You spend hundreds, if not thousands, on the bike you ride and yet many overlook the skills it takes to get it running 100%. With older groupsets, there was always room for error, but with todays modern 10/11 speed groupsets and components, it does take having some knowledge in order to get them running 100%.
Unfortunately, I had yet to find a mechanic in Central London, who knew how to do this (went to a number of big-chain bike shops, not the cheap ones either and the bikes always returned with me unhappy). Thankfully, an evening with Roleur and Rapha introduced me to one Rohan Dubash.
Here’s a man who lives and breathes bikes and has the most obsessive attention to details one could wish for. Simply put, there wasn’t anyone else I felt could tune the Colnago Master to how I wanted it to be.
Armed with the frame, various boxes of bits I’d collected over the past year, I headed down south to his place to start the build. Thankfully he offers a service that allows you to have a one-on-one session at the same time, which is great in that it allows you to ask stupid questions without feeling like a tit.
Once we had stripped down the Dream, attention was placed on the various bits. To give you an idea about the obsessive nature of Rohan, he spent a good five minutes polishing up the Colnago carbon fork, before installing it. I’d never done that, let alone a bike shop that had the audacity to charge me £150 quid. The frame was prepared, and the installation begun. Because I’d decided on using Rotor Q-rings, with the required chain catcher, we stumbled upon a problem where the braze-on bolt wouldn’t work. Now usually how this ends up, is that the mechanic would pick up the phone and go “sorry mate, part wont fit, will need to buy ‘X’ instead.
All rather bollocks really, thankfully Rohan had the insight to fashion out a suitable washer out of one from his vast collection of bolts. Ten minutes later, numerous tweaks with the file and we had a working bolt and a chain catcher that fitted snuggly into the bracket. The rest of the build was educational, from getting the Campagnolo rear derailleur shifting as it should (smooth as a baby’s arse) sorting out the sticky brakes (again, this would have been suggested to me that they were knackered and I should replace).
The end result is a bike that not only feels amazing to ride, but components that work. So many on Internet forums complain about their Rotor Q-rings shifting badly, yet mine are 100%. I think we are too quick to overlook the skills and talent that some have and it was a pleasure to see Rohan work and use his experience in solving bike-related issues.
As more people turn to cycling, and indeed spend a fair sum on getting the latest bling, I think services like the ones that Rohan offers, become all the more important. He will be building up my race Colnago shortly, as well as my Campagnolo Delta-equipped Eddy Merckx.