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How difficult building own bike?

jf22901jf22901 Posts: 155
edited May 2014 in MTB workshop & tech
Hi all,

I am considering building a bike up because (a) I want a new frame, and (b) I think it's time I knew how bikes worked, so I'm not too clueless when it comes to fixing them! :mrgreen: (I'm planning on replacing my Santa Cruz Chameleon with a cotic BFe.)

I'd be getting the headset and BB fitted to the frame, so for a newbie, how difficult would the rest be? Am I likely to come across some horrific problems anywhere? What is likely to be the most difficult aspect?



  • BigAlBigAl Posts: 3,122
    It's all straightforward.

    Just take your time, refer to Park tools webby (or here) if necessary and apply common sense.

    Really, there's nothing to fear
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,811
    Each step is easy, use the forum when you need to, my first bike when I got back into cycling I built myself with the help of this forum, since then I've built a total of 10 for myself and the family, all with a £25 Lidl toolkit for the bike specific bits. The on-one jobsworth kits are excellent value and then you can fit the BB yourself. I use a piece of threaded bar as a homemade headset press, or if it's semi integrated style a hammer and block of wood, but that does require some 'feel' to keep it straight as it starts to go in.
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • gavbarrongavbarron Posts: 824
    As said, quite a simple process and nothing too technical. Park tools youtube channel is good for tips and Zinns book is also a good reference. Best way to learn how it all works and long term will save you a fortune in servicing and repairs if you know how to do it yourself
  • wilberforcewilberforce Posts: 293
    It's easy ...........I did it!!

    Take your time, keep calm, read instructions or watch videos beforehand.

    The one other good piece of advice is to keep the work area free from censored and have space to move around the bike and lay the parts out. There is nothing worse when you are looking for bits or tools and you cannot find them because of empty boxes, and other stuff in the way
  • Chunkers1980Chunkers1980 Posts: 8,035
    It is easy unless you have the common sense and ability to see what's happening of a rubez
  • Posts: 4,067
    haha..indeed ^^

    Easy and good fun. Whacking a headset in with a bit of wood is a bit daunting in your shiny new frame so maybe go to the LBS for that unless you're like me and enjoy a bit of a challenge :wink:

    Things like shortening brake hoses can be fiddly (and not entirely essential I guess) but just make sure you have all the right tools before hand i.e a bleed kit and the right oil so if you do get air in the system you don't have to wait a week for delivery of the right tools while your bike just sits there or even worse, have to go with your tail between your legs to the LBS :lol:
    "Why have that extra tooth if you're not using it?" - Brian Lopes

    Votec V.SX Enduro 'Alpine Thug' 2012/2013 build

    Trek Session 8
  • bailsofhaybailsofhay Posts: 191
    I consider myself a bit of a novice but with this forum and google I have managed build 4 bikes so far in the last year. The things I found most daunting initially were the headset and replacing suspension bearings but I found some very helpful make your own tool guides on instrucables using different washers and threaded bar/ nuts which was way cheaper than buying specialist tools. It does require some initial layout for tools and a stand is a must have but the price pales in comparison to taking my projects to a LBS to do the work plus it is so much more satisfying knowing you built it yourself.
  • mcnultycopmcnultycop Posts: 2,143
    I did everything on my Scandal other than the BB (as it needing facing the LBS fitted the BB for me for nothing, but when it needs replacing I'll do it), the headset and chopping the steerer (just because I didn't have the kit).

    Doing it yourself is a great feeling when you are finished.
  • CqcCqc Posts: 951
    Tbh I wouldn't bother paying to get the bb put in, as if it the threaded external kind which it probably is, it's basically the same as threading a bolt in. Good luck- you just have to know how to index gears and that's about it really...
  • raldatraldat Posts: 242
    Yes, as above. I have gone from 0 builds to 2 this year both successful and a lot of fun. Do it, you won't (or at least should not) regret it.
  • jf22901jf22901 Posts: 155
    Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm going to give it a go! :D
  • No one has mentioned a g-clamp as a headset press yet, so I shall.

    I've tried a threaded bar and washers etc and a hammer and a block of wood but the easiest way I've fitted headset cups is with a g-clamp and two bits of wood. One cup at a time obviously. Only thing is you need a pretty huge clamp.

    Definitely beats beating the censored out of your new frame with a hammer though
    Delete my censored account.
  • jf22901jf22901 Posts: 155
    Thanks for the advice everyone. :D

    I decided to order the Cotic BFe frame, and it arrived today. I got them to attach the BB and headset too, as they seemed like the most difficult bits to do myself. I'll learn how to do those things at a later date. Anyway, here it is. The build likely won't progress quickly, but it will be a fun learning experience!

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