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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 07-25-07, 08:21 PM   #1
KiaTia
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Mountain Bike Frame Up

I have never built a bike but if you have just a little mechanical aptitude can the average guy build a bike from the frame up with disc brakes ect??

Thanks
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Old 07-25-07, 08:31 PM   #2
Chuckie J.
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Well sure, anyone can learn how to build up bikes but... expect to pay a lot more than if you just bought a bike at a bike shop.

You're going to need to buy tools, specialized tools for bike work. Some tools you'll have but expect to buy quite a few the first time around.

You're going to make some mistakes. They, again, will cost you some.

There's nothing wrong with having tools and making mistakes. It will also take you time to learn but all in all, I deeply enjoy working on my bikes and building them up piece by piece. If you're goal is enjoyment, go for it. If you think that DIY initiative is going to save you money, it rarely will (maybe a garage sale or Goodwill find).

Good luck!
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Old 07-26-07, 03:02 PM   #3
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I've never built one but I've taken off/put back on/adjusted almost all the parts on a few different bikes. I don't think it would be too tough. I've heard for starting out you can save some money on tools by having your LBS put your headset/BB on and buy your rear wheel with the headset already on, then it's pretty simple assembly after that, a few special tools needed still.
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Old 07-26-07, 03:16 PM   #4
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You can do it!

Pay particular attention to the manuals for the parts - they're usually available on line. You'll need a torque wrench if you're installing any carbon parts (headset spacers and water bottle cages excluded) and it's a good idea for pinch bolts for integrated BB cranks and for cassette. Other tools are pretty cheap. A cassette tool, cassette holder (when it comes time to remove it.), integrated BB tools are all under $10 or $15 each.....

You'll definitely want to get the headset cups pressed in. A headset press is like $150.
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Old 07-26-07, 11:47 PM   #5
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It is not that hard and most mistake can be easily fixed. Tools can get expensive though.
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Old 07-28-07, 09:09 AM   #6
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I am just starting to build up a hardtail with the parts I have taken off my full suspension during various upgrades. Not sure how everything will go but going to give it a try. For headset and wheel truing / dishing, I am letting the lbs do that due to the cost of the truing stand etc. For the rest of the bike, you can get just about all the tools you need for $40-$50 in a kit off nashbar or someplace like that. They may not be the best tools in the world, but for my limited usage - they should be fine and at the right price. Just my thoughts...
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Old 07-28-07, 09:16 AM   #7
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agreed, bike building (if you dont already have the parts and dont find good deals and know what you are looking for) can cost a pretty penny.

just for the tools I spent about 50-100$ a headset press dont buy a shop one, goto a shop and pay 10 bucks to have it pressed in for you. but if you can justify building more than one bike (at least 15) then you can justify a headset press...

go out an buy a nashbar toolkit its about 40$ and has everything (or mostly everything) you need. Well worth it.
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Old 07-31-07, 05:16 AM   #8
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I built my own with parts left over from my old mtb (frame buggered by some kids trying to steal it!) and it was great. Learned a lot (like the need for a star fangled nut!!) from it and now I wouldn't dream of leaving it to a lbs. Having said that, there are obviously a few things that you'd want them to do. As mentioned before, the HS needs to be pressed in which is best done by them. The wheels I wouldn't touch myself either ( I mean, I wouldn't mind having a go but it's not realistic to think that they'd be 100% the first time, and you also need truing stand etc. Makes more sense to get them done). Everything else should be fun/straight forward.

Top tips:

D/L Exploded view Shimano PDFs for details on how things should be fitted (if using Shimano).

Make use of this forum; lots of knowledgeable people here! (I did)

The ParkTools website is a very valuable resource. Use it!

Have fun!!!
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