By Mark Tearle
Project Alize 2014 Custom Build
It has felt like a lifetime since my new frame arrived. With a few things to save up for and Christmas and a shocking bill for water rates, it has sat collecting dust, looking lost and forlorn, in its box. Every once in a while I’d take it out of the box to admire and imagine: the build, ride adventures, races…
I haven’t been idle in that time; I have been busy making lists and gathering items ready for the transformation of the frame into a bicycle worthy of, at the very least, endless ‘likes’ and ‘Reblogs’ on Tumblr – we’re not short of beautiful locations here on the Sussex coast, I just need to rope in a mate with a good eye and a talent for taking photographs – yet something I’d be happy to fling about at a local road race.
Nothing too ostentatious you understand and I’m not the type of person to use the word ‘bling’, it sits too uncomfortably on my tongue, like ‘onsie’ and ‘selfie’… excuse me I digress.
With so many bike accessory and after-market suppliers around, the brief was to see what could be done with a ground-up bike build whilst still being affordable, attainable and practical, the three main objectives of this project, to most riders. With baby no.3 due to arrive in the Tearle household in early Spring, I can certainly empathise with that, as my resources will be somewhat dwindling for too much froth and frivolity, if the extremely serious business of building a bike can be described as such, though the build will, of course, have some modest adornments.
As such this build will feature as a series of previews and in-depth reviews, as you would have come to expect from CycleTechReview.com, focused on the individual component parts that make up the bike during the build. Some of the component parts I already own and will have come from another bike, but as we develop the series there may well be a number of upgrades.
The series will be based loosely around the following structure:
The initial introduction of the project.
The frame and fork.
Steering and controls – Handlebars, stem, saddle, and seatpost.
Stopping and going – brake Calipers, Shifting, gears and drivetrain.
Wheels and tyres.
The final completed build.
A journey, if you will, that hopefully will run smoothly, as with some optimism in the air for 2014 after the bitter cold recession years, I’m aiming to build the bike for a total budget of £4,000, based on real ‘Recommended Retail Prices’ not trade discounts. Whilst this is hardly an insubstantial sum and one that for me sits at the very top end of affordability, that is the aim: achievable yet aspirational. It would be pointless aiming to do a £2000 build on a frame that costs £1999 and likewise an £8000 build is hardly keeping it real!
2014, if at all possible for you, is a year to indulge yourself a little as “life is just too short to ride rubbish bikes”.
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