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Build vs Buy - OEM Components ?

must-tri-hardermust-tri-harder Posts: 219
edited February 2010 in Workshop
Quick stupid question before i even contemplate building my own race bike. Having built several PC's from scratch I know you can get OEM components at a sometimes significantly lower price than when paying full retail.

Does the same apply to OEM bike parts and if so where can I get them ? I know Billy LBS owner wants to make his cut and that's fine if he's adding value and/or providing me with some kind of service, if i'm buying direct(ish) and building it myself then surely there are savings to be had ?!

I reckon we're probably looking at a fairly substantial mark-up on the cost price of your average groupset, or am I very much mistaken and margins are ridiculously tight in the bike building industry ?

Persuade me one way or the other, I am open to suggestions. If only i'd got myself that euromillions ticket i wouldn't have to think about it ..


  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Ribble/CRC/Merlin are the main places that tend to sell stuff which is OEM. It's rare that's it's labelled as OEM though, it just comes in bubble wrap with instructions.
    I like bikes...

  • merlin are the big ones for OE stuff.

    However you still get better spec off the shelf. It is worth it if you're picky about what you want though.

    Alternatively buy a very good VFM euro bike and transfer the parts onto your frame of choice and sell the old frame.
  • oh and planet-x do some outrageously cheap parts like the current deal on a DA gruppo.
  • i did wonder how some of those shops keep the price down, i guess it makes little difference to most people if your SRAM Red derraileur comes in a little red velvet bag and a glossy box or not, if it was significantly cheaper without i know which one i would be buying.

    it's obviously an advantage building in that you can spec yourself exactly what you want, and these little things do make a difference to those of who do care about what you are riding and how it works.

    I suppose a combination of sneaky ebay bargains and selective shopping around is going more of a ball ache than snapping up a full groupset bundle, kind of makes sense.

    So what sort of frame might i like ?! this didnt get any easier yet. Cervelo look pretty don't they, but then so does practicaly everything else over £1500.
  • have you considered getting a custom build ribble ?

    I did this about 5 years ago with their Deda Scandium frame and Veloce groupset. I basically specified the exact bars, stem, forks, tape etc I wanted and they build it up.

    Collected it about 2 weeks later.

    It may not have a top end badge on it but is doesn't have a top end price tag either. I can't fault mine for £1300 it came in at 8kg without pedals which I consider to be a good weight. and is the spec i wanted. The bike is very responsive and climbs well.
  • Wiggle have some OEM stuff at the moment and it is marked as such.
    Whyte 905 (2009)
    Trek 1.5 (2009)
    Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp (2007)
  • I'm always happy to get OEM if it's cheaper. I bought some OEM bits from Wiggle and it came boxed and exactly as a 'full price' stuff anyway.

    I've seen a few shops advertising components as being superior to OEM, but it's hogwash, they're always identical IME.
  • Always found Ribble to be best groupset prices (sometimes Merlin have some stuff they want to shift, and are hard to beat then, especially on OE factory wheels) but Ribble are usually where it`s at for best price on Shimano (and maybe Campag, never had any so can`t say)

    Merlin had full 6700 Ultegra groupsets for £500 last week, for one week only :)
    Jens says "Shut up legs !! "

    Specialized S-Works SaxoBank SL4 Tarmac Di2
  • Steve_b77Steve_b77 Posts: 1,680
    However you still get better spec off the shelf. It is worth it if you're picky about what you want though.

    Can you quantify that when it comes to road parts?

    I believe that sometimes in OE suspension forks the damping circuitry can be different, but what differs on road parts as there is nothing as complicated as a suspension fork on a road bike :?:
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    OEM is usually the same as boxed retail, but not always, and it could go either way.
    For some pedals (Time ATAC, Shimano A530), you may get pedal reflectors with the OEM version that you don't with standard boxed.
    When Chainreaction were selling OEM Stronglight Impact chainsets for £30 in their sale, they came with steel rings rather than the alloy ones you get normally.
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