June 3, 2010

Building the Katana (a very techie article)

So the Katana arrived a few weeks ago and we are seemingly ready to get it built up. After 4 weeks of rest and a two week transition period I am ready to get back onto the road for long rides and ready to start working my indoor trainer again. So it rolls.

I had the chance to take a while to think about how I was going to build this bike and what I wanted to put on it, what worked previously for me and what Jeroen Swart recommended I ride in future. All in all, it’s a compromise between speed, comfort and economy.

The frame is without a doubt the most aero I have ever owned. Tick. I have ridden Campagnolo, Shimano and Sram in the past and my favorite without a doubt, was the Sram. I am going to make some key adaptions to the Sram this time and see how that works out.

I am going to start with the Force Groupset. Strong, reliable and about half the price of the Sram Red. Because it’s a TT groupset, the gear shifters are the same as the Red. I already have a Red cassette and chain at home, so that’s easy. I am planning to get some these radical Berner adaption rear derailleur wheels for Hawaii. Lower friction on the chain and could probably get them in red to match the frame.


It’s not all standard and I was ordered to move down to 172.5mm cranks when I had the proper fitting with Jeroen Swart. I was on 175mm before and his thought process goes that the shorter cranks help with the crunch of the hip flexor and the dead spot at the top of the pedal stroke. I believe him. He also advised me to move onto Rotor Rings but I wanted to go one further with this bike and get one of these:


Pretty, no? Very durable, very stiff and just a tad sexy methinks. Very excited about these. The extra punt on the long downhills in Hawaii should be a nice gain from the 56 tooth power on the downstroke of the bike. I toyed with the idea of going up to 54 teeth but I am concerned about the effect it might have on the run.

Saddles are such a personal journey. Hate some, love some. I love the Selle Italia SLR family, and in particular, the T1. I have used it for 3 years now without a single glitch. It’s got the Barbara Streisand nose, strong rails and non-slip centre for wet tri shorts.


Aerobars are another contentious issue. Recently I discovered the Uberhund bars and I have to admit I was more than a little excited when I saw this…


All smiles. They were more comfortable in the aero position than any other aerobar I ever tried. I was initially going with another bar for riding comfort out of the aerobars but I will just have to find a way to make them more comfortable to ride up hill. Their comfort in the aero position is just too good to give up.

I will still be on my Speedplay pedals, my Zipp wheels and my Continental Competition Tubbies.

So those are all the pretty things going on the Ceepo Katana that’s now just waiting to be ridden. Not going to lie to you, I am super excited.

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