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New bike, or frame + components?

Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,692
edited October 2013 in Road buying advice
I've decided to upgrade from my 2009 Giant Defy, which is going to be turned into a singlespeed hack for my daily commute. It's nice enough, but has never really set my heart racing. Best bike I ever owned was a late 80's Peugeot that just surged up hills, and I wish I knew precisely what I liked about it so that I could find a modern equivalent.

Anyway, my nominal budget is £1k, and the decision really is whether I'll get more bang for my buck by buying a whole new bike, or buying a frameset and building it up with the Tiagra groupset, decent cables and a better set of wheels than a new bike would have? The price seems to work out roughly similar, so where am I better off investing?

ETA - I upgraded the Defy with the Tiagra groupset earlier this year, and will strip it off when I convert it, hence having Tiagra available to kit out a frame if I wish.


  • YIManYIMan Posts: 576
    BIke manufacturers will get a better deal on components than the general public, so to begin with you can usually not buy frame and components for the price of an equivalent bike.

    At this time of year with outgoing models on sale, it's going to be even harder to beat the full bike price buying everything yourself.

    The exception to this is if you can get a fantastic bargain on a frame ala the Scott CR1 SL event a few months ago.

    Just my thoughts, it's not gospel.
  • If I didn't have the groupset already kicking around, I'd agree completely - I'd be silly to try and beat the manufacturers. Seeing as most of the cash will be going into a better frame and wheels though, I guess the question boils down to "can I get a better frame and wheels for £1k as a complete bike or by spending £750 for a frameset and wheels with a £250 budget for the various bits and bobs to make it all up (stem, seatpost etc)?"

    I have a suspicion that buying components comes out ahead in this situation, both in terms of spec and price, but am interested in alternative views as I'm not entirely convinced yet...
  • petemadocpetemadoc Posts: 2,667
    New bike no question

    Shop around and there are some great deals at the 1k mark. Planet X pro with ultegra for £999, see what's left in the wiggle sale, ribble do good prices. People train and race on these bikes, they''re all good but make sure it fits.

    Save your tiagra for the winter bike.
  • If a complete new bike has all the correct components you want, then that is undoubtedly the best option cost wise. However this is rarely so. You will probably need to change the saddle. You may want different tyres. The handlebars could be the wrong width and shape. You might want a shorter/longer stem. All this costs. The difference in shop bought or build your own may end up pretty small. There is something quite satisfying in building up your bike with all the components you want, not what the manufacturer gives you.
    I'm not getting old... I'm just using lower gears......
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  • Disagree with all of the above. Every road/mtb bike I have ever built up I have done so for a better spec and for cheaper than a complete new bike, using brand new components - nothing second hand. Last case in point this year was a Genesis Equilibrium which I built for about £100 less than the' top of the range' 20 with handbuilt wheels, CK headset, full 105 throughout and Ritchey Classic seatpost, bars etc. Nice finishing touches were Brooks bar tape and a Charge Spoon leather saddle. Wiggle, Evans, Parkers, Winstanleys, CRC and a small, but very helpful bike shop in Cardiff, all played a part.

    It does mean judicious internet searching and the odd bit of luck in terms of discounts etc. It should also be borne in mind that it's a project that might take a while (the Genesis took three months) rather than buy one, day ride the next, but for me that's part of the fun.
    Basso Astra
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    Kinesis Racelight 4S
    Kinesis Crosslight Pro Disc
  • A bike that flies up hills is usually light, has a stiff BB area and rear triangle, light wheels and most importantly a strong rider.

    +1 to the assemble and self build route bits. You *exactly* what you want that way. But you will need to spend some time poring over classifieds.
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

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  • Just bought one of these. It's a ridley helium really. And absolutely awesome. You will want to upgrade the wheels but otherwise unbelievable value. The chainset alone retails £400........
  • Normally I'd say buy a new bike as many people here have pointed out, the manufacturers get such a big discount on the groupset and finishing kit makes the bike far cheaper than buying everything at retail cost. But in saying that, you'd probably want to change parts anyway and if the bike is heavily discounted the shop may not want to swap saddles and bars out for free. Bear in mind though that many retailers will be clearing their remaining 2013 stock of models for the new 2013 models, so there are bargains to be had on complete bikes.

    But as you've mentioned you've got mechanic skills, I think you'll save money by shopping around and taking your time to get deals on the frame, groupset, finishing kit and wheels. The benefit there is that it'll be your own unique bike and it might be fun on the way.


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