Sunday, February 15, 2015

2015 Bike Kal Lang (Sold)

I named this bike, Kal Lang in honor of the last ship I commanded, RSS KALLANG. RSS KALLANG is a mine countermeasure vessel or MCMV for short. As its task was to find and neutralize sea mines, it was specially constructed with a material called FRP (fibreglass reinforced plastic). The reason for using FRP is so that the ship is 'invisible' to sea mines who are normally programmed to detonate upon sensing 'metal' ship passing by. I've always wondered what's it like riding a full carbon fiber bike. I was told it had better shock absorption but most of the time, I only hear about the weight saving feature. As always, I needed to know and so, bike Kal Lang was built. 

Being unfamiliar with carbon fiber parts, I ordered a package which consisted of the frame, seat post, fork and headset. I only had to decide what form the bike is going to take. There were a few options I considered; firstly, a regular road bike with drop bars, secondly, a hybrid with straight handlebar, thumb shifter and thirdly, a time trial type of bike. Since I had the first 2 options already in the stable, I chose the TT styling and considering that this is a lightweight bike, should fit the build nicely.

The Vision TTiMax crank was left over from the Raleigh Ultra Race project. It runs on a BB30 bottom bracket. Not the lightest crank for a TT bike but since its my first TT bike build, I did not want to spend more money buying another one. At least the color scheme matches the frame. One thing about the way I build my bike is the appearance. The bike needs to look coherent as much as possible. 

Elements water bottle cage was 'pilfered' from the Klein Quantum bike to complete the carbon fiber theme. 

I had a good experience with the Campagnolo road brakes on the Raleigh. Besides being effective, they were relatively inexpensive too.

A Scott stem holds the Ritchey bullhorn handlebar. I could have gone with a carbon fiber stem but decided not to due to cost reason. Besides, the length of the stem fits the bike nicely.

The Fulcrum Racing 7 wheel set was also carried over from the Raleigh build. These wheels are not the best but they do the job efficiently.

The FLK XVR saddle was passed from bike to bike because it had a color scheme that was difficult to match. I think it has found its place on the Kal Lang bike.

The Ritchey bullhorn handlebar is 25.4mm, non-oversized. While the trend has been moving towards using OS handlebar, stem, etc, I chose to stick too traditional sizes.

Brake and shifter cables are all internally routed. For those of you uninitiated with installing internal routing cables, here is a piece of advice: avoid them as much as possible if you can. Yes, it makes the bike look much neater but you are going to curse and swear when the time comes to replace those cables. It takes too much time and effort.

Shimano 10-speed bar-end shifters takes care of the rear shifting. It takes some getting used to but once familiar, they are quite easy to use. I realized that on a TT bike, shifting gears is not so frequent because once you hit the sweet gearing, there is nothing else left to do except pedal your heart out.

Shimano 105 rear derailleur takes care of the gearing. Nothing fancy, just effective and efficient.

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