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Old 08-06-10, 06:22 PM   #1
caaznkid
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road bike build?

Hello everyone,

I was wondering how much a custom road bike build up should cost? Because I called around the shops in my area and all of them quote me a price around 175-250 dollars, which is quite a lot for me at the moment haha. So is around 200 dollars the going rate right now or am I getting ripped off? Would it be unwise to buy a book and attempt to build it up myself? There are places that let me rent tools for about 5 or 6 bucks an hour.
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Old 08-06-10, 07:15 PM   #2
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How much are you spending on the frame/fork and build kit and how elaborate is the finished bike going to be? Also, did you buy all of the parts from the LBS or by mailorder/internet?

If you are having an expensive frame built up with top line parts and bought everything mailorder or internet, yes the LBS is going to charge a lot more than if you got all of the components through them. They have to make their money somewhere and they will also have to service what they build even if they made nothing on the parts.

As to the DIY approach, again, how elaborate is the bike and what level of bike mechanical knowledge do you now have? If it's an expensive bike and you are a novice, pay the LBS the money and call it good.
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Old 08-06-10, 07:23 PM   #3
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The only thing I would add to what HillRider said is that if you want to learn bicycle mechanics, then it would be a big step in that direction to build your own. That said, make sure you understand the fundamentals before you start--it could be an expensive lesson in how NOT to do it.
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Old 08-07-10, 03:30 AM   #4
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i don't know what you mean by elaborate, but i have a torelli frame and a dura ace 7700 group. the headset and fork are not installed yet.
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Old 08-07-10, 05:52 AM   #5
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$200 is about the going rate around here. +1 Shop won't make anything on the parts, and when using used parts, they run the risk of having issues. How much wrenching have you done on bikes so far? Any other experience doing mechanical work? If you have good mechanical aptitude, you should be able to do it yourself. Tools are usually the limiting factor, but you have that covered.
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Old 08-07-10, 10:31 AM   #6
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i don't know what you mean by elaborate, but i have a torelli frame and a dura ace 7700 group. the headset and fork are not installed yet.
OK, you have a good frame and an older but high-line group. By "elaborate" i meant something out of the ordinary or complex or very expensive. I wouldn't call your build elaborate but it isn't entry-level either.

You haven't mentioned how much mechanical experience you have. If you know the basics but don't have a lot of tools or experience, I'd certainly have the shop install the headset and, perhaps the bottom bracket.
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Old 08-07-10, 10:37 AM   #7
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It's a day of skilled labor, at shop overhead rate, .. well somewhat less time, maybe,

if the mechanic doesn't also have to go out on the sales floor
and talk to customers , too..

the DIY Co Op shop, you mentioned, may be the Budget way to, go ..
if there is someone there to tutor you, answer questions,
a gratuity in their hand for their help, would be appreciated..

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-07-10 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 08-07-10, 10:43 AM   #8
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Bicycle wise.....I have very limited knowledge. I mean I had enough to gather all the right parts and stuff, but that's about as far as it goes haha. I have mechanical knowledge of other stuff, like cars. Would that help at all? One of the guys at the shop actually recommended me buying the "zen book" or something and attempting to put it together myself.

What is so difficult about installing the bottom bracket? Do the threads have to be chased? I mean....the bottom bracket pretty much just screws in...
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Old 08-07-10, 11:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by caaznkid View Post
Bicycle wise.....I have very limited knowledge. I mean I had enough to gather all the right parts and stuff, but that's about as far as it goes haha. I have mechanical knowledge of other stuff, like cars. Would that help at all? One of the guys at the shop actually recommended me buying the "zen book" or something and attempting to put it together myself.

What is so difficult about installing the bottom bracket? Do the threads have to be chased? I mean....the bottom bracket pretty much just screws in...
Your car knowledge will certainly help as you understand tools, careful assembly, etc.

The "zen" is actually Zinn, as in Lennard Zinn who is the author of two bike repair manuals titled "Zinn and the Art of Road (or MTB) Bike Maintenance" They are good manuals and highly recommended. Another source is the Park Tool web site which has tutorials on all aspects of bike maintenance and is well worth the time.

BB threads don't have to be chased unless they are dirty or corroded. Bottom bracket installation is fairly straight forward except you need a specific installation tool, the threads should be greased and the recommended torque values of 30 - 40 ft-lb are much higher than you would expect.
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Old 08-07-10, 11:12 AM   #10
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So you think I should actually try and attempt it myself then? There's a place that lets me rent bike tools by the hr and the staff are around to help me too.

Last edited by caaznkid; 08-07-10 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 08-07-10, 11:29 AM   #11
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you should do the simple stuff that you can't cause damage to such as installing the deraileurs, brakes, shifters and running all of the cabling. If your not sure I would pay to have them do the headset and bottom bracket. The headset can be quite easy but not necessarily. I took apart my bike and was able to easily put the old threaded headset back on with out any special tools (press). I had my lbs take out my old crank and install a new one, they charged me $20 for it. I also had them do the headset install when I got rid of the threaded fork and went to a carbon fiber threadless. They cut the steerer and did the install for $20. So in my opinion, you should be paying no more than 40 bucks out of pocket for those big things and then do the rest of it yourself. If you can, stand by at the shop while they do the crank and the headset so you can see it done for future reference. I should also add that I'm in NYC which should be just abut the most expensive place to get anything done
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Old 08-07-10, 02:17 PM   #12
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The headset can be quite easy but not necessarily. I took apart my bike and was able to easily put the old threaded headset back on with out any special tools (press).
If you are describing just removing the headset bearings and replacing them without a press, yes, that's a fairly easy job. If you are saying you could remove the actual headset cups from the headtube without tools, then something is seriously wrong.
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Old 08-07-10, 04:43 PM   #13
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If you are describing just removing the headset bearings and replacing them without a press, yes, that's a fairly easy job. If you are saying you could remove the actual headset cups from the headtube without tools, then something is seriously wrong.
nope, I meant simply taking it apart and leaving the cups in and then replacing the bearings is easy enough to do but if you needed to remove the cups and start over fresh you might need tools. OP, the fact that you have access to the tools for short money and people with more knowledge to help along with having an aptitude in using tools says to me that you should 100% go ahead and do this yourself.
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