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Thread: Build or Buy?

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    Build or Buy?

    I've ridden on and off for a while and I finally decided to get my self a shiny new bike. The problem is, there are some preconfigured bikes that seem pretty good, but i'm wondering if I can get something a little better for the same price if I buy the parts and build it myself.

    I'm looking at a price range of $2000~$2500 CDN for a bike, so would building my own bike be benificial in this case? What if I just spend $1000?

    I'll be typically riding in city, but i'd like to eventually do some moderate off road riding as well, nothing too extreme though.

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    In general, building is more expensive than buying.

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    It depends if you want all the best components immediately or are prepared to take on an ongoing project. I bought a £600 ($1000ish) bike 6 years ago and now the only original component is the seat pin, and its now valued at £1600 ($2800ish). This is the route I'd recomend as then you buy a pre built bike with a top frame, and gradually upgrade the components as they wear out.

    I'm about to buy a new frame and start the whole process again. I'm pretty much adicted to swapping out various bits and pieces and am just as happy in the workshop as I am out on the trails, so if you're the same maybe consider spending your $1000 on a full bike and then you've got a healthy parts budget.

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    Hmm, thanks for the input you two.

    I'll guess i'll try looking for a bike around $1000ish and upgrade as a go. One of the reasons I asked if building one would be cheaper was because I like to build things anyways. So I guess I can do it a little at a time this way.

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    close to 2000 madbiker555's Avatar
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    You could buy a complete....then agian, you could buy a bad-ass Evil Imperial frame. But those aren't ment for city/light off-road. Do you have any ideas on which complete bikes?

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    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    i would build, i payed less than a bike with similar components building. But you have to do your homework and really look for the best price
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    Quote Originally Posted by madbiker555
    You could buy a complete....then agian, you could buy a bad-ass Evil Imperial frame. But those aren't ment for city/light off-road. Do you have any ideas on which complete bikes?
    I was looking for something like the Rocky Mountain RC series, but i'm not sure they are what i'm after.

    Another thing I have to consider is if the pre built bikes could handle my size without having to replace some components. As I can recall, i'm 5'8" and ~220lbs (175cm, ~100kg), so I got the weight without the height... which really sucks. But I've lost some weight since then, though I couldn't say how much.

    You can start to see why I asked about building my own bike...

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    DMN
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    It can be done cheaper, but you really need to shop around.
    The views expressed above are badly thought out and hastley typed. Any spelling or gramatical mistakes, are, their to annoy.

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    DMN
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    And I should add, you need to know what your doing and what you require from your bike.
    The views expressed above are badly thought out and hastley typed. Any spelling or gramatical mistakes, are, their to annoy.

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    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    well something i think many people dont htink of is that when you buy a bike, often times people end up changing something anyways because they want that instead of whats stock. Look at pedals as a prime example, often times people want to change their fork or wheels to get a little stronger+beefier. If you start off with what you want right off the bat, it may be cheaper
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    well something i think many people dont htink of is that when you buy a bike, often times people end up changing something anyways because they want that instead of whats stock. Look at pedals as a prime example, often times people want to change their fork or wheels to get a little stronger+beefier. If you start off with what you want right off the bat, it may be cheaper
    That's a good point. Looks like I have some thinking to do.

    Thanks for the input everyone.

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    Senior Member valbowski1980's Avatar
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    For my next bike I am leaning more towards "build" at the moment. It just looks like such a fun project.

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    Quote Originally Posted by valbowski1980
    For my next bike I am leaning more towards "build" at the moment. It just looks like such a fun project.
    Hah, it does. I'm almost tempted to raise my budget so I could do it. But i'm not too familiar with all the intricacies of the modern MTB, so it'd be pretty tough for me just to gather the parts I would need/want.

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    It would not be difficult really, you know the different levels of components and their perspective prices. The size of a frame now that's one to pinpoint. But anyway building a bike for the first time will be one of those things in life that will for ever be a magic moment. I have built three bikes so far and just love the personal touch. The set up, the position, the reach, everything to the seat, the bar, and the building of the rims have been one learning experience that I will cherish always. It's personal.

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    Senior Member jalexei's Avatar
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    Another compromise: Buy the cheapest spec level of a model that has the same quality frame throughout the range, and upgrade components as they wear out or as your skills improve. Just for an example, the new Giant Trance has 4 versions that range from $1200 to $3400 but all share the same frame and shock.

    It'd be hard/impossible to save money in this scenario, but you do spread the cost out over time and get the pleasure of customizing your ride.

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    Senior Member jalexei's Avatar
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    (oops - the Trance 1 has a Fox Float RP3, the other three have a Fox Float R - so they're similar but not exactly the same through the complete range - still, suspension could be one of your down-the-road upgrades)

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    In general off-the-shelf bikes are cheaper, but even expensive bikes tend to try to sneak in cheaper parts where they think you will least notice, like seatposts and bottom brackets.

    But to actually buy a complete bike with hi-end parts EVERYWHERE is outrageously expensive.

    I tend to buy complete at the start and replace as things break, including, eventually, frames.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser

    But to actually buy a complete bike with hi-end parts EVERYWHERE is outrageously expensive.
    Of course it is, but if your prepared to use lesser components in some places (ie a use deore drivetrain instead of an XT one) you can get better ones where it matters (brakes and fork). Of course it is highly likely that if your are building your ideal bike, fully suited to your needs, that you would not need to full top end stuff anyway.

    Let me give you a small example; I'm looking to buy/build a hardcore hard tail. I really like the Identiti Mr Hyde but the bike as built by them costs over £1000 (£1099.99 in one shop).

    I can buy the frame for £280, a 2004 DJ2 fork (which is perfect for my needs) for £150 and a Deore drive train (shifters, cassette, the lot) plus Hope M4 brakes for £340. Thats most of the bike for £770, that would leave me over £330 for wheels, headset, stem, handle bar, grips, peddals and saddle, which can easily be done. The result is a bike that is cheaper than off the shelf and fully suited for my needs. If I really wanted to I could buy deore drive train, Magura brakes and some mavic XC wheels for less than £300, saving even more money.


    But as I said you really need to shop around to find the best deals.

    Wow don't really mean to type this much. Rant over.
    The views expressed above are badly thought out and hastley typed. Any spelling or gramatical mistakes, are, their to annoy.

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    DMN
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    But then of course I could always buy a Norco for £900.
    The views expressed above are badly thought out and hastley typed. Any spelling or gramatical mistakes, are, their to annoy.

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    Wow, thats a lot of info to take in. Thanks everyone.

    Right now i'm leaning towards building a bike, for the experience if nothing else. But for me, that would mean a lot of research on what's available.

    But for starters could anyone list off a few components that I absolutely should not skimp on? I'm pretty sure i'll need some good breaks and a strong fork to handle my weight.

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    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanic
    Wow, thats a lot of info to take in. Thanks everyone.

    Right now i'm leaning towards building a bike, for the experience if nothing else. But for me, that would mean a lot of research on what's available.

    But for starters could anyone list off a few components that I absolutely should not skimp on? I'm pretty sure i'll need some good breaks and a strong fork to handle my weight.
    Frame, fork and wheels are the things you want to spend your money on. As for a drivetrain the best deal around is....
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/128...leur-COMBO.htm
    and be very careful when selecting a fork. Do you know what type of riding you plan to do?
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    I went the "build" route several years ago and it was friggin' FUN and I learned alot. I did it over the winter and piece by piece which didn't seem as expensive, but I kept a spreadsheet of everything I bought and when it was all done, I had spent close to $5K!!

    If you have the time and patience, build it yourself. That way, you have the bike of your dreams with EVERYTHING just the way you wanted it.

    Tom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    Frame, fork and wheels are the things you want to spend your money on. As for a drivetrain the best deal around is....
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/128...leur-COMBO.htm
    and be very careful when selecting a fork. Do you know what type of riding you plan to do?
    Well, as I said originally, I would be doing mainly city riding, and then gradually working in some off road trials, but nothing too extreme. And thanks for the link, i'll check it out.

    $5k? Thats a nice chunk of change there. Would I be right to assume that you primarily got higher end components?

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