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Old 07-04-06, 09:25 AM   #1
ryanparrish
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Building a Surly Cross Check

Hello,

As many of you know I ride a Bianchi Forza to replace my 25 lb rusted out POC I have had it for a year and a half. I am thinking about getting a serious commuter in the next couple years. Is it cheaper to build up a frame DIY style or is it better to buy something built up?

Ryan
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Old 07-04-06, 10:14 AM   #2
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Cheaper to buy something built, generally. I like doing the wrenching myself, but I still have to make a few dozen trips to BF and the LBS to get everything right. There are enough good stock commuters (9-2-5, Rush Hour, Cross Check, etc) that you can get a good deal pre-built. It's just a matter of which you enjoy more.
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Old 07-04-06, 10:14 AM   #3
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Unless you have most of the parts from another bike building up a frame will cost a lot more than buying a complete bike. If you want a cross check why not buy the bike from Surly and then replace parts as they wear out?

OTOH if money is not an issue, you enjoy working on your bikes and you have a specific component spec in mind buy a frame and build it up.
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Old 07-04-06, 10:26 AM   #4
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Yeah when I did the pricing for the parts for the frame it would cost me 1200. I was looking for something less then that. I checked with the lbs believe it or not they are open today they said they could get me on one for 900. I was hopeing to do the wrenching my self and have funn and save money I geuss not
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Old 07-04-06, 11:01 AM   #5
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You could probably do the wrenching yourself for about the same price if you built it up as a single speed. Droping the front and rear derailleurs, shifters and stuff from the parts bill should get you there. Are you going to be riding any big hills? Do you really need all those gears? Hell, I ride a couple decent hills on my SS Crosscheck anyway. Just a thought. How badly do you want to bolt it together yourself. You sound like a tinkerer. If so, building your own is a really good time. And besides, then you won't have to depend on the LBS to keep your ride in shape.

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Old 07-04-06, 11:06 AM   #6
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I like to tinker. I built my first computer at 12. I also don't like putting my money upfront I like to put a little toward the cause over time. That is how a buy anything big I will put 20 dollars a week into a jar and when I finally get the jar full I will go and pay for it in cash. It would be cool to make a single I only have a big hill
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Old 07-04-06, 11:12 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ryanparrish
I was hopeing to do the wrenching my self and have funn and save money I geuss not
Buy the bike stock. Then take everything apart the first night and put all the pieces - including the little nuts and ball bearings - in a big cardboard box or canvas sack. Shake every thing up really good and make sure to lose some random pieces. Then spend the next few weeks trying to get it back together -- all the fun of wrenching for the cost of a off-the-shelf bike.
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Old 07-04-06, 11:13 AM   #8
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Building bikes is fun, esp. if you are a tinkerer. Even when I buy them off the peg, I am almost start immediately taking it apart and changing parts. If you have the patience, you can seek out parts used and on discount.

It will likely be more expensive no matter what, however, especially if you don't already have the tools. But who cares? When you are done, you will have a bike that you know down to the smallest detail and dressed with the parts you want. You are guaranteed to have a deep appreciation for it as well. I love my homemade bikes.

I say do it.
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Old 07-04-06, 12:19 PM   #9
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Where is a good place to get deals? Nashbar?
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Old 07-04-06, 01:02 PM   #10
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I'm building one. I realized pretty quickly it was not going to be cheap, but having exactly the parts I want on it is very appealing.
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Old 07-04-06, 01:58 PM   #11
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Where is a good place to get deals? Nashbar?
Maybe for some things, but usually they have parts that are at a higher trim level than what you want for a commuter.
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Old 07-04-06, 02:05 PM   #12
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qbike.com
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Old 07-04-06, 03:28 PM   #13
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awesome I will have to start posting some of my idea here
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Old 07-04-06, 04:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanparrish
Where is a good place to get deals? Nashbar?
Most of the parts, including the frame, for both my X-Checks came from aebike ( www.aebike.com ). Frame was $315 shipped, if you're really looking to drop a bit of cash it worth contacting Cullen at aebike, he'll typically give you better pricing then the QBP catalog.

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Old 07-04-06, 05:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanparrish
Hello,

As many of you know I ride a Bianchi Forza to replace my 25 lb rusted out POC I have had it for a year and a half. I am thinking about getting a serious commuter in the next couple years. Is it cheaper to build up a frame DIY style or is it better to buy something built up?

Ryan
Always cheaper to buy. There is that sense of satisfaction though when you can say you did it yourself. I built up one bike myself and had my LBS do the other. I like both equally. Building it yourself will be an experience that when complete you can be proud of. Good luck

Tim
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Old 07-04-06, 05:30 PM   #16
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It was said earlier in the thread, but just to reiterate, if you have components that you like, building a bike can come in cheaper than buying new if you can recycle preexisting components. I broke my frame a year ago, but I really liked most of the stuff I had on my bike. So all I was hunting for was a bargain priced AL frame and a few other pieces, and I was good to go. Plus, I like to wrench.
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Old 07-04-06, 06:45 PM   #17
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It is almost always cheaper to get parts when they are attached to a bike. The most expensive way to get a bike has to be buying the frame and all the components separately and new.

I built my cross check by taking all the components that would fit from my Trek 520 and selling the old frame on ebay. The old frame sold for about $50 less that what I paid for the X-check. All I really had to buy from there was a few cables and a headset and I was good to go.

Since you don't need to worry about frame type and size there are lots of used bikes out there for good prices that can be bought for the components if you are looking for a nearly complete set of bits to build up a bike. Just make sure you buy fairly recent stuff so BB, dropout spacing, etc. are current standards. Save the leftovers for swap-meets or sell them on Craigslist or ebay and you can build some pretty nice stuff for a pretty low investment.
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Old 07-04-06, 07:59 PM   #18
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My mtn bike I bought stock - a 1998 specialized s-works hard tail. As parts wore out, I replaced them with the top of the foodchain (or near to what I could afford anyways.) Now, it has a chris king head set (get one if you can, they are wonderful), an xt bottom bracket, mavic crossride wheel set (not the best, but damn tough wheels for sure) and an easton handlebar (might have stressed the other stock bar in a high speed asphalt crash..... not worth the gamble). The pedals are Time mtn bike pedals, the huge float is nice to my not nice knees. I have ended up with a nifty bike that is a lot of fun to use and is better than stock in the places that count. As well, it now takes much less maintenance to keep going which is always a nice bonus since I do not have the facilities to do a lot of maintenance as of yet. Hotrodding a stock bike can be a lot of fun since you get the joy of riding the silly thing while saving for upgrades. The Kona Jake the snake is going to get the same kind of treatment (sealed cartridge bearings all around, mavic wheel set, etc) as the cash becomes availible both for less maintenance, and for a little customization.

However, if cash was not an option, I would definately go the boutique method of building a bike from the frame up. You can make some seriously cool bikes that way that are a lot of extra fun to ride since YOU did the work and picked the bits. My old road bike I had in highschool was like that - a Marinoni with a mix of various italian parts that was one heck of a sweet bike until the frame started to fatigue beyond reasonable use.
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Old 07-04-06, 10:31 PM   #19
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awesome that would be a good idea in finding some bikes to salvage from. I put together the most cheap surl x check as possible. I think it could be cheaper if I didn't have such a pricey saddle or seatpost or handle bars and levers, but those are in contact with the human body all the time so they need to be human friendly. I couldn't find any good wheels for single speed or cranks maybe I can get some one to build up from some surly hubs or something cheaper. Sorry about the funny colors in the PDF for my list of parts but what can I say
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Old 07-05-06, 12:33 PM   #20
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Does the $315 frame price include the fork??? I'm thinking not.
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Old 07-05-06, 01:50 PM   #21
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duhhhh I just thought that the frame came with one the 410 price at harris cycle (online) said 410 dollars and came with fork I thought the other one was just less expensive and came with fork
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Old 07-05-06, 03:01 PM   #22
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I'm going with used parts for a lot of my build. I don't mind a few scuffs and I don't have the $$$ to pay retail for a King headset or a Thomson post, but they are definitely nice. I figure if I'm building a bike from a frame I shouldn't mess around with cheapo parts, but since it's going to be primarily a commuting bike I decided not to go too fancy (Surly hubs instead of Phil Wood for example).

I could have gotten my frame for cheaper but I'm glad I went with my LBS. They have been really helpful so far.

FYI - IRO has the B-17 for $54.
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Old 07-05-06, 03:07 PM   #23
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Do you think I could find some of these parts of craigslist, and pay to have them shipped to me? I would like to go for the cheaper route as welll. I live in west michigan, and I didn't see any parts available to me
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Old 07-05-06, 03:55 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanparrish
Do you think I could find some of these parts of craigslist, and pay to have them shipped to me? I would like to go for the cheaper route as welll. I live in west michigan, and I didn't see any parts available to me
Unless you can pick up locally I would not bother with Craigslist. There's no protection against someone just taking your money if you make arrangements to have something shipped to you. Ebay is good for higher end parts because shipping is not as big a percentage of the final price. I'll pay more in shipping for something that's cheap but hard to find though.

You might also see if there are any shops in your area that deal in used parts. I'm pretty lucky to have two such shops close to me.
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Old 07-05-06, 05:21 PM   #25
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Is it easier to find a wheel with a fixed hub? or a fixed hub that needs a wheel built arround it I could check Ebay
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