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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

View Poll Results: How did your bike come to be?
Bought completely new and unchanged since then 0 0%
Bought new and swapped some components 10 16.13%
Bought complete second hand 5 8.06%
Found and converted/built up a bike 47 75.81%
Voters: 62. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-26-06, 11:24 AM   #1
DonPenguino
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Build or buy

Listening to suggestions and seeing bikes from here, I wonder how many of you built your bikes or bought them in various states of completeness? So, how all did you come to aquire your current rides...
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Old 01-26-06, 11:44 AM   #2
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My bike is a rehab job I did on an 80's bridgestone that was abandoned near where I work. I took it completely apart, had the frame blasted and powdercoated, and then spent several months slowly rebuilding it with a mix of original parts and new parts (it went so slowly because I had to keep saving up for each new part). The most expensive thing ended up being the all-new wheelset that I built up (IRO hubs, sun rims, dt-swiss spokes, performance kevlar tires) for around $150.

It was very gratifying and fun to build it up. However, I'd recommend buying new if you have the $$ up front, if you are primarily concerned with value (getting decent quality at a reasonable price), and if you want to be able to just get the bike as quickly as possible and ride it, without having to tinker with it.

However, if you have even a little bit of mechanical inclination and are interested in the experience of building yourself, then go for it. You'll find a lot of great advice and support on this forum. Keep in mind, though, that if you really build it right (ie, with an actual track hub) and use decent quality parts, it's likely to cost you just as much or more than a new entry-level FG bike (ie, IRO).
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Old 01-26-06, 11:48 AM   #3
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For me, a proper bike is one that I put together, picking every component myself. There is no complete bike that would fit all my whims
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Old 01-26-06, 11:50 AM   #4
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both. My roadbike was built complete beacues I needed a roadbike quickly and didn't want to shop and haggle for parts, especially since I didn't have a lot of modern high end parts laying around.
My fixie was a total custom build, and I was particular about every aspect of the build, including the paint. I built mine on the cheap over time though, and I think it came out really nice. Plus I have personal knowledge of every nut, bolt, and bearing installed so it should be easier to chase down problems if they arise.
For a bike with so few components, there really isn't a reason not to build it yourself, other than time, or money if you get a killer deal.
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Old 01-26-06, 11:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LóFarkas
For me, a proper bike is one that I put together, picking every component myself. There is no complete bike that would fit all my whims
+1
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Old 01-26-06, 11:53 AM   #6
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one bike i bought second hand and swapped parts and one bike i put together from
a combo of new and used parts.

i guess i could imagine buying a bike new, but i know i would end up switching out
parts. unless i spent so much money on the bike that i had no extra money for new
parts...
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Old 01-26-06, 11:57 AM   #7
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I originally had a store bought bike. It was nice, but it didn't have the personality that I ended up wanting it to.

Rather than spend a load of money overhauling that bike, I took the time, found a frame that I liked, slowly gathered parts in the off-season and had the bike built up to my own specs.

It is much more satisfying to ride something that I pulled together myself because I was able to handpick parts based on my own interests.

If you aren't into that sort of thing store bought is great.
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Old 01-26-06, 12:09 PM   #8
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The bike I'm putting together now is mainly original parts, but I'll be hitting up Working Bikes over the summer to gradually put everything just so. After completely taking apart and rebuilding/regreasing my road bike, I have to say I just could not buy a whole bike without doing the same. It's so much better knowing the intricacies and how to fix it yourself.
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Old 01-26-06, 12:10 PM   #9
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Bought complete, and have now swapped everything but the headset, seatpost and seat off of the frame. Headset is next, but I am saving for a headset press and race setting kit along with the headset. That has been the best thing about learning the whole fixed gear, conversion, single speed buisness is the prep and work time. For all the years I rode BMX I had a set of socket and allen wrenches, and an adjustable and a rubber mallet. Now I have lots of tools, makes things easier and saves me money. How gratifying was it Tuesday night to have the Bottom bracket tool in my vice and using the frame as leverage to get the cups out. It felt great. And like it was said above if something does start to go wrong it makes it much easier to fix becasue you know how everything went together.
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Old 01-26-06, 12:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LóFarkas
For me, a proper bike is one that I put together, picking every component myself. There is no complete bike that would fit all my whims
+1
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Old 01-26-06, 01:35 PM   #11
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bought my first fixed gear second hand but have swapped out most everything...but now I am getting a new frame (fuji allegro) and am going to build that up with all of the parts I want.
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Old 01-26-06, 01:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LóFarkas
For me, a proper bike is one that I put together, picking every component myself. There is no complete bike that would fit all my whims
+1 again. It isn't really *my* bike unless I built it.
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Old 01-26-06, 01:50 PM   #13
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yeah, where's the option for "Built up a new frame"
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Old 01-26-06, 03:22 PM   #14
DonPenguino
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Last one counts as building up a new frame, sorry, didn't make it clear.
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Old 01-26-06, 04:25 PM   #15
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Building up a bike is at least as much fun as riding it, maybe more! Building it up yourself makes it your bike in a way that store-bought never will.

Plus, you know where everything is and how it got there, because you put it there.

And, since building up the bike presupposes you already have the tools, there's no such thing as the dreaded "I'm screwed, the bike shop is closed" syndrome.

Currently: NYC Bikes (gasp!) fix frame, assorted Campy/lightweight components. The components, except for the fork, headset and seatpost (which are new), are on their third frame since I got them, and the crank, BB, hubs, etc were used when I got them, so at least four bikes have seen these parts.
There's no way I could buy this particular setup in any shop (discontinued hubs (NR) and cranks (1980's Miche Primato w/ 144mm chainring size), Omega Strada XL rims), and more importantly, I trust my mechanical ability, and am not willing to find out the hard way that the mechanic at the LBS prefers to drink/smoke his lunch instead of a mere sandwich.
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Old 01-26-06, 04:30 PM   #16
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if i have to continue to look at my hubset and various other parts just sitting in thier boxes im going to cry. im on the waitign game with getting parts and my patients is getting thin.
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Old 01-26-06, 05:08 PM   #17
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I fixed over the summer, ALLLLLL summer. Had to save up enough dough. Laced my rear wheel, still true to this day despite Chicago streets. My bike is my transportation so I like things functional but I also like things to look good...

"One man's junk is another's treasure"

Found an old centrion frame, repainted to my tastes, and added reliable parts capable of handling the many miles I ride a week.

Now everyday I celebrate something that I assembled and thats a feeliing you cant get with stock.

perfect: no
impressive: yes
checkitout
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