Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ultimate Affordable 4-Season Hybrid City Road Bike: My 2007 Norco VFR!

A 700c city bike with super short 16.5" chainstays, extra long 22.75" top tube, and clearance for fat tires and fenders AND racks? With aerodynamic hydroformed double-butted aluminum, tall head tube, shaped stays for comfort, 27.2 seatpost, V and disc brake compatible AND it even looks good?? Only in the 2007 Norco VFR series. 

That's why I searched extensively to finally find one from Bikes on Wheels Toronto back in 2008 on sale for a paltry $450!

Here it is BEFORE:

And now, AFTER:
Only original elements left: Frameset and rear brake calipers.
Sooo, what did I do?? And why?
From top to bottom:
A way more comfortable saddle: WTB Speed She. That's right it's a women's saddle. And it's the most comfortable saddle of the plethora I've tried. 
The lightest true suspension seatpost in the world: USE XCR Carbon Alien! Designed - and made? - in the U.K. Approx. 2.5" of controlled travel via coil and urethane springs. Approx. 420g 


A compact drop bar setup for optimum ergonomics and comfort. 3T Ergonova aluminum with flat/ovalized top section for more comfort and better aerodynamics.
Wrapped with Specialized Roubaix vibration damping gel bartape with Bar Phat gel under pads on top section only as I almost never use the drops
And here comes my piece de resistance:
A road 1 x 10 speed drivetrain. All the gears I'll ever need using one, single chainring. Yes!
Dura Ace 7800 STI shifters 
Ultegra 6600 Hollowtech II Triple crankset chosen because a triple's chainline is perfect for a 1x10 because you can have a chainring exactly in the middle. $30 on eBay!
105 5700 black left crank arm. Yup I got two different crank arms, one silver, one black....just for fun...and I wanted to see if it worked and it does perfectly ;)
42 tooth chainring
Blackspire Cyclogod outer chainring guard in place of outer chainring. Saves weight, serves as a chainguard and looks darn good!
Stock front derailleur kept on and adjusted to keep chain on, thus serving as a chain keeper. $0!


11-36 10 speed XT CS-M771 Dyna Sys Hyperglide cassette 
XTR hollow pin, assymetrical, mud-shedding chain...why? Why Not! haha! Well, I know that I can get away with one chain and cassette lasting for at least 1 year so why not get one that's lighter? And it's affordable with my bike shop employee discount, heheh. Thank you Chain Reaction Toronto and Shimano S-TEC program!

 And this was an interesting spec: the rear derailleur had to be a mountain one with 34-36t max. AND NON Dyna-Sys/not a Shimano 10 speed mountain because the cable pull is not compatible with non Dyna-Sys shifters which is what I had (7800's) even if they are Shimano 10 speed shifters! Dogs! I found out the hard way by ordering a super sweet 2013 all black XT Dyna-Sys med. cage shadow r.d. and discovering that my 7800 shifters didnt pull enough cable to even shift to all cogs no matter what I did.
SO, luckily, I happened to have an older 9 speed Deore MTB r. derailleur that's all black! Thanks G! It was from my other VFR ;)
Works perfectly and quietly.

 And what would a bike be without some light wheels!
REAR is a "Speed Dream" 28 spoke, custom hand-built affair by Dave's Wheels in U.S.A.
White Industries H2 road hub with a titanium freehub body.
Driveside: 2-cross, DT Revolution 17/15/17ga butted round spokes
Non-driveside: radial, DT Aerolite spokes, elbows out for max. stiffness.
Rim: Velocity Aerohead OCR.


 FRONT is a fairly aerodynamic, shock absorbing, light Spinergy XAERO Lite with PBO fiber spokes that take care of the shock absorbing way better than any steel spoked one.

*Check the cheeky monkeys at Wellgo, sneaking in this lil message on their pedals: