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Old 05-06-20, 01:22 PM
Join Date: Jul 2015
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Originally Posted by praivo View Post
The hub bearings on my commuter are starting to fail, probably because the cups are damaged (I guess that's why the wheels were so cheap). I'm not going to get around to replacing the hubs until about Christmas, so the Hardrock mentioned in component list will be doing the commuting until then. Here it is:

It started its life as a regular 2008 Specialized Hardrock XC Disc that I got in April, 2009 for my 13th birthday. All that's left of that now is the frame, the headset cups and the fork. Almost everything else has been swapped from my MTB whose frame cracked in June, probably in a small crash that I had on the way from work. I only bought a new saddle (the old one was destroyed in said crash) and a seatpost (which is smaller that the one from the MTB). And yes, those are 27.5" wheels in a 26" frame, still having more than enough clearance. At 12.5 kg it's also quite a bit lighter than I thought it would be with that fork.

The photo is from the day I built it. I have since replaced the tires (from Schwalbe Hurricanes to CST Soft Sevens) and the stem (from 60 mm to 80, because this frame is REALLY short) and done about 1000 km on it.
It's been another about 1500 km since I posted the photo above, but it's been a pain on longer rides because the frame is simply too short for me to ride comfortable with a reasonably-sized stem (I'd need 110+ mm to get the fit I'd like, and I absolutely hate long stems). This made me revisit a project I'd originally abandoned years ago, which is converting the thing to a gravel-like drop-bar configuration. I found the shifters and brake levers I bought for that purpose back in 2016, got a compact drop bar, and this happened:

I decided to keep the single chainring and ordered a 10-speed 11-42 cassette and a RD extender, but I had to have the bike ready to ride before they arrived, hence the old 11-36t CS-HG50 from my parts drawer. I'm using an old LX (M570) derailer that surprisingly handles the 36-tooth cog perfectly fine,

I'm still trying to figure out the best position of the handlebar and the brake levers (I've never had a drop-bar bike that actually fit me, so this is my very first time doing it), but so far it seems to be working quite well. The hoods of the brake levers feel a bit too small to be comfortable, but I've already ordered a pair of Tektro RL520s anyway (to be used with my Avid BB5 MTB calipers - short-pull levers like the ones I'm using now can be made to work but the setup gets VERY finicky and prone to misalignment), so I hope that'll help.

I like the Microshift bar-end shifter (BS-A10, sold as a pair) a lot. It's in a comfortable position, indexes very nicely, and can be switched over to friction mode if there are any problems with the indexing (which is extremely useful since I don't have an inline barrel adjuster and the one on the derailer refuses to move). The build quality is also very good and the shifter indexes with little to no preload, making shifting a lot easier than I expected.

Other planned changes not mentioned above are a rigid fork (still can't decide whether a CF fork would make sense or not), a sealed-bearing headset (for said fork), and a bigger chainring (36t instead of 34).
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