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Building my first road bike

tobiii95tobiii95 Posts: 43
edited August 2011 in Workshop
I am 15 years old and thinking of making my own road bike. So i dont really have much cycling know how but i am thinking of getting an old cheap frame and using a tiagra groupset, but is it possible to fit this groupset to a bike that is roughly 15-20 years old and has down shifters?
Also, is tiagra the best groupset to use if i am on a small budget eg. £200-250 for the groupset and does anyone know where a good place to buy a groupset is?


  • lucasf09lucasf09 Posts: 160
    The road frame should work with tiagra, or any groupset. You will have to change to bits where the down shifters attach to cable stops, and you should be good to go. However, as many people might say, you could also leave the down shifters, as they will work with a modern group as well.
    As for your budget, you could try to get a 105 or similar second hand, like I did, of the internet, but if you want to go new, tiagra is probably the best option. As far as I'm aware the other big two don't make groupsets that cheap, as their lines start at shimano 105 level.
    Good places to look are merlin, jj cycles, chainreactions, etc. For second hand, this sight, eBay, cycling weekly I think have a classified, etc.
    Hope this helps.
  • If you're on a small budget, building a bike from parts may not be the most cost effective way. Especially as you don't have that much experience
    You may concentrate on the big sticker items such as a groupset and wheels, but all the ancillaries such as cables, chains, bar tape etc all start to eat into the budget.

    You're best bet is to get something second hand but complete off ebay or gumtree. You can then start riding immediately and upgrade the components when you've saved more money.
  • robd75robd75 Posts: 147
    I'm with stiff_orange on this, for your budget I think that you will be better off spending the £250 on a complete second hand bike, you can then upgrade and replace as you go. Tyres, tubes cables, tape, pedals etc alll add up really fast. Don't forget if you are doing your first build you will also need some tools and these aren't always cheap either.
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    A word of warning on using older frames too (aside from the risk of them being corroded) - the width between the rear dropouts for a frame that originally had 5 or 6 speeds was 126mm, but for 7 speed groupsets (and indeed all up to 11 speed) that width was increased to 130mm. An old steel 126mm OLN (Over Lock Nut - on the axle) frame can be "sprung" - literally pulled open the small amout extra required.

    Aslo they won't have modern aheadsets, they'll have 1" steerers, etc. etc.

    As stated above you can get a good second hand steel or alu framed bike with a 9/10 speed groupset for £300, so unless you want to build your own bike (and you may, I've built 2 of my own just because I could) I'd buy one.

    Oh, and building one means getting a number of specialist tools as well - BB tools, pedal spanners, cassette tool, chain whips, chain tools, cable cutters etc.
  • explosifpeteexplosifpete Posts: 1,327
    Just to reinforce what the other are saying really but I would look about on ebay and the classifieds for a cheap bike as there are always bargains to be had.
    As for the tiagra groupset it is a good option

    Good luck
  • tobiii95tobiii95 Posts: 43
    okay so it sounds like the best idea would be to buy a whole bike. Are there any bike that you reccomend?
    Thanks for all your advice
  • explosifpeteexplosifpete Posts: 1,327
    most importantly one that fits that is in as good condition as possible.
    When you don't have a large budget I would waste your money trying to get a premium brand
  • geoff_ssgeoff_ss Posts: 1,234
    I would never discourage a youngster from learning how to build a bike (or any other practical skill). It may end up being slightly more expensive than buying ready made but he will gain experience which, in the long run, will save time and money and teach valuable lessons. Even an old good quality steel frame can be easily adjusted to take a wider rear hub. One of my favourite frames is a 1949 Mercian which has reset rear triangle. If he does the build himself then he will know it's in good shape. A complete secondhand is an unknown quantity.

    Certainly access to tools might be a problem but if he could seek out some help from an experienced friend it would help. In any case the tools will be there for many years and will come in handy for other jobs in the future. Many of my tools are over 100 years old (including possibly my bike stand!) and, although my Imperial sized spanners, for example, are rarely used these days, I wouldn't part with any of them.

    Go for it, I say.
    Old cyclists never die; they just fit smaller chainrings ... and pedal faster
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