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Old 09-02-10, 10:40 AM   #1
timberline12k
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Rules of Thumb on where to spend your money building up a bike

I ordered a 24" Salsa Fargo from my local bike store and it arrived this week. We are starting to build up the component list and the projected price is exceeding my budget.

Are there general rules of thumb or normal ratios how or where to spend the money and where cost can be cut?

Do you normally spend a similar amount on the drivetrain as the hubs and wheels?

If you spend $800 to $1,000 on the drivetrain, derailers, shifters, etc. Should you also spend a similar amount for the hubs, rims, tires, etc?

A complete Fargo SLX comes in around $1,500 from what I can tell from the internet and the XT is a couple hundred more. If I spent $475 for the frame and I am trying to keep the total build under $2k what general percentages should be spent on each major component group?

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Old 09-02-10, 10:46 AM   #2
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I'd prioritise... Wheelset - Crankset - Shifters - Derailleurs - Other stuff... In that order...
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Old 09-02-10, 11:06 AM   #3
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I'd prioritise... Wheelset - Crankset - Shifters - Derailleurs - Other stuff... In that order...
So if the Frame, Cassette, Crankset, Shifters, Derailleurs, Chain and Brakes add up to $1,500, what would you expect to pay for the rest of the bike?

I am having a hard time estimating what I should spend on the hubs, rims, spokes, and tires.

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Old 09-02-10, 11:20 AM   #4
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given you are speaking of shimano kit, get good Hubs , and good headset , stuff that will be easily replaced later,
like deraillers, can be gotten from the decent lower ranges ,
MHO XTR is too light for touring , need steel axles in the wheels not aluminum
cassettes are just plated differently with the higher ranges

brakes are important, but are the same V lever dragging a piece of rubber on the rim.
bushing tolerances do improve with a few bucks more..
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Old 09-02-10, 11:43 AM   #5
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timberline12K: do you know your way around excel? If so put a detailed list of every component together and start playing around with prices from a good online source... I did this a year ago when rebuilding.
PM me if you would like a copy of my excel file...
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Old 09-02-10, 11:46 AM   #6
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Are Shimano XT hubs laced to WTB Laser Disc rims a good place to start?

The original plan was DT Swiss 240 hubs laced to Mavic TN719d rims, but they were quite a bit higher.

What is the difference between these two options?
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Old 09-02-10, 11:49 AM   #7
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So if the Frame, Cassette, Crankset, Shifters, Derailleurs, Chain and Brakes add up to $1,500, what would you expect to pay for the rest of the bike?

I am having a hard time estimating what I should spend on the hubs, rims, spokes, and tires.
A good wheelset doesn't mean an expensive wheelset, you can get many bombproof rims for low prices...

I have had LX-deore parts for years with no problems. Touring isn;t like downhill racing, you aren't gonna be smashing the crap out of stuff on regular basis, you need stuff that will last a long time with care.

Anyways more expensive parts sometimes just means they weigh less which isn't a big deal for touring.
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Old 09-02-10, 11:51 AM   #8
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timberline12K: do you know your way around excel? If so put a detailed list of every component together and start playing around with prices from a good online source... I did this a year ago when rebuilding.
PM me if you would like a copy of my excel file...
I am prohibited from sending PMs until I have 50 posts. I spend all day on Excel and Access and would appreciate reviewing your spreadsheet formulas. Maybe you could send me a PM with an email address.

At the rate I have been asking questions, I should hit 50 posts in the next week or two, but I plan to pull the trigger on the components next week.

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Old 09-02-10, 11:54 AM   #9
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have a look at xt hubs mavic 719 rims sapin spokes 36hole.shimano pedals sti one side flat the other .i usually buy all that gear with chainreaction cycles.com .tires it's hard to beat conti tires .best of luck with the build expensive this touring lark aint it.
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Old 09-02-10, 11:57 AM   #10
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If you are going to splurge on anything, put the extra into strong and lightweight wheels. It's a difference you will feel every time you turn the cranks. There is no good reason to opt for "top of the line" shifters, derailleurs, brakes, and so on. LX group is fine. XT? Sure, if there is room in the budget. XTR? Don't even go there!
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Old 09-02-10, 12:00 PM   #11
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The component list is fluid, but here the current suggested build kit.

Frameset
Frame Salsa Fargo
Fork Salsa Fargo

Controls
Handlebar Salsa Woodchipper 46cm
Aerobar
Aerobar Extension
Stem Salsa Pro Moto
Spacers Alloy
Headset Ritchey Logic
Seatpost Thudbuster ST
Saddle Brooks B17
Handlebar Tape Cinelli GEL Cork

Drivetrain
Front Brake Avid BB7
Rear Brake Avid BB7
Front Derailleur SRAM X7
Rear Derailleur SRAM X7
Crankset SRAM 1400 175mm 28-42t
Bottom Bracket SRAM 1400 English
Chain SRAM 1030
Cassette SRAM 1050 12-36T
Shifters SRAM Apex

Wheels
Front Wheel XT/Mavic 719d
Rear Wheel XT/Mavic 719d
Front Tire Schwalbe Marathon Dureme
Rear Tire Schwalbe Marathon Dureme
Inner Tubes Q Tubes

Last edited by timberline12k; 09-03-10 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 09-02-10, 12:19 PM   #12
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I build up most of my bikes with used parts from Ebay (mostly) and Craigslist (when I get lucky). When considering higher-end parts (e.g., XT, Ultegra) a lot of times you can find lightly used take-offs from people that just had to have XTR or Dura-Ace on their rigs. You can save quite a bit of money, assuming you aren't in a huge rush to get the parts.

XTR rear derailleurs are great, by the way. I use them on all my bikes, from single touring bikes to my triplet. The older models are great derailleurs and can be had for low prices.
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Old 09-02-10, 05:34 PM   #13
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How much does Salsa's complete Fargo with SLX or XT cost? Buying a complete bike is almost always cheaper that buying a frame and bolting on components yourself...
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Old 09-02-10, 05:50 PM   #14
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Is it worth it to buy group sets? Or can you put it together cheaper buying the individual pieces on sale or on ebay? I recently priced out a build, and even low grade individual pieces added up fast... what do you guys do and where do you buy your components / group sets?
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Old 09-02-10, 06:56 PM   #15
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I build up most of my bikes with used parts from Ebay (mostly) and Craigslist (when I get lucky).
Yeah, you just have to watch what you're getting, and it's best if you do your research and know what the market is. The end-of-season clearance sales should be coming up pretty quick too. I picked up a lot of parts for cheap from clearance sales.

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How much does Salsa's complete Fargo with SLX or XT cost? Buying a complete bike is almost always cheaper that buying a frame and bolting on components yourself...
From how I read the OP, the frame's already paid for and in the shop. The shop owner can probably switch that around by making a few phone calls and maybe burning a favor or two, but the shop owner really has to like the OP to do that.
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Old 09-02-10, 07:02 PM   #16
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I don't know that you can use any predetermined ratios of expense between the parts of a bike. What you really need to do is either do a lot of research about all of the parts, or just buy a built up bike. Your budget and amount of free time will help you make that decision. I say that because, personally, I would rather pay a little more to get a solid bike than to agonize over getting the best possible deal and doing everything perfectly. That's just me, however, and some people enjoy the "hunt" of getting the best deal.
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Old 09-02-10, 07:32 PM   #17
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How much does Salsa's complete Fargo with SLX or XT cost? Buying a complete bike is almost always cheaper that buying a frame and bolting on components yourself...
I tried to order a complete Fargo, but Salsa has built out its 2010 production for 24" Fargo in both SLX and XT complete bikes.

The 2011 model is being updated later this month and I was told they will not offer a 24" XXL model. They suggested I grab a frame set while they were still available. I need the 24" frame for my 6'5" height. At least the frame was available at $475 which is around a 25% discount from original retail.

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Old 09-02-10, 07:49 PM   #18
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Just a warning. The apex shifters don't pull enough cable for the x7 front dérailleur. I tried this myself recently. You'll need to use a road front derailleur, which may then hit your chain stay if you set it low enough for your 42t chainring. I gave up on this idea as I couldn't find a solution. Let me know if you make this work.
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Old 09-02-10, 07:52 PM   #19
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The only real advantage to going piece-by-piece is, you can pay as you go. A little out of each paycheck. If you go someplace and buy a complete bike, or a frame then buy a component group, you have to pay the man at the front counter as you leave the store.

I've stuck with buying brand new parts, Shimano XTR, Brooks Pro saddle, etc. I want new and not used. When I'm way out a long way from home, the last thing I want is worn out parts breaking and me having to walk home.
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Old 09-02-10, 08:18 PM   #20
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Reasonable and interesting question, but really, what it comes down to is parts. How much they cost in what ratio to each other is pretty much irrelevant. To some extent your budget in irrelevant. It sounds high, so really who cares. Look at any of the lists of base level parts and digress at your pleasure. You will find lots of lists of parts. Sugino cranks LX hubs, etc... For me LX hubs, particularly with upgraded axles are pretty solid, but I do buy boutique hubs, while I don't particularly favour boutique cranks, except on Rohloff. So how does that break out in percentages the numbers skew the moment you start to get into it.


The aspect of your question where you look at the areas to concentrate your purchases in, is also an interesting question. But very difficult to really make rules about. What about 40 spoke wheels? In a slightly higher budget build that could come up, conceptually. That direction would bias any such list, making purchases necesarry or likely in several other areas, like rims and spokes, since there aren't than many good 40 hole rims, and once you have gone that far you probably will favour higher end spokes. I figure you can get a decent touring bike for about 1K, so the moment you go to a budget of 2200, you are going to be in a skewed world relative to others. A B17 seat might be found on a 1200 bike, but it doesn't get any more expensive on a 4000 dollar one.
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Old 09-03-10, 09:07 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Is it worth it to buy group sets? Or can you put it together cheaper buying the individual pieces on sale or on ebay? I recently priced out a build, and even low grade individual pieces added up fast... what do you guys do and where do you buy your components / group sets?
It depends... The last time I bought components (SRAM Red), I bought a build kit from GVH Bikes. Got a great price and everything I needed showed up within a couple of days. Might have saved a few bucks buying part-by-part on eBay, but I doubt it. The last time I went the eBay route it took me 2-4 weeks to hunt down everything I needed at a decent price. I was buying new parts and factoring in shipping costs, though.

If you're willing to send your hard-earned American dollars over to the U.K., there are sometimes great component deals to be had from vendors like Pro Bike Kit, Wiggle, etc.
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Old 09-03-10, 11:27 AM   #22
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no rules of thumb, do what you want with the budget you got
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Old 09-03-10, 06:18 PM   #23
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Well, I went ahead and pulled the trigger. I ordered the build list above from my local bike shop. I should have a complete bike in a couple weeks.
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Old 09-04-10, 01:06 PM   #24
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That's what I like. A guy who has a bank account big enough to match his balls!
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Old 09-04-10, 03:36 PM   #25
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My wife was ok with me buying a second bike if I sold enough of my "stuff" (20 year old stereo, 15 year old tent, wakeboard, skis, boat fenders, scuba equipment, camera equipment, etc.) in the basement and garage to cover the cost of a new bike.

I sold most of it on craigslist, but I found two knives I bought 20 years ago in the bottom of a storage crate. I checked the internet and found out they became collectors items. I put them on ebay and they brought $600. That covered the last portion of the Fargo build kit including tax.

The added benefit is our basement got cleaned out in the process. I think she may have figured out what motivates me after 23 years of marriage.

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