Updates & Follow-Ups

Campagnolo Drivetrain Conversion
The Campagnolo Centaur Ergopower shifters have broken in nicely. Shifting is even smoother, but the reassuring tactile feedback definitely remains. Maintenance has consisted of occasionally lubing the cables and (derailleur) pivots, and rotating in another KMC X10.93 chain to minimize overall drivetrain wear. I did replace the 46t Real outer chainring with a 48t Specialites T.A. Zephyr ‘ring. The latter shifts quicker, and is a better match for the 13-29t Veloce cassette.

Pacenti SL23 Rims
These wheels are still as true as the day I received them. The White Industries T11 hubs haven’t required any adjustment or lubrication, and the freehub has quieted down slightly (but it’s still louder than, say, a Shimano unit). Brake track wear appears minimal despite testing half-a-dozen different brake pad compounds. I’ve read reports that some people have difficulty mounting tires on the SL23 rims, but switching to thinner rim strip (e.g. Stan’s yellow tape) usually eases installation.

Carradice SQR Saddlebags
Since posting my original review, I’ve put another 600 miles on the SQR Slim saddlebag. With its spacious capacity and easy on/off mounting system, it’s become my favorite bag in the Carradice family. Traversing dirt roads and trails on over-inflated 28mm tires hasn’t loosened the mounting hardware, and the waxed cotton fabric has done a great job of fending off late-afternoon thundershowers. I continue to notice the bag brushing the backs of my thighs, but it’s usually restricted to when I remain in the saddle when stopped.

Update: Shimano Dura-Ace Bottom Bracket Review

Last May, I posted a one-year review of Shimano’s Dura-Ace SM-BB7900 bottom bracket.  Since then, that original bottom bracket has accumulated an additional 2500-3000 miles.  It’s been ridden in rain and snow, and seen plenty of hard, off-pavement use.  And just like the previous twelve months, I employed a maintenance program that basically amounted to complete and utter neglect.

Eventually, curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to check the bottom bracket’s seals and bearings.  Pulling the Vaya’s cranks revealed very little dirt on the external seals (and no uneven wear patterns).  After a quick wipe-down, I checked the bearings for signs of play or roughness.  To my amazement, I wasn’t able to detect any indication that dirt or water had infiltrated either bearing.  By contrast, a comparably priced external bottom bracket from another company became contaminated by water and dirt (and was devoid of lube) in ten months and less than 1000 miles of use.

If my original Dura-Ace bottom bracket lasts another year, it will have cost me just under $1 per-month.  And based on the past two years’ performance, I wouldn’t be surprised if it kept going for at least another couple of years.

Vaya Build Specs

Since posting the Vaya One-Year Review, I’ve received quite a few questions about the bike’s build specs.  So for all the gear-heads, here are the details:

  • Frame/fork: Salsa Vaya, 57cm
  • Headset: Cane Creek S-3
  • Cranks: Shimano FC-R4550 with T.A. chainrings (34/46)
  • Bottom bracket: Shimano Dura-Ace BB7900
  • Chain: KMC X9.93
  • Cassette: SRAM PG-990 9-speed (11-32)
  • Brake/shift levers: Campagnolo Centaur Power-Shift Ergopower 10-speed
  • Cables/housing: Jagwire Ripcord
  • Brakes: Avid BB7 road (w/Avid organic pads)
  • Front derailleur: Campagnolo Centaur (w/Problem Solvers clamp)
  • Rear Derailleur: daVinci/SRAM X9
  • Hubs: Sun/Ringle Dirty Flea (32h, 135mm rear spacing)
  • Rims: Sun/Ringle EQ23 (700C, 32h)
  • Spokes: DT double-butted (brass nipples)
  • Tires: Varies
  • Seatpost: Ritchey Classic (27.2mm)
  • Saddle: Selle An-Atomica Titanico (clydesdale version)
  • Stem: Velo-Orange 80mm x 17-deg (31.8mm)
  • Handlebars: Ritchey Classic Curve 44cm (31.8mm)
  • Accessories: King stainless bottle cages, Lezyne Pressure Drive pump, Garmin 500 computer