that, though it wouldn’t be a problem for me.

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #54 on: November 18, 2015, 08:59:24 am »

Someone somewhere must be running a Spa Audax with down-tube shifters. Any tips for decent low-cost shifters (8-speed) and brake levers if I go down this route?


Can't go too wrong with Tiagra R400 8 Speed Down Tube Shifter for £26 from CRC. SJS have a wider selection inc cheaper old school friction models.

Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #55 on: November 27, 2015, 11:46:23 pm »
My frame may arrive tomorrow, according to the tracking. If not, Monday.

In the end I ordered these Shimano Ultegra bar-end shifters along with the frame. I believe they come with down-tube cable stops, which should work with my existing STIs.

I’m still deciding whether to build the frame up with STIs or buy some brake levers and use the bar-end shifters from the outset (either at the bar ends or on the down tube, which I’m told is also a possibility).

Regarding brake levers, Sheldon Brown called the Shimano BL-R400 the finest drop-bar brake levers ever made. Quite the statement! They are Super SLR to match my BR-R650 callipers, too.

But brake levers vary so much in shape, with old and new STIs, Campagnolo Ergos, old-fashioned shapes like the BL-R400, new shapes like the Tektro RL340, STI-inspired shapes like the SRAM S500, etc. It’s impossible to know what I’d like best without trying them all.

I do like the classic look of the BL-R400, and I like that they’re made by good ol’ Shimano and come with cables.

The sooner I get this rig on the road the better. I can’t be trusted with important decisions like brake levers.

Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #56 on: January 27, 2016, 09:46:34 pm »
This thing is built already (I should do this for a living).





(Open the images in a new tab to see bigger versions.)

It weighs precisely 9.9 kg in its photographed state, with heavy hubs (36-hole Shimano 105 rear and 32-hole SONdelux front) and Shimano PD-A530 pedals. I thought that was pretty good, though it’ll weigh more by the time I add the usual bits and pieces.

I opted for down-tube shifters, but only after building it up with bar-end shifters – complete with new bar tape – and discovering I couldn’t cope with the cables coming out of the bar tape halfway down the drops.

Can't go too wrong with Tiagra R400 8 Speed Down Tube Shifter for £26 from CRC. SJS have a wider selection inc cheaper old school friction models.

Good call. I should have done that from the start.

Anyway, I’m wondering what to do with those headset spacers. The contact points need fine-tuning but they’re in the vicinity. I’ll be cutting off excess steerer tube above the stem.

Do I keep the stem the way it is, pointed down, to preserve maximum steerer tube?

Or do I flip it up to reduce the stack of spacers?

Speaking of spacers, black or silver? The seat post, stem, and handlebars are all silver (Ritchey Classic). The frame and headset cups are black. The philosophical and aesthetic question is whether spacers are part of the frame or part of the stem. Opinions?

When I’m happy with the height, where can I get a single custom spacer of the appropriate length?

velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #57 on: January 28, 2016, 09:39:06 am »
I think I would go for silver spacers.

Personally I would leave the steerer uncut, just in case, but they I like having lots of contingency.

Lovely build btw

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #58 on: January 28, 2016, 01:29:53 pm »
Looks fantastic. I would keep the stem as is, but swop out the black spacer above it for silver. Keep the ones below as black.

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #59 on: January 28, 2016, 02:23:29 pm »
Stem pointing up, minimize the spacer stack.  If you need the bars at that height I'd be tempted to put a steeper rise stem on there.

Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #60 on: January 28, 2016, 03:44:18 pm »
Three comments and three contradictory opinions – cheers! (Only joking. Thanks.)

I do need the bars about that high, which is still an inch or so below the saddle – and I like my saddle lower than many people do. The problem is I need a short reach so had to go for a smaller frame than would be ideal at the head tube.

The maiden voyage this afternoon passed uneventfully. She rides beautifully! I’m just getting a wee rattle from something inside the right brake lever (BL-R400) – apparently common and potentially resolvable. Will have to look into that.

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #61 on: January 28, 2016, 06:48:49 pm »
I'd go for silver spacers, stem as now but steerer cut off at stem myself - I tend to think of the spacers as part of the stem like with quills :)

Not sure about custom single spacers, though you can get some pretty wide ones. I have some of these on my tourer which may have one the right size - http://www.wiggle.co.uk/hope-space-doctor-headset-spacers/?lang=en&curr=GBP
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #62 on: January 28, 2016, 07:44:52 pm »
Silver spacers, definitely.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #63 on: January 28, 2016, 07:47:11 pm »
Silver spacers, definitely.
In the same way that the seat post is silver. Nice balance that way.
Rust never sleeps

Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #64 on: September 15, 2016, 05:59:15 pm »
Some thousands of kilometres later, I am smitten by this bicycle.

It elicits compliments from strangers, rides beautifully, is deathly silent, and just oozes efficiency while rolling down the road. What’s more, I feel I want for nothing when the going gets quick.

Here’s an updated photo. This is it in summer trim with no lights or mudguards. It would be shinier if I’d bothered washing it. Click for the full-size image.



I got the frame very cheaply, but it has a small flaw: the bottle-cage mounts are not laterally centred on the seat tube. I don’t care because I put a Zéfal HPX there anyway.

The bicycle in its photographed state weighs 10 kg on the nose.

Below are build details and some comments for the morbidly curious and my future reference.

Frame: Spa Audax, 54 cm, steel. 1.89 kg with headset cups fitted. Chosen mainly for 72.5º seat tube. Would have preferred 72° with Brooks saddle
Fork: standard Spa carbon model. Made by Aprebic, 45 mm offset, 0.609 kg with uncut steerer tube
Headset: Tange-Seiki Terious SRN, 1 1/8". Not my choice but Spa’s
Spacers: single Thorn (SJS Cycles) 48 mm black spacer below stem, 5 mm silver spacer above. I insisted on having a single spacer underneath the stem to reduce the risk of movement affecting the bearing preload. Since I needed one of two heights (depending on stem flip), this limited me to black in the end
Stem: Ritchey Classic C220, 90 mm, 6° rise
Handlebars: Ritchey Classic, 40 cm. The narrowest size available
Seatpost: Ritchey Classic 2-bolt, 25 mm offset, 27.2 mm diameter
Seatpost clamp: standard Spa model
Saddle: Brooks Cambium C17, ‘Natural’ colour
Brake levers: Shimano BL-R400 with internal plastic doodahs removed (they rattled). Sublime feel and operation!
Brake cables: Shimano SLR
Brake callipers: Shimano BR-R650
Brake pads: Kool-Stop Dura2 salmon
Gear levers: Shimano SL-R400, 8-speed indexed rear
Gear cables: Shimano OT-SP41
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace RD-7800, nominally 10-speed but works perfectly with 8-speed chain. Secondhand but barely used. Chosen for ball-bearing pulleys to reduce drag
Front derailleur: Shimano Claris FD-2400 braze-on with Zenith adaptor. Chosen for official support of 46T outer chainrings
Bottom bracket: Shimano BB-UN55 square taper, English thread, 113 mm spindle, with Wheels Manufacturing 1.5 mm spacer on drive side. Spacer perfects the chainline for my definition of perfect
Cranks: SunXCD (Sun Exceed) with SXAD103 110 mm / 74 mm BCD spider
Chainrings: Stronglight 46T and 34T. 50T chainrings make no sense to me
Pedals: Look PP247. Heavy, but I had them from an old bicycle
Chain: KMC X8.93, 108 links
Cassette: Shimano CS-HG50 8-speed 13–26T (13-14-15-17-19-21-23-26T). Nice close ratios throughout, with 1T steps in the oft-used top three gears
Rear hub: Shimano 105 FH-5700, 36-hole. Chosen for better spoke-bracing geometry than 11-speed versions like the FH-5800
Front hub: Schmidt SONdelux dynamo hub, 32-hole, silver polished. Chosen for very low lights-off drag
Rims: Exal XR2 in 32- and 36-hole front and rear. Made in Belgium, baby!
Spokes: whatever Spa use to build wheels, Alpina I think. Swaged except rear drive-side
Tubes: Michelin Latex AirComp, A1. With 60 mm valves because that’s all Decathlon had. Will correct on replacement!
Tyres: Schwalbe One, 25 mm
Handlebar tape: Fizik Superlight Classic, Brown. Thin and hard, the way I like it
Chainstay protector: Lizard Skins. Fake carbon pattern I didn’t notice until too late (retch)
Bottle cage: Elite Ciussi Inox (stainless steel)

Everything has been put together with anti-seize copper grease as appropriate and a torque wrench, then meticulously adjusted for perfect operation.

It’s a thing of wonder!

The driving forces behind the component choices were quality, simplicity, economy, durability, low running costs, and timeless elegance. I feel the result is classically handsome while never veering into retro-poser-idiot territory. The parts were always chosen for function before looks. I am pleased with it. But of course tastes vary, and I won’t be offended if you’re aghast at that stem!

Are you, by the way?

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #65 on: September 17, 2016, 03:05:09 pm »
Very nice! I think the Stem looks fine, although I'm not sure I could get on with those frame mounted gear levers, even if they are indexed I'd get flashbacks to struggling to get the right gear on a hill when riding my old 10 speed in the 80's :)

Still, a great bike with the timeless classic look. While I was at Spa I really should have tried the Steel version just to feel the difference.

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #66 on: September 17, 2016, 05:28:23 pm »
How did you get rid of the frame transfers?



Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #67 on: September 17, 2016, 07:21:07 pm »
I like yours too, De Sisti. Mine will look more like that before long; I had my first properly autumnal ride today.

Did you need any spacers between your mudguard and the chainstay bridge? If so, what did you use?

The Rolls was a saddle I seriously considered.

I didn’t remove the frame transfers but asked for them not to be put on in the first place. I don’t much like the typeface. There was some talk about Spa redesigning them, but I haven’t heard anything about that in a while.

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #68 on: September 17, 2016, 08:59:53 pm »
I like yours too, De Sisti. Mine will look more like that before long; I had my first properly autumnal ride today.

Did you need any spacers between your mudguard and the chainstay bridge? If so, what did you use?
No. No spacers needed.

The Rolls was a saddle I seriously considered.
All of my 3 bikes have the same saddle.


I have since changed the rear light on the mudguard to one of these.
B + M Secula plus back light, can be mounted on mudguards
Much better, brighter and gives side illumination.


I only use the rear rack on 200k audaxes with one of these.

Oh; and the cables on the bike are a more tidier at the moment. ;-) It's very comfy and stable, but not super light.

I didn’t remove the frame transfers but asked for them not to be put on in the first place. I don’t much like the typeface.
There was some talk about Spa redesigning them, but I haven’t heard anything about that in a while.

Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #69 on: November 06, 2016, 09:54:16 pm »
An updated photo (click to embiggen).



I am confident this photo clearly shows all the cleaned and lubricated bearings, right down to the pedals.

Also clear are the new cranks. They’re Shimano FC-5600 with 39T and 50T chainrings and they are something of an experiment for me. I originally got interested in these for compatibility with Hollowtech II power-meter left cranks, but that idea is on the back-burner for a variety of reasons. I then started wondering if I could cope with 39T/50T better than 34T/50T, the jump between which I find awkward and cross-chain inducing. And I was curious about the effects of the hollow cranks and spindle.

I got them for a mere £65 from SJS Cycles (that’s €73 these days. I’m warming to Brexit). They’re cheap because 39T inners are unfashionable, likely for good reasons. 50T outers on ‘standard’ doubles are also unfashionable, likely for worse reasons. Since anything bigger than 50T is pointless for me but the only option with the FC-5700 and FC-5800, I thought this cheap FC-5600 sounded like a good deal.

They’re not as pretty as the SunXCD cranks but they are massively stiffer. I’m not sure if that increased stiffness has merit, but the difference in feel is large – especially bouncing over Parisian cobbles! Yikes. These things really hammer your feet. I am amazed how much of the stiffness comes from the cranks and bottom bracket rather than the frame itself. After this change, I’m starting to think all those whippy bicycles of old would ride quite differently with Hollowtech II cranks.

I still love the classic roadie look of a genuinely short-cage rear derailleur with large chainrings.

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #70 on: November 06, 2016, 10:05:16 pm »
Very classy Samuel. The brake hoods are nice a retro, as you say a classic road look. Mine has currently got 11 speed 105 cranks in 50/34 and is short of wheels while I get around to swapping the fork for a surly pacer fork with 50mm offset. This will five identical front end geometry to the genesis Datum with only 5mm longer chainstays and continues the bikes use as a testbed for experiments.

Mike


Samuel D

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #71 on: November 06, 2016, 10:12:12 pm »
Interesting. Do you find the standard Spa fork to give too much trail? Are you hoping to carry a load on the front? Just curious.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #72 on: November 06, 2016, 10:45:02 pm »
I hope he's not planning to carry a load on the front, as the Pacer fork has no braze ons for that! If it was a Cross Check fork, that would be very feasible, but that has more offset (I think) and so would have (even) less trail.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #73 on: November 06, 2016, 11:22:31 pm »
Samuel, I find it rides best on 25mm tyres, but wanted to use something a bit bigger. Plus, I like experimenting and I like the bike, so swapping out the current fork is pretty straightforward. The trail will still be a bit high for a front load, about 59mm with 32 tyres, dropping very slightly with 28 or 25. Really, I'm seeing if it can be made to steer as well with 32 as with 25 tyres. Any load will go either in a saddle bag or rack bag at the rear. I also think that with bigger tyres, a little bit less geometric trail helps. It's all a bit of an experiment really, I can always swap back if I don't like it.

Cudzoziemiec, no front load. Pacer forks are a direct replacement - same a2c measurement (374mm) and 45mm offset, but with a 50mm offset available for the small frame. Cross check forks are 400mm a2c and 44mm offset. That would give a head angle around 70.5 and trail around 75mm, which is much longer than Colin's original design parameter.

Mike

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Spa Steel Audax
« Reply #74 on: November 07, 2016, 12:22:25 am »
75mm certainly would be an awful lot of trail.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)