OK OK I know what your thinking , Colnago Extreme power + Campag EPS - piss off daddy rich , this is the LFGSS - but hear me out , this isn't going to be a credit card shagging exercise , far from it , I work within the bike industry so therefore not rich , but I do have a bit of a passion for Italian bikes and can be pretty creative when it comes not spending too much, have a look at the Masi I built on here last Winter https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/297877/ give you some idea of how this project will go (hopefully!)
Now the seeds of this project were sown last Summer when a friend/customer of mine gifted me this;
Colnago Extreme Power Frame in the gorgeous ST01 tricolor paint job , I have the matching forks as well . I built this up for him a few years back with a full DA groupset and looked after it since , I've ridden it many times and it's a real treat , I've been quietly coveting it for years (not that quietly come to think of it!) and now it's mine! But there's a problem , a big fuck off problem , this is one sick puppy;
Got stacked in a race and the cast alloy dropout cracked , if you look at the pictures you can see where it's had a previous repair as well. Most carbon repair shops shy away from this job , but luckily I know a man who can , ED at London Carbon repairs , he's repaired a few of these in the past by grafting in a CNC machined titanium fork end , he's on the case now.
Not long after acquiring the frame, I had the loan of a Bottecchia with an Athena EPS groupset for a week, now I will stick my hand up and confess, I'am one of those old scrotes who think electronic gears are unnecessary (true), will break down and leave you stranded in top gear (possible), will catch fire and kill you (probably not), but after using EPS for a week I'am totally sold!
So that's the plan , fix the Nag frame , get S/H Campag EPS upgrade kit and build up. Now the more astute among you will know , that the Extreme Power frame is mechanical only , yep I know that, and this is where the project gets interesting , so this will be a full retro refit , so hole drilling etc , not too much on the interweb on this , but I've done stuff like this before and I'm confident I can do a good job, the goal being to make look as 'factory ' as possible.
This is going to be good...
I can fix you your frame if you want. The new dropout cut on cnc mill will rescue the frame.
I'd get your carbon repair guy to do the drilling ... he'll probably drill a cleaner hole, do the edge sealing better, etc ...
Wise words indeed Graeme , and point taken. But I fancy the challenge and I should point out , I'm not a kid with a Black & Decker, I'm an old bloke with 35 years in the trade and I liked to think that I have the skills and tools to do the job. In fact I have been busying myself recently practicing on trashed carbon frames at work , and yes there's more to it than drilling random holes.
Of course, I have no way to know your skill set, but from experience in the field, I'd be cautious.
Success or failure depends entirely on your knowledge of carbon fibre and of the frame concerned. Bear in mind one of the holes that you need to drill is either on the head tube, just behind the head tube on the top tube, or just behind the head tube on the downtube.
If it was me (aside from what I do for Campagnolo, I am a frame designer and have been dealing with CF virtually all my working life, since the very early days of the Vitus Carbone 3, TVT and Alan 'cross frames of that era) I'd be exceedingly careful and despite long experience of working with the material, would, personally, go to a specialist who can internally examine the frame after the holes are drilled and do so properly, to determine the degree of damage done to the innermost surface, as well as properly seal the drillings and the surrounding area inside the frame.
If a frame fails on the front end of the downtube or top tube, the results are never pretty.
Frames back! with it's new Ti fork end;
Frame came back before I had time to talk to Ed about drilling the frame as suggested by @gfk_velo , but by chance I got chatted to one of my customers yesterday , who , it turns out works at the R&D department of a company that builds and repairs CF boats and fittings , he also warned against me doing it myself, but offered to take the job on , as long as I did the final sanding and clear coat , he's also left his road bike with me for some work , so could well be an exchange of goods and services that makes the world a slightly better place.This likely to take a few weeks as he has to take the the frame to Portsmouth , that's fine by me as I still need a few bits to finish the build anyway. Last picture of the complete with forks and headset before surgery.
Stunning ! I'd like to lick that titanium drop out It's so #drool !
Tom , the composite guy, has done the drilling on the frame and the appropriate sealing , he also removed all the cable stops and filled the holes not used for wiring, with epoxy. All's good, but he has warned me that I will have to attend to the paintwork on the headtube/downtube lug , that's fine by me. He also reassured me that the carbon was especially thick at the safety critical headlug.
Going to have to be patient as he's not back in London for another couple of weeks.
As I don't recall anyone doing a EPS build on here , I thought I'd give a quick guide on buying a used Campag EPS upgrade kit.
Firstly , unlike 11 speed mechanical , mixing groups is a lot more limited, either Athena / Chorus or Record , Super Record, they don't mix as they have different connectors.
Then there's the 3 versions ,early version V1 , that's the group with the fugly external battery, V2 sets which have an internal battery . There's also the latest V3 , which I ruled out as it's new on the market and way over what I wanted to spend , and I think it involves using a phone ap , which I would almost certainly fuck up and have to take the walk of shame to my son to sort out .
The shifters and derailleurs , are really robust and reliable , so just avoid crashed and abused stuff and you'll be fine . The PU (power unit) is a bigger gamble used , simply because involves batteries , I got lucky with mine, but it's certainly worth thinking about getting new one @ £250+.
Don't forget , you'll need the correct charger , a new one is a good idea , I picked one up for £35 from Planet X, which was a bit random. Once you've got that lot sorted out you will need the DTI unit (the little black box that goes under the stem) make sure you get the right one! . Lastly you need a pack of grommets and if you are using Campag's Ultra Torque cranks, you will need the guide that goes between the 2 bearings to stop the internal wires in the BB area getting chewed up.
My original intention was to go with V2 Chorus, as this offers the best ' bang for buck ' , my budget was 'less than £500 'and consequently, I was being constantly outbid on Ebay . Then I 'accidentally' won a Record front mech for £30 , so ,as I had the whole Summer and Autumn to get the parts , I just chipped away at it ;
so for the grand sum of £476 we have a full Record upgrade kit with (oh yes) Super Record rear mech . I have connected it all up , and it works fine. Quick word of warning, it's easy to connect the various connectors, but requires the correct (and expensive tool) to disconnect or very agile fingers , I have very agile fingers!
What’s that big black box? Charger? Can’t imagine it fitting anywhere on a bike...
Looking forward to this build!
That rear mech is (super) awesome.
Great price for that lot. Kudos to your #buyer skills.
So Tom brought the frame round at the weekend , I must admit I was a bit apprehensive , despite my lengthy instructions , there was always the chance he could of but a hole in the wrong place . But breath out and relax , everything's fine , spot on in fact . The boy knows his stuff , and went into some detail of the work he does and the work done on the frame , I now know more about delamination etc than is probably healthy.
Summery of work done;
Head tube cable stops removed , 3 rivet holes epoxy filled remaining hole enlarged for EPS cable
Chainstay cable stop removed, 1 rivet hole epoxy filled, other hole enlarged for RD cable
Hole drilled for FD cable
Charger hole drilled under downtube BB lug , as per Colnago C60
All exposed holes have been shaped and sealed
That's what the expert did , which left me to sort out the paintwork on the head lug. This turned out to be easier and more satisfying than I was expecting . Sanding down the epoxy that Tom used to fill the rivet holes was quick and easy , starting off with 80 grit paper and steadily working through ever finer grades , finishing off with 1000 grade grit paper with lots of water. Final polish with some T Cut , I was very pleased to see that the epoxy used is a very close colour match to the carbon on the Nag frame . Lastly I masked around the head lug and gave 4 coats of clear lacquer.
Really pleased with the way this has turned out.
Very nicely done.
indeed, curios to see this develop
Subbed. This looks insane
Apologies for the radio silence on the build , not my fault , Mrs Cino forced me to go to southern Spain and then cruelly allowed me to go out riding in the sun every day , all very traumatic . Talking of trauma's , it's coming up to internal wiring time on the project . Now trying to do this sort of job with time constraints and constant interruptions, i.e at work , is frustrating and annoying , I mean the job always gets done , but not always without a Morrissey type hissy fit. So with this in mind I'm doing the work at home "not if you start shouting and scaring the cat",no there will be silence ,Tranquilo , as I will be in the zone , total concentration , sound of one hand clapping etc. Anyway me and the cat are best buds after that little incident a few weeks back, when Pedro (as in Delgardo) left an unfeasibly large dead rat outside the front door , this horrified
Mrs C,but hugely impressed me , I gave him cat treats and an extra bang on the cat nip.
Anyway I will get cracking on this next week , promise, and as a little teaser ,and because I like to live on the ragged edge , a proper 'hack' maybe involved , stay tuned.
Tool time , we all love tools here , right? As I'm going to be dropping the power unit into the seat tube, I will need the Campag PU installation tool . But, as it's basically a rod with a male M4 thread ,to fit the PU , I saved myself £50 by making my own . Easy enough , just a length of M12 threaded rod, found in the workshop , drilled and tapped M4 thread to approx 6mm depth . Then I screwed in a 12mm M4 alan screw until it bottomed out , then cut the head off and cleaned the threads.
The business end
fitted to PU
Another tool, not strictly necessary , but very handy , it's save me loads of time in the past, is this tool by Jagwire
It has a flexible 'trunk' with a strong magnet on the end , which you get right into holes in frames and pull out hidden wires quickly.
The Jagwire tool is great, cheaper and better than the park tool one.
Didn't fancy a 3 hour ride in sub zero conditions today , so opted for a HIIT turbo trainer torture session instead , which gave me some unexpected spare time to crack on with Colnago.
Before starting this project there were 3 crucial measurements to check;
1, Does the PU fit down the seat tube? , well yes, until it reaches the intruding bottle cage rivnuts , then it's very tight but does just squeeze into place (phew)
2, Is the bottom bracket shell drilled , Thankfully Colnalgo, presumably for lightness, have drilled holes in all the right places in the shell , although the hole at the bottom of the seat tube is barely big enough for the necessary 3 wires to pass through.
3, Will a EPS wire and female connector run through the R/H chainstay? On a lot of frames this would be a fail , but the Extreme Power , with it's capacious chainstays there's no such issues.
Right , so I know it should all fit, but not without a struggle.
I used basic gear inner cables as guides to route the EPS wires through the frame. It's relatively easy to thread the gear cable through the frame especially with the Jagwire tool , ending with all 4 gear cables exiting the top of the seat tube, nipples first , I also colour coded the gear wires to match the colour codes on the EPS wires.
Next , I temporarily taped the PU to the top tube and then joined the gear cables nipples to the EPS connectors, head to head,and taped them together tightly with electrical tape.
This is where things got a bit tricky . After removing the PU from the top tube ,I fitting the installation tool and carefully and slowly began lowering the PU down the seat tube, at the same time gentle pulling on the tales of the guide wires. First EPS wire through the frame was for the front mech. Now the 3 remaining wires all need to go through into BB shell. The charging port has the biggest head , so went through first , then it was a case of teasing the other 2 cables through being very conscious of not pulling or yanking at the cables , impatients here could be very costly!
With that performance finished it was time to maneuver the PU into place . The PU has a channel
running down its length , the idea is to line this channel up with the intruding rivnuts and then lower until the 2 threaded holes in the PU line up with the bottle cage bosses . Because of the tight fit, this took an age of delicate pushing and tweaking but I got there in the end , finally bolting the bastard thing to the frame with 2 M4 studs through the bottle bosses. With the PU in place , I unscrewed the installation rod with the sincere hope that I won't have to use it for a long time.
Next challenge was getting the charge port to exit through it's hole underneath the BB shell , this was more difficult than I was expecting, but perseverance paid off in the end. Thankfully the rear mech and DTI cables both pulled through without any drama's.
Well that's one massive hurdle out the way , the cat can relax , I can drink beer.
I'll leave you with a pic of the BB shell , you can just see the wires and also the charging port in place
I adore lugged Colnagos. One day I might even be able to buy one.
Love this project.
On here, and all over the internet, you will find loads of info on how to how to hide the Shimano Di2 junction box , for the clean look . The Campag DTI unit straps on the stem , just like the Di2 unit , but I've not come across anyone successfully hiding it . There's good reason for this , the only place you could hide it ,is inside the stem, which would mean cutting out a gap for the wires , which on modern lightweight stems is, well , just not worth the risk. The other reason is , you need to be able to see the LED on the unit , it tells you if the battery's charged , and is also needed for you (or a tech) to set the system up and for diagnostics.
Over the last year or so ,I've had a number of Trek's come through the workshop with rather intriguing Bontrager stems , they have gaping mouths above and below the bars
Apparently , the gaps are designed for various light and gizmo brackets to fit into , but I'm thinking , plenty of room for the DTI wires on the lower gap , and maybe the LED will be just visible through the upper gap. Fortunately , Bontrager do a decent range of stems with this feature (awkwardly called 'blendr') and I was able to pick up a -17 degree one I need.
This turned out to be a really easy hack , firstly pack some bubblewrap into the stem , then push the unit in wires first LED up , bend the wires back underneath the unit and back out through the lower gap . Next pack some double sided sticky pads under the unit , to keep it in place and also to raise it so that it's high enough for the LED to be visible through the top gap , probably make sense when you see the pics;
There you go DTI box completely hidden !! , shot also shows DTI wire and rear brake cable attached together with heat shrink , and the cable entering the frame.
I'm proper stoked with this , it's very satisfying when an idea actually works!
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