Fairlight Strael Build

A Log of my Fairlight Strael Build

You might also be interested in my Fairlight Strael Build Notes which are the primer of this build. You get there the complete list of parts I´m using for this build.

I take the technical manuals for Shimano components from the Shimano Manuals & Technical Documents .

Wheels #

Tools #

  • Wera Click-Torque X 3 Torque Wrench

Steps #

  1. Tubes and tires: Because I do not run tubeless I have to remove the tubeless valves first. From that point on I´m following How to change an innertube. Shimano recommends not to use tire leavers with the C36s, and fortunately, the GP5000s didn´t require it. Tires are inflated to 60 PSI.
  2. Brake rotors: Once the rim is protected by the inflated tire it´s save to mount the brake rotors and torque them to 40 Nm. I do not use anti-seize nor grease for the direct mount connection and the lockring threads of the rotors. The parts are all aluminium and the given torque spec is for dry torque (without grease or anything similar). Putting anti-seize or grease on the thread would increase thread-tension when torquing it to 40 Nm. Generally I avoid using grease near the brakes.
  3. Cassette: Be careful when mounting the cassette. It will fall apart all too easily and you might have difficulties putting everything back in the right order. I put a thin film of anti-seize on the freehub body to help demounting the cassette later on. It could well be that´s not necessary because the sprockets are on an aluminium spider and the freehub body is also alumunium. Again, no anti-seize on the lockring thread which will be torqued down to 40 Nm.
The assembled Dura-Ace C36 wheels, inflated to 60 PSI.

Di2 Wiring #

Tools #

  • My very high end do-it-yourself routing tool – a short and bent steel wire.
    A hand holding a bent steel wire
    My high end Di2 wire routing tool
  • Folding Meter
  • Di2 Plug Tool for EW-SD300 wires (TL-EW300)
  • 5 mm Hex Key
  • Park Tool Repair Stand PCS-10.3. I´m happy with that. It is sturdy, has a secure and stable stand, can be adjusted in height, and the clamp mechanism works pretty well.
  • Park Tool Handlebar Holder HBH-2
  • Tesa Crepe
  • Electrical Tape

Steps #

I use the following process for the wiring: Pushing the Di2 wire through a tube into the desired direction. When the Di2 wire plug becomes visible at the target opening I use my do-it-yourself routing tool to fish the Di2 wire out of the target opening and pull the Di2 wire by hand further. It´s not necessary to have anything more.

  1. Battery: The wiring starts by inserting the Di2 battery into the seatpost. The Ritchey Battery Mount surrounds the battery nicely and fits well into the Ritchey seat post.
    One half of the Ritchey Battery Mount surrounding the battery
    Ritchey Battery Mount
    The battery inserted into the seat post
    The battery has to be pushed into the seat post (further than you see on this image)
  2. Seat tube wire: I push a 700 mm Di2 wire into the seat tube from the top opening towards the bottom bracket shell. The wire has three wire holders attached to prevent it from moving inside the seat tube. I use a folding ruler to push the wire towards the bottom bracket shell.
  3. Mounting the seat post: The seat post wire can now be connected to the battery by using the Shimano Plug Tool. As a next step the seat post can be mounted to the frame. Now the frame is ready to be taken into the repair stand by clamping the seat post with the 5 mm Hex Key. The Di2 wire plug has not been pulled out of the seat tube. With the frame inside the repair stand this is left to be done and I use my routing tool to fish the plug and pull it further trhough the bottom bracket shell.
    Pulling the Di2 plug out of the seat tube into the bottom bracket shell
    Pulling the Di2 plug out of the seat tube into the bottom bracket shell
  4. Rear derailleur wire: That didn´t went ideal. At first I pushed a 650 mm Di2 wire without any routing tool and with three wire holders attached from the rear lug through the chain stay towards the bottom bracket shell. At some point I couldn´t make any progress and because of the wire holders it was pretty difficult to pull the wire back out of the chain stay. I needed to apply so much force that I´m in doubt about the wire integrity. My second attempt was to remove the wire holders except of one, and push the wire, starting at the bottom bracket shell, through the chain stay to the lug at the end of the chain stay. When the wire plug became visible through the lug it was again time for my DIY routing tool to fish the Di2 wire through the lug.
    A bent steel wire catch a Di2 wire plug and pulling it out of the bicycle frame
    Fishing the Di2 wire with my routing tool
    That second attempt went smoothly. The one wire holder that was attached to the Di2 wire was near the bottom bracket shell. By pulling the Di2 wire further through the chain stay in direction of the dropous, the wire holder slipped into the chain stay. Then I added another wire holder near the dropouts and pulled the Di2 wire back a little bit into the direction of the bottom bracket shell. As a result I have two wire holders attached to the Di2 wire. Because of my concerns about the Di2 wire integrity I repeated the process with a 700 mm wire (that is a leftover wire and 700 mm seem to be the better choice anyway).
  5. Down tube wire: After removing the Fairlight cable guide from the down tube the lug appears to push the 1200 mm Di2 wire through. I remove all wire holders and route the wire through the down tube towards the bottom bracket shell. With my routing tool, again, I can fish the plug out of the tube opening inside of the bottom bracket shell and pull the wire further so that finally 60 cm of wire hang out of the bottom bracket shell. Now I can attach four wire holders and pull the wire back into the down tube. Very smooth.
  6. Handlebar wire: It´s easy to push the 700 mm Di2 wire through the handlebars and fish the wire plug with my routing tool out of the lug. I´ve 4 wire holders attached.
    A bent steel wire catching a Di2 wire plug out of the opening lug of a handlebar
    Fishing the Di2 wire plug out of the handlebar lug opening
  7. Front derailleur wire: This is a 300 mm Di2 wire. I insert it through the lug in the down tube with a single wire holder attached. Again I use my DIY routing tool to get the wire out of the down tube into the bottom bracket shell.
  8. Junction: All the wires ending in the bottom bracket shell are getting connected with the EW-JC304 junction. Then I´m wrapping the junction into left over packaging material to provide some padding and avoid rattling. The packaging material is fixated with electrical tape.
    The EW-JC304 junction with all four Di2 wires plugged in
    The EW-JC304 junction with all four wires plugged in
    A hand with a scissor cutting a piece from plastic packaging material
    Re-cycling of packaging material
    The beginning of wrapping the junction. The junction is still visible.
    I´m wrapping the junction into the packaging so that the plugs are also covered
    The junction fully wrapped by the packaging that is fixated with electrical tape
    Fixating the packaging with electrical tape
    The Di2 wires tucked away in the bottom bracket shell
    The Di2 wires tucked away in the bottom bracket shell. The EW-JC304 junction is wrapped with the packaging and pushed into the down tube.
  9. All dangling Di2 wires are fixated with Tesa Crepe. The wires are only plugged into the EW-JC304 junction and not into any of the Dura-Components.
    A Di2 wire fixated to the frame with Tesa Crepe
    The Di2 dangling wire fixation

Determine desired stem height #

Tools #

  • Pencil
  • Folding Meter
  • Water Level
  • 4 mm Hex Key
  • 5 mm Hex Key
  • 6 mm Hex Key

Steps #

Before cutting the steerer tube I assemble the fork into the frame and put as many spacers onto the steerer tube as I assume will be needed. I have the geometry of the new frame and can compare it to the geo of my old frame. Theoretically I can calculate the number of required spacers but cutting off something from my shiny new fork scares me in a way that I want to try things first. That in addition requires mounting the handlebars, the shifters, the wheels and the saddle.

  1. Fork: The headset top cap comes with two shims. I found to get a tight outer seal for the rubber of the headset top cap one spacer was enough in my case. The Hope headset has three convincing seals (two top, one bottom).
    The headset comes with two optional shims
    Removing one of the shims to get a tight seal
    After putting the fork into the head tube, I´m mounting the headset and putting 3 x 1 cm spacers onto the steerer to lift the stem. I do not apply any grease at this point in time because everything will be disassembled again to cut the steerer tube. The stem is not fully tightened for now.
    Lifting the stem by 3 cm
  2. Handlebars with shifters: Please refer to the Shimano Dealer Manual for Hydraulic Disc Brake to see how you can mount the shifters to the handlebars. I adjust the shifters like you see in the image. This way the brake lever has just the right distance to the drop bar hand position and the shifter hoods prolongue a straight top line for the upper handle bar.
    Finding a shifter position
    I adjust the side rotation of the shifters by aligning a water level with the side of the handlebars and making shure the shifter level touches the edge of the water level ever so slightly.
    Adjusting the side rotation of the shifers
    Once the shifters are in tune, I´m mounting the handlebars to the stem, center the handlebars, and tighten the stem to the steerer a little bit more, but not to the final torque.
  3. Wheels: The thru axles of the Strael require a 6 mm Hex key for mounting the wheels.
  4. Saddle: The saddle is mounted with a 5 mm Hex Key and put to the correct height, measuring from the center of the bottom bracket shell to the main sitting area. I´ve read that the Ritchey Link seat post makes it difficult to tune in the right saddle position but I found it quite the opposite. It´s a clear, simple, and straightforward interface and I couldn´t ask for more.
    A close image of the saddle mounted to the Ritchey Link seatpost clamp
    The Ritchey Link seatpost clamp works pretty fine

Cutting the steerer tube #

Tools #

  • Tesa Crepe
  • Hacksaw with Park Tool Carbon Cutting Saw Blade CSB-1. You do not need the Park Tool saw itself if you already have a hacksaw that can hold the 300 mm saw blade.
  • Topeak Threadless Saw Guide
  • Sanding Block with P120 Sanding Paper
  • FFP2 Mask
  • Nitril Gloves

Steps #

I´m following How To Cut A Road Bike Steerer Tube as presented by the Global Cycling Network. After trying out the desired stem height I draw a line with a pencil around the 5 mm spacer that sits on top of the stem. Then I take away the wheels and disassemble the fork from the bike frame.

  1. For the compression bung to work properly I have to cut away 3 mm in addition. Make sure it´s exactly 3 mm because cutting only additional 2 mm is too less and will lead to the compression bung not function. If you cut 2 mm initially you can imagine it´s difficult to cut another 1 mm. I know what I´m talking about because that´s exactly what happened to me.
    A steerer tube with three pencil lines to identify the final cut line
    On this image you see three lines on the steerer. From top to bottom:
    • A thin line going aroung the steerer. That was my first line before noticing that I should take away one of the headset shims for a tighter seal.
    • A thicker line going around the steerer. That is the top height of the final 5 mm spacer that sits on top of the stem.
    • A very short line. That is the cut mark that must be 3 mm below the top spacer height but was only 2 mm in my case – which was not enough.
  2. I put a very short Tesa tape to mask the cut line. Above and and overlapping the short tape comes another Tesa around the entire steerer to improve the cut.
    The two Tesa tapes on top of each other and an additional pencil line to identify the cut mark easily
  3. The saw blade guide can be attached to the steerer just so that cut will go through the identified cut line.
    The saw blade guide attached to the steerer
  4. It´s time to cut the steerer with the hacksaw. I´ve attached the Park Tool Carbon Blade to my plain old 300 mm hacksaw for the cutting. I´m wearing an FFP2 mask (easy to have one at hand during a pandemic) and I should have worn Nitril gloves (which I didn´t do). Because I do not own a vice I´m sitting down, laying the fork on my knees and do the sawing. Admittedly, it would be better to mount the sawing guide into a vice for this job. After the cut is made, I do some gentle sandpaper grinding of the cutting area. I use a sanding block and P120 sandpaper. Finally I remove the Tesa tape from the steerer.
    A sanding block with a piece of sanding paper hold in hand
    The sanding block with the P120 sanding papier
  5. The result is an even and smooth steerer cut.
    The cut and sandpaper grinded steerer
    The smoothened steerer cut

Mounting the fork to the frame #

Tools #

  • Shimano Premium Grease
  • Nitril Gloves
  • Carbon Fitting Paste (came with the Strael frame)
  • 4 mm Hex Key
  • 5 mm Hex Key
  • 6 mm Hex Key
  • Hazet 5280-3CT Torque Wrench

Steps #

  1. I´m applying a thin layer of grease to the headset top cup. The upper bearing will be placed inside the greased cup. It´s only a thin layer because too much grease would attract dirt and the Hope headset is nicely sealed with two rubbers therefore I think not much grease is required to protect the headset – I use it only as an anti corrosive and to simplify getting the bearing out of the top cup if maintenance would be required. The bearing itself is a greased cartridge bearing that doesn´t require any additional grease.
    A plastic can with Shimano quality grease
    The Shimano grease I´m using. You don´t need much of it.
    A hand applying grease to the headset top cup
    Applying grease to the tup cup
  2. Installing the bearing into the prepared top cup. Be careful to do it the inner cone pointing top and the outer cone pointing to the bottom.
    A hand inserting the bearing into the top cup
    The bearing goes into the prepared top cup with the outer cone pointing to the bottom.
    The top bearing completely inserted into the top cup
    The top bearing inserted into the top cup
  3. Wiping away excess grease from the top cup but not from the top bearing.
    A hand with a paper tower cleaning the top cup from excess grease
    I´m wiping away any excess grease carefully
  4. The headset bottom cup will also receive a thin layer of grease, similar to the top cup.
  5. With the bottom bearing onto the fork steerer tube I insert the fork into the frame and slide the coned ring, the top cup shim, and the headseat top cap over the steerer tube.
    After the fork is inserted into the head tube the coned ring, the top cup shim, and the headset top cap go from bottom to top order onto the steerer
    The headset top cap sits so tight that the fork will stay in the frame. Finally I´m attaching the three stem spacers, followed by the stem.
    The fork with all top spacers and stem
    The fork with all top spacers and stem
  6. The compression bung receives a thin layer of carbon fitting paste and is installed into the steerer tube. I apply 6 Nm torque.
    A hand holding the compression bung which is covered with carbon fitting paste
    The compression bung with carbon fitting paste applied
    The compression bung installed in the steerer
    The installed compression bung torqued to 6 Nm
  7. Attach the top cap to the steerer with a final 5 mm spacer and torque the top cap screw hand tight to preload the headset bearings.
    The top cap attached to the steerer
    The attached top cap
  8. I attach the wheels to take the frame out of the repair stand and straighten the steering unit. Every headset screw receives 4 Nm of torque, except the steerer top cap wich remains hand tight. Ritchey allows a maximum torque of 5 Nm for their 4-bolt-stems [1]. The result starts looking like a bike.
The Streal leaning on a wall. It is yet missing the crankset, derailleurs and brakes.
Just enough parts to recognize a bicycle

Installing the calipers #

The Shimano Dealer Manual for Hydraulic Disc Brake is an essential source for setting up the brakes. My calipers came pre-bled and with brake hoses attached. Until the hoses are cut you can do with them whatever you want without the risk of spilling hydraulic oil.

I have the wheels attached to the bike prior to installing the calipers.

Heads Up: Do not connect the brake hoses with the shifters until you verified the Di2 setup is working fine.

Tools #

  • 8 mm Wrench
  • Hazet 5280-3CT Torque Wrench with 8 mm Torque Wrench Insert
  • 4 mm Hex Key
  • Park Tool HBT-1 Hydraulic Barb Tool
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Cleaning Paper
  • Electrical Tape

Installing the rear caliper #

The Strael dropout is prepared to take a 140 mm rotor but I will run 160 mm rotors. Therefore I have to attach an adapter. The video Shimano Flat Mount Caliper Adapter 140 mm to 160 mm Disc Fitting Guide explains very well how the rear caliper will be set up for 160 mm rotors.

  1. I connect the Flat-Mount adapter (SM-MA-R160D) to the rear caliper and use the caliper fixing screws (Type B) that are supplied with the adapter. Torque is 6 Nm. Then I attach the screw fixing pin that came with the caliper by pushing it completely into the caliper until it is fully inserted.

    The Flat Mount Adapter (SM-MA-R160D) with Type B caliper fixing screws that came with the adapter
    The rear caliper with the attached Flat-Mount adapter. The screw fixing pin is not yet installed.
  2. I mount the rear caliper to the frame.

    Attaching the rear caliper to the frame
    The Strael comes with two Type A screws for a 15 mm frame that can be used but I use one Type A and another Type C. Do not forget the two distance washers that came with the adapter, otherwise you will damage the caliper. I do not tighten the bolts because later the caliper will get adjusted to the brake rotor. The retaining clip can still be attached to the Type C screw.
    The Type A and Type C screw with retaining clip and distance washers
  3. I route the brake hose along the frame and fixate it with the C-clips.

    C-clips
  4. From the upper end of the down tube I push the Di2 wire completely through a 50 cm long shrink tube. It´s important to begin with the Di2 wire first and not with the brake hose!

  5. Then I push the brake hose through the shrink tube. The shrink tube has a diameter of 6.4 mm → 3.2 mm. It´s not required to shrink the tube and keep the 6.4 mm in diameter. If you leave it like that it will just look fine in my view.

    A sign indicating the type of shrink type A hand holding the shrink tube
    The shrink tube I´m using – I get it from the construction market
    The Di2 wire and the brake hose pushed through the shrink tube
    Routing Di2 wire and brake hose from the down tube to the handlebars
  6. I fixate the shrink tube that contains the brake hose and the Di2 wire to the handlebars with Tesa Crepe. I´m not cutting the brake hose yet and I do not connect the brake hose to the shifter because I first want a proof Di2 is working properly.

Installing the front caliper #

  1. It´s straightforward to attach the caliper to the fork because it comes pre-installed with an adapter for 160 mm rotors.
    The front caliper with adapter for 160 mm rotors
  2. I attach the caliper to the fork but I do not tighten the Type A screws that come with the caliper because later the caliper will get adjusted to the rotor.
    Installing the front caliper
  3. The brake hose can easily get pushed through the fork up to the handlebars.
    Pushing the brake hose through the fork
  4. I fixate the brake hose with Tesa Crepe at the handlebars in the desired position. The brake hose is not cut yet and not connected to the shifter.
    The brake hoses are put into position

Installing the derailleurs and completing the wiring #

Heads Up: For the Di2 wire connection of the two Dual Control Shifters it´s crucial to use the lower satellite ports of the shifters! The connection from one shifter to the junction in the down tube (in my case it´s the right shifter) must go through the upper port of the shifter. If you do not follow this wiring model your shifter firmware updates and the triggering of the derailleurs through the shifters will not function properly!
Also make sure to use blind plugs for the ports you don´t use.

Tools #

Rear derailleur #

Front derailleur #

Dual Control Shifters #

Cutting the brake hoses #

Entire list of tools in order of use #

  • Wera Click-Torque X 3 Torque Wrench
  • My very high end do-it-yourself routing tool – a short and bent steel wire
  • Folding Meter
  • Di2 Plug Tool for EW-SD300 wires (TL-EW300)
  • 5 mm Hex Key
  • Park Tool Repair Stand PCS-10.3
  • Park Tool Handlebar Holder HBH-2
  • Tesa Crepe
  • Electrical Tape
  • Pencil
  • Water Level
  • 4 mm Hex Key
  • 6 mm Hex Key
  • Hacksaw with Park Tool Carbon Cutting Saw Blade CSB-1. You do not need the Park Tool saw itself if you already have a hacksaw that can hold the 300 mm saw blade.
  • Topeak Threadless Saw Guide
  • Sanding Block with P120 Sanding Paper
  • FFP2 Mask
  • Nitril Gloves
  • Shimano Premium Grease
  • Carbon Fitting Paste (came with the Strael frame)
  • Hazet 5280-3CT Torque Wrench
  • 8 mm Wrench
  • 8 mm Torque Wrench Insert
  • Park Tool HBT-1 Hydraulic Barb Tool
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Cleaning Paper

Torque table #

ComponentTorque in Nm
Brake Rotor Centerlock40
Calipers to to the fork or frame6
(max. allowed 6 - 8)
Cassette to freehub body40
Compression bung6
(max. allowed 10)
Dual Control Lever clamp screw4
(max. allowed 6 - 8)
Flare nut to fix hydraulic hose with shifter5
(max. allowed 5 - 6)
Ritchey stem bolts (not the top cap screw)4
(max. allowed 5)
Ritchey seatpost saddle clamp10
(max. allowed 16)
Seatpost collar4
(max. allowed 8)

  1. Ritchey Tech Info ↩︎