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Building a bike?



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 5th 05, 02:18 AM
TAKennelly
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Default Building a bike?

I was wondering about the pros and cons of buying the individual
components of a road bike and assembling them myself. I'm interested
in a fairly cheap bike anyway (in the $600-$800 range), so at that
rate, is it really worth it? Is it cheaper than buying pre-assembled
at that level? Also, does it require a lot of familiarity with these
types of bikes to be able to effectively assemble it, or is it really
simplistic with the right set of instructions? Do they ride better
pre-built than if you put them together yourself? Any information
would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

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  #2  
Old June 5th 05, 03:36 AM
Sheldon Brown
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Default Building a bike?

TAKennelly wrote:

I was wondering about the pros and cons of buying the individual
components of a road bike and assembling them myself. I'm interested
in a fairly cheap bike anyway (in the $600-$800 range), so at that
rate, is it really worth it? Is it cheaper than buying pre-assembled
at that level?


No. It is generally more expensive. Bicycle parts have a higher import
duty, and higher markups at each link of the marketing chain than do
complete bicycles.

Sheldon "Not The Way To Go" Brown
+-------------------------------------------------------------+
| Tilting at windmills hurts you more than the windmills. |
| --Robert A. Heinlein |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+
Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
http://harriscyclery.com
Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com

  #3  
Old June 5th 05, 03:37 AM
Mark D
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Default Building a bike?

I was wondering about the pros and cons of buying the individual
components of a road bike and assembling them myself. I'm interested in
a fairly cheap bike anyway (in the $600-$800 range), so at that rate, is
it really worth it? Is it cheaper than buying pre-assembled at that
level? Also, does it require a lot of familiarity with these types of
bikes to be able to effectively assemble it, or is it really simplistic
with the right set of instructions? Do they ride better pre-built than
if you put them together yourself? Any information would be greatly
appreciated! Thanks in advance!
---------------------------------------------------------------

Hi, I myself would say for the price you are looking to spend, and I
gather that you are not looking for any specific "holy grail" road
bike,the answer is no, buy yourself a decent pre-built bike.

Comparing a pre-built, and then trying to build yourself the exact same
bike, with same frame, and same components, the pre-built bike would
probably be less expensive.

Most who build thier own bikes from scratch usually have specific needs,
wants, or desires, and wish to pre-select every component right down to
the last nut, and bolt. There's no set of rules that state a handbuilt
bike can be better (or worse) than a factory built bike.

Generally, professionally, and hand assembled wheels can be much better
than factory machine built wheels, but all, regardless of who built them
will need re-truing, spoke re-tensioning in due time. Even the very
best, most costly hi-tech hand built wheels can turn to crap quickly if
you neglect them.

One does not necessarily have to spend $5K to build a very nice road
bike, but some folks do.
Wheelsets alone can easily exceed $2K-$3K.

I myself have seen some very nice looking, and nicely built Trek Bikes
at my local bike shop for around the price range you speak of. None of
them would I be ashamed to ride.

Usually too, most good bike shops include a free one year
tune-up-adjustment-maintainence policy with thier bikes, and this can be
a very nice thing for those who wish to avoid the hassles. Bike shops
like my local Trek Shop here in town know thier products inside, and
out, and this is a good thing to get the most out of any given bike
regardless of cost. They'll help fit you for the right size bike for
yourself also, which is very important.

In time, should you perhaps wish to build some sort of exotic road bike,
let's say for example an Alberto Masi, Mondonico, Gios, Columbine, Trek
Madone, etc, then I would say now's the time to perhaps considering a
custom build once you know exactly the frame size you need, and the
desire, or want of what frame, and components you specifically "long"
for"

I'm hoping others will chime in here, with some other points of view for
you to ponder. Mark D

  #4  
Old June 5th 05, 05:34 AM
Ken
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Default Building a bike?

"TAKennelly" wrote in news:1117934314.938862.23000
@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:
I was wondering about the pros and cons of buying the individual
components of a road bike and assembling them myself. I'm interested
in a fairly cheap bike anyway (in the $600-$800 range), so at that
rate, is it really worth it? Is it cheaper than buying pre-assembled
at that level?


Assembling a bike is not that difficult if you are mechanically competent and
have a good set of tools. Saving money is very difficult, especially on
lower priced bikes. The big bike manufacturers get huge discounts on
components that you are not likely to match unless you buy used stuff.
  #5  
Old June 5th 05, 06:13 AM
Pete Biggs
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Default Building a bike?

TAKennelly wrote:
I was wondering about the pros and cons of buying the individual
components of a road bike and assembling them myself. I'm interested
in a fairly cheap bike anyway (in the $600-$800 range), so at that
rate, is it really worth it?


Could be if you already have some used parts from another bike or can find
some decent "new old stock", or last year's parts at "sale" price. *Some*
of the parts could be new but it would be expensive for everything to be
brand spanking new and up-to-date. It is a satisfying thing to do and the
specification could suit you better than a ready-built bike.

Also, does it require a lot of familiarity with these
types of bikes to be able to effectively assemble it, or is it really
simplistic with the right set of instructions?


A beginner would be better off having headset, bottom bracket and wheels
done by a local bike shop. The rest is quite easy to assemble with
ordinary tools.

~PB


  #6  
Old June 5th 05, 01:09 PM
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Default Building a bike?

Price and pride go together.

  #7  
Old June 5th 05, 03:20 PM
Qui si parla Campagnolo
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Default Building a bike?



TAKennelly wrote:
I was wondering about the pros and cons of buying the individual
components of a road bike and assembling them myself. I'm interested
in a fairly cheap bike anyway (in the $600-$800 range), so at that
rate, is it really worth it? Is it cheaper than buying pre-assembled
at that level? Also, does it require a lot of familiarity with these
types of bikes to be able to effectively assemble it, or is it really
simplistic with the right set of instructions? Do they ride better
pre-built than if you put them together yourself? Any information
would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!


The only way to save $ is to get a frame(make sure it fits ya), and
then buying piecemeal discounted, ,discontinued, ebay type parts.
Nothing wrong with that as the frameset is the most important
thing(does it fit ya??).

Assembly is not brain science or rocket surgery but you sure can do it
poorly, or not right. Even most bike shops cannot assemble a bike worth
a dern. A book like Lennard's about bikes would help.

  #8  
Old June 5th 05, 05:34 PM
Eagle Jackson
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Default Building a bike?

It will almost certainly be way cheaper to buy a factory built bike for
that money. Then you could take it apart and put it back together
yourself for the experience.

Manufacturers get their components at such deep discounts that even
buying piece parts wholesale, you likely cannot beat the price of a
factory built bike.

Similarly with building your own computer. You can buy all the
components yourself and put it together, or you can save a ton of money
and buy it pre-built from Dell or some white-box builder.

  #9  
Old June 5th 05, 09:17 PM
Mark D
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Default Building a bike?

The only way to save $ is to get a frame(make sure it fits ya), and then
buying piecemeal discounted, ,discontinued, ebay type parts. Nothing
wrong with that as the frameset is the most important thing(does it fit
ya??).
Assembly is not brain science or rocket surgery but you sure can do it
poorly, or not right. Even most bike shops cannot assemble a bike worth
a dern. A book like Lennard's about bikes would help.
---------------------------------------------------------------

I agree pretty much what Peter says here. Generally, most good Bike
Shops, and probably even Peter's own Shop will assemble a factory built
bike to the best of their abilities from the box. Usually though, you'll
find just perhaps 25-40 miles later things are beginning to break in,
and get loose, or out of adjustment.

Things like spokes can become loose, Brake Calipers, and Brake Shoes
lose correct adjustment, and need to be re-adjusted, re-aligned, and
perhaps due to slight stretch in the cables need some adjustment here as
well.

Seatposts, Handlebars, Saddles, Derailleurs, all bolts/screws on a bike,
and even axles no matter how well they are first assembled can, and will
go out of adjustment, and should be checked immediately after just the
few miles that I mention above.

Once things like Wheel Axles, and Wheel Spokes break in, Axles lubed,
and properly re-lashed, spokes re-tensioned, and trued, these parts
usually will go for 100's of miles without need for further major
adjustments.

Bikes are something that need constant attention. I always check over my
road bikes before every ride, and have gotten in the habit of doing
maintenance-lube on a periodic basis.

As Peter mentioned, a good book, or two is a good thing to have in any
Roadie's arsenal. and also, the acquisition of some good basic dedicated
bike tools, like Axle Cone Wrenches, Allen Wrenches, Lubes, Tire tools,
Pump, and cleaners are all essential to getting the best performance,
and longest life from any bike you buy. Also, a small Saddle Bag to
carry important essentials is a wise investment.
Mark D.

  #10  
Old June 6th 05, 12:05 AM
John Thompson
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Default Building a bike?

On 2005-06-05, TAKennelly wrote:

I was wondering about the pros and cons of buying the individual
components of a road bike and assembling them myself. I'm interested
in a fairly cheap bike anyway (in the $600-$800 range), so at that
rate, is it really worth it? Is it cheaper than buying pre-assembled
at that level? Also, does it require a lot of familiarity with these
types of bikes to be able to effectively assemble it, or is it really
simplistic with the right set of instructions? Do they ride better
pre-built than if you put them together yourself? Any information
would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!


No, it's not likely to be cheaper, as bike manufacturers can buy parts
much cheaper than even bike shops can. But it can be a good learning
experience.

--

John )
 




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