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  1. #1
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    How long does it take to build a bike?

    On average, how long should I expect to wait for a professional LBS to complete a stock build? (Assuming they have received the bike.) I ordered a Cannondale CAADX 105 and I don't think I've been this anxious in my life. More so than a 10 year old on Christmas who knows they're getting the gift they asked for. I already called them twice while the bike was being shipped (I'm sure they hate customers like me, but I couldn't help myself) and I'd kinda feel like I'm getting to the point of being a dick if I call again. Anyone else feel that way when they got their first nice bike?

  2. #2
    Subjectively Insane MilitantPotato's Avatar
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    When I sealed the deal on my Rodriguez I went through the same. I don't get excited often, but the prospect of having a bike that fit had me excited as hell. I called and e-mailed them way, way too much.

    If it's reasonably assembled when shipped, it shouldn't take more than an hour or so. That depends on the day though, if it's a slow day they'd get it done quick. On a weekend they're busy fixing walk-in flats and tuneups.
    You've got a bike, so you gotta move.

  3. #3
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    I`m assuming you delt with them because you wanted to

    and seems like they took the time to order something in your size that wasn`t in the store. athats already pretty good service.

    So they`ll have to go through the whole shipping/recieving routine before it can even be assembled.

    Yeah- thats normally about an hour. Could be more if on inspection there are additional adjustments that this dealer does to prep a bike. And since it was special order - you should expect that it`ll get a little extra attention.

    So relax and give them a chance to do their stuff. The dealer is likely just as anxious as you are to deliver. After all - happy customers buy accessories and make excellent good-will ambassadors.

  4. #4
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    There will be delays, incompatible parts, things you don't like or don't fit. As a noob I can tell you it took a week or two of learning, waiting for parts, regular life, etc before it was done.

    Very rewarding and now I feel like I could fix my bike better but it took a long time.

  5. #5
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    if we are talking about a plain jane stock bike from any big manufacture. from box to complete a fast and efficient mechanic can do it in 45 mins. includes putting on the bars, pedal, post, check crank torque, true wheels(tension check/balance extra time), hub adjust, brake adjust, derailleurs, headset. level saddle.

  6. #6
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    This is coming from a shop mechanic and a Cannondale dealer. :-)

    It generally takes us about 3-4 business days to get a Cannondale after it has been ordered - but I'm sure this will change between shops depending on location and what the level of dealer.

    Actually building a bike doesn't take much time - a cross bike takes longer, because cantilever brakes take a while to set up properly, but a proficient mechanic can do a quality assembly bike in about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the state of the bike when it comes in.

    Now, if its a really busy shop you may be put in a "que" more or less, they have to get other repairs done that came in before yours did. My shop generally works on a turn around time of 2-4 days, depending on replacement parts and how busy things are. On a bike that is ordered, we take that in to account and usually build it the day of or day after it comes in. I've heard of some shops in the area taking on the upwards of 2 weeks! but that should generally not be the case. If it takes that long, I personally wouldn't go back.

    I'd say give 'em a call. I don't mind if customers call in wondering about the status of their stuff. In the end, you are paying them.
    2011 Cannondale CAADX Rival - 2010 Niner EMD9 - 2008 Surly Steamroller - 1965/66 Cinelli Supercorsa
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  7. #7
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    By the way, I just picked up the CAADX Rival, it uses the same frame as the 105. It is amazing, went out on a 25 mile gravel road ride the other day and it is awesome - super snappy, light, and comfortable. With everything stock and adding fenders, it is just over 22 lbs.
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  8. #8
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    I assume the question isn't how many hours it actually takes to build, but what's a reasonable waiting time from delivery of the frame and parts to delivery.

    The actual build out time on a complete bike is very short, so assuming the shop doesn't have a backlog they should be able to deliver the bike the same or next day after delivery to them. It might be a bit longer if you requested lot's of add-ons or changes, but otherwise it's only a question of delivery to the shop.

    Transit could be anytime from a few days to a week or so. Your best bet is to ask the shop now if they have any backlog, and to please jump on it as soon as it arrives.

    BTW- you might ask them to give you tracking info as soon as they have it. Then you can visit the carrier's site and find out the ETD rather than call daily.
    Last edited by FBinNY; 02-22-11 at 04:55 PM.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan@TreeFort View Post
    By the way, I just picked up the CAADX Rival, it uses the same frame as the 105. It is amazing, went out on a 25 mile gravel road ride the other day and it is awesome - super snappy, light, and comfortable. With everything stock and adding fenders, it is just over 22 lbs.
    Now, that didn't make the OP more anxious, did it. He's got to be chomping at the bit after that statement.

    My last bike that I purchased from a LBS was about last year and it came with black canti brakes on the front and silver on the back. I had to wait for a new set of brakes to be sent. But I purchased it in Oct. and didn't expect to pick it up until spring so he had plenty of time to fix any problems. But it ended up that the LBS didn't pull it out of the box until I called and told them I was going to pick it up.

    Also when I was working at the shop, it took me about 1-2 hours to assemble a bike. But I did this as a fun job to do after my real job and I was paid $10 a bike and I took my time, I always figured that it is better to take my time than rushing and making mistakes.
    Last edited by cyclist2000; 02-22-11 at 04:45 PM.
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  10. #10
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Once the mechanic starts on the bike, it takes about 45 minutes to get it road-ready.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    Now, that didn't make the OP more anxious, did it. He's got to be chomping at the bit after that statement.
    Always happy to help!
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Usually, when you say "build a bike" what is meant is to start with a raw frame and do all the work fitting the BB and headset, cutting the steerer, installing all the components, cutting the and fitting cables and housings, cutting the chain, and adjusting everything. This can take awhile.

    When the LBS gets a stock bike, generally all they need to do is put the the bars and wheels on and check the adjustments. All the fitting and cabling is done. This should easily take less than an hour.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    On average, how long should I expect to wait for a professional LBS to complete a stock build?
    I read that as having everything in the carton, not a pick and choose custom component pick.

    I've done builds for stock in a day or less, .. than 6~8 hours,
    ... if left alone.. no walk-in customers taking me away from the job..

    that is going thru everything and checking the [mostly Taiwan, fast]
    fitting enough on to ship , assembly..

    that is a thorough Professional build, looigi OTOH,
    has a department store assembly in his mind.
    Those are just stick the bars wheels and pedals on, jobs .. YGWYPF

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan@TreeFort View Post
    This is coming from a shop mechanic and a Cannondale dealer. :-)

    It generally takes us about 3-4 business days to get a Cannondale after it has been ordered - but I'm sure this will change between shops depending on location and what the level of dealer.
    Has Cannondale's delivery time and stock situation changed now that the Bedford, PA plant is only doing assembly, not building any frames?

  15. #15
    Junior Member biketinker88's Avatar
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    When I was an assembler at my LBS it was my goal to complete 2 bikes an hour. These are stock bikes from manufacturer, where most of the time was spent adjusting the shifting and brakes, most of the bike was already assembled in box.

  16. #16
    Number One iareConfusE's Avatar
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    If it's a bike that we don't have in our warehouse or on our floor, we'll have to order it from the manufacturer/supplier. Usually takes a day or two for order processing, and then they ship it, which takes about 5 business days. Once we get the bike, from the time we open the box to the time that we're done building, should take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on the type of bike. A bike like the CAAD 10 will probably take about an hour, as they don't come completely cabled like most of the cheaper Cannondales do. We also have to wrap the bars which tacks on some more time. I can usually do a CAAD 8, or a nicely pre-assembled Scott in about 20-30 minutes, assuming nothing is broken and the wheels aren't completely lopsided.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Has Cannondale's delivery time and stock situation changed now that the Bedford, PA plant is only doing assembly, not building any frames?
    Not really, the complete bikes are still stocked in the US (I don't remember exactly where the warehouse is) so ship time is generally the same. To us, it takes around 3-4 business days as long as C-dale has it in stock.
    2011 Cannondale CAADX Rival - 2010 Niner EMD9 - 2008 Surly Steamroller - 1965/66 Cinelli Supercorsa
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  18. #18
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    takes about 90 minutes tops

  19. #19
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    Between an hour and two hours for a manufactured/partially assemble bike that comes as a complete bike.

    If you need to install bottom brackets and cables and headsets then about 3 hours.

    A Cannondale usually comes 90% assembled and all that remains is wheels, seatpost, saddle, and final adjustments. About an hour or hour and a half. When I last worked in a cannondale shop I spent an extra half hour truing and properly tensioning the wheels as they were atrocious.

  20. #20
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Shops vary widely, but my goal is to get the bike built & tuned the same day it arrives, or the next day at worst.

    1. the sooner the customer gets it, the happier they'll be, and the more good word-of-mouth we might reap from it. Win-win

    2. the sooner I start on it, the sooner I'll know if there's some kind of show-stopping problem with the bike (blems, defects, shipping damage, etc) and will have that much more lead time to fix it and avoid disappointing the customer.*

    3. if the bike's only partially paid-off, then the sooner we get it to the customer, the better for our cash flow situation. Carrot... stick... yeah

    *This is also why I discourage our sales guys from giving out tracking numbers, or telling the customer the bike's arrived and will definitely be ready by such-&-such time of day. I'll refrain from specific horror stories, but let's just say it can end badly

    At a typical shop, the actual build-&-tune process is likely to take 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending on the bike and how far into quality assurance they go. Where I work now, we have a QA procedure and checklist, and lean towards proactive prevention of foreseeable issues, so I usually allocate 90-120 minutes. An older version of the QA sheet's attached if anyone's curious; just doing all the torque checks and QA checkoffs is 10-15 minutes' worth of work.

    Going back to the main topic, I suggest simply asking your shop when to expect the bike to be ready, not whether it's arrived. They know the expected arrival date and their subsequent lead-out time, and should be able to give you a solid answer.
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  21. #21
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    Thanks for all the input guys.
    Turns out that the bike was finished shortly after I posted this thread haha.
    It took four (business) days from the time of arrival to the shop, to the time I picked it up. I was a little irritated that they waited 3 days to even start building it being that I paid for the bike upfront and was told that they'd start as soon as it arrived, but then again I wasn't there everyday to see what other stuff they had going on.
    Either way, the bike is awesome and the wait seemed much longer pre-arrival than post arrival I guess. Unfortunately I'm already headed back for repairs since I mangled both my shifters last night in a wipe out. Watch out for ice, it will sneak up on ya fast. Hopefully they'll get it fixed up quick. If only they could do something about my banged up knee too haha.

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