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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)

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Old 09-18-09, 02:30 PM   #1
mcnuggets
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Which parts are worth spending extra on?

I'm looking to build up a bike fairly soon starting from an IRO Mark V frameset. This is the first time I've done this and I want to ask from other people who have built their own bikes what parts are worth spending the extra money on and what parts will see only marginal gains the more expensive they are? I'm thinking about concentrating my budget on wheels, crankset and a saddle.

Wheels:
Paul Components high flange 32h hub
Velocity Deep V rms
DT Swiss straight gauge spokes

Crankset:
SRAM Omnium GXP

Saddle:
Considering a Brooks saddle. I really want to make my bike as comfortable as possible so I can ride longer.

What about stems, seatposts, handlebars, brakes and levers? Worth spending the extra money on?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-18-09, 02:42 PM   #2
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just goes on what ever are you willing to spend the money on.
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Old 09-18-09, 02:55 PM   #3
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Whatever parts of your bike you're least happy with are the ones you should replace first. My cranks suck and the chainring isn't round at all, but I don't have chain dropping issues and I spin a low gear so that hasn't been a priority for instance.
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Old 09-18-09, 03:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mcnuggets View Post
I'm looking to build up a bike fairly soon starting from an IRO Mark V frameset. This is the first time I've done this and I want to ask from other people who have built their own bikes what parts are worth spending the extra money on and what parts will see only marginal gains the more expensive they are? I'm thinking about concentrating my budget on wheels, crankset and a saddle.

Wheels:
Paul Components high flange 32h hub
Velocity Deep V rms
DT Swiss straight gauge spokes

Crankset:
SRAM Omnium GXP

Saddle:
Considering a Brooks saddle. I really want to make my bike as comfortable as possible so I can ride longer.

What about stems, seatposts, handlebars, brakes and levers? Worth spending the extra money on?

Thanks for the help.
You'll want a good stem/bars + cog. Why straight gauge spokes? Wut?
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Old 09-18-09, 03:20 PM   #5
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straight gauge is stronger,

double butted weighs less
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Old 09-18-09, 03:26 PM   #6
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Straight gauge is not necessarily stronger:

"Double-butted spokes do more than save weight. The thick ends make them as strong in the highly-stressed areas as straight-gauge spokes of the same thickness, but the thinner middle sections make the spokes effectively more elastic. This allows them to stretch (temporarily) more than thicker spokes.

As a result, when the wheel is subjected to sharp localized stresses, the most heavily stressed spokes can elongate enough to shift some of the stress to adjoining spokes. This is particularly desirable when the limiting factor is how much stress the rim can withstand without cracking around the spoke hole. "

That being said, I use DT straight gauge on all me wheels bc they're .40 cheaper.

OP, what bb/spindle are you using? Remember that the High Flange Paul has a 44mm chainline; a bit wider than your typical track frame of 41.5mm.

I'd personally go with Phils; they have a 37.5mm chainline. You can get a pair in silver for $240 from AEbike.com

EDIT: I see you're going w the Omniums; they have an advertised 42mm chainline, so the Pauls would probably be ok.

Last edited by Yo!; 09-18-09 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 09-18-09, 03:45 PM   #7
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Beside the obvious, wheels and crank, I am a big fan on a nice set of carbon bars. It will make the ride a lot more enjoyable.
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Old 09-18-09, 03:50 PM   #8
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don't get the brooks so you can ride longer.

First, ride longer, if it's an issue, then get a brooks.
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Old 09-18-09, 03:51 PM   #9
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straight gauge is stronger,

double butted weighs less
And 100% incorrect. Good job bikeforums, yet again.
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Old 09-18-09, 04:06 PM   #10
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I like the list of parts you have already. I am not a brooks fan, but many are and its your behind.

I have Thomson seatposts on all 4 of my bikes and Thomson stems on the MTB's. I think they are well worth it. Since you are starting from scratch, you can choose what you want.... I tend to think you should buy the very best out of the gate and so you don't have to upgrade more than once.

Case in point, I purchased a T2-Wing Aluminum bar to start with,... upgraded it to the T2-Cobra Carbon Bar, purchased a Record aluminum road crank and upgraded to a Centaur Carbon road crank, had a Terry Fly saddle and upgraded to a Fizik Aireon CX carbon saddle,... the list is endless. I try to buy the best to start with, but sometimes even that does not work. If you are an upgrade nut like I am, you are starting with a good group of parts. Don't cheap out on the rest unless you have to.... you will end up spending the money later anyways.
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Old 09-18-09, 04:17 PM   #11
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To chime in on the straight gauge vs. db argument:

Sure, db spokes allow for more elasticity under impact to help reduce damage from tagging a pothole or a curb.
If you're a big rider, you can also feel your wheels flex like Play-Doh when you stand up and toss the bike back and forth under you in a sprint. I weigh 230 pounds and I can't stand db spoked wheels. Standing up to hammer a long incline makes me worry that the rear wheel is going to fold in half like a sheet of cardboard.
Lighter riders or riders who don't stand and lean the bike for more torque in a climb might feel comfortable with them. I do not like them, and build all my wheels with 14g straights (DT Champion 2.0).
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Old 09-18-09, 04:25 PM   #12
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Don't cheap out on the bottom bracket or headset. You want those to work smoothly and last a long time.
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Old 09-18-09, 08:49 PM   #13
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Don't cheap out on the bottom bracket or headset. You want those to work smoothly and last a long time.
Trust me, the headset is easy to cheap out. Even the $12 tanges will run smooth if regularly maintained. BB i'm mixed opinon on. You can get a LX/105 quality UN-5x series shimano cart bb which will last years and will very well for ~ $25.
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Old 10-18-09, 08:26 PM   #14
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i'd say bb and hubs are worth extra money.

it's also good to spend some $$ on a saddle that'll be super comfy

but there are also good saddles to be had for verrry cheap. ie one of my friends bought a saddle for 20 new at the lbs and it feels heavenly.
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Old 10-18-09, 11:04 PM   #15
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Trust me, the headset is easy to cheap out. Even the $12 tanges will run smooth if regularly maintained. BB i'm mixed opinon on. You can get a LX/105 quality UN-5x series shimano cart bb which will last years and will very well for ~ $25.
I have to say, owning both the cheap and reliable $15 tange, and a sealed cartridge bearing Canecreek S3.
I much prefer the S3.
Cartridge bearings are just so nice, and when the bearings get ruined you don't have to install a whole new headset/races/cups. You just drop in a new cartridge.

Same goes for bottom brackets and hubs imo.
Sure it's fun servicing and putting the time into getting loose ball/caged bearings nice and smooth, but that one time you forget to service them after some bad storms, or some dirt gets in, and the races get pitted, you are ****ed and everything has to be replaced.
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Old 10-18-09, 11:17 PM   #16
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forget the brooks, as those take too long to break in. I'd say go for a regal (preferably one of the NOS's on ben's cycle.) I've never really noticed a difference in ride feel between seatposts (maybe someone with a thompson can enlighten me, i just don't get it).

as far as stem and such, the more you pay typically the better the stem (ie lighter and less flex) you get but, as with the seatpost, as long as it's the right reach and angle, i don't really see much of a difference.

handlebars um find something comfy, please not track drops. I'd say either bullhorns or risers and both of these can be pricey but worth it in that the better they fit the less fatigue is transfered into your upper body.
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Old 10-18-09, 11:23 PM   #17
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i completely disagree about risers being pricey. most risers (non-nitto) are usually around 15-20 bux
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Old 10-18-09, 11:36 PM   #18
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huh unless your buying nitto, any generic brand handle bars are cheap. you shouldn't spend more then 30 for any type of bar really, unless you want something specific.
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Old 10-19-09, 12:06 AM   #19
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What about stems, seatposts, handlebars, brakes and levers? Worth spending the extra money on?
Nah, dont bother. Your other stuff is really by the numbers though!
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Old 10-19-09, 04:31 AM   #20
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I've never really noticed a difference in ride feel between seatposts (maybe someone with a thompson can enlighten me, i just don't get it).
Thomson seatposts are super light even for aluminum, and strong. I have one on my dh/fr bike, and am going to get one for my fg too. Nearly 1/2 the weight of the cheapo kalloy I have on there now.
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Old 10-19-09, 05:29 AM   #21
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Thomson.

Best seatposts ever!

What more is there to say???

Parts that make a difference? Contact points will make the most difference, especially for longer rides.

Hubs? velocity of above will be fine. people say Paul hubs are smoother, but really, you won't notice the difference. They do have nice build quality though! I guess it's the same with the Thomson seat posts, you won't really notice the difference. (I love them, but don't own one anymore)

Focus on bike fit, getting the reach to the handlebars that works best for you. Cheap stems (threadless) are great because you won't notice a stiffness difference between them and expensive ones, and you can buy a few and see what length and height fits you best. (You can buy 8 cheap stems dialing in the fit for the same price of 1 expensive stem) Of course, once you find your perfect stem dimensions, by all means spend the extra on a flashy one.

Crankset and BB wise, the Omnium is an excellent and safe bet. Sugino 75 is also another good option.

For a saddle, I recommend having your sit bones measured and you buying a saddle that fits you. New saddles are designed to prevent perennial artery pressure also. Specialized and Bontradger offer fitment services (Bontradger also offer a one month comfort guarantee, if you are unhappy, just return it), usually your local bike shop will have the special measurement equipment. I recently did this and got a Specialized Toupe Team. I just rode 140km and was fine (and wasn't even wearing padded shorts).

If you get clip pedals, get MKS sylvians, they are nice, and get steel toe clips as the alu ones bend too easily. I actually like plastic ones the best as they don't deform if you accidentially step on them (but metal ones do look nicer).

Handlebars; Carbon will have the best feel. Ergo Road drops will let you have the most number of places to put your hands, and get hood brakes to maximize the hand positions. Bullhorns are good also, same as road drops, but you loose the drops. Risers are fun for short trips, but long rides you will find you want to move your hands to relieve the pressure. Track drops look sweet, but only have one comfortable position, in the drops. You can go on the tops, but they taper down, so you find you keep your hands in the very center, touching the stem. Again, short rides are ok, long rides (an hour or so) and they get old very quick.
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Old 10-19-09, 06:10 AM   #22
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Most of what you mentioned seems to me to be deep into the area of diminishing returns. If you must have the best stuff and want a blingy bike, go for it, but it's not necessary.

Omniums and 75s are extreme overkill for just riding around. The cheaper Sugino models are great and will work fine. If you want something different, a moderately beat up vintage road crankset like Shimano 600, Campy Strada etc will look cool, work great and be very cheap.

Buying any saddle is a gamble because all asses are different, but a Brooks is a pretty safe bet; because they can adapt to your body it's harder to find people who have tried them and didn't like them. Break in not an issue for me; my brookses have been comfortable out of the box and gotten more so with time. I rode 250 km on my B17 last Saturday with no pain.

Nice wheels are less a matter of the components than the build quality. The components you mentioned should be fine, but you could easily get away with using Formula or equivalent cheap cartridge bearing hubs instead of Pauls. Vs are strong but a bit heavy; you might consider something like Aeroheads or Open Pros instead. The most important thing is to either pay someone to do a good job building them and/ or checking them out, or do it yourself.

Nice handlebars that work for you are worth spending money on. But you will have to try out different styles to see what you like. I am a huge fan of Nitto Noodles, but ymmv.

Last edited by mander; 10-19-09 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 10-19-09, 06:18 AM   #23
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I've needed this thread info for a long time. Thanks everyone!
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Old 10-19-09, 06:30 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnuggets View Post
I'm looking to build up a bike fairly soon starting from an IRO Mark V frameset. This is the first time I've done this and I want to ask from other people who have built their own bikes what parts are worth spending the extra money on and what parts will see only marginal gains the more expensive they are? I'm thinking about concentrating my budget on wheels, crankset and a saddle.

Wheels:
Paul Components high flange 32h hub
Velocity Deep V rms
DT Swiss straight gauge spokes

Crankset:
SRAM Omnium GXP

Saddle:
Considering a Brooks saddle. I really want to make my bike as comfortable as possible so I can ride longer.

What about stems, seatposts, handlebars, brakes and levers? Worth spending the extra money on?

Thanks for the help.
What sort of riding do you do now? Or will this be your first bike?

If this is your first bike and you just want to cruise around and look ironic, get the basic IRO build package. Ride till stuff breaks then replace with you will by then know to be a worthwhile upgrade.

At any rate, wheel upgrades give you the best bang for the buck. Then tires. Carbon fork to replace the steel one. A more expensive crankset will be more likely to have truly round chainrings and mate to the bottom bracket better but these are very minor quibbles.

{if your chainring is out of round, try rotating it one chainring bolt at a time to see if that helps**


I'd ride the stock saddle for a few hundred miles before buying a more expensive saddle. Your butt may not care for the most expensive one while the ancient "Schwinn Approved" monster you yanked off a dead Varsity might be just the ticket.

Another reason to ride the stock stuff till it breaks is that fixie fashion will have gone through three or four cycles and you don't want to be caught out riding last year's handlebars.
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Old 10-19-09, 07:44 AM   #25
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Yeah, I agree. I have a Sugino RD crankset. It is the crappy 130PCD road bike model that came with my bike. It maybe a lot cheaper than the nicer ones, I highly doubt I would notice the upgrade (except when I look down at it). There is a very slight tightening and loosening og my chain. But that is it.

I would love a Brooks saddle, but they weigh a ton, unless you get the titanium models.

Still I think a modern saddle will be better.
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