Welcome to our Ask a Mechanic column where our expert mechanic Daniel Slusser answers your bike maintenance questions. If you have a question for Daniel, please post it on our Facebook Wall or e-mail Daniel directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question: I have a Cervelo R3 and want to use my SRAM Red GXP crankset with it because it has 165mm arms, and it is hard to find 165mm long BBRight compatible cranksets. I have read your article on what the options there are for BBRight to GXP, but I am still bewildered. Which options would you recommend with weather sealing in mind? Do I have to epoxy the assemblies to the frame?
Another thing, I don’t know how to get the right and left SRAM shifters to be identical in height and angle besides eyeing it; it bothers me if they’re not completely symmetrical. How do you do it in the shop? Any at home solutions? Any tools I can buy? From: James
Answer: This is the BBRight adaptor you need. A pdf of the installation instructions can be found just under the product image (we are starting to include tech docs/manuals for most products on the Art’s website now).
Do not epoxy the bottom bracket or the adaptors in place. Install both the bottom bracket and the adaptors dry (no grease). If you do develop any creaking, a light coat of grease can help, but the grease will lead to more creaking later when the grease wicks dirt into the interface. It’s a process that will need to be constantly repeated if you go this route. I don’t have any special instructions regarding weather sealing. The stock seals on Sram’s PF30/PF-BBRight bearings work really well. You could use a marine grease or Vaseline on the interface to keep water out, but you will run into the same creaking issues down the road.
Aligning brake levers is always a struggle to do perfectly. I personally align them by eye and by feel. Really good lighting helps with this method. Getting paid to do it a hundred times helps too. Another method I’ve used is to take a ruler and place it against the flat portion of the bar at the bottom of the drops. Measure from the tip of the brake lever to the straight edge of the ruler and then get that measurement to match on both sides. This method takes a bit longer, but it is good for inexperienced mechanics.
Daniel Slusser is a professional bicycle mechanic with over ten years of experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from HSU and a master’s degree in history from Cal Poly. When he is not riding, wrenching, or writing he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.