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  1. #1
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    How do I start?...am i on a fool's errand?

    I'm new to bicycles. I started out with a Schwinn Trail Way last November and was pleased with it for a couple of weeks until I took it in for a tune up. I took one look at what my local lbs had in stock and promptly sold the schwinn to purchase a Trek FX 7.1.

    I love the FX. It's a great bike, but I'm already looking for an upgrade. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find another FX w/ decent enough components for what I'm looking to pay. I have my eye on the 7.5, but I know I'll get bored with it in six months. So I've settled on upgrading the 7.1 by buying the components I want and having someone put them on for me. I figure I'll get the bike I want since I'm sort of building it myself and learn bike mechanics and componetry while working with the mechanic.

    I want to start off by throwing on 105 components for my drive train, new shifters, and later do upgrades to my wheels, seatpost, and handlebar.

    I've looked up stuff and done a bit of research, but I figure I better throw this out there for people to comment on before I embark on a rather ridiculous endeavor.

    Is the frame I'm looking to build on a good one?

    I don't know how to go about this and what components to buy, but I know I'm going to do this.

    Please comment......
    Last edited by Deord; 07-24-10 at 10:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Big Ol' Varmint nice_marmot's Avatar
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    It sounds like you're spending more time thinking about your bike than you are actually riding it. You know they all pretty much work the same way, right? It's one thing if you have a specific problem related to a part of the bike, but why upgrade just for the sake of an upgrade?
    "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." - H.G. Wells

    2007 Redline Conquest Pro (Space Monkey)
    2009 Kona Dew (Chunky Monkey)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nice_marmot View Post
    It sounds like you're spending more time thinking about your bike than you are actually riding it. You know they all pretty much work the same way, right? It's one thing if you have a specific problem related to a part of the bike, but why upgrade just for the sake of an upgrade?
    Are you a shrink?....lol They all do ride the same! and this one has given me no troubles. lol

  4. #4
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    One of my bikes is a dept. store Schwinn that came with a Shimano Altus drivetrain, but nothing else noteworthy. I have since sunk way more than its original $300 price tag worth of upgrades into the bike, and I still plan to add that much again worth of new components. If I had taken my $900 - $1000 and bought a new bike with all the features I wanted I would have ended up with a better bike; all the new components cost a lot more to buy piecemeal than all at once on a new bike. That being said, my Schwinn has a lot of sentimental value to me in that I chose all of the new components and installed them myself. I take great pride in its transformation.

    I also have a $40 CL MTB that's gone through almost the same process... some of us never learn, but ignorance is indeed bliss! You should've seen my wife's face when I told her how much I spent for its new aluminum wheelset.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Yes, you are on a fool's errand. 105 components on an Fx 7.1? What do you do when you upgrade everything and still want better on road performance? Even supped up, it is still just a 7.1 hybrid. You will never get your money back on all the upgrades if you want to sell it.

    Decades ago, I inherited an old Chrysler from my late grandfather. So I set about getting it fixed up, trying to turn it into a muscle car, which it really wasn't.

    One of my high school buddies, who fancied himself something of a mechanic told me that if I want a muscle car, sell the Chrysler and buy a Mustang or Camaro. I took his advise to heart and just kept the Chrysler pretty much as it was.
    Last edited by MRT2; 07-24-10 at 11:34 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    I'm confused ?

    What was wrong with the Schwinn Trailways ? When the brakes are properly adjusted,
    will stop perfectly, better than the higher priced disk brakes I had on my Motobecane.
    No grabbing, just a perfect stop, will slide if you want, and after 1000 miles plus have seen
    very little pad wear. Drive Train, front deraillleur SR Suntour, back Schwinn Tourney, works
    flawlessly, have had the rack system loaded down with more than the 50 pound capacity,
    and has never slipped, jumped gears, or anything on the steepest hill peddling in 1 and 1.
    And I.m talking about standing on the peddles, and with the touch of a finger shifts
    smoothly to any gear. Wheels, yes the tube thing is a little funky, have to use extra long
    Presta Valve stems, but the double walled deep rims have proven themselves to be super
    strong with 24 paired spokes, Handle bar and riser, where can you complain ? Crank set, Sr
    Suntour, works perfectly, The only cons I can find with the bike: can not lock out forks,
    suspension seat post moves a little side to side, ( but the factory saddle is more comfortable
    than the more expensive after market I added to the Motobeacane). No quick release on the rear,
    ( which I'm not a big fan of anyway, tire changes do not need Nascar speed. And would
    like the bike to be a little lighter than 31 pounds. With that being said, Price 239.00, and I
    paid under 200.00 dollars with tax included, ( used discounts ), I love the 700 x 38c wide
    tires, and again no wear on them so far. Unless I wanted a flat bar Road bike for speed,
    or a Mountain Bike for serious off roding, what will another 600.00 to 800.00 dollars get me,
    ( Lock out forks, better seat post ), I think there is plenty money left over there to
    add after market if I felt the need. and when things wear out, as they normally will, after how
    many thousands of miles, ( we will see ) I could up grade if I felt it necessary. Not bashing your post,
    but confused on the ( Bored With ), yes the top speed on a flat would be around 28 MPH,
    but it is a Hybrid, and can go many places a road bike can not even think of.
    Just My Two Cents, Richard

  7. #7
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irclean View Post
    One of my bikes is a dept. store Schwinn that came with a Shimano Altus drivetrain, but nothing else noteworthy. I have since sunk way more than its original $300 price tag worth of upgrades into the bike, and I still plan to add that much again worth of new components. If I had taken my $900 - $1000 and bought a new bike with all the features I wanted I would have ended up with a better bike; all the new components cost a lot more to buy piecemeal than all at once on a new bike. That being said, my Schwinn has a lot of sentimental value to me in that I chose all of the new components and installed them myself. I take great pride in its transformation.

    I also have a $40 CL MTB that's gone through almost the same process... some of us never learn, but ignorance is indeed bliss! You should've seen my wife's face when I told her how much I spent for its new aluminum wheelset.
    I do not tell my wife, and she would never notice...LOL....Richard

  8. #8
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Remember..

    Bikes are not like cars, as long as it fits you correctly, and the drive chain and brakes
    work good ! Your the (engine)...Tune up starts there ! No power windows, cruise control,
    ac, 10 disk CD player, etc....and yes I have owned bikes over a 1000.00 dollars, but I was no
    better rider..and no more comfortable. And I have been there and done that on the fools errand. Had over 500.00 dollars worth of up grades on a Motive HighRidge, bike was only 15.00
    dollars at a yard sale, sold new from around 300.00 to 350.00 dollars, but the frame never
    was worth the trouble, but I still loved the bike, ( building it ) half the fun...Richard

  9. #9
    Senior Member AdelaaR's Avatar
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    You are not a fool. (Or am I one too?)

    Assembling a bike isn't very hard. If you are not very bad at simple mechanics like taking a screwdriver and tightening a screw, or taking a metalsaw and sawing through a metal pipe ... you can easily learn to build your own bike.
    What you need to do though, is doing a lot of research on the internet.
    A year ago, I had little knowledge of bikes and their mechanics, but after one year of constantly searching for information, reading and learning ... I can now safely say that I know quite a lot about the subject and I learned for instance to quickly re-adjust derailleurs to make them shift smoothly.

    I bought a frame and all the components seperately and assembled the whole thing by myself in my very basic "workshop", which is just my garage to which I added a "bikehanger". You will need some tools but nothing really expensive or fancy: a file, wire cutters, a metalsaw, some basic allen key bits, a pot of grease, some chain lubricant and a screwdriver will do the trick.

    If you buy the components through online stores, it doesn't even have to be more expensive than buying a new bike at your LBS.
    I paid about 850€ for my bike, which has components in the LX-XT-SLX-105-Ultegra range mixed together.
    A bike in the same range costs about 900-1100€ around here so I'm even cheaper off doing it myself

    But the best thing about assembling your own custom bike is the great feeling you get out of doing it!
    I know that I have not compromised anything when it comes to my bike ... I and I alone have chosen every single component and so I know that my bike is perfect for me ... that really gives one a lot of satisfaction

    But as I mentioned before: do a lot of research first! Do not start buying components untill you are 100% sure that these components are what you actually need and that they will be compatible.
    Compatibility is the hardest part and it takes a lot of research to learn about the various systems that exist, how they operate and why they will either work or not.

    Succes

  10. #10
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    When I break or wear out something on my bike, I'll usually replace it with a higher quality part. My feeling is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." If I've worn something out, that means I rode a lot so the upgrade is a sort of reward I give myself.

    Doing your own mechanics is the best way to learn how, but you will probably break some parts in the learning process. More opportunities to upgrade!

    Learn how to do the basic maintenance, adjustments, repairs on your inexpensive hybrid. When you want a nicer bike, buy one. You can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear.

  11. #11
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    There's nothing wrong with the components on the 7.1 for any purpose the bike should sanely be used for, but if you want to learn bike mechanics then your plan is a good one. You'll save a lot of money buying lightly used components on ebay (carefully, so you don't buy stolen stuff.) You'll need a good mechanic's book:

    http://bloombikeshop.com/articles/be...pair-books.php

    Re tools: don't go cheap on allen keys. Buy high quality silicon hardened keys. Or equally good bits if you use a torque wrench.

  12. #12
    Senior Member TomChgo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    You'll need a good mechanic's book:

    http://bloombikeshop.com/articles/be...pair-books.php
    Thanks for the info.

    Picked up a copy of: The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance and Repair: For Road and Mountain Bikes(Expanded and Revised 5th Edition).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
    What was wrong with the Schwinn Trailways ? When the brakes are properly adjusted,
    will stop perfectly, better than the higher priced disk brakes I had on my Motobecane.
    No grabbing, just a perfect stop, will slide if you want, and after 1000 miles plus have seen
    very little pad wear. Drive Train, front deraillleur SR Suntour, back Schwinn Tourney, works
    flawlessly, have had the rack system loaded down with more than the 50 pound capacity,
    and has never slipped, jumped gears, or anything on the steepest hill peddling in 1 and 1.
    And I.m talking about standing on the peddles, and with the touch of a finger shifts
    smoothly to any gear. Wheels, yes the tube thing is a little funky, have to use extra long
    Presta Valve stems, but the double walled deep rims have proven themselves to be super
    strong with 24 paired spokes, Handle bar and riser, where can you complain ? Crank set, Sr
    Suntour, works perfectly, The only cons I can find with the bike: can not lock out forks,
    suspension seat post moves a little side to side, ( but the factory saddle is more comfortable
    than the more expensive after market I added to the Motobeacane). No quick release on the rear,
    ( which I'm not a big fan of anyway, tire changes do not need Nascar speed. And would
    like the bike to be a little lighter than 31 pounds. With that being said, Price 239.00, and I
    paid under 200.00 dollars with tax included, ( used discounts ), I love the 700 x 38c wide
    tires, and again no wear on them so far. Unless I wanted a flat bar Road bike for speed,
    or a Mountain Bike for serious off roding, what will another 600.00 to 800.00 dollars get me,
    ( Lock out forks, better seat post ), I think there is plenty money left over there to
    add after market if I felt the need. and when things wear out, as they normally will, after how
    many thousands of miles, ( we will see ) I could up grade if I felt it necessary. Not bashing your post,
    but confused on the ( Bored With ), yes the top speed on a flat would be around 28 MPH,
    but it is a Hybrid, and can go many places a road bike can not even think of.
    Just My Two Cents, Richard
    i guess everyone should just get a $200 bike and be happy with it?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deord View Post
    I'm new to bicycles. I started out with a Schwinn Trail Way last November and was pleased with it for a couple of weeks until I took it in for a tune up. I took one look at what my local lbs had in stock and promptly sold the schwinn to purchase a Trek FX 7.1.

    I love the FX. It's a great bike, but I'm already looking for an upgrade. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find another FX w/ decent enough components for what I'm looking to pay. I have my eye on the 7.5, but I know I'll get bored with it in six months. So I've settled on upgrading the 7.1 by buying the components I want and having someone put them on for me. I figure I'll get the bike I want since I'm sort of building it myself and learn bike mechanics and componetry while working with the mechanic.

    I want to start off by throwing on 105 components for my drive train, new shifters, and later do upgrades to my wheels, seatpost, and handlebar.

    I've looked up stuff and done a bit of research, but I figure I better throw this out there for people to comment on before I embark on a rather ridiculous endeavor.

    Is the frame I'm looking to build on a good one?

    I don't know how to go about this and what components to buy, but I know I'm going to do this.

    Please comment......
    what do you want to do with your upgraded bike. as in ride only on the road? we talking some trails? are you only concerned with road speed? etc... that would be a help to know.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by idiotekniQues View Post
    what do you want to do with your upgraded bike. as in ride only on the road? we talking some trails? are you only concerned with road speed? etc... that would be a help to know.
    I ride mostly on roads....very few trails.

  16. #16
    Senior Member xoxoxoxoLive's Avatar
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    Be nice to see..

    Quote Originally Posted by idiotekniQues View Post
    i guess everyone should just get a $200 bike and be happy with it?
    It would be nice to see that everyone had a bike that there happy with, Richard

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