Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Newbie: building a custom bike. Help?

    Hello,

    Great forum. I am an endurance athlete that is new to the biking world and have lots of questions. Can you help?

    Two main questions right now
    1) building a custom bike. Bike will be used to bike ten miles a day to work on roads. It will also be used to trailer my son on mixed limestone / asphalt trails. Is there anything in particular I should look for in a frame to provide easy cycling?

    2) found two cheap frames - Firenze gl3000 and Bridgestone kabuki. Are either of these worth constructing a good bike on? I plan on getting top notch gear - derailers, shifters, brakes, etc. looking to balance comfort and efficient pedaling.

    Thanks in advance. Any other information is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    38,865
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You hiring a custom builder to make the frame in question? which builder have you chosen?

    actually it sounds like you are just assembling various parts on a mass produced frame..


    the Bridgestone is better , but if the place is bike theft city.

    the 20 year old 'get a bike free when you buy a TV or fridge' one is less precious.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sorry, I used the wrong terminology. Building a "Frankenstein-bike" using an existing frame from an older bike. I am looking to create something comfortable and efficient at pedaling as there are a good amount of hills nearby.

    is a Bridgestone kabuki a good enough frame? Or should I look for a different one?

    Can I make the bike a hybrid or a road bike regardless of frame but depending on which components I add? Is there a type I should prefer?

    thanks. Just learning...

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    12,195
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Consider tyre clearance, accessory eyelets and size, esp reach.
    A fast utility bike would use long drop caliper rakes and 28/32mm tyres with rack and fenders.
    Components better than Shimano 105 are not going to improve your riding performance.

  5. #5
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Appleton WI
    My Bikes
    Several, mostly not name brands.
    Posts
    12,334
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    While either of those frames could be used to build a functional bike for the purposes you describe, neither is likely worth "top-notch gear." The Firenze is department-store quality, often given away for free with the purchase of a television or microwave. The Bridgestone is better, depending on model could be an entry-level frame or something somewhat better.

  6. #6
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Wilkes-Barre, PA
    My Bikes
    Many
    Posts
    7,240
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In my opinion, unless you have the components, it is probably a better idea to go to the LBS (Local Bike Shop) and see what they have in your price range. A complete bike isn't much more expensive than what you can get the components for at retail... and you also get a brand new frame with a warranty on everything. Since you seem to have an idea about components, you may be up to the task of buying a complete used bike as well. In either of these cases, you would be able to test ride the bike to see whether you like it... building from scratch you will have invested your time and money without a test ride...

    Also, the high end components will each save you some weight, but when you figure frame + rider + components + (trailer + child) it is going to be a very small percentage of weight savings. Mid-level, and some lower-level, components are fine for most people, reliable and functional... but it is your money. Also note, the manufacturers emphasis on high end gear is weight, so there is a feeling that sometimes the durability isn't quite as good as at the mid-range. I don't necessarily believe this, but do believe that high end doesn't buy extra durability or functionality.

    With your stated needs, I would focus on a hybrid bike that has a wide gear range rather than being concerned about level of components. I ride a Trek 7.3 FX that would do the job admirably, as would the bikes lower in the FX line. Other manufacturers have similar bikes that would do just as well. For example, Giant has the Cypress and Sedona lines (I have a Sedona)...
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks. This is some great advice. For the record, I have most of the components.

    How do I determine a good frame vs a bad frame assuming fit is ok and the frame is not carbon fiber. What else am I looking for?

    Will be ridden on road, asphalt and crushed limestone.

  8. #8
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    My Bikes
    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400
    Posts
    2,170
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A lot of "what frame" is going to be predicated on what "I have most of the components" means.
    English or Italian threaded bottom bracket, crank axle length and arm length, rear wheel spacing, derailler mount type, brake reach, seatpost diameter, threaded or threadless fork stems, nutted or recessed brake mounts. All of these things will come into play as to whether you can install your "I have most of the components" on any given frame.
    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  9. #9
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    My Bikes
    RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
    Posts
    11,419
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    You hiring a custom builder to make the frame in question? which builder have you chosen?

    actually it sounds like you are just assembling various parts on a mass produced frame..


    the Bridgestone is better , but if the place is bike theft city.
    I was perplexed when 'building a bike' started coming into common use with the real meaning of 'putting parts on a bike frame'.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    38,865
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yea The LBS is full of Bikes "Built" there. or at least partially stripped and rebuilt , since they come in a box
    and they need all sorts of parts double checked ..

    Ickes a lot of decent frames are at the center of bikes sold in Bike Shops .

    take the time to learn about the whole bike industry and that question will answer it self

    in particular learn to tell the difference between the Wheat and the Chaff

    'Firenze gl3000' came free when you bought appliances from a store in Daily City in the 80's

    the name is just the Italian name for the city of Florence .. but it was 100% low end China.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-29-14 at 05:07 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Above ground, Walnut Creek, Ca
    My Bikes
    7 single speed road
    Posts
    3,584
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i suppose it is somewhat arbitrary what to call it when one: buys an old bike, strips everything off, has it repainted, or buys a new pre-painted frame, then buys the new to him (or her) parts that fit together properly and assembles it. that's, as i have described it, is quite a mouthful, and if discussing it with a non-bike enthusiast would probably end up talking to the wall as the listener walked away shaking their head.

    so i guess "building a custom bike" is as good as anything...

  12. #12
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Ffld Cnty Connecticut
    My Bikes
    Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales
    Posts
    15,209
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    "assembling a bike" might be more apt term in most cases.
    Last edited by Homebrew01; 03-30-14 at 10:20 AM.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  13. #13
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Ffld Cnty Connecticut
    My Bikes
    Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales
    Posts
    15,209
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
    A lot of "what frame" is going to be predicated on what "I have most of the components" means.
    English or Italian threaded bottom bracket, crank axle length and arm length, rear wheel spacing, derailler mount type, brake reach, seatpost diameter, threaded or threadless fork stems, nutted or recessed brake mounts. All of these things will come into play as to whether you can install your "I have most of the components" on any given frame.
    Combine that with: " ... I plan on getting top notch gear - derailers, shifters, brakes, etc. ..."

    adds to the confusion. Maybe if the OP took goo pictures of everything on hand, useful advice could begin. As-is, I don't see the advantage over buying a used hybrid off Craigslist for $40, unless it's for the learning experience.
    Last edited by Homebrew01; 03-30-14 at 09:05 AM.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    38,865
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    + Just buying a whole new bike and changing a few parts to suit your individual desires
    can be done at your favorite local shop. .. rather than retail for everything

    wholesale parts cost less than retail & a lot less if you are a factory
    putting a million bikes together and shipping them to the west.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-30-14 at 09:47 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Oakville Ontario
    Posts
    4,837
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    I was perplexed when 'building a bike' started coming into common use with the real meaning of 'putting parts on a bike frame'.
    I've never built a frame, but I still claim to have built lots of bikes. Of course, many of those builds included building the wheels, so does that make my claim more legitimate?
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

  16. #16
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    My Bikes
    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400
    Posts
    2,170
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    While I've never built a frame, I did "unbuild" my old Trek with a cracked top tube just yesterday. Why, well because I could.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Above ground, Walnut Creek, Ca
    My Bikes
    7 single speed road
    Posts
    3,584
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
    While I've never built a frame, I did "unbuild" my old Trek with a cracked top tube just yesterday. Why, well because I could.
    you planning on reassembling with a new toptube, or just need a new set of matching billy-clubs for the family outings?

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Chico, Cali
    Posts
    363
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
    While I've never built a frame, I did "unbuild" my old Trek with a cracked top tube just yesterday. Why, well because I could.
    If you'd just unbuilt it to the rear triangles, you'd've had a nice workseat. Now you have an excess of cheater bars.

  19. #19
    Banned.
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    1,559
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I say, shop for an old chromoly steel bicycle frame from either the 80's or 90's. It could be from a rigid mtb, a hybrid, or a road bike. Both Craigslist and Ebay should serve as really good sources, if you don't have a bicycle co-op nearby.

  20. #20
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Appleton WI
    My Bikes
    Several, mostly not name brands.
    Posts
    12,334
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
    While I've never built a frame, I did "unbuild" my old Trek with a cracked top tube just yesterday. Why, well because I could.
    Seems a shame. Why didn't you just pull the top tube and stick in a new one?

  21. #21
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    My Bikes
    RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
    Posts
    11,419
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
    I've never built a frame, but I still claim to have built lots of bikes. Of course, many of those builds included building the wheels, so does that make my claim more legitimate?
    Yes, you get points for wheel building.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  22. #22
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    38,865
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Lugged frames do lend themselves to replacing damaged tubes if needed ..

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Above ground, Walnut Creek, Ca
    My Bikes
    7 single speed road
    Posts
    3,584
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    you just need to find a soulmate that crashed and damaged every tube BUT the top tube. you can swap, reassemble and both have a decent frame.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    St. Cloud, MN
    My Bikes
    Soma Double Cross DC, Salsa Vaya, Redline D440, '87 Schwinn Super Sport
    Posts
    584
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Seems a bit snippy in here considering the advise asked was by a newbie and may not know, or need to know proper terminology. I found it pretty obvious what his intention was.

    To the OP...
    You are going to put a lot of needless effort and money into a bike that you will probably decide, after a couple months, either doesn't fit or isn't right for how you want to ride. I "custom built" my first road bike after spending a year on a rigid 29er. I read this forum and many others, researched for months, read every sizing article ever written and I ended up with a $1500 bike that cost me $3500 to build and didn't fit me. You will be far better off buying a used bike (or a couple used bikes) and deciding what you like. The late 80s bikes are about the best value. After you ride a few used bikes for a year or three most of your questions will answer themselves. You will also probably discover that you prefer riding the simpler classics as I have, although I do like my Vaya which I purchased new
    I do not claim to be a doctor, scientist, genie, bike magician, good looking, or qualified in any way. The contents of my post are opinions and should be taken as such.

  25. #25
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maine
    My Bikes
    Kona fire mountain/xtracycle,Univega landrover fs,Nishiki custom sport Ross professional super gran tour Schwinn Mesa (future Xtracycle donor bike)
    Posts
    2,056
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by digger531 View Post
    Seems a bit snippy in here considering the advise asked was by a newbie and may not know, or need to know proper terminology. I found it pretty obvious what his intention was.

    To the OP...
    You are going to put a lot of needless effort and money into a bike that you will probably decide, after a couple months, either doesn't fit or isn't right for how you want to ride. I "custom built" my first road bike after spending a year on a rigid 29er. I read this forum and many others, researched for months, read every sizing article ever written and I ended up with a $1500 bike that cost me $3500 to build and didn't fit me. You will be far better off buying a used bike (or a couple used bikes) and deciding what you like. The late 80s bikes are about the best value. After you ride a few used bikes for a year or three most of your questions will answer themselves. You will also probably discover that you prefer riding the simpler classics as I have, although I do like my Vaya which I purchased new
    Another vote for the above.

    I lucked out when I went that route back in the early 80's. I bought my first bike as an adult, (I didn't know thing one about bicycles, except how to ride one) kind of on a whim, from a pawn shop. The lucky part was that it fit me like it was made for me. I was also lucky in that there was a good LBS in town. The owner was retired military, and operated the shop because he liked bikes. He was willing to teach me about bikes. I rode that bike for almost 4 years.

    When I started riding again in '08 I knew what I wanted. I also had decided that I wanted a Xtracycle. I actually had ordered the Free Radical before I bought the bike.

    BTW, I consider my my bike to be a custom bike. Granted, all the parts are mass produced, but I am certain that there is not another one with all the same parts and accessories. It is also a mix of vintage and current parts. The 80's stem shifters didn't want to mount on the 2008 stem---Gotta love the dremel and drill point screws.
    2008 Kona Fire Mountain/Xtracycle
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    I void warranties.
    Cycling well IS Cycling Advocacy
    Originally Posted by Steely Dan: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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