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Building a bike?



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 5th 05, 02:19 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?
Lastly, 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, 02:55 AM
David L. Johnson
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Default Building a bike?

On Sat, 04 Jun 2005 18:19:25 -0700, 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. I doubt that it is cheaper at any level, but the difference will be
most glaring at that price point.

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?


Depends on the instructions, but it is not rocket science. Building
wheels takes some patience and knowledge, but other than that it's fairly
straightforward. It does depend on whether the frame was "prepped" well,
making sure that the bottom-bracket faces are parallel and perpendicular
to the shell, and the headset is similarly ready to go. Most new frames
should be OK in this regard, unlike old Italian frames, but cheap ones
may need to be checked out.


Lastly, do they ride better pre-built than if you put

them together
yourself?


Ideally they should ride the same. What are you getting at?

--

David L. Johnson

__o | Arguing with an engineer is like mud wrestling with a pig... You
_`\(,_ | soon find out the pig likes it!
(_)/ (_) |


  #3  
Old June 5th 05, 03:21 AM
TAKennelly
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Default Building a bike?

Not really getting at anything, it was just a thought. Thanks for the
info!

  #4  
Old June 5th 05, 03:24 PM
Qui si parla Campagnolo
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Default Building a bike?



David L. Johnson wrote:
It does depend on whether the frame was "prepped" well,
making sure that the bottom-bracket faces are parallel and perpendicular
to the shell, and the headset is similarly ready to go. Most new frames
should be OK in this regard, unlike old Italian frames, but cheap ones
may need to be checked out.


David L. Johnson


Do you consider a Colnago C-50, Trek Madone, DeRosa, Pinarello, Merckx
high end? How about a Giant TCR or Specialized Roubaix? Cannondale?

None are prepped.

  #5  
Old June 5th 05, 10:01 PM
Peter Cole
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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?
Lastly, do they ride better pre-built than if you put them together
yourself? Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in
advance!


You can build a bike cheaper from parts, but it's very difficult. I
spent about 2 years collecting parts from various clearance sales, and
managed to build a bike significantly cheaper, but I only go through
this hassle because I need very large frames which I usually find either
bare or built with old components. It is sort of fun, though. It does
require lots of shopping around, patience and luck.

For collections of components, it's sometimes cheaper to buy a complete
bike in the wrong size and strip the parts, particularly if you ebay the
frame. Sometimes mail-order houses sell "OEM build kits", allowing you
to get everything at a good price, but those deals seem to be getting rare.

It's hard to scrounge unless you're pretty knowledgeable about
compatibility issues and can do the wrenching yourself. A few mistakes
in purchasing or installing can wipe out the thin savings. You're pretty
much on your own for warranty issues, too.

It also makes sense to take this approach if you're supporting a fleet
of bikes, as you can swap parts around and usually acquire an inventory
of parts you can tap. That said, when my daughter needed a new MTB, it
was hard to beat an Ebay blowout deal, so I didn't try.

Bike shops are ideal for people just getting into biking or those who
have no interest in twirling wrenches. A good shop will save you money
and time by helping you avoid mistakes. They don't make big markups, and
they're well worth them if they have the right attitude and know-how.
 




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