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Thread: Build vs Buy

  1. #1
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    Build vs Buy

    Every time I look at building up a CX bike by buying a frame and pillaging the 105 components off an unused road bike, it ends up looking like I'd be better off just buying a new CX bike altogether

    A new frame and fork looks like it would cost me $400-600. Add in a new crank, new brakes and shorty brake arms and we're up to $600-800.

    Any thought on the cheapest way to build up a decent, raceable CX (I'm starting with the components off of a Trek 1500).
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

    "I am a courageous cyclist." (SpongeDad)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    A complete will nearly always be cheaper. If you have all the time and patience to search ebay, and you're well connected with friends that have heaps of spares, and your LBS will give you a deal on other people's take-offs, then, and only then, is there a chance that you can build your bike up for less than a complete. Or at least get it just how you want it on the first try.

    We spent a ridiculous amount on our tandem, only to decide some changes/upgrades were in order. Things happen.

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    Expatriate is right. It's always, Always, cheaper to buy a complete bike than it is to build one up, unless you have a load of unused parts for free at your disposal. That said, there is nothing wrong with buying a complete bike and having the shop upgrade some select components at that time. You get closer to what you want in a finished product and the prices still comes in less than a complete build up.

  4. #4
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Still a customized bike for only a little bit more can be worth it for some people. And if you have a full 105 group laying around then you can get a kick ass frame and it may still cost a bit more but you have a nice ride.

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    You build a cx bike because you want to. Since you have most of the necessary parts already you only need the frame, fork and cantilevers. Of course the shifters will depend on you as well. If you have STI or Ergo and want to ruin them that's your call. Barends are cheaper and more reliable and in my estimation every bit as good unless you're a Div A cyclocross racer and even there it would be a tossup.

    The LeMond Poprad is a GREAT first time CX bike and you'd be hard pressed to be able to duplicate it yourself for 1/3rd again the money.

    Buy or build? What do you want to do? I'm a mechanically inclined guy and I usually build my bikes myself. But many times the end result is a great deal more expensive than had I bought a finished product.

    That doesn't especially bother me.

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    I was at Veloswap the last Saturday and Chris Kelly was there with a bunch of cross frames of his. They were going for some pretty good prices.

    Building your own you could have done a nice bike for pretty low costs. But you can't be in a hurry and you have to look hard for good priced components.

    I built a Basso Gap up for a friend and in the meantime he bought another bike. Since I was in a hurry I have some $1300 in it and while it's a really good bike, no one is interested in paying what it's worth at the moment. So it'll just sit in my garage until someone realizes that this is a $2200 bike for the cost of the parts.

  7. #7
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    If you have the money, build. That is the route I took. Sure, it cost more than a boxed model, but I got exactly what I wanted. I also had a great time and learned a lot about bikes.

    I am sure I could not sell if for what I have into it, but the premium I got from the experience and getting exactly what I wanted, more than makes up the difference to me.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ahuman's Avatar
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    I agree with Tom Boyd. I build a Road Bike I paid a lot less than I would if
    I had brought it complete. I looked for sales and used ebay.. but the experience is
    priceless. Love the feeling of knowing I build it that is worth something
    K
    "I Love To Ride My Bicycle, My bicycle"

  9. #9
    Straight outta the SF Bay sucka free's Avatar
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    I was able to build a cx bike for less than 500. Granted, it took me some time. The frame and wheelset are from e-bay, brakes/fork nashbar, busted up STI from LBS, and everything else I already had lying around.

    Anyway, it took me quite a bit of time to actually get everything together. If it means anything, I built my during the course of the summer so it was ready for autumn.

    Build it if you have time/patience. Buy complete if you wanna ride out the door.

  10. #10
    cs1
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    Senior Member cs1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    I built a Basso Gap up for a friend and in the meantime he bought another bike. Since I was in a hurry I have some $1300 in it and while it's a really good bike, no one is interested in paying what it's worth at the moment. So it'll just sit in my garage until someone realizes that this is a $2200 bike for the cost of the parts.
    Speaking from experience, it's worth what someone will pay. If they only want to give you the $1300 you have in it then it's worth $1300. Ebay is full of high dollar bike trading at maybe 1/2 or retail. Like I said, I speak from experience.

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    I built a Basso Gap up for a friend and in the meantime he bought another bike. Since I was in a hurry I have some $1300 in it and while it's a really good bike, no one is interested in paying what it's worth at the moment. So it'll just sit in my garage until someone realizes that this is a $2200 bike for the cost of the parts.
    I've built most of my bikes (road and mountain). Was looking at doing the same until I found a brand new Bianchi Veloce Cross on Ebay. Pedalled away for $1350. Won my very first cross race on it too. Sweeeeet.

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