Part 3 of 4: Groupset
STI’s: Shimano XTR M900
I’ve collected quite a few M900 XTR STI parts in the past few months, so I broke everything down into bits and made the best set I could. This good set was then built up and lubricated, they look and work great. The shifter pod bolts have been replaced with M5 10mm ti bolts which won’t rust when water collects in them.
Cantilevers: Shimano XTR M900
Once again I’ve collected a fair few M900 XTR canti parts, unfortunately not enough though as I was missing the right side front arm and a straddle wire. I‘m still waiting for a front right arm and straddle wire to arrive from Canada, however as this bike is being built to take the strain (literally) off the Raleigh I‘ve stolen these parts off it to complete the project. I’ve fitted them with the original brake blocks, but these will be replaced with new Aztec ones for riding as the originals are rare and brake performance will be improved with new rubber. The bolts have been replaced with titanium ones with M6 10mm ones on the straddle wire hangers and M6 25mm ones on the canti pivots. The washers have been smartened up with a M900 shifter blue respray. Canti’s can be a pain to set up correctly, I refered to this guide to get it right:
Front Mech: Shimano XTR M900
It’s always the case isn’t it. A week before you find your next project you sell a part you think you’ll never need, only to find it’s exactly what you need. So after finding another at double the price I sold mine at, I now have a 28.6mm bottom pull M900 XTR front mech. On a positive note the condition of the mech is excellent.
Rear Mech: Shimano XTR M900
The rear mech arrived a little scruffy, but I think I’ve managed to turn it around. The ceramic jockey wheel was broke, as was the bearing type one. Luckily I had some spares and replaced like for like. The bolts were starting to corrode and so the break away bolt was replaced with a Venhill 10.8g titanium one and the other bolts treated with some Locktite rust treatment. I did buy some M5 ti bolts to replace the cable bolt but 10mm ones are just too long. I might cut one down to size in future though if the rust returns.
Bottom Bracket; Shimano UN-73
Picked up this lovely bottom bracket from the forum in NOS condition. No lightweight but will be smooth and hassle free for many years to come. The chain line should be spot on for M900 too with a 107mm axle length.
Chainset: Shimano XTR M900
To buy a M900 XTR chainset in top quality condition your into big bucks, so I’ve taken to restoring mine the same as I did on the Raleigh project. The cranks are rubbed down using 400 grade wet and dry and then polished up through the grades up to 2000 grade, a few polishes later with Autosol and they are like mirrors. New Middleburn self extracting crank bolts have been fitted, I was planning on using Brand X self extracting bolts but I had problem with the non drive side and had to send them back to CRC. New Middleburn chainring bolts were fitted utilising the old but cleaned up chainrings which have lots of life remaining. The inner ring is secured used using new TA Specialities titanium bolts from SJS cycles and Autosoled M900 chainring spacers. The ring sizes are 26, 36 and 46. I seriously considered getting the chain ring and crank bolts anodised orange, i'm sure this would of looked awesome but i'm extremely happy with the all silver look.
Cassette: Shimano XTR M900
I had a few M900 cassette’s to choose from with varying ratio’s and conditions. I plumped for a lightly used Q-Type 11-28t cassette. I’m using this gearing on the Raleigh and it works well so I’ll stick with what I know. In the past you could pick up NOS M900 cassettes without an issues from SJS cycles but sadly that supply looks to have dried up. You now see them going for silly money on ebay. I’ve seen a few of these cassettes with loose rings, these are almost impossible to repair due to the small heads on the securing screws. To date I’ve experienced no such problems though.
Chain: SRAM PC890
I recently fitted a SRAM cassette to mates bike I was repairing and loved the quality and ease of fitted it provided for reasonable money. So instead of going down the Shimano route of HG-91 chains as I did with my Raleigh I went for the top of the 8 speed range SRAM PC890. Looks great and fitting with the ‘power-link’ was a breeze.
Pedals: Shimano SPD M737
I’ve been waiting to fit these to a project for a while. They were in a really poor condition when I got them, huge scratches down the sides and very little paint remaining. I stripped them right down to their components and resprayed each part. Gil_m kindly made up some reverse ‘SHIMANO’ decals for me which I used for spraying 'SHIMANO' onto the sides. Whilst they were stripped the bearings were serviced also.
Cables: Shimano XTR
Modern cables are great and the XTR versions look and work fantastic. I’ve gone with the XTR grey type on both brakes and gears, these will work well with the rest of the groupset and indeed the Syncros stem. Instead of using the modern rubber cable boots that seal the cable in, I went with the more traditional ferrules. These cost a few extra quid from CRC but are much more in keeping with the era.
Cassette and Chain:
To be continued…