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  1. #1
    Live to ride ride to live Carbon Unit's Avatar
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    Building a frame up

    I bought my wife a frame and fork and plan to build it up. I had planned on letting my LBS do if but am now considering attempting it myself. I have mechanical appitude. Is there a book detailed enough to walk me through a build?

    I would probably pay someone to install the headset though.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    You'll have fun putting a bike together. I just picked up a copy of the Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair; it's pretty good and detailed. Also Leonard Zinn's the Art of Road Bike maintenance is also pretty good. By a good bike repair stand and some quality bike tools; Park tools are good quality and work well.

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    Senior Member calstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
    You'll have fun putting a bike together. I just picked up a copy of the Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair; it's pretty good and detailed. Also Leonard Zinn's the Art of Road Bike maintenance is also pretty good. By a good bike repair stand and some quality bike tools; Park tools are good quality and work well.
    +1. Tons of info available on builds, books, internet, etc. Bikes are really not very complicated, since you're mechanically inclined you'll pick the basics up easily. Money your not shelling out to the lbs can be invested in tools. If the frame needs the bb faced, ht faced have the lbs do those(that tooling is spendy). Running cables, adjusting bearings(if not sealed), adjusting brakes etc. is certainly no big deal. Go for it!

    Brian

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    Live to ride ride to live Carbon Unit's Avatar
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    I have the bike stand and some bike tools. The frame has a PF30 and I am not sure what kind of tools I need to press the bearing into the frame. I would also need a headset tool to install the headset. I think the headset tool is a little pricey.

    I will check on the Big Blue Book of Bicycle Mechanics and the Zen book too.

  5. #5
    Live to ride ride to live Carbon Unit's Avatar
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    I was just reading online that a cheap solution to press in headset bearings is a piece of threaded rod, two washers, two nuts and a wrench. This would probably cost $5.00. I suspect that I could use it to press the bearing into the PF30 bottom bracket as well.

  6. #6
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
    I was just reading online that a cheap solution to press in headset bearings is a piece of threaded rod, two washers, two nuts and a wrench. This would probably cost $5.00. I suspect that I could use it to press the bearing into the PF30 bottom bracket as well.
    Yes, those will get the job done, if you know what you're doing. The correct tools make doing the job right much easier and less likely to have mystery issues later on.

    I've pressed in headset cups with a hammer and a block of wood, but only after working on dozens of customer bikes with good tools. Pressing in headset and bottom bracket bearings is something I'd leave to an experienced mechanic with the proper tools. After that, it's just nuts and bolts.
    Jeff Wills

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  7. #7
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    The two areas that require special attention are the headset and BB. I just did a Surly Cross Check. Surly faced the headtube and I used a Cane Creek Model 40 headset with external cups. Surly also used tubing that was within the tolerances that Cane Creek requires for an interference fit. Installing the headset required carefully cleaning the paint off the mating surfaces (headtube and fork crown). I used a 1 1/4" PVC pipe to set the crown race on an 1 1/8" tube. I used 1/2" all thread with 6 fender washers and 3 nuts to press the cups into the tube. With the BB I used an external bearing Crankset. For $30 I had an LBS face and chase the Shell.


    So the ability to do this depends on the frame you bought and the components you choose. Had I bought a raw frame ( no machining) and a different headset then the headset install could have required $1200 worth of tools. Luck smiled on me in this project as I wasn't aware of this when I bought the frame.

    So what frame did you buy and what are you installing?
    Last edited by jethro56; 05-18-12 at 05:34 AM.

  8. #8
    Live to ride ride to live Carbon Unit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56:14239522
    The two areas that require special attention are the headset and BB. I just did a Surly Cross Check. Surly faced the headtube and I used a Cane Creek Model 40 headset with external cups. Surly also used tubing that was within the tolerances that Cane Creek requires for an interference fit. Installing the headset required carefully cleaning the paint off the mating surfaces (headtube and fork crown). I used a 1 1/4" PVC pipe to set the crown race on an 1 1/8" tube. I used 1/2" all thread with 6 fender washers and 3 nuts to press the cups into the tube. With the BB I used an external bearing Crankset. For $30 I had an LBS face and chase the Shell.


    So the ability to do this depends on the frame you bought and the components you choose. Had I bought a raw frame ( no machining) and a different headset then the headset install could have required $1200 worth of tools. Luck s
    miled on me in this project as I wasn't aware of this when I bought the frame.

    So what frame did you buy and what are you installing?
    I bought a new Calfee Bamboo frame that has never been built up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
    I bought a new Calfee Bamboo frame that has never been built up.
    Given the unusual and somewhat unknown properties of that frame, I definitely recommend an experienced shop install the headset and the bottom bracket too unless it's a standard English thread. The rest of the components should be relatively straightforward with little chance of damaging the frame if you don't do it right the first time. Be careful with any clamps that go around the frame tubes such as a clamp-on front derailleur.

  10. #10
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Ignore what I said. This is way beyond my simpleton post. Please keep us updated on the build.

  11. #11
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
    I bought a new Calfee Bamboo frame that has never been built up.
    I just read about the bike on Calfee's website. That is one heck of an interesting bike. Make sure you put up some pics once you've built it up. Yeah, I agree that I would have an LBS do the BB and headset given that the bike is unusual and talk to the manufacturer to find out what is recommended for that bike.

  12. #12
    Live to ride ride to live Carbon Unit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemig:14240353
    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
    I bought a new Calfee Bamboo frame that has never been built up.
    I just read about the bike on Calfee's website. That is one heck of an interesting bike. Make sure you put up some pics once you've built it up. Yeah, I agree that I would have an LBS do the BB and headset given that the bike is unusual and talk to the manufacturer to find out what is recommended for that bike.
    It looks cool aswell. It came up on Ebay and I ended up getting it half the price of a new one and it will fit my wife. I was planning on building it up good componets starting with a CK headset and then Campy Record.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    Yes, those will get the job done, if you know what you're doing. The correct tools make doing the job right much easier and less likely to have mystery issues later on.

    I've pressed in headset cups with a hammer and a block of wood, but only after working on dozens of customer bikes with good tools. Pressing in headset and bottom bracket bearings is something I'd leave to an experienced mechanic with the proper tools. After that, it's just nuts and bolts.
    I did that with a couple of headset cups and yes, there is a feel you need to know. I felt a change in the way the hammer struck the wood once the cups seated fully. I am far from an experienced bike mechanic but I have done car repairs for years so I know what its like to use the cheater methods on how to install and seat and adjust bearings.

  14. #14
    Senior Member megalowmatt's Avatar
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    I built up a frame last year and documented it in this thread:

    Nashbar Touring Frame Build

    Aside from some basic tools and knowing simple derailleur adjustments I really didn't know what I was doing.

    It turned out to be a great experience.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    +1 on having a shop install the headset and BB.

    It is an exotic frame (bamboo), so probably more chance to mess things up irreparably.

    Just my two cents.

    Oh, and post pictures documenting the build, as that will be nice bike porn
    Regards,

    Jed

  16. #16
    DOS
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    I've used a combination of threaded rod, washers and copper plumbing fittings for DIY headset tool. It works great as long as I go slow to ensure cups go in straight. However, I was working on relatively unexotic steel frames. I might have had a pro do it if I had been working with bamboo. That said, not sure there are any bike shops near me that have any more experience with bamboo frames that I do.
    My Opinions > My Knowledge

  17. #17
    Live to ride ride to live Carbon Unit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOS View Post
    I've used a combination of threaded rod, washers and copper plumbing fittings for DIY headset tool. It works great as long as I go slow to ensure cups go in straight. However, I was working on relatively unexotic steel frames. I might have had a pro do it if I had been working with bamboo. That said, not sure there are any bike shops near me that have any more experience with bamboo frames that I do.
    The bamboo has either has an aluminum or Ti insert that goes into the headtube. The outside of the headtube is made up of hemp string and glue. Here is a photo.

    Calfee_Bamboo_Image_1.jpg

  18. #18
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
    The bamboo has either has an aluminum or Ti insert that goes into the headtube. The outside of the headtube is made up of hemp string and glue. Here is a photo.

    Calfee_Bamboo_Image_1.jpg
    +1000 on getting a good shop to do the headset & BB install. This is something that I wouldn't attempt myself without having the correct tools and consulting the manufacturer.
    Jeff Wills

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  19. #19
    Live to ride ride to live Carbon Unit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    +1000 on getting a good shop to do the headset & BB install. This is something that I wouldn't attempt myself without having the correct tools and consulting the manufacturer.
    Thanks, I will be taking to a shop to install the headset and bottom bracket. I don't want to take a chance with it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
    Thanks, I will be taking to a shop to install the headset and bottom bracket. I don't want to take a chance with it.
    You might also call Calfee and ask them if there are any specific techniques or precautions the shop should know about. This frame is truly out of the mainstream.

  21. #21
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOS View Post
    I've used a combination of threaded rod, washers and copper plumbing fittings for DIY headset tool. It works great as long as I go slow to ensure cups go in straight. However, I was working on relatively unexotic steel frames. I might have had a pro do it if I had been working with bamboo. That said, not sure there are any bike shops near me that have any more experience with bamboo frames that I do.
    How is it different, since the bamboo has a metal tube for the head tube and bottom bracket? I'd be more worried about messing up an expensive frame ... but an actual press isn't all that expensive compared to an expensive frame.

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