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  1. #1
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    building my first bike!

    Alright, so as a new years resolution I told myself I was going to get myself a bike with my tax return. After looking at pre built bikes, being the DIYer I am I decided to build my own so I could have something to start with that will last me a while. I wanted something versatile, that will be in Sacramento CA 90 percent of the time (relatively flat) with the occasional trip back home to Napa CA (Napa VALLEY!) Im 25 on a budget and want this stuff to last. (As is the goal with EVERY build right..)

    After all my research, heres what I have put together...I'm 5'10" 160, kinda lanky.

    FRAME: nashbar X CX
    CRANKSET: fsa gossamer 34/50...should I go 165/170mm?
    RD/FD: ultima 6700 (nashbar has them for about $100 for both)

    DROPS/STEM for $40 from: http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/127...Stem-COMBO.htm

    As for cassette and shifters, I was just hoping to keep everything the same to avoid any headaches for myself and just get a shimano something (ultegra, 105) whatever I can get my hads on for the cheapest through ebay, LBS, craigs, etc

    And for wheels, my LBS told me to look for Mavic Pro Opens...but I guess I'm pretty open with those too, they just have to be 700c.

    As for brakes, I dont really mind, just as long as they function properly/reliably. Any recommendations for cheap options for my use?

    Am I headed in the right direction? I have the cart ready to go with the frame, chain, RD/FD ready to go on nashbar with 10% off. I just wanted to see if theres anything that I need to rethink before I hit the submit button?

  2. #2
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    I've heard lots of good things about that frame. I looked at picking one up for myself for a one-by-nine build.

    I'd go with a 170mm crank unless you have disproportionally short legs.

    What are you planning for the headset, BB and handlebars?

    Do you have the tools you need to put this all together? BB tool, Chain whip, headset press, etc.?

    Remember that the frame needs to be sturdy (and the one you picked should be) but pretty much everything else you bolt to the frame will eventaully wear out and need to be replaced. Buy components that are comperable to the level you ride at now (or maybe one level up) and wear them out becoming a better rider so by the time they need replaced you'll be seeing an actual benefit from the nicer equipment. Unless you plan to be a racer, a few extra grams of weight here or there probably isn't worth spending hundreds (or thousands) of extra dollars on. We see this all the time with people in the FG/SS forum buying a $500+ wheelset as if it improves their ability to ride a couple blocks to the neighborhood bar.

    Good luck and be sure to post pics as the build progresses.

  3. #3
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    BB, headset were along the things Im still open to getting. Im just basically gathering up the stuff that I know I want for sure (frame, RD/FD, bar/stem combo from that link)

    The frame is 10%off til 2/8 too. So that and a Ultegra RD/FD for 200 ain't too shabby right? Im just gonna go from there.

    As for tools, I dont personally own them. I have a friend of a friend that I was hoping could help me put it together, but if theyre not that much I might just buy what I need right now. Mind you I do have allen keys, wrenches, drivers, and all the other stuff any man should own.

    After I buy the RD/FD and frame, should I focus on picking up wheels next?

    And for my use, should I just pick up the $20 Nashbar canti set from their site? Or should I look for something else?

    And should I pick this up this week? http://sacramento.craigslist.org/bik/1576387891.html
    Last edited by j_deLaBay; 02-03-10 at 09:46 PM.

  4. #4
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    If that person can't help you you're gonna need some specialized tools to work on the fork and the headset, plus crank and cassette tools, cable cutter and a bike stand to work on. Search the forum, there are some inexpensive options for headset and fork tools.

    However, as it was said in other threads those few hundred dollars spent on tools will pay for themselves since you will be able to do majority of maintenance and repairs yourself. A simple tune up can be $30-$50. Also, by building the bike yourself you will know what makes it tick and you should be able to prevent bigger repairs by predicting failures.

    I gathered from others that this would be the best place to go for the wheels: http://www.bicyclewheelwarehouse.com/

    I built my first bike in December and this site helped me a lot: http://bicycletutor.com/

    It was fun. I want to do it again

    Adam

  5. #5
    Senior Member CNY James's Avatar
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    have fun with it! I just finished my 1st build a few weeks ago.

    as for components, the nashbar cantis should be fine, its a pretty simple mechanism so there really isnt that much variety between sets. you can always upgrade if they dont work out well. my advice (1st timer to 1st timer) is to wait a few weeks, even once you have your cash. keep doing your hw, read read read... then buy. doing that, my component list changed a few times, some parts up, some down. have fun and post pics of the finished build!

  6. #6
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j_deLaBay View Post
    So that and a Ultegra RD/FD for 200 ain't too shabby right?
    Those should be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by j_deLaBay View Post
    As for tools, I dont personally own them. I have a friend of a friend that I was hoping could help me put it together, but if theyre not that much I might just buy what I need right now. Mind you I do have allen keys, wrenches, drivers, and all the other stuff any man should own.
    I know they seem expensive at the time but buying tools is a worthwhile investment. A work stand (I like the Park PsC-10 myself) will make this all a LOT easier too.

    Quote Originally Posted by j_deLaBay View Post
    After I buy the RD/FD and frame, should I focus on picking up wheels next?
    Yuo won't have a ridable bike until you have _all_ the components so I don't think it matters what order you pick them up in.

    Quote Originally Posted by j_deLaBay View Post
    And for my use, should I just pick up the $20 Nashbar canti set from their site? Or should I look for something else?
    The Nashbar set should be fine. Pads and proper adjustment have a lot more effect on stopping power than name brand of the brakes themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by j_deLaBay View Post
    And should I pick this up this week? http://sacramento.craigslist.org/bik/1576387891.html
    If that is the cassette you want. Buying parts just because they are cheap or just because they are available is not the best way to build a bike though. You should get what you want, even if it means waiting a little longer or spending a bit more. You'll never be happy with the bike if you make too many compromises and going back and buying the cassette you really want after you already bought a different one will cost twice as much. That said- it look to be in fair shape so if that is the cassette you wanted, go for it.

    Again, good luck with the build.

  7. #7
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    See the thing is, since I'm so new at the whole thing, I'm a clean slate. I don't really know what I want, or what I DONT want yet. I don't have brand/feature preference, so I'm basically aiming to just get quality parts that will @ least get me well down the road without having to worry too much about upgrading. I've done ALOT of research on comparable product lines in the different brands, so I'm just looking to pick up good stuff at great prices. Im starting with the Nashbar frame (120), Ultegra RD/FD (100), and Gossamer (60-70) and going from there.

    Quick question though...the only things I have to keep "same" are the cassette and chain right? Or do the shifters have to match too? I was reading around and might go Campy/Shimano on the shifter.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Have you looked at full groupset packages like this: http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/groups...conf_GS&bike=1

    Ribble has excellent pricing and pretty quick and affordable delivery.

    On building your bike, have your lbs press the headset. It will cost 10 bucks as opposed to buying tools.

  9. #9
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j_deLaBay View Post
    Quick question though...the only things I have to keep "same" are the cassette and chain right? Or do the shifters have to match too? I was reading around and might go Campy/Shimano on the shifter.
    The shifter and the derailleur [in most cases] need to match too.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdon View Post
    On building your bike, have your lbs press the headset. It will cost 10 bucks as opposed to buying tools.
    A piece of all thread rod, a couple nuts, and some large washers from the hardware store and you can build your own headset press for less than the cost of having the bike shop install one.


  10. #10
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    First off, thanks so much for all your guys help!

    I'm just gonna save myself some headache and thinking and just stick with shimano shifters, just gonna swoop up some 105 or above, whatever I can get my hands on for the best price

    thanks for the headset press tip! Definitely gonna do that. I'm pretty handy with tools and what not, should I hack my own steerer tube or should I have the lbs do it? One shop quoted me 60 or 70. Seems somewhat steep just to hack a tube.

    Besides that, now that I have a headset press, is there anything else I HAVE to have the lbs take care of?

    So am I headed in the right direction with all this?

  11. #11
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j_deLaBay View Post
    First off, thanks so much for all your guys help!
    No problem. That's what forums are for.

    Quote Originally Posted by j_deLaBay View Post
    I'm just gonna save myself some headache and thinking and just stick with shimano shifters, just gonna swoop up some 105 or above, whatever I can get my hands on for the best price
    105 should be fine. Going all Shimano (or all sram, or all campy, etc.) will certainly save you some headache.

    Quote Originally Posted by j_deLaBay View Post
    thanks for the headset press tip! Definitely gonna do that. I'm pretty handy with tools and what not, should I hack my own steerer tube or should I have the lbs do it? One shop quoted me 60 or 70. Seems somewhat steep just to hack a tube.
    That seems kinda expensive. You can probably do it yourself if you go slow and use a sharp blade.

    Quote Originally Posted by j_deLaBay View Post
    Besides that, now that I have a headset press, is there anything else I HAVE to have the lbs take care of?
    Even brand new wheels may need to be trued a bit. This requires a spoke wrench and (generally) a truing stand although some people use their brake pads on the bike to true wheels. You'll also need a specialized tool to install the bottom bracket. (sorry, no hack for this). Also you'll need a tool to install the cassette onto the freehub body. Cable/housing cutters can also be needed for a clean install of the brake/shift cables.

    Quote Originally Posted by j_deLaBay View Post
    So am I headed in the right direction with all this?
    Any direction that ends in a bike that you built yourself is the right path. It sounds like you've got a great start and you are doing your research before buying stuff. You'll do fine.

  12. #12
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    OK! So with all of this new info I think I'm ready to purchase some stuff (starting with the frame and RD/FD from Nashbar.)

    What do you think of these bars as a starter? I have no idea about the brand. Check here:
    Sale Bars

    Seems like 40 for drops/stem is a pretty good deal. If you guys give me the green light I'm gonna order em tonight.

    And I think I just found some perfect wheels for my versatile budget build:
    Tell me what you thinK!

    Im so excited that I'm at the point where I can at least know what base im starting with. I think if I pick up those wheels, I'll at least have the main parts out of the way and just need to decide on a fork/cassette/shifters!
    Last edited by j_deLaBay; 02-04-10 at 07:09 PM.

  13. #13
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    Crap the wheels are 8/9 speed compatible. Of course.

  14. #14
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j_deLaBay View Post
    OK! So with all of this new info I think I'm ready to purchase some stuff (starting with the frame and RD/FD from Nashbar.)

    What do you think of these bars as a starter? I have no idea about the brand. Check here:
    Sale Bars

    Seems like 40 for drops/stem is a pretty good deal. If you guys give me the green light I'm gonna order em tonight.
    Bars and stem look fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by j_deLaBay View Post
    And I think I just found some perfect wheels for my versatile budget build:
    Tell me what you thinK!
    I think you can get a wheelset with better hubs cheaper if you keep shopping. There is nothing wrong with those wheels but they aren't a killer value.

  15. #15
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    http://www.bicyclewheelwarehouse.com...&productId=225

    Same wheels in silver for $15 less.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
    http://www.bicyclewheelwarehouse.com...&productId=225

    Same wheels in silver for $15 less.
    those are 8/9 speed compatible too.

    quick question. I was planning on getting the ultegra RD/FD from nashbar since theyre on sale there (100 for front and back). Are those a good enough deal that I should just pick them up when I buy the frame...or should I look for wheels/hub first and decide on drivetrain stuff from there?

    Is it cheaper to build a wheel?

  17. #17
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j_deLaBay View Post
    those are 8/9 speed compatible too.

    quick question. I was planning on getting the ultegra RD/FD from nashbar since theyre on sale there (100 for front and back). Are those a good enough deal that I should just pick them up when I buy the frame...or should I look for wheels/hub first and decide on drivetrain stuff from there?

    Is it cheaper to build a wheel?
    No. Not cheaper but you can get a much better product for not a lot more.

    I will be interested in what your total spent on groupset and wheels is.

    At Xmas I bought a full Ultegra 6700 groupset and wheels for $1485.00 Canadian. That includes Easton EC90 handlebars, Ea 90 stem and EC 90 seatpost.

  18. #18
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    Ill tell ya I probably won't be spending near that much. I'm doing ALOT of shopping...its kinda my thing Ive been doing in my spare time. (I even went to the LBS today.) So I'm hoping to walk away from this whole project with the LEAST amount of money while yielding the most amount of quality I can out of this. I want to do this right so this bike gets me well along the road. I'm not really going for matching gear and what not...just compatible stuff that will last a while.

  19. #19
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    PS, I'm going to pick up my first parts right now.

    Brand new shimano 105 brifters and an ultegra cassette for 225. Perfect for my econo-build!

  20. #20
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    A piece of all thread rod, a couple nuts, and some large washers from the hardware store and you can build your own headset press for less than the cost of having the bike shop install one.
    What size nuts are those? (That's what she said).

    Washer size? I guess it depends if the heaset is 1" or 1 1/8"

    Seriously, that looks incredibly simple and I'd like to write down those exact parts and go to Lowe's tomorrow.

  21. #21
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    I've seen complete Ultegra groupsets on eBay for under $800 (brifters, brakes, cassette, crankset, bottom bracket, RD, FD, chain), they were 2008 though, but the sellers claimed they were never used, or 2009 taken off a new bike. There was at least one seller that also included a handlebar, seatpost and stem. I'd look around on eBay.

    Adam

  22. #22
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    So after all the research and waiting, its finally paid off. I went from buying a used bike on CL, to getting something nice and new for myself, to handpicking everything on my own. I changed flats when I was a kid, but didn't really know anything about 'real' bikes (until now that is)

    Here it is...my budget ninja. Don't mind that label on the stem, just keeping it on there in case I decide to return the stem. Just gotta get cabled/adjusted tomorrow. Decided not to leave that one to a first timer.



    My very first bike ever was all an all black frame too. Kinda nostalgic.

  23. #23
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    looks good.

  24. #24
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Oh cool! Congratulations. Feels good, doesn't it?

    The cables are real easy, and derailleur adjustment is not rocket science either and it's good to know how to do this, because you will have to do some adjustments anyway as you start riding. I say, do it yourself. The BikeTutor has great videos for adjusting Derailleurs.

    Adam

  25. #25
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    Feels sooooooo good.

    Thing is, the guy that sold me the wheels runs a shop out of his house. (Has a business #, so I at least know hes SOMEWHAT legit.) He said he'd charge me 30 for cable/housing/adjustment. I figured at that price I might as well have him do it, since a cable/housing set retails for more than that. Ill post another pic when the bars are wrapped.

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