Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    What's cheaper? Making a bike from parts or buying one?

    What's cheaper? Making a bike from parts or buying one?
    I was planning to go out buy a mountain bike and spend somewhere between $300-$600. However, then I thought the first thing I would do is remove the rear hub and replace it with an electrical hub, remove both rims with narrow ones, replace both tubes and tires and put narrow, mixed use tires on there with low roll resistance (I do want a mountain bike because of the strength of the frame but I mostly ride on concrete), then I would replace the seat with a more comfortable one and then I would replace the handlebar with one that's much more comfortable and more upright. Because I would replace so much stuff from the new bike I was wondering if it is cheaper for me to simply by a frame and buy parts and assemble the bike myself. I'm curious to get your opinion what you think is cheaper and also if making a bike is cheaper perhaps you could make some suggestions on which online places do offer good prices for frames and parts. Thank you for your input.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Costa Mesa CA
    Posts
    2,520
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I did that project with a Nashbar frame. Ended up paying about $400. The result is good bike, but next time I'll buy new closeout or Craigslist. Not a good value, but fun to do.
    Pronounced "Murkle"

  3. #3
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Appleton WI
    My Bikes
    Several, mostly not name brands.
    Posts
    12,527
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's cheaper to buy a complete bike than it is to assemble one from components. Manufacturers pay only a small fraction of retail price for components, and have all the tools and knowledge to properly assemble the bike.

    That said, building up your own bike from components is an excellent learning experience, and gives you an excuse to buy the tools needed to build and maintain bikes from here on out.

  4. #4
    Senior Member clarkbre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Everett, WA
    My Bikes
    1995 Giant Innova, 2012 Surly Pacer
    Posts
    286
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Why not buy a hybrid bike that will be set up for your intended purposes?

    You're wanting a mountain bike and then changing out all major parts to make a more roadworthy bicycle.

    If you start with a bike that's more set up for what you will need, you will have more flexibility in dialing in exactly what you want.

    As tough as a MTB frame appears, I don't know that you could really stress a Hybrid frame any more or less.

    I hate to say it, but if you're looking to spend around $600 on a bike, for your purposes the Trek DS 8.2 would be a good start and really hard to beat.
    1995 Giant Innova
    2012 Surly Pacer

  5. #5
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
    My Bikes
    Nashbar Road
    Posts
    5,940
    Mentioned
    17 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think it will be cheaper to buy one that is close to your final configuration. It sounds like you'd keep at least the crankset & bottom bracket, fork, headset, shifters front derailleur and brakes, and frame of course, and that stuff can add up quickly when you buy it individually, depending on your choices.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    40,203
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Only cheaper if you are doing a mix and match of used frames and parts
    cannibalized off yard sale and Craig's list bargains..
    though some are less bargains than others.

    a couple of guys met at the shop, yesterday , the guy who donated a bike to Goodwill,
    so had documents to write off the donation, for actual value [higher than
    used bike needing some fixing up] so takes itemization on this years taxes,
    and the guy who just got the bike, from Goodwill, for cheap.
    and was trying to bring it back up to working good



    New bikes , if you make changes at Point-of-sale, the new parts
    will likely be at a % off , like accessories, 10% off, and there is trade in value
    on the Take-offs,
    given they are new will be useful for shops repairs or resale.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 10-21-12 at 01:25 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Northern Nevada
    Posts
    3,746
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Only cheaper if you are doing a mix and match of used frames and parts
    cannibalized ...
    I agree. My Atlantis (bought when frame and fork were $950--I think they're $2000 now) was built with a few new parts and a garage full of stuff I had from 35 years of cycling. When I completed it five or six years ago, I had about $1400 in it, ~$500 less than an assembled bike would have cost. It would run $3400-3700 to replace today, I think (I haven't kept track of recent price changes). But if I'd had to buy all new parts, I couldn't have come close to Rivendell's price for a complete bike.

  8. #8
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    On Some Far Away Beach After the Season is Over...
    My Bikes
    A Home Built All Rounder, Bianchi 928, Specialized Langster, Dahon Folder
    Posts
    6,374
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I'm in the process of building a bike. I bought a Nashbar touring frame, Nashbar carbon 'cross fork and their seat post. Wheels and some other parts from Tree Fort Bikes and Universal. I still need to buy a stem and a rack. I've got pedals.

    I looked at what my four LBS had to offer and none of their stock bikes were really suitable without adding another $200 to $300 to the transaction. What I liked the best were two bikes at $800 and $1100. No fenders on either so at least another $30.

    I am building a bike that is very specific to my needs: an all round bike for commuting, backroads and firetrails but still fairly fast. So far this project is costing me a little less than $950. That's everything from frame to tires and tubes, fenders (or as fietsbob calls them mudguards) cables, saddle, etc. Everything but the stem and pedals and rear cargo rack. Nothing used or second hand. The parts are all decent but budget (with the exception of the Dura-Ace downtube shifters).

    I have the tools with the exception of the headset bearing press. I've got some homemade tools I used once before but I think I'll enlist an LBS to install these. Probably another $20.

    I've started a build thread that I'll be updating next week as the bike starts coming together. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...A-Build-Thread
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    40,203
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I was planning to go out buy a mountain bike and spend somewhere between $300-$600.
    then I thought the first thing I would do is remove the rear hub and replace it with an electrical hub,
    You will find a Pedal-electric conversion, as a project bike,
    will be like a Boat, ... a hole you pour money into .

    Consider instead buying a Electric assist bike off the floor. complete..
    and coming up with 2X your target price, for that bike alone..

  10. #10
    Don from Austin Texas
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    My Bikes
    Schwinn S25 "department store crap" FS MTB, home-made CF 26" hybrid, CF road bike with straight bar, various wierd frankenbikes
    Posts
    1,165
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You can build your own custom bike cheap if you are a person super savvy about getting deals on parts, going to swap meets, perusing Craigslist, volunteering at Yellow Bike and contributing enough that they let you take stuff free, and etc. etc. No offense please, but from your post I don't think you are that person. Maybe you will become that, of course.

    I would buy a complete bike as close as possible to want you want and go from there..

    Don in Austin

  11. #11
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Beaufort, South Carolina, USA and surrounding islands.
    My Bikes
    Cannondale R500, Motobecane Messenger
    Posts
    8,524
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There is the thrift store approach of buying bikes cheap for parts. I did that for a while and still have some parts. One chainring ended up on my road bike. (36T 110BCD)
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Rochester MN
    My Bikes
    Schwinn World Traveler, Raleigh Port Townsend, Bianci Roadmaster, Raleigh Clubman
    Posts
    777
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you're going to go with an electric hub start with an electric bike.

    Some discussion on build vs buy http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/2012/1...ld-vs-buy.html
    We have met the enemy and they is us.

    Pogo

  13. #13
    Senior Member devianb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    2008 Dawes Haymaker 20XX Leader LD515
    Posts
    561
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If it is all new parts building a bike will far exceed the cost of buying one already assembled. Just the frame could set you back $500 or more. I built mine using used parts because I wanted 700c wheels, flat bar, and disc brakes, but couldn't find anything like that other than a 29er that was in my budget. If I were to do it over again I would buy the best used bike I could afford with the specs I like and then modify what I did not like.

  14. #14
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    chicagoland area
    My Bikes
    1999 Steelman SR525, 2002 Lightspeed Ultimate, 1988 Trek 830, 2008 Scott Addict
    Posts
    2,585
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am going to chime in with a "it depends" Sometimes the guy who takes his parts off and builds up a new frame thus making his frameset expendable is to your financial advantage. I bought a Lightspeed Ultimate, frame and fork off ebay for $1200 - such good shape you could eat off the frame.
    I had some parts here and there, used my backup wheelset and built it up for under $2200

    Most people want top dollar for their bikes because they want as close to full replacement value for it.

    Most who are parting out know that selling their used items will get them closer to their dream build.

    Bikes have sentimental value, parts do not (as much)
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  15. #15
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    6,765
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As a nostalgia project I restored a Varsity to near duplicate of my very first one, with my total monetary expenditure coming in just under 200 dollars, far less than what I was expecting.

    Building a bike from used parts is probably the cheapest way to go.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    6367 km away from the center of the Earth
    Posts
    1,065
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    None of two solutions.
    The cheapest is to make your own bike from A to Z
    160$ for a carbon fiber bike

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDnH9...9&feature=plcp

  17. #17
    Senior Member megalowmatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    North County San Diego
    Posts
    1,549
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I learned an awful lot from building a bike from a bare frame. The one I built I don't think cost more than it would be for a new bike and I learned a lot along the way.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Monster Pete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warwick, UK
    My Bikes
    2000-something 3 speed commuter, 1990-something Raleigh Scorpion
    Posts
    1,048
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's possible to assemble a half-decent frankenbike for next to nothing by salvaging parts from used bikes. Some second-hand parts can be found at good prices on ebay etc. You won't have the latest hype parts on it, but you'll end up with a sturdy, practical machine if you pick the right parts. If you're buying new though, it's usually cheaper to buy a complete bike with the parts that you want.
    I've got a bike, you can ride if you like it's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good- Pink Floyd, 1967

  19. #19
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    the pesto of cities
    My Bikes
    Davidson Impulse, Merckx Titanium AX, Bruce Gordon Rock & Road, Cross Check custom build, On-One Il Pomino, Shawver Cycles cross, Zion 737, Mercian Vincitore, Brompton S1L, Charge Juicer
    Posts
    7,017
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I do builds because I'm extremely picky and patient.

    It's not really to save money. I'm more than happy to buy all the gently used nice parts the "upgraders" unload though.

    What really costs money doing a build is all the little crap at the end to make it a functioning bike.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •