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Old 12-08-07, 01:14 AM   #1
monogodo
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The $17 MTB frame is almost ready to build

Back in May I bought a $17 MTB frame. After I ordered it, I decided to see how cheaply I could build it up, since I couldn't justify paying $300+ for a build kit for a frame that cost less than $20. I debated getting a donor bike and swapping parts, but then I'd have the donor frame left over. I finally decided to use existing parts I had on hand, plus getting deals on good used parts, and finding great deals on everything else. I also decided to go single-speed, for simplicity sake.

As of right now, the only parts I have yet to obtain are a seat and brake shoes.

The total out-of-pocket cost is $129.13.

The parts list:
Code:
Frame			Top Image Neptune
Fork			Tange Steel
Headset			Cane Creek S2
Stem			K2
Handlebars		1" rise bars
Grips			Oury
Brake Levers		Avid Speed Dial 5
Brakes - F		V-brake knockoffs
Brakes - R		V-brake knockoffs
Seatpost		Titec Knock Post
Saddle	
Seatpost Collar		Weyless Pro
Bottom Bracket		Shimano BB-UN52
Cranks			Shimano 600 Ultegra
Crank Bolts		8mm Crank Bolts
Chainring Bolts		Track/MX Bolts
Chainring		Supergo 39T
Chain			SRAM 8-speed
Wheels			Shimano Deore LX hubs on Mavic 221 rims
Tires			IRC PiranhaPro 2.0
Tubes			butyl presta tubes
Brake cables		Cane Creek/Dia Compe
SS Conversion Kit	Forte SS Conversion Kit
Star nut		U.S.E. Ring-Go-Star
Bar Ends		Profile Briefs
The most expensive individual part so far was the fork. That set me back $30 plus $11 shipping. But included in the shipping were the handlebars, brakes, & levers, which were all free. The only other part that cost more than the frame was the SS conversion kit, which came to $18.39 with tax. Everything else was less than $12 individually, or was paid for with the $100 Performance Gift Card that my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas.

I did pick up a set of brakes for $10.50 on eBay that I ended up not needing, so I'm going to try to resell them on eBay. Breaking even on them will be great, but it'd be even better to come out ahead.

I'll be trying to get the headset installed tomorrow, and I'm awaiting the arrival of the bottom bracket & crank & chainring bolts, so it won't be ridable for at least a week. Once it's together, I'll take pics and post about the first ride.

Last edited by monogodo; 12-09-07 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 12-08-07, 04:01 PM   #2
apclassic9
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pictures?
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Old 12-08-07, 04:50 PM   #3
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I like projects like these. Good going.
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Old 12-08-07, 08:16 PM   #4
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That look pretty good. For the cash it will be a pretty good buy.
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Old 12-09-07, 08:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apclassic9 View Post
pictures?
As soon as it's complete. I'm waiting on the arrival of the bottom bracket from NYCBikes.com. As of last night, everything has been installed except for the BB, cranks, pedals & chain. I also need to trim the brake cables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaGetGood View Post
That look pretty good. For the cash it will be a pretty good buy.
With yesterday's purchase of a saddle, computer, brake shoes, & headset installation, the total out-of-pocket cost of the bike is at $186.98.

Here's the final parts list:
Code:
Frame			Top Image Neptune (NOS)
Fork			Tange Steel (NOS)
Headset			Cane Creek S2 (used)
Stem			K2 (used)
Handlebars		1" rise bars (used)
Grips			Oury (new)
Brake Levers		Avid Speed Dial 5 (used)
Brakes - F		V-brake knockoffs (used)
Brakes - R		V-brake knockoffs (used)
Brake pads              Aztek LX v-brake pads (new)
Seatpost		Titec Knock Post (NOS)
Saddle	                Forte Pro SLX (new)
Seatpost Collar		Weyless Pro (new)
Bottom Bracket		Shimano BB-UN52 (new)
Cranks			Shimano 600 Ultegra (from parts stash)
Crank Bolts		8mm Crank Bolts (new)
Chainring Bolts		Track/MX Bolts (new)
Chainring		Supergo 39T (new)
Chain			SRAM 8-speed (new)
Wheels			Shimano Deore LX hubs on Mavic 221 rims (from parts stash)
Tires			IRC PiranhaPro 2.0 (from parts stash)
Tubes			butyl presta tubes (from parts stash)
Brake cables		Cane Creek/Dia Compe (new)
SS Conversion Kit	Forte SS Conversion Kit (new)
Star nut		U.S.E. Ring-Go-Star (new)
Bar Ends		Profile Briefs (new)
Computer                DBS 4LW (new)
Pedals                  OnZa HO clipless (from parts stash)
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Old 12-09-07, 09:41 AM   #6
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The problem I see with this kind of project is that the price is right for a beginner, but you have to know what you're doing to pull it all together. Good luck on it all.
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Old 12-09-07, 02:22 PM   #7
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The problem I see with this kind of project is that the price is right for a beginner, but you have to know what you're doing to pull it all together. Good luck on it all.
That's just it, I'm not a beginner. It's the 5th bike I've built for myself, and I have no idea how many "pro bike builds" I did for the two shops I worked for from 1989-1992. Had I had the right tools, I could have done everything myself. As it is, I had to have the headset installed at a shop, because I don't own a headset press or milling tool. I'll also have to go to a friend's house to install the BB, as I don't have the tool for that, either, and it's not worth it to me to invest in a tool that I'll use once every 5 years or so.

In any event, I've had a lot of fun amassing the parts and putting it all together. I did kinda overspend yesterday on the saddle & computer. I could have saved $25 by going with a different saddle & computer. I'm happy with the decisions I made, though.

And if I want to, I can make it into a 2x8 very easily. I have a pair of Deore LX derrailleurs & SRAM X-Ray Grip shifters sitting in my parts box. All I'd need is shifter housing & cables. I may end up doing that at some point, but for now I'll leave it SS.
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Old 12-09-07, 02:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
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In any event, I've had a lot of fun amassing the parts and putting it all together.
I had fun just reading about it! Nice.

... Brad
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Old 12-19-07, 11:29 PM   #9
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Just got back from a friend's house after installing the BB, cranks, & chain. It's finally complete. It rides beautifully. I got lucky and got the perfect gearing for a perfectly tensioned chain w/o the SS tensioner. I also discovered that it's a good thing I went with the 170mm 600 Ultegra cranks -- they clear the elevated chainstays by about 5 mm.

The first real ride on it will be tomorrow night, and I hope to get pics of it this weekend.
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Old 12-20-07, 08:10 AM   #10
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Less talking moar pictures......ing....
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Old 12-20-07, 09:37 AM   #11
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pics or death.
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Old 12-20-07, 09:39 AM   #12
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And I want to see pics of it next to the colnago, vitus, and Eddy Merckx.
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Old 12-21-07, 01:17 AM   #13
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Took it on its first ride tonight.

The only issues I've encountered with it is I need to move the seat forward a bit, and I need to either mount my cleats as far inboard as possible, or I need to get a BB with a longer spindle. My heels are hitting the chainstays something fierce. I have to pedal with my toes angled inward to keep my heels from hitting, and that hurts my knees. Hopefully, moving the cleats on my 2nd pair of shoes will work. If not, I'll need to get a new BB.

And sorry, still no pics as of yet.
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Old 12-21-07, 03:49 AM   #14
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moar pics or gtfo
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Old 12-21-07, 07:18 AM   #15
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Way to go. I'm now inspired to start building a frame up Hard Rock from my spare parts bin.
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Old 12-25-07, 01:03 AM   #16
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Because

I plan on taking some tomorrow and posting again.
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