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Building a bike from frame up, and sourcing parts

dcurzondcurzon Posts: 290
edited August 2010 in The workshop
Hi all
Whilst i have been looking around to buy a bike, the idea has come to mind that i could possibly build one... this way, i get all the specs that i'd like, rather than specs of a pre-built bike.

I have plenty of spanners experience (raced motorcycles for too many years) so tools and fear of them are not an issue. Biggest issue really would be knowing what is compatible with what (eg. would a triple fit with xyz frame etc)

Is it worth looking into going down this path? My other theory is that i could pick up a working complete bike, and maintaining that would give me a bit more knowledge on bicycle mechanics, as well as plenty of time to self build.
B'Twin Sport 1
FCN 7 =4, +2(non cycling clothes) +1(beard)

Posts

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    will cost more if you buy separate parts.

    find a good LBS and talk to them about what you want and see what they could build it for.


    but most things will fit most frames.

    have a look at Parktools and Sheldons sites for How Tos and what tools are needed.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Ian.BIan.B Posts: 732
    Having recently done just that, I would say definitely build one up yourself. I bought a two year old low mileage frame on ebay - about 1000 miles claimed, which seemed genuine as far as you can judge - I took my time about it (around a year gradually gathering the bits and building it very slowly), learnt a lot in the process and now have a unique bike I am very pleased with. Yes, it can cost you more than buying a new bike, but if you're not in a hurry (mine is a second bike) and you can take your time to pick up bargains as and when you see them, and if you are happy to have parts that are not the current model year, it's not necessarily more expensive. I've got quite a few Campag bits from about 2007 model year whcih you can get a lot cheaper than current stuff, and I reckon a new bike of equivalent spec to mine would cost about £500 more than I paid all in.
  • PeterBLPeterBL Posts: 209
    nicklouse wrote:
    will cost more if you buy separate parts.

    That depends on what you want. Yes, you probably can't duplicate a Trek 1.2 any cheaper, but if you have special wishes, eg. drop bars with internal gearhub or a dynamo hub, it might just as well be cheaper.
  • dcurzondcurzon Posts: 290
    PeterBL wrote:
    nicklouse wrote:
    will cost more if you buy separate parts.
    .... but if you have special wishes, eg. drop bars with internal gearhub or a dynamo hub, it might just as well be cheaper.

    these words are a foreign language to me...
    B'Twin Sport 1
    FCN 7 =4, +2(non cycling clothes) +1(beard)
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    PeterBL wrote:
    nicklouse wrote:
    will cost more if you buy separate parts.

    That depends on what you want. Yes, you probably can't duplicate a Trek 1.2 any cheaper, but if you have special wishes, eg. drop bars with internal gearhub or a dynamo hub, it might just as well be cheaper.

    it is fact, you dont have the same buying power. I am talking about new parts bought singly.

    but if you go to a bike shop and buy the parts all at the same time then yes a discount would be expected.

    then there is Ebay and used parts that is a totally different story.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • flatericflateric Posts: 201
    Hi, i am doing a similar ish thing.

    I picked up a bike from a web site called freecycle, as the name suggests stuff is given away!

    The bike, a claude butler chinook with alloy frame was an ex commuting bike so every component is knackered, but will be ok post rebuild.

    Once you build a bike, or even strip down a scrap one you will feel confident to tackle most repairs, you also get used to handling tools specific to bikes, so its got to be worth it. you would save just on reduced servicing costs.
    Bike one Dawes Acoma (heavily modified)
    Bike two (trek) Lemond Etape (dusty and not ridden much)
    Bike Three Claude Butler chinook, (freebee from
    Freecycle, Being stripped and rebuilt
    (is 3 too many bikes)
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    +1 for building the bike up yourself on the grounds that it is highly satisfying and while it may be more expensive in the short term, you will save money in the long run because of being able to take care of all your maintenance needs.
  • wgwarburtonwgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    dcurzon wrote:
    ...Whilst i have been looking around to buy a bike, the idea has come to mind that i could possibly build one...
    ...Is it worth looking into going down this path?

    Definitely worth looking into.
    My other theory is that i could pick up a working complete bike, and maintaining that would give me a bit more knowledge on bicycle mechanics, as well as plenty of time to self build.

    I'd recommend this approach. It will let you accumulate experience, perhaps give you a better understanding of what you really want before embarking on a ground-up build from brand-new parts and also avoid getting nickel-&-dimed for odd parts- buying small spares like (say) pump pegs, cable guides or mounting brackets for stuff can end up costing more than you'd expect... If you start with a reasonable bike then this sort of thing can be minimised.

    Cheers,
    W.
  • el_presidenteel_presidente Posts: 1,963
    All 5 of the bikes in my house have been built from the frame up (well the Giant has only had the wheels / crank / front mech replaced but close enough)

    Highly recommended, it is very satisfying. Here is the thread for my latest build:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12699673

    First decision is what is the bike for? Which will influence your decision of frame&forks, wheels and gearing.

    then budget.

    then keep your eye open on ebay / BR classifieds or go new if you have the cash. You can do all the jobs at home if you are willing to invest in the tools with the possible exception of facing BBs and headtubes.

    you will get lots of advice on here and as others have said Park tools / Sheldon Brown are great resources.

    If you are a mechanically minded person you will enjoy it and will learn a lot.
    <a>road</a>
  • dcurzondcurzon Posts: 290
    i've stumbled upon a lovely looking frame that i'm considering as the starting point. We'll see. Maybe i'll get it and stash it away in the garage

    Funds are a little limited, so maybe a Decathlon Sport1 in the meantime.
    B'Twin Sport 1
    FCN 7 =4, +2(non cycling clothes) +1(beard)
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    I have now built 4 bikes up from near bare frames up, using only my normal car toolkit and the bike specific Lidl special, its really very easy if you are sued to the compexities of motorised travel and very enjoyable and satisfying.

    Building all new will be expensive, but sourcing judiciously from ebay or the classified on here can see you build a bike that if it were new would cost twice as much (my Xt rear mech although used was 1/2 the price of a new Alivio, I know what I'd rather have!), sometimes you have to make a compromise, but at least you know exactly the compromise you have made and how to fix it later, usually you'll only be out the P&P when you sell the part you no longer need on again!

    I got my commuter on the road for about £230, now spent about £260, but to buy a similar spec new would cost twice as much, my MTB worked even better, costing me about £140 to build what would be a £450 bike new, my daughters MTB cost about £70 to build and can probably be sold for £100.

    Simon
  • dcurzondcurzon Posts: 290
    well, the frame i had my eye on is a non starter, as it was the wrong size... back to the drawing board...

    anyone got an orbea aqua frame,size 57, in black+silver?
    B'Twin Sport 1
    FCN 7 =4, +2(non cycling clothes) +1(beard)
  • dcurzondcurzon Posts: 290
    an update: i picked up a sport1 at the weekend, to get me mobile for the 6mile commute to the station. Still interested in building something myself though, just love a project!

    Have looked at the popular Ribble 7005 frames, which look nice. Any reason i shouldnt go for the TT frame though? They're not much more £'s, but i'm wondering if the geometry would be too suited for racing to be able to use as a commuter.

    Anything else out there in the same sort of price bracket that is worth a look?
    B'Twin Sport 1
    FCN 7 =4, +2(non cycling clothes) +1(beard)
  • UchigaUchiga Posts: 230
    Well Building a Bike Can Be Great Fun And If you're Careful it Can Sometimes Be Cheaper. The Thing Is It's Not That much Cheaper. I Considered Building a road bike. I wanted to buy a Scott Speedster S10 did some research and i could build it with better specs but it wasnt much cheaper than buying it brand new. You have to really look hard to find it a worthwhile thing. If you have plenty of money to blow and you really know what you want exactly it might be worth it. i have however decided that i should really upgrade the bikes im riding currently so any money i had saved for my road bike project have been better spent on my XC bike now :P
  • dcurzondcurzon Posts: 290
    for me, its about being able to look at it afterwards, and saying 'yup, i did that'...
    B'Twin Sport 1
    FCN 7 =4, +2(non cycling clothes) +1(beard)
  • flatericflateric Posts: 201
    dcurzon wrote:
    for me, its about being able to look at it afterwards, and saying 'yup, i did that'...

    I am looking at the pile of bits in my garage, contemplating the cost of fixing it all and wondering why i started :roll:
    Bike one Dawes Acoma (heavily modified)
    Bike two (trek) Lemond Etape (dusty and not ridden much)
    Bike Three Claude Butler chinook, (freebee from
    Freecycle, Being stripped and rebuilt
    (is 3 too many bikes)
  • It will never be 'finished', you'll never stop buying bits and tinkering and adjusting... or maybe that's just me! :)
    FCN 7

    "Always carry a firearm east of Aldgate, Watson"
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