Saturday, April 29, 2017

ETapping the Z-Bone

I've just given the Z-Bone an overhaul. This is a Reynolds Weld Labs Dual 700 Z-Bone, which I think was originally built around 2005, and which I bought used off the Bentrider message board classifieds in 2009. The Z-Bone, as you can see, is front wheel drive. There is a shock under the seat. It is super fast, smooth, and comfortable.

After realizing how awesome aero carbon wheels are due to the Enves on the Seven, I decided to put some Zipp 404s on the Z-Bone last fall. The result was I rode my first ever century under 5 hours, knocking 20 minutes off my fastest previous century.

So I got to thinking about what would make the Z-Bone faster yet, and decided to switch to an electronic drivetrain, instead of the bar end shifters it used to have. The bar-ends were a little awkward ergonomically, since I'd have to pull my hands back to shift, which try to turn the handlebars, which was scary at high speed.

So now the Z-Bone has a nice new SRAM ETap wireless setup. It is amazing. Shifting is done by squeezing a button on the handlebar with my thumb. Hands do not move.

This is basically the SRAM Aero Gruppo plus the WiFli upgrade. The WiFli switches the cassette from 11:28 to 11:32, and switches to a mid-cage derailleur. There are hills here.

Here is the derailleur.

Here is the front derailleur. You can't see it, but I had a new adapter 3d printed for the mounting post. The old one cracked and broke. This is the first time I've done 3d printing, it's really easy and cool!

Here is the right shifter. These are "Blips". The mount was too big for the skinny handlebars, but this is nothing I can't deal with by cutting up an old handlebar grip.

And here is the left shifter. This is in the perfect position.

I have the Blip Box attached to the top of the handlebars with the rubber-band Garmin style mount. The Garmin mount for the Garmin is on the frame tube just below.

Here's the shock hiding under the seat.

And the view from the front.

It's dead simple to install the ETap setup. You bolt it on, set the front limit screws, trim the "rear" derailleur with the blip box (instead of barrel adjusters, which don't exist), and set the "rear" limit screws. So easy.

I've ridden this to work every day this week, and crushed many PRs on Strava. This project is a huge success!

Thanks goes to the Cycle Mill in Ellicott City, who worked their expert magic to get me the parts.