Friday, November 19, 2010

Di2 meet Max...bridging the generation gap

Picture it. A very attractive young woman dressed to the nines walking with a somewhat grizzled and tough looking older fella. A few heads might turn. Some just won't get it. But hey, ain't love strange?

All right...enough of that. This is the first Di2 bike I've had the opportunity to build. Let me say that Shimano has knocked it out of the park with the full internal wiring kit. I've still got a lot of work left to do on the frame, but I wanted to mock everything up and make sure that all is copacetic with the wiring before I finished up the BB area and seat stays.

The goal for this bike was simple. Make a clean layout for the wiring and make it easy on the eyes. That meant tuck the battery away out of plain view. I also wanted to drill the holes for the wiring in as many thicker cast pieces as possible rather than just the tubing. For the spots on the seat tube and down tube where this wasn't possible, I made some reinforcements for the holes. I also had to make a front derailleur braze-on. Here's the problem. A Max seat tube is very wide (approximately 36.5 mm) where the braze-on is placed. Putting a standard FD braze-on, which are meant to go on a 28.6 mm seat tube, on the tube positions the derailleur further away from the centerline of the bike compared to usual. This hasn't been a problem for standard front derailleurs. There's plenty of throw. Looking at the Di2 derailleur though, you can see right away that the cage does not go as far inboard as a standard derailleur. So what I did was make a tab and reinforcement and position it exactly to Shimano spec. This meant that the derailleur itself is very close to the seat tube but it is where it needs to be in relation to the crankset.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Knee deep in Max

Columbus Max. For me, it conjures up images of the nastiest, meanest, and toughest riders in the peleton from 20 years ago and the bikes they used duking it out on the bergs and cobbles of northern Europe during my second most favorite time of the year...the spring classics. These guys put down the power and corner really hard, and Columbus came up with a set of pipes that was unlike anything else at the time to maximize what the riders were laying down. The bikes weren't glamorous. They looked raw. They looked massive. They looked like the perfect tool for the job.

The tubeset came and went, but there's a group of riders who love these special bikes. It's about so much more than just how the frame rides, it's everything else associated with frame and the tubes. The history, the riders, the wins, the pain, the glory. It's just so unique.

Columbus listened to requests and has brought the tubes back as a catalog item. The lugs, however, are becoming increasingly rare. I built my first Max bike a couple of years ago and I documented the build on this thread on vsalon. It's still one of the most viewed threads on the forum, and that speaks to how many people are interested in these bikes.

I've been knee deep in building more of these bikes over the past couple of weeks and I've been having a ball. Here are some photos. Enjoy!