I’ve been on the lookout for a new road bike frame for a few months after a few issues with the Daccordi. It’s been a great bike but the rear mech hanger has been bent a couple of times and had to be bent back into shape and because it’s a number of years old a new hanger has been impossible to find a replacement.
What I didn’t want to happen was for hanger to go again and to have no road bike and be forced into getting one relatively quickly. It is a real shame to have to replace a bike because of a £15 part but if you can’t get one, you just can’t get one!
What I did have though was my original DCH Viner Gladius from the Outlaw when I first started riding as a donor bike. In truth it was too large for me anyway and has sat in the garage for a while occasionally donating parts to the Daccordi!
So on with the build.
I ended up buying a second hand Argon 18 Radon frame from ebay for £225 and was aiming to buy as little else and keep the bike as cheap as possible.
I’ve mucked around with most bike parts but one thing I hadn’t done was remove or replace a bottom bracket and crankset so I was a little nervous about the first part of the operation. I borrowed the appropriate Park Tool from a friend (thanks Simon!) and with that it was a relatively easy operation and with a dash of copper grease the Miche Race crank was moved.
Next up were the fork and stem and it was beginning to look a little like a bike.
After that were the brakes and derailleurs. I had to buy a rear derailleur as the DCH bike had already donated it’s RD to the Daccordi and I’d like to be able to sell that as a complete bike to offset the cost of this one. For the front I used a SRAM rival FD I had lying around. It had been attached to the Focus TT frame when I bought that last year. I picked up the RD from Ribble with an added discount voucher.
The brakes were Veloce, again taken from the DCH although I needed another lock nut for the rear brake as this had also been previously donated to the Daccordi! I had a spare from the Chorus brakes I had bought for the Focus.
From the DCH I used the Cinelli Vai bars and stem and the Veloce shifters and cutting the cables as close as possible to the ferrules I even managed to reuse all the cables.
After the chain was on – a KMC job and another thing I bought – with my Mavic Open Pro Powertap training wheel it was really just a finishing job. I had bought new black bar tape for the bars and adjusted the cable tension for the indexing, moved the Shimano pedals over from the Daccordi and the bottle cages from the DCH.
One thing that was slightly tricky was adjusting the headset properly. It was an incredibly fine line between the fork binding and there being play in the headset. I did check to see if the sealed bearing were oriented properly but they were. The seat post and Specialized saddle came straight from the Daccordi and after a bit of fiddling with the seat (the Argon had a slightly longer top tube and the seat needed to be moved forward a couple of CM) it was ready to go.
It looks really good in the flesh and having ridden it now for 10 days or so it is a really nice ride. It handles well and is a good fit for me. Hopefully it will see me through a few years more riding – I’ll make sure I buy a spare derailleur hanger as well at some point!
Total cost? Well I bought a bit but not too much.
Frame £225 + postage
Rear derailleur £50
Bar Tape £8
Total cost £318
Hopefully I’ll make some of that back as well when selling the Daccordi. I’ll probably sell the DCH/Gladius frame as well. There is a dent in the seat tube from the fron derailleur but it still functions fine. Someboddy might want it as a frame for the turbo. It has seen good duty for me, taking me around the Outlaw and now as a parts donor for the Argon.