Bicycle Mechanics - Help needed: Building Road Bike From Used Components.
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09-19-05, 10:50 PM
I am soliciting your help/advice/comments in the process of building a road bike from scratch using used (and cheap) components.
I recently acquired a 50cm Cannondale Frame with Aluminium Fork from Ebay. I have two alternate plans, 1. To buy individual components on Ebay to finish the project; or 2. Buy a complete bike on Ebay, strip it and use the parts on my cannondale frame. What do you think is a better (and cheaper) idea?
Also, I am new to this and I need to lay out a plan of detail configuration of the parts I need so that I dont end up buying something that wont fit together. How can I get this information? I mean, what size wheels will fit my frame, do certain deraileurs fit only certain cogs/freewheels/wheels? What size handlebar should I get, what kind of chainring will fit my frame? Questions like these have been haunting me lately. May be someone here could help me point in the right direction.
Also, how much should I expect to spend on all the remaining components? The cannondale frame cost me $172 and its in great shape. I wouldnt like to spend something like $400 on components because then I can just buy a Trek 1000 for $50 more.
Thanks so much for taking time to read this.
All you need is here:
09-19-05, 11:22 PM
I wouldn't like to spend $400 on components because then I can just buy a Trek 1000 for $50 more.
Yeah, but then you wouldn't have the pleasure and knowledge of building it yourself. Plus, you'd end up with a better bike with option A.
Buying a whole bike for the components isn't a bad idea. Check out Craig's List for better prices than ebay. Check out garage and estate sales for the best deats of all. Good Luck!
The advice to check out Sheldon Brown's site for mechanical know-how is a very good one.
09-20-05, 12:00 AM
Bad news man....it's gonna cost quite a bit to build it up.
Good news, you basically have a clean canvas to work with....meaning you can build it up however you like.
I would guesstimate about $900 counting your frame for decent build (105 9speed) with 105/ma3 wheels.....since I done this over a year ago, and my frame/fork combo cost just as much as yours!
09-20-05, 12:44 AM
I would guesstimate about $900 counting your frame for decent build .....
You can chop this figure in half, or even to 1/3 if you want a nice vintage ride. :)
09-20-05, 06:53 AM
You meant used by "vintage"?
Hello I recently acquired a 50cm Cannondale Frame with Aluminium Fork from Ebay.
So far so good.
I have two alternate plans, 1. To buy individual components on Ebay to finish the project;
Not bad if you know what you are doing. Plan on spending lots of money on shipping charges if you buy from multiple people.
or 2. Buy a complete bike on Ebay, strip it and use the parts on my cannondale frame.
Not a bad idea, you know that it was a running bike previously. Shipping should be less because all the parts are in one package. Just make sure you save the box to reuse when you sell the frame to defray the cost of the complete bike purchase.
What do you think is a better (and cheaper) idea?
Personally, I would go with the second choice. Make sure the bike is about the same size as your frame. If not you might have to find a new crank, stem and seatpost if the frame is a large size. As far as ebay goes, you get your best deals on really small and really large bikes. 55cm to 58cm are standard and in great demand. Smaller and larger usually go for a song because nobody can use them. If you do buy an odd size frame be prepared to sell the frame at less than market value.
Building a bike from scratch is seldom cheaper unless you already have junk drawers full of possible parts to experiment with. And not knowing all the details and hurdles in advance means you'll make mistakes and acquire things you'll end up not needing. If your goal is to learn bicycle mechanics while you build yourself a nice ride, then welcome to the club. If your goal is to get the best bike for the least time and money, take $600 to your local bike shop.
Your best deals still come from local garage sales and dumpster dives. You're not going to find a sweet Gary Fisher frame on ebay for $.50 like you might at a garage sale. ebay is too perfect of a market. If it is of great value, buyers will bid it up.
I started many years ago trying to restore one bike. I now have drawers full of dozens to hundreds of every bike part category imaginable. And I still keep acquiring more (and loving it).
Plan 2 can get you alot of stuff that may not fit your frame. Plan one can get you in over your head if you don't know what you are doing. sydney thinks you are in over your head alrady given the questions asked.
09-20-05, 09:17 AM
It's often easier to buy a good condition used bike, and then only worry about swapping out the normal stuff that ages with use....like cables/tires/tubes/chain, etc. If weight is no concern, you can get an old Trek 1100 for around $80-175, in anywhere from good to excellent shape.
09-20-05, 10:05 AM
As others have suggested, best method is to buy a late model decent working bike (at least frame and transmission) and then learn bike mechanics by making small upgrades on your own.
You can then for example start with seat/seatpost and handlebar/stem, tires/wheels etc.
Building a frame to save money is simply too expensive - after spending $400-700 you have basically an old bike with near junk parts. Then since you've learnt so much, you immediately start upgrading components and you're at $1500. Soon you'll fall in love with new and shiny or carbon weave - DuraAce or Record and that the end of you :) Take a trip to the LBS and see what $600-1500 will get you - amazing!
(I'm rebuilding from a frame only because I found an inexpensive frame, I have everything I need from an older bike, even sticking with 8-speed since I don't need 10-speed or the expense and questionable benefit that comes with it.)
09-20-05, 01:51 PM
If you plan on building this bike yourself I would go into with the idea that the reason your doing it is to learn something, not to build a killer bike for pennies because that just won't happen (unless you get extremely lucky and get a steal on parts).
Building a bike for $400 is doable but you may have to wait awhile for the right deals to come along.
Judging by the fact you stated it was a Cannondale with an aluminum fork, it likely had a 7 or 8spd cassette. Nowadays you can get many 50 cm bikes with either 650C or 700C wheels. I would test fit a pair of 700C's in your frame to see if they will fit (this will help you when looking for wheels to buy). You also need to decide if you want to run downtube shifters or look for some STI units. You can easily convert a bike originally set up for downtube shifters by purchasing some adapters for the old shifter studs.
This will get you started, I would take the frame to a local shop and have them test fit a few wheels in your frame for spacing and sizing purposes. Their advice is usually free as well. You would hate to assume one thing, order a bunch of parts only to find out they were wrong.
Hey check this out, Just make sure your frame take 700c wheels and have a 130mm rear spread (other wise you will not be able to mount the rear wheel)
400 for the entire ride and you can sell the frame out for a few bucks back.
but you might need a different F/D, seat post to fit you dale.
Keep in mind is Sora its preforms well but is pretty much entry level
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