Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Getting My GRX On

The special gravelly derailleur of  Doom and Destruction!
The other day two big boxes showed up with a bunch of Shimano stuff inside of it. Shimano had contacted me recently to get me on a GRX group and to give my opinions on it. This was unexpected and I am flattered that Shimano wanted me to try this out and give my opinions.

So, that will all be on RidingGravel.com in the near future. That's all good, but this did create a lot of work for me down in the Lab. But first, before that, I had to pick a bike to put the stuff on and then actually pick the stuff I wanted from the GRX group.

So, I chose the Noble Bikes GR5. Since that bike is not compatible with a mechanical front derailleur, I went with the GRX 1X mechanical group. I could have gone Di2, but Riding Gravel already is reviewing that stuff. So, 1X was what was on the menu. That meant I had to go down that path which meant a 11T-42T 11 speed cassette. I got a 42T drive ring. I have hydraulic brakes there. Annnnnndddd.........the Noble GX5 has internal cable routing. 

Gah! I was not too stoked. Why did I pick the Noble GX5? I could have chosen a lot easier bike to cable up, that's for sure. Well......it is what it is, right? I figured it would be a long process and I'd likely cuss and stuff. You know the drill if you are a mechanic. Get out your magnets, fish wires, and dig down for all the patience you can muster.

I also had the unique situation where the Noble GX5, as I have posted before, was equipped with a Wheels Manufacturing thread-together bottom bracket where generally you see a press fit type style bottom bracket. The thing here is that this bottom bracket has an unusual sized 16 point tool that you need to use to install and remove it. I didn't have that, so I put one on order. That is one thing that will put the completion of the build off a bit.

Shimano hydraulic levers connect at the lever on a new build.
So, I was down in the Lab off and on all day Monday working on this build. I figured I would just get done what I could get done. I avoided the internal routing nightmare as long as I could. In my mind, the hydraulic line would be the worst thing. Shimano connects the caliper to the hose on new builds, so the hose had to be routed from the back up to  the front. So I shoved the hose into the port on the chain stay and waited to see what would happen. I had the "door" off the bottom bracket shell, and the hose popped out there. Not too surprising, since most chain stays are ported, not completely hollow. The down tube was where I figured things would get gnarly. I found the groove in the bottom bracket area, shoved the hose in, and.......it popped out no problem! Huh. How about that!

Well, the Noble GX5 has only one more cable to go. The rear derailleur cable is fully internal from near the head tube to the back of the right chain stay. Okay.....here goes nothin'! I shove the cable in, there is a bit of resistance, which I figured was the cable rolling up against the bottom bracket. Well, I ran the cable till it went into the lever, and then I looked back and.....what! There was the cable dangling out the end of the chain stay! Hallelujah! 

That was the easiest internal cable route job I've ever done. Bar none. So, the Noble GX5 just went way up on the scale of bikes I like. It is how all those internal cable routed jobs should have been all along.

Now I have to get my hand on that bottom bracket tool and I'll be pretty much on my way to finishing this rig up. I'll have a run down on the bike once I get the thing done. There might be a surprise or two for some of you when you see what I have here. Stay tuned........

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