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  1. #1
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    Complete vs Build From Frame

    There are too many things that I want to change on my CC (it was not a complete, but built from frame by previous owner. i'd need to swap entire drive train, wheels, and bars) so I am thinking of a new bike and selling the CC to partially recoup costs. I have been thinking of doing it for awhile. I was looking at a Sala Casseroll, but it and many other similar bikes have been OOS for months. With new models coming in, my research has begun anew.

    This is what I am thinking:
    • steel frame relaxed geometry
    • triple (46-36-26 or there about) or super compact double (46-30)
    • toying with the idea of a IGH 8 gear or a 12-32 or 12-28
    • 32 or 36 spoke wheels w/ dynohub and wide tires
    • rear rack for carrying laptop and other stuff to work, small grocery runs, etc.
    • salsa wood chippers, midge, dirt drops, etc.
    • fenders
    • and maybe a front rack for acorn handlebar bag (have the acorn medium seat bag and it is awesome)


    That is why I was eyeballing the Casseroll. It seemed to cover most of this. However, the dilemma then becomes frame build vs complete. Frame build I can learn a lot of stuff, but at a much higher cost.

    Complete bike will need at least: wheel swap, handlebars, IGH or cassette, barcon shifters (though I could keep brifters, never used them before), and saddle (I already have a Brooks I could swap).

    I'd use for short commute, regular riding (no groups/clubs), and possible century or credit card tour at some point.

    Thoughts? Or different bike options?
    '09 Salsa El Mariachi

  2. #2
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if you have another bike, but I wouldn't start building my own Unless I had something else to ride.

    Some of the items you mentioned like saddle, fenders, and racks you would likely purchase separately from most complete bikes (except for the saddle). The bikes I have seen with some of those items people usually replace anyway.

    It looks like you are looking at touring, sport touring, or road comfort type of bikes.
    lil brown bat wrote:
    Wow, aren't other people stupid? It's a good thing that we're so smart. Yay us.

  3. #3
    Stealing Spokes since 82' Fizzaly's Avatar
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    Are you wanting New or are you considering any older stuff, I for the last few years have been doing frame up builds, but i buy old frames and throw newer parts on them, in my results you can end up with really good results. My current bike meets a lot of your requirements though the frame is 23 years old, in picture i have 50-38-28 on the crank but when i tour on it i run 46-34-24 and i also use different wheels but it sure is strong, not light, the geometry might be a little too relazed for your pref. but alot of the older frames can be had for under 20 dollars, just a little sanding and some paint and they look good as new

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    I also have a Salsa El Mariachi (HT 29er 1x9) and an '06 Rockhopper with bad wheels (need to find cheap wheels so I can sale or have as a backup).

    I wouldn't mind older used frame. As long as geometry is relaxed, it is steel, there are braze-ons for fenders AND racks and bottle cages, no heel strike, etc. However, not sure what to be looking for on CL.

    Plus, ff I built from frame it would be my first time do anything major. Though, I thought it would be a good time to learn. The whole idea is that I figured I could get more selling the CC then parting out (plus less hassle for multiple transactions/shipping).
    '09 Salsa El Mariachi

  5. #5
    Stealing Spokes since 82' Fizzaly's Avatar
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    Do you have any bike co-ops in your area? Thats where i found that silver frame i paid 12 bucks for it.

  6. #6
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by divtag View Post
    Complete bike will need at least: wheel swap, handlebars, IGH or cassette, barcon shifters (though I could keep brifters, never used them before), and saddle (I already have a Brooks I could swap).
    If you want to replace that much then get a frame and build it up from there. Otherwise, it would be a waste of money even if you can get some back by selling unused parts from that bike.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    If you want to replace that much then get a frame and build it up from there. Otherwise, it would be a waste of money even if you can get some back by selling unused parts from that bike.
    That is what I wasn't sure about. I didn't know if LBS swapped them out from complete bikes or not.

    As far as co-op, not that I am aware of. I looked a year or so ago and came up empty. Maybe one has been started since.
    '09 Salsa El Mariachi

  8. #8
    TWilkins
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    If you're buying new parts, you'll likely pay more by building up from the frame. Two reasons...

    1) When you buy the entire bike from the manufacturer, they're able to cut component prices by buying in bulk. You might be able to scour the internet/ebay and eventually find what you need at bargain prices, but the question you'll have to answer is whether it's worth your time.

    2) You're likely to get the upgrade bug as you go.

    With that said, there is a lot of benefit from building from the frame up, namely, you get the bike you've designed and spec'ed. If you're not going to be satisfied with the components delivered on the complete, by all means, go for the build or get your LBS to do it for you.
    Tracy Wilkins
    2011 Trek Madone 5.2
    2005 Burley Duet Tandem
    2009 Surly Cross-Check (Commuter)
    www.springfieldcyclist.com

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