Mountain Biking - What do you think about custom bikes?
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10-16-02, 11:35 PM
Okay....after much consideration...ive come to the conclusion that im going to custom build my bike. since i have no experience in putting one together, i figure that i could get my local lbs to do it for me. what are the logistics in this? is it a pain in the rear to shop for parts? What if i find something i like now, but when i do get it, something new and better comes out? Im sure it has happened to each and everyone of us. Any suggestions or tips that you can give me? Like where to get the best prices, guides on selecting parts, etc, etc.
10-17-02, 05:27 AM
Manufacturers can buy parts much cheaper than shops can, so its not the cheapest way to go, but it can be good. I had my LBS build up a custom frame, you can also do it with a quality stock frame. Make sure the LBS has experience of builds, good ones do.
You can customise the bike for your local conditions, eg mud, dust, steep hills or flatland. Dont feel constrained my the marketing mans idea of what an MTB looks like. Think about integration, although this is usually more of a problem with more complex styles of bike, where you need luggage, fenders, lighting all to work with each other.
Be careful where you spend your money. Manufactureres like to put expensive bits on the outside, but a good BB unit is probably worth more than a fancy stem.
Pick a benchmark system that is well proven (eg Shimano XT) to use for comparison. When you select a component, is it better, cheaper or lighter ?
Uses $/gramme-saved for each component.
10-17-02, 08:03 AM
Custom is the only way to go if you know what you like or need. It can be more expensive if you let your ego dictate some of your component selection but hey, can't fault a guy for that.
Nearly all of my bikes were purchased as framesets. I've had more than 30 different bikes and currently have 10 (4 road, 4 mtb, Track & a Tandem). More than I need but I can't help myself. In fact I'm picking up a new Gunnar frame today ...
Anyway, if you know what works for you (style, conditions & speciality like track) it might be your only good choice as most of todays are built for Jon Q Public and what he's buying.
10-17-02, 08:12 AM
I've built up a couple of bikes.
I found that it ended up costing less than a complete bike with similar components. BUT, I bought almost everything on closeout (last year's model stuff) and took my time. I had a lot of spare parts and used those until the parts I wanted went on sale. If you want it NOW, you'll pay top dollar. If you're patient, you can get a real good deal on stuff. I also bought some items off eBay, stuff that was new old stock, or in brand new condition.
It can be very rewarding, and very frustrating all at the same time.
10-17-02, 08:13 AM
More research will be needed, plus i would have to pay my LBS to do it for me. I dont have that much experience to build my own bike right now. even if i tried, i wouldnt ride my own bike.
10-17-02, 08:25 AM
There are a lot of things you can do yourself. What I did/do, is when I buy a part through mail order, I use the money I save and buy a tool as well. That way, I get the part I want, and the tool needed to install it.
For example, you need brakes. Buy the brakes and a cable cutter and a 4,5,6 Y wrench.
You need/want new cranks and bottom bracket. But the bb tool at the same time.
You buy new wheels and a cassette remover tool.
You buy a new fork, a steerer saw quide and a star nut setter.
The only tools that costs more than your savings are a headset press and a truing stand. But, if you're creative, you can make a generic press at home. Then you only have to buy the headset race removal tool. (affordable) You also don't need a truing stand unless you're building wheels.
Pretty soon, you have a killer bike and all the tools needed to fix it.
Plus, there are a lot of websites that give repair tips. This one included and www.parktool.com
10-17-02, 09:46 AM
Go custom. It can get expensive and some times you have to wait for parts but you will get what you want and you will most likely have a one of a kind ride. If you have the skills I would also suggest building it your self. The gratification when it is fininshed will make you feel great. I curently am building up my dream dh ride and it will be like no other out there. As I mentioned above though, I am waiting for my crank set, which should be here this week and my brakes. No one know when the brakes will arrive though and they will run me about 400USD per wheel.
You may not want to spend the money that I am but a bike built with the frame and parts you want is the best way to go.
10-17-02, 01:23 PM
I got with A2 on this one. Buy the parts and frames (at closeout and super sale) and do what you can. 90% of the stuff is both easy and the tools are required for good tuneups anyways. I am doing a similar thing to my old frame. The only thing I am paying the bikeshop to do is the headset / fork.
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