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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 03-15-06, 02:17 PM   #1
madopal
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Just wanted to say that these forums were pretty much invaluable while building up a bike for my commute. As a result, I'd like to give back to all those newbies out there thinking about building a bike. It wasn't bad, and I learned a TON in the process. On my second ride home, one of my cranks loosened. I fixed it and was on my way, and I had the BIGGEST smile on my face after doing so.

I do a 9 mile commute on Chicago streets every day. My road bike was getting trashed, and it didn't handle inclement weather very well. After reading the commuting forums, I decided to build up a cyclocross bike.

Here's a list of the parts I got:
Frame: Nashbar X Aluminum Cyclocross Frame
Gearing: All Shimano 105 - double crank (53/39), 9 speed cassette (12x23), front & rear derailleur
Shifters: Shimano 105 STI
Brakes: 160mm Avid BB7 Road Disc
Wheels: Mavic CXP 22 Black/Shimano w/ M475 Hub
Tires: Continental Contact City/Trekking Tire
Pedals: Shimano RX100
Headset: Cane Creek C-1 Threadless Headset
Bottom Bracket: Shimano 5500
Fenders: SKS P45

Little parts I forgot:
- Rim tape (whoops...blew 2 tubes before I figured that out)
- Seat post collar
- Reflectors (still need to get these for the pedals and the wheels)
- Bottle cage

A few lessons I learned:
- A rubber mallet is probably the second most infinitely useful thing in the universe (a towel, of course, being the first)
- Cutting a fork (I went with steel/threadless) isn't that hard.
- You can put grip tape on a few times to get used to it, especially if you don't buy adhesive grip tape. It'll look better after you practice a few times.
- These Continental tires are a PAIN to get over the rim. Thank you, Crank Bros. Speed Lever.
- Crank Bros. tools are VERY handy.
- Bring tools with you the first few rides. Something will always be loose or need to be adjusted.
- Getting a rack on a bike with disc brakes & fenders takes a bit of bending, but you can do it. Actually, a more generic rack seems to be more suited to this than a specialty rack.
- Keep ALL the instructions you get with the pieces. Often times, the information you need to attach one thing to another (say, brakes to brake levers) ISN'T on the manual you think it is, but it's usually there.
- Careful when ordering Avid BB7's. There is a lot of confusion on many sites about the fact that there IS a road version (Pricepoint.com didn't have it labeled that way on their site, and when I was talking to the LBS about it, they even had fallen prey to the problem once.) Make SURE the order shows road brakes if that's what you want. Some of the posts here said you could get them to work, but there must be a reason why Avid makes models for both road and mountain.

And now a photo of the finished result (well, mostly...I've since put a rack on it):



Oh, in case anyone notices, yes, the seatpost IS on backwards in that shot. It's since been fixed.

Thanks again to such a great community for being a valuable resource! I hope that my post inspires others to do the same.
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Last edited by madopal; 03-15-06 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 03-15-06, 02:41 PM   #2
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Nice!

If I may ask, how much did it all add up to?
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Old 03-15-06, 03:05 PM   #3
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Well, there were a few visits to Performance Bike to fill in some small holes, but my best estimate puts me at $1274.09 including shipping. I might be missing between $25 and $50 of little stuff (the aforementioned rim tape & seat post collar, plus tubes), but some of the things I added in there I didn't end up using (a disc-specific rack wound up going by the wayside, and I bought an Avid Full Metal Jacket brake cable thing that I didn't end up using either), so I figure it evens out.

My purchase from Nashbar covered everything but brakes, pedals, rack, and fenders. That purchase was $1028.69 including tax and shipping (and THANK YOU 10% coupon code). That shipment also included a headset press and a bottom bracket tool, so some of my tool costs were included. I think I spent about $40 at Home Depot getting a rubber mallet, a hacksaw, and a Black & Decker workstand thing which came in handy for cutting the fork. But the cost would be really close to that.

The only cross bikes I saw with Avid BB7's on them were running about $1400 or so, so I think I did pretty well, plus I learned a LOT!

Now, we'll just see if everything lasts.
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Old 03-15-06, 03:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by madopal
Now, we'll just see if everything lasts.
And if it doesn't, now you'll know how to fix it! Congratulations...
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Old 03-15-06, 04:01 PM   #5
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Sound advice.

My $.02: I'd forgo reflectors and install actual lights for a commuter.
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Old 03-15-06, 04:05 PM   #6
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Yeah, I didn't mention that. I have blinkies on both front and back...it's city, so the roads are well lit enough to see. I might consider buying/building a nice sick bright light someday, but for now, the front 4 LED and back red blinker work nicely.

But since it's all black, I'm more worried about side visibility at night.
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Old 03-15-06, 04:24 PM   #7
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Actually, I would go with blinkies AND reflectors. Cars' headlights will illuminate the reflectors and be brighter than your blinkies.

It looks like a pretty sweet bike. Good on ya!
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Old 03-15-06, 07:08 PM   #8
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Actually, I would go with blinkies AND reflectors. Cars' headlights will illuminate the reflectors and be brighter than your blinkies.
What he said. Plus, reflectors are a very useful failsafe in case your blinkies break or run out of juice.
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Old 03-16-06, 08:22 AM   #9
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You did my dream...............I will hopefully feel comfortable enough in the near future to take on such a project. I am impressed with your talent and abilities.
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