Bicycle Mechanics - Should i build up my own bike?
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08-20-08, 08:46 PM
I'll fill you in with a little bit of background information before i get to my question. I am an avid road cyclist averaging above 4000 miles a year. And i'm also a college student. I have a Specialized Allez Elite that I use for road riding. But, it's hard to commute with since I have look keo pedals on them and its hard to roll up at the grocery store sporting my full cycling apparel and and walk in to buy a few apples and go back home. What I am thinking of doing is buying a used commuter bike. I have been looking on ebay and craigslist for the past few weeks and everything that is any good is either to small or the poster never returns my call/email. My other alternative is to get a used frame and build it up myself. I know a few people in my neighborhood who have a few frames that i'm interested in. My price limit on a frame right now is about $150 max. What would it cost to build it up?
This bike wouldn't be logging the miles that my Allez does. Just to the grocery store and around campus and stuff. I don't know hardly anything about choosing the components. We have a bike shop on campus and i can use tools and everything so the actual building is no problem. And the wheels are probably what i'm most concerned about. Would i have to go and spend $500 on a set of wheels? And if i'm going to put a bunch of money into this bike i would want it to last. I might also consider making it into a fixie or singlespeed since i'm on a budget.
Also, do you have any recommendations on good frames?
08-20-08, 08:53 PM
What is your total budget? It's usually cheaper to buy an entire bike then build from scratch unless you already have parts.
Check out Performance or Nashbar for cheap new frames. They also have good wheels, solid entry level wheels for less than $200 for the wheelset.
08-20-08, 09:05 PM
If your comfortable doing the build yourself than a bikesdirect bike might be perfect for you. Its almost always cheaper to buy a whole bike then build one up from a frame, unless like the above poster mentioned, you already have parts to start w/
08-20-08, 09:27 PM
Yep, just buy a basic bike and use that as your errand runner. Flat pedals instead of clip types so you don't need any sort of special shoes. THe pinned MTB ones work superb at keeping your feet in place.
I'd also suggest an MTB or 29'er style just as a change of pace. Some fat slicks will turn it into a real pavement gripper and let you roll stairs, small cars and any other debris that gets in your way. If you get one that lets you mount a rear rack then you can mount a box or just use saddle bags on the rear. Or if you get into the urban assualt fun then stick with a backpack so it doesn't toss the groceries out when you hit the big stuff.
If you want to stick with a road style bike then what about a cheap single speed like the Bike's Direct offerings.
In any event buying a prebuilt bike will always be far, far cheaper than doing one from parts unless you make it a big time hobby to haunt Ebay and CL for goodies. And when you do that you need to be patient. Meanwhile there's riding to be done! So just buy a bike already together and mod as little as you can. If the LBS's don't have good deals then you may have to get it online.
08-20-08, 09:59 PM
These are the reasons to build your own -
Can't find exactly ur looking for.
Want to learn bike mechanics.
Have lots of leftover parts from (doesn't matter).
These are NOT reasons to build your own -
08-21-08, 05:52 PM
Thanks for all the advice. I guess I really don't have any need to build my own bike up since i don't just have all the parts laying around. I will look into getting a bike.
What do you guys think of Scattante? I've never really heard anything about them nor ever seen anyone riding one.
08-21-08, 07:33 PM
my suggestion is to go to the single speed /fixed gear forum and look at some of the bike direct type bikes they like. For me (I ride about 2000 miles a year on a steel bianchi) my "run to the store" bike is this one http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/sst.htm It seems to be a lot of bike for $330 all in.
It looks good in flat black but I did have to get a longer stem to make it comfortable (I am 5'10 and bought a 56) and I geared it down a bit with a 19 tooth fixed cog. (the 46 crank -16 freewheel was a little too tough for me) You are way younger than I am so you might like it fine as is. If not you can buy cogs and such as your budget permits after buying the bike.
Anyway go to the single/fixed forum, see what they like, and use the search forum to find out more about any that appeal to you. good luck
08-21-08, 08:02 PM
This is like getting married, if you have to ask what other people think, you are not ready
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