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  1. #1
    Good Enough ginger green's Avatar
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    build your own road bike - issues and savings?

    I'm tempted to build my own road bike - I am looking to build a steel frame with 105.

    Here are two questions - What are the compatability issues that would need to be resolved if I stay with all 105? I have seen some issues about english vs Italian threading - please elaborate.


    Also how much money could I look to save myself by doing my own build?

    GG

  2. #2
    JRA...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginger green
    I'm tempted to build my own road bike - I am looking to build a steel frame with 105.

    Here are two questions - What are the compatability issues that would need to be resolved if I stay with all 105? I have seen some issues about english vs Italian threading - please elaborate.


    Also how much money could I look to save myself by doing my own build?

    GG
    savings compared with what? a huffy sante fe, a Ti serrota?

    not meaning to offend, but if you're asking those questions, you might want to consider some more depthy overall research before pursuing framebuilding...

    a dated but good start on frame design is the custom bicycle by kolin and de la rosa.

  3. #3
    Good Enough ginger green's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dafydd
    savings compared with what? a huffy sante fe, a Ti serrota?

    not meaning to offend, but if you're asking those questions, you might want to consider some more depthy overall research before pursuing framebuilding...

    a dated but good start on frame design is the custom bicycle by kolin and de la rosa.
    Research - smesearch - sorry if my post was vague - I was looking at buying a steel road bike around 1200 to 1500 dollars, but I thought that building one would be a fun project.

  4. #4
    cab horn
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    Heh... build your own toad bike.
    I want my toad bike!

  5. #5
    To be continued Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Oh man I was hoping to learn how to build a toad bike.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
    Words and Stuff.

  6. #6
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    Forget Italian Threading.

  7. #7
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonaRider24
    Oh man I was hoping to learn how to build a toad bike.
    I'm glad to see that others hopped on this one before I did.
    I wouldn't want a toad bike. I wouldn't want warts in uncomfortable spots. That plus the fact you'd have a bunch of morons trying to lick it

  8. #8
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    The warts, the warts....

    Seriously, building a bike up from a frame is not exactly rocket science. If you have a good working knowledge of bike mechanics you should be able to handle it without too much trouble. You will need a few special tools, Bottom Bracket installer...Like that.

    If you buy a frame new, it should come with the specs as to what size BB you need, seatpost size, headset reccomendations, that sort of thing.

    Unless you're a very good shopper, or plan to spend a lot of time on Ebay, you may not save much if any money. Bike manufacturers buy their parts in large lots, and thus get a considerable discount. Still, It can be fun, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that your bike was not assembled by the 17-year-old part-time employee at the shop.

  9. #9
    contrarian lala's Avatar
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    Heheh. I'd edited the title.
    Higher ground for the apocalypse!

  10. #10
    Good Enough ginger green's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lala
    Heheh. I'd edited the title.
    LITIRACY AINT EVRY THING

  11. #11
    Good Enough ginger green's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikewer
    The warts, the warts....

    Seriously, building a bike up from a frame is not exactly rocket science. If you have a good working knowledge of bike mechanics you should be able to handle it without too much trouble. You will need a few special tools, Bottom Bracket installer...Like that.

    If you buy a frame new, it should come with the specs as to what size BB you need, seatpost size, headset reccomendations, that sort of thing.

    Unless you're a very good shopper, or plan to spend a lot of time on Ebay, you may not save much if any money. Bike manufacturers buy their parts in large lots, and thus get a considerable discount. Still, It can be fun, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that your bike was not assembled by the 17-year-old part-time employee at the shop.
    So building my own bike gets me satisfaction and some fun but not much savings?
    GG

  12. #12
    contrarian lala's Avatar
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    Yes. You really won't save any money unless to can put it together yourself, you are an excellent bargain hunter, and you really take your time about it.

    It is possible, but often unlikely.

    That said, I am building my fourth bike, as we speak.
    Higher ground for the apocalypse!

  13. #13
    Spoked to Death phidauex's Avatar
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    It CAN offer savings, but not necessarily. For instance, I bought a really nice Columbus tubing Titan (late 80s, I think) with a 7sp 105 group used for 150$ on ebay. Then I upgraded the 105 group to 9 speed, and found a cheap pair of 105 brifters. After all the parts swapping with other bikes and little upgrades and changes, I might as well have built it up from pieces, and I spent less than 300$ on the project, and now have a really nice steel road bike with a modern drivetrain for not much money. Of course, I lurked ebay like crazy, looked for used parts, pawed through my friend's parts bins, etc.

    If you just get on Nashbar.com and buy all the parts, you won't save any money. But if you take the time to hunt down each part individually, finding the best prices you can (remembering shipping costs!), and are willing to go used on some parts, then you can save money. The thing that will really bug you won't be the big things like stem and hub, its the little things like clamp bolts, seatpost binder bolts, bar tape, cables and housing, little tools you have to buy, a skewer for that used front wheel, etc. It can add up really fast!

    But either way, you'll have a good time, and know your bike inside and out, which helps a lot down the road.

    peace,
    sam

  14. #14
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    Lotsa satisfaction in building your own bike, but you won't be saving much if any money if you have to buy all the parts. I recently put together a full 105 group generic AL frame bike with parts off eBay and online discounts for right around $550 (not including wheels which I already had).

  15. #15
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by lala
    Heheh. I'd edited the title.
    Boo.

  16. #16
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    I recently went through a similar project. If you're willing to spend a lot of time scouring ebay and be patient for good deals to come up, you can save a fair amount, particularly on the more expensive items (e.g. wheels - i got a brand new set of cosmos wheels for under half of retail), but plan on 6-9 months of patient hunting to get it all at good prices. and shipping on all those individual items also adds up.
    that said, there is a certain satisfaction in the end product that makes it worthwhile.

  17. #17
    Videre non videri
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    Of course, getting the parts YOU want on a bike is another thing.
    A pre-built bike will have a fixed component set, but perhaps not what you're looking for.

  18. #18
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    Would you rather be riding or searching for parts? Spent a lot of time sourcing parts for a Centurion rebuild. Will have +- $350 in the project when complete. Did it totally as a learning exercise. Disregard the detractors about such a project. I suspect they never pick up a wrench.

  19. #19
    Videre non videri
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    I bought my first ("adult") bike.
    I just finished building my second.
    I will probably never buy another built bike but rather build them myself.
    That way, I know I get what I want, and I know it's put together and adjusted properly.

  20. #20
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    I'm just started building a bike, and so far, I am in for about $1100 on a bike that retailed for about $1300 in 2004. However, it is no longer made, and seemed like exactly what I was looking for -- a lightweight, top quality sporty frame (this one's aluminum) with a more upright riding position for my old body. It's a brand new 2004 Litespeed Palio that I won at auction on eBay from Pre-Owned Bikes (www.preownedbikes.com), part of the same company as Litespeed, Merlin and Quintana Roo. I got the frame at auction, and PreOwned Bikes sold me a new Litespeed carbon fiber fork, an OEM Cane Creek integrated headset and Thomson seat post (it's an odd size to fit the Palio seat tube) at very fair prices. I can't say enough good things about the people at Pre Owned Bikes, and, of course, their new frames and both new and refurbished bikes are excellent.

    I bought a Shimano 105 triple crank, bottom bracket, front and rear derailleurs, brakes a Nashbar, and a set of Ultegra/Mavic Open Pro wheels (haven't come yet), Ultegra 9-speed cassette, Thomson stem and Ritchey ergo handlebars, Terry Fly Ti saddle, cables, Continental tires and tubes, and some tools from Performance.

    I was patient and shopped the sales, and then saw a posting on Bike Forum about Nashbar coupons. I Googled, and discovered there are lots of places where you can get special, limited time coupons for Nashbar, Performance, Supergo, Jenson, and probably other cycle web shops. With good timing and luck I caught some sales and used 20% off coupons to boot. I think I must have saved $300 or more off the price of components, tools and other stuff I bought. It's a little hard to separate out the stuff I bought for the Palio and some stuff I bought for may other project bike and things like apparel, water bottles, etc.

    I found this coupon web site to be the best: www.couponcraze.com You can save your favorite web stores, and check in periodically to see if there's a coupon available. Works like a charm.

    So far, I've encountered two things about building a bike that I hadn't thought of before:

    1. the number of specialized tools you need -- including small and medium size torque wrenches (Park), bottom bracket, cassette and crank tools, cable cutters, etc. .
    2. the incredible number of little pieces you need, such as the cable ferrules, grommets and adjusters, and the derailleur cable guide that attaches under the bottom bracket, steering tube spacers, etc. etc. etc. www.loosescrews.com is a treasure house of this kind of stuff, but you may find some at your local bike store.

    For me, it's a hobby project I probably shouldn't have started, since I am also working on restoring a 1980's Trek sport/touring bike. But when I saw the Litespeed Palio frame on eBay, I thougtht, that's just what I want, and I won't get another chance. So I bid on one, said to be the last one available in my size, and someone else got it for $488. Then, another one turned up and amazingly I was the only one to bid on it, and got it for the starting price of $325!

    Now, if I can only get all my work done, so I can actually get to work on at least one of the bikes!

    Good luck with building your bike (I think a better phrase is "building up" your bike from a frame.)

    EB

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    The initital price of building a bike will be higher than buying a prebuilt simply because bike companies buy components in bulk and get a good cut. But when you build a bike, you get the exact components you want. So in the end, if you end up swapping parts on the prebuilt, the price might be the same.

    I am building my bike (a fixie) because I wanted the experience of building a bike (including the wheels). I have saved some money buying cheap parts, and used parts on ebay, but that savings have been eaten up by the premium parts I am buying for the wheels (phil wood hubs and velocity deep-v rims). In then end, I'm spending ~$300 more than what I could buy prebuilt. I think $300 premium over a prebuilt is worth it since its got what I want.

    But, if you look at more expensive bikes (full DA or Record), its way cheaper to buy prebuilt. Sometimes the premium on building the bike can exceed $1000. I find that too much and not worth it. Notibly the Cervelo Soloist Team, it would cost $500-1000 more, almost exactly built depending on who you source the parts from.

  22. #22
    ... tlupfer's Avatar
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    conversely, you can choose where to spend your money--i.e. on the last bike that i built i wanted to build an economical set of climbing wheels, so i found an old 36 hole campy record hub for less than $20 and laced it 2x to a 24 hole mavic gp4 tubular rim for the front, and a 28 hole gp4 to a shimano 600 hub in the rear. it's mismatched and made up of parts from the 80's and 90's, but the total price was under $100 and allowed me to spend more money on a triple triangle gt titanium frame. Similarly, the drivetrain is shimano 600, which saved me plenty of money to splurge on dura ace brifters. The point I'm trying to make in a very roundabout way is this: you probably won't save any money, but you will be able to decide what aspects of the bike are most important to you.

  23. #23
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    I think everyone should build at least one bike for no other reason than you'll know how every part goes together. This will save you a ton of cash being able to work on your own bikes in the future. I built mine strictly as a learning experience and to have yet another spare. I was able to take my time and look for deal since I already had 2 rideable bikes in my garage. There really aren't too many special tools to buy, but think of them as a good investment for maintenance in the future. A good tool should last a lifetime. My build is a generic frame with no decals, very stealthy. I get a great feeling when riding with someone who asks "What kind of bike is that?" I reply that the brand name is my long multi-voweled Italian surname and then add "It's just something I built myself" while sprinting away.........

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dafydd
    savings compared with what? a huffy sante fe, a Ti serrota?

    not meaning to offend, but if you're asking those questions, you might want to consider some more depthy overall research before pursuing framebuilding...

    a dated but good start on frame design is the custom bicycle by kolin and de la rosa.
    I think he's talking about building up a frame. Honestly, you won't save very much, if at all. But, the joy of knowing you have a bike that is one-of-a-kind, built from the ground up just for you...priceless.

    English vs Italian refers to the bottom bracket diameter. Popular BBs come in both diameters, no problems here.

  25. #25
    Hills, more hills please! SadieKate's Avatar
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    It won't necesssarily save you much money unless you have some pretty specialized criteria for your bike such as components that aren't stock on pre-built bikes and you own the tools. I just built up a bike specifically for climbing and went with a Sugino crank with 26/36/48 chainrings. That certainly wasn't going to be found on a stock bike. Additionally, I wanted a brand frame that wasn't going to be seen every time I turned another corner. Yes, I saved money in the long run because 1) I didn't have to retrofit a pre-built bike, 2) I shopped the heck out of sales and older components (brand new but last year's model frame and wheels are just fine), and 3) we already own the tools and the niggly stuff like ferules and cables and end caps and etc., etc., etc.

    The last pre-built bike I bought was for riding around town and has since been sold. Because? I was offered a heck of a deal on a cross frame and love the satisfaction of building up and riding my own bikes. I couldn't resist. Nobody has a bike like any of mine. There is an incredible amount of satisfaction to be gained by picking out each and every piece and building it all up, watching it hatch in your kitchen, and rolling it out into the sunlight for its first ride. This way I can support my local frame builder and fit my bike with the more esoteric stuff. You just have to do your research and be patient. On the practical side, I know how my bike functions and could probably do enough of a fix on it to get home in case of emergency (well except catastrophic stuff!).
    Embrace your inner tortoise

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