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  1. #1
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    How much was your frame buildup?

    Of course, of course, it totally depends, but I'm staring at my disassembled Bridgestone frame wondering how much it is going to cost me after I get the frame in shape ($#&!!% frozen bottom bracket cups). I could use the experience of those of you who've built up your own bikes.

    I'm thinking in terms of mid-range shimano components, though I am still undecided whether to put flats or drops on the thing. Let's assume I'm going to need everything outside of the frame.

    So, how much would you guess you spent/spend building up your frame(s)?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    New or used parts?

  3. #3
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    Either. Again, I'm sure the range here will be huge, from bargain basement dumpster divers to those who got full dura-ace from their LBS. I'm probably going to be getting mostly new over the internet.

    I'll clarify. How would you characterize your build and what did you spend? Thanks.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Ok, here goes. On my Surly LHT build--not including the frame cost--I spent about $1000. Thats all new components (LX/XT/Sugino) and my building the wheels. I'm sure I could have saved a few hundred by more carefull shopping, but I supported (and still do) a local shop and just got everything from them in 1 shot. (I didnt want to wait!)
    I have a friend that got ALL his parts wholesale and only spent $1200 with the frame. Quality level will drive the cost up or down a good bit. Carefull shopping can save alot!
    '94 Schwinn Moab 3
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  5. #5
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Starting with a bare frame for $990, using a mixture of new and old parts, and being honest about the cost of the old parts, I spent $2427 of which, including the frame, I paid for $1877 directly within a couple of months of buying the frame. I will probably swap even some of those parts in the next year for higher end stuff. But then, if you aren't making out a check to either a big oil company or a big car company every month, week, day , you can do stupid stuff like this..

    Edit: Below is the result, although some stuff has changed since this picture was taken (in August )
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by cyccommute; 09-18-06 at 04:39 PM.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  6. #6
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Lessee... my touring bike

    $100 for a *NICE* NOS 80s touring frameset and seatpost + $20 shipping
    $15 for cranks+BB from the Pay It Forward thread
    $10 for suntour barcons
    $100 for 105/Mavic wheelset
    $10 for LX canti brakes
    $10 for cassette
    $20 for pedals
    $10 for tires
    $10 for handlebar, stem, brake levers, and bottle cages (and I got a frame and shifters with that too... which I then sold for $90)
    $6 for tubes
    $8 for 8-speed chain
    $5 for bar tape
    $18 for Blackburn Expedition knockoff rack (I forget what brand mine is)
    random cables I had lying around
    my favorite saddle transplanted

    I'm probably forgetting a minor item or two... but all in all I got my touring bike built for about $330-350. And if I count the $75 I made back selling the frame that I bought for parts...

    Everything on it was lightly used, except the NOS frame, chain, bar tape, rack, and tubes. I trolled craigslist intermittenly and visited a couple swap meets to get the parts to build this up.
    Last edited by moxfyre; 09-18-06 at 06:07 PM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Bike builds can be wild!
    The race bike i build has cost....
    Centaur group 280ukp
    Athena/Chrina Wheelset (2nd hand) 50ukp
    Graham Weigh 853 frame 100ukp
    Look Carbon fork 100ukp -25 fro selling the one that came with the frame = 75ukp
    Tyres 30ukp
    Other bits and bobs 50ukp
    Total: Between 550 and 600. For reference, a Specialized Allez or Trek 1000 would cost 550.

    so far!

  8. #8
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I can tell you, I have ordered everything for my mid end road bike. I already had pedals and a seat.
    Total comes to 842 dollars.
    I have Veloce shifters and derailleur, a Reynolds Ouzo full carbon fork, Xero XR1 wheels, Rouleur GXP cranks, Expected weight to be between 17 and 18 pounds. All parts were new, almost entirely from ebay.
    I purchased the itres, tubes, handlebar tape, and BB, outside of ebay.
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  9. #9
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbojeff
    ...So, how much would you guess you spent/spend building up your frame(s)?
    Approximately 2X the cost of the frame itself. I use a mix of new and used parts.

  10. #10
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    On my Caldaro:

    $223 for the frame on eBay
    $750 for the Campy mixed gruppo (Chorus levers, Record crankset, Centaur everything else) from Pro Bike Kit
    $500 for wheels, tires, bar tape, seatpost from several LBS's
    $150 for the stem and handlebars from Nashbar
    $50 for the saddle from eBay

    Grand total $1673.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    Hmm let's see -obviously much depends on what you have already..... For my touring bike buildup (all costs include shipping are are estimated on the higher side):

    wheels:
    originally bought a pair of 32h Sun CR18 rims for $99, ended up using one rim and relacing to a WTB front disc hub cheap off ebay and buying new spokes, so let's call it: $80
    bought a rear CR18 36h rim, rear Deore disc hub and spokes: $85
    inner tubes and Specialized Fatboy tyres: $45
    rim strips: $10
    2 Avid Road disc brakes off Ebay: $135
    brake and derailleur cables: $25
    Front headset bearing (Cane Creek S2): $30
    stem and handlebars with tape : $50
    Shimano Tiagra shifters (off ebay): $85
    Seatpost (cheaper Easton one): $30
    Brooks narrow B-17: $95
    Shimano 105 crank (got given them by a friend, but let's call it a $70 cost): $70
    Shimano BB: $30
    Shimano Deore rear derailleur: $25
    Shimano 105 front derailleur: $25
    chain and cassette (SRAM PC99 and Shimano XT cassette): $60
    Fenders: $20

    Total: around $900 (all labour and wheelbuilding done myself). Admittedly, some of these parts I got gifted (crank) and or were pull offs existing bikes I had (front rim, rear cassette and chain, rear der, bb, handlebars) so it never felt like it was *that* expensive.

    What I find is that it's too easy to forget about things like rim strips, bar tape, cables and housing -and those niggling little extra rather suprizingly add up. Whenever and whereever possible, I always tried to get the components at the cheapest price, making copious use of coupons. And of course, if you haven't got the tools you need (another investment there) you have to usually pay someone with those tools to do the build. Building up your own bike usually isn't very cost effective in comparison to a bought bike -though I do have the immense pleasure of riding a bike I know I built on wheels I hand built as well.

    I should add I'd bought a frame off ebay -a Dawes Sardar for about $210 including shipping. I figure I've ended up with a really really nice touring bike with disc brakes and STI shifting for around $1100, which I'm happy with.

  12. #12
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigeyy

    What I find is that it's too easy to forget about things like rim strips, bar tape, cables and housing -and those niggling little extra rather suprizingly add up. Whenever and whereever possible, I always tried to get the components at the cheapest price, making copious use of coupons. And of course, if you haven't got the tools you need (another investment there) you have to usually pay someone with those tools to do the build. Building up your own bike usually isn't very cost effective in comparison to a bought bike -though I do have the immense pleasure of riding a bike I know I built on wheels I hand built as well.
    Definitely. In the end, I was surprised how much I spent, especially since the frame was such a steal. But as you say, it is an immense pleasure to ride I bike you've put together yourself.

    (The next step in my development as a bike wrench will be to build my own wheels. And I understand that it's not necessarily cheaper either, but then it's not really about saving a few bucks, is it?_
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  13. #13
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso
    (The next step in my development as a bike wrench will be to build my own wheels. And I understand that it's not necessarily cheaper either, but then it's not really about saving a few bucks, is it?_
    I'd say building wheels yourself will be cheaper, at least if what you want are good wheels rather than mediocre wheels!

    If you buy pre-built wheels, you get mediocre machine-built stuff mostly. If you have your LBS do it, you have to pay retail on the hubs and rims, plus labor. If you do it yourself, you can get hubs and rims online for cheap, and then save on the labor costs.

    Plus, when you build your own wheels, you KNOW that their quality depends only on your own competence... not on someone else being in a hurry. That may or may not be a comforting thought
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  14. #14
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    I'd say building wheels yourself will be cheaper, at least if what you want are good wheels rather than mediocre wheels!

    If you buy pre-built wheels, you get mediocre machine-built stuff mostly. If you have your LBS do it, you have to pay retail on the hubs and rims, plus labor. If you do it yourself, you can get hubs and rims online for cheap, and then save on the labor costs.

    Plus, when you build your own wheels, you KNOW that their quality depends only on your own competence... not on someone else being in a hurry. That may or may not be a comforting thought
    Sounds right. I've done both of those things on my last two sets of wheels. One was a good set (Mavic OP/Ultegra) crappily built. That was a $199 Nashbar special but they were so out of tension that I had to take them to the LBS to be trued and retensioned. Pennywise but pound foolish.

    The next set was Open Pros on Centaur hubs that I had that same LBS build. Got a very reliable wheelset but wow did I pay!
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigeyy
    Hmm let's see -obviously much depends on what you have already..... For my touring bike buildup (all costs include shipping are are estimated on the higher side):

    wheels:
    originally bought a pair of 32h Sun CR18 rims for $99, ended up using one rim and relacing to a WTB front disc hub cheap off ebay and buying new spokes, so let's call it: $80
    bought a rear CR18 36h rim, rear Deore disc hub and spokes: $85
    inner tubes and Specialized Fatboy tyres: $45
    rim strips: $10
    2 Avid Road disc brakes off Ebay: $135
    brake and derailleur cables: $25
    Front headset bearing (Cane Creek S2): $30
    stem and handlebars with tape : $50
    Shimano Tiagra shifters (off ebay): $85
    Seatpost (cheaper Easton one): $30
    Brooks narrow B-17: $95
    Shimano 105 crank (got given them by a friend, but let's call it a $70 cost): $70
    Shimano BB: $30
    Shimano Deore rear derailleur: $25
    Shimano 105 front derailleur: $25
    chain and cassette (SRAM PC99 and Shimano XT cassette): $60
    Fenders: $20

    Total: around $900 (all labour and wheelbuilding done myself). Admittedly, some of these parts I got gifted (crank) and or were pull offs existing bikes I had (front rim, rear cassette and chain, rear der, bb, handlebars) so it never felt like it was *that* expensive.

    What I find is that it's too easy to forget about things like rim strips, bar tape, cables and housing -and those niggling little extra rather suprizingly add up. Whenever and whereever possible, I always tried to get the components at the cheapest price, making copious use of coupons. And of course, if you haven't got the tools you need (another investment there) you have to usually pay someone with those tools to do the build. Building up your own bike usually isn't very cost effective in comparison to a bought bike -though I do have the immense pleasure of riding a bike I know I built on wheels I hand built as well.

    I should add I'd bought a frame off ebay -a Dawes Sardar for about $210 including shipping. I figure I've ended up with a really really nice touring bike with disc brakes and STI shifting for around $1100, which I'm happy with.
    Okay, if we're going to talk touring bike, here's mine. But I did it the hard way, I started with a complete bike and changed out all the stuff on it. Not an economical way to go but it makes for a great bike (All numbers are in US$
    Frame, Complete bike: 900
    Headset, Red Chris King: 120
    Front Derailer, Stock: 0
    Rear Derailer, Stock: 0
    Front wheel, Phil Wood/Mavic: 185
    Rear wheel, Phil Wood/Mavic: 379
    Handle bar, Ritchey: 35
    Seatpost, Race Face: 35
    Saddle, Brooks B17N: 100
    Crank, Race Face Turbine: 230
    Bottom Bracket, Race Face: 0
    Pedals, Shimano 520: 50
    Cassette, Sram: 60
    Brakes, Avid shorty 4" 80
    Stem, Race Face: 15
    Levers/shifter, Shimano 105: 100
    Rack, rear, Tubus Cargo: 100
    Rack, front, Tubus Tara: 88
    Tape, Aztec: 20
    red bits, Purely Custom: 55
    Pump, Topeak: 30
    Computer mount, Cateye: 20
    Bottle cages, Zefal: 30
    Cable/housing: 40
    Total: 2,672.00

    Extras for touring
    Bags, front, Ortlieb: 100
    Bags, rear, Ortlieb: 130
    Handlebar bag, Ortlieb: 80

    Total stupidity: 2,982.00

    And the final result is below
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    Oh man, you went for the nice stuff! (Chris King headset, Race Face crank and Phil Wood hubs no less!). Sounds like you have an excellent bike build. And I'm very partial to Cannondales ;^)

    I forgot to include the cost of bottle cages in my build costs, plus the costs of racks, but I figure you could count those -and fenders I suppose -as extras. Also I have Shimano (cheaper entry level ones) clipless pedals, but I already had those and got them with a bike, so I didn't figure those in either.....

  17. #17
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    Thanks to all so far. Cycco, those are beautiful bikes.

    I definitely don't see this as a cost-effective maneuver, especially time-wise, as I'm learning to do all this work for myself. I view this as a hobby and have enjoyed being able to keep my bikes running myself (mostly). This will by my first attempt at building up a bike for myself.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbojeff
    So, how much would you guess you spent/spend building up your frame(s)?
    Everybody has different objectives and differing resources so their results aren't transferable to somebody else. Cyccommute gave you the high end, here's the low side.

    When I built myself a fixed gear this summer my only cash outlay was for painting materials. Most of the components came from my junk collection and I traded some wrenching at my local bike shop for a set of Surley hubs, a seatpost and handlebar tape. I think that my largest single cash outlay was $17.00 or $18.00 for some vinyl "retro grouch" stickers for the downtube. My total cash outlay was maybe $50.00 or $60.00 tops.

    Your mileage will definitely vary.

  19. #19
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    When I built myself a fixed gear this summer my only cash outlay was for painting materials. Most of the components came from my junk collection and I traded some wrenching at my local bike shop for a set of Surley hubs, a seatpost and handlebar tape. I think that my largest single cash outlay was $17.00 or $18.00 for some vinyl "retro grouch" stickers for the downtube. My total cash outlay was maybe $50.00 or $60.00 tops.
    I built my recent fixie for $160 minus selling the old wheels for $45 and derailers for $15. Dang it, ya still beat me at the "resourceful scrounger" game. Teach me, O Retro Grouch.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    I built my recent fixie for $160 minus selling the old wheels for $45 and derailers for $15. Dang it, ya still beat me at the "resourceful scrounger" game. Teach me, O Retro Grouch.
    Well, I kind of cheated. I traded work for parts at my LBS.

  21. #21
    Long haired freak. wethepeople's Avatar
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    Frame: 2006 Macneil Heaton 2. $349.99.
    Fork: Sunday! Night. $149.99.
    Headset: Kink. $49.99.
    Stem: Fit series 2. $99.99.
    Bars: Wethepeople Le-Tigre. $69.99.
    Grips: Primo. $14.99.
    Barends: Primo.
    Brake Lever: Monolever. $39.99.
    Brake cable: Oddy Linear Slic. $14.99.
    Brakes: Evolvers. $69.99.
    Pedals: Sealed mag JC's. $109.99.
    Crank: Old ass Profiles. $140.00.
    Bottom Bracket: Macneil. $49.99.
    Sprocket: S&M Guard 33tooth. Or Tree 28tooth. S&M and Tree both $100.00
    Chain: Shadow interlock 2. $54.99.
    Seat: Oddy MX. $39.99.
    Seatpost: 1664. $49.99.
    Seatpost Clamp: Redline. $5.00.
    Front Tire: K-Rad. $15.99.
    Front Rim: ZX22 on Macho hub $99.00.
    Front Hub: DK Macho.
    Front Spokes: black?
    Rear Tire: Animal GLH. $39.99.
    Rear Rim: Demolition. $99.99.
    Rear Hub: Hazzard. $179.99
    Rear Spokes: DT Ti. $45.00.
    Freewheel/Cog: 12tooth
    Pegs: Macneil. $39.99

    This is all for the bike in my sig, and I payed 14.5% tax on all of that.

    "the bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began...there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of a bus to never-ever land."


  22. #22
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    I recently built this bike for about $680. It was built mostly from used and NOS parts. A few parts I bought new, and a few I had in my parts bin.

    Frame- Colnago Master Competition
    Hubs- NOS Campy Record Pista 28H
    Rims- NOS Mavic CXP 30
    Spokes- Sapim
    Tires- Conti Grand Prix
    Bars- Cinelli Tempo
    Front Brake and lever- Campy Chorus
    Headset- Unknown Campy
    Crank- Sugino RD
    BB- FSA
    Seatpost- Campy Record
    Saddle- Brooks B-17




  23. #23
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    Klein Quantum Pro Frame (included fork, seatpost, stem, bars, and pressed in bottom bracket) - $400
    Labor to get the bottom bracket overhauled - $50
    Stronglight Impact Compact Crankset (actually a rebadged Sugino XD with Stronglight chainrings, but it was the only thing that fit on my darn bottom bracket)- $122
    Mavic Ksyrium Elite Wheels with Pro2 Race Tires - $400
    Ultegra Build Kit (minus cranks) - $450
    I had a Dura Ace RD and an Ultegra Rear Brake lying around, so lets subtract $75 for what I can get on eBay for the new parts
    Bar Tape - $15
    Brake Cables + Brake/Shifter Housing - $30
    Saddle and Pedals - Cannibalized off my old bike (would have added about $125 if I replaced them)

    $1392 total out of pocket, including tax and shipping.
    Last edited by Phoible; 09-19-06 at 01:58 AM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    Then unless you have the tools already, you could be looking at an extra couple of hundred dollars for the tools you need. Here are some thoughts:

    cable cutters
    cassette remover
    crank arm remover
    bb remover
    headset press (to be honest, I made my own out of a big nut and bolt with washers and have had 100% success with it)
    headset remover (again, made my own out of a pvc pipe -perfect!)
    allen keys
    adjustable wrench
    hammer
    piece of wood
    screw drivers
    truing stand (I like mine, it was $34 Minoura special from Nashbar on sale, but many people say you don't need one, merely it just makes it more convenient)
    spoke wrenches (proper ones!)
    spoke tensiometer (again you don't need one, but I find mine -a Park one -to be great at "seeing" relative tensions of spokes -and I like seeing things rather than going by the "feel" of them)
    workstand (again, not a must have, but having one makes life a lot easier, trust me)
    pedal wrench

    I'm sure there are more tools, but you get the picture -you need to set aside at least a couple of hundred dollars if you haven't got any tools. You may need to add that on to the cost of your build. But.... as I posted earlier, the satisfaction of riding a bike you've built up on wheels you've built is priceless, very satisfying.

  25. #25
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigeyy
    Oh man, you went for the nice stuff! (Chris King headset, Race Face crank and Phil Wood hubs no less!). Sounds like you have an excellent bike build. And I'm very partial to Cannondales ;^)

    I forgot to include the cost of bottle cages in my build costs, plus the costs of racks, but I figure you could count those -and fenders I suppose -as extras. Also I have Shimano (cheaper entry level ones) clipless pedals, but I already had those and got them with a bike, so I didn't figure those in either.....
    Since I ride my bike to work most days, my wife doesn't mind my spending money on bikes too much since it's either that or $60 to $80 per week for gas I went for the top end stuff on this bike because I've had cheap bikes in the past and I wanted a really nice one now. The Phil's were just over the top but they are sooooooooo pretty.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

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