Having anxiously waited for three weeks, the replacement fork arrived 10 days ago. What a beauty it was! And after using a caliper to measure the bottom diameter of the fork's steerer tube, I was satisfied that there should be no issues with installing the crown race this time. So last Tuesday, while en-route to Hart House for my orchestra rehearsal, I stopped by Mountain Equipment Co-op on King Street, and paid the bike shop $11.30 to install the crown race. It took them less than 5 minutes, and they did an excellent job. After rehearsal, I went home, measured the length of steerer tube that I needed, and carefully cut down the tube with the sawing guide that I got from Nashbar, and a hand saw that I borrowed from my “lunch buddy” Chris. I had purposely cut the steerer tube a bit longer this time, so that in the future, if I decide to change the height of the handlebar, I can do that fairly easily. Then, I finally was able to install the fork the proper way. It was late at night, and Lilian was sleeping upstairs—I didn't want to wake her up—so I took my time. Still it took less than 30 minutes. The bike wasn't quite completed, but it was clear what the finished product would look like. Then on Saturday night, I installed the chain, did a very basic fitting and installed the cables and housing. I had worried that I didn't know how to install internally routed cables, but that turned out to be a red herring. The installation on my frame was as easy as pie. Here's the finished product:
This morning I brought the bike to work, and right after lunch, took it for a 20km "shake-down" ride to make sure that everything was working. I didn't ride particularly hard, and even if I did, I wouldn't have gone much faster anyway. In other words, I sucked. I'll need to make a few minor adjustments to the cables before I can trust my bike for longer rides. After that, I'll be taking the bike out for a few more short rides before tagging along my friends on the Bike Rally training rides.