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Good Exercise - Building up a new frame?

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Good Exercise - Building up a new frame?

Old 09-22-15, 04:51 PM
  #1  
Inpd
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Good Exercise - Building up a new frame?

Hi,

So I have 2 year old Schwin Tourist which brand new was a $250 bike from Target. It has okay Shimano components (i.e. Altus RD) but the other parts (BB, Cranks, Bars etc.) are quite light and good quality.

I was considering as an exercise to see if I like wrenching to create a new bike, buying a $100-$200 frame and putting all the good parts from the Schwinn on the new frame and replacing those that aren't.

Is this even feasible or will there be such a mis-match that this type of Frankenstein bike won't ever work?


Thanks!
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Old 09-22-15, 04:58 PM
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No way to tell ahead of time whether it will work, but I consider such a venture by a person relatively new to bikes to be a colossal waste of time and money. Figuring out what parts are compatilble between two bikes is not a common task, and a different frame with the same parts will make precious little difference, especially at the price you are talking about.

This is my suggestion: Work on the bike you have first, learning everything you can about the why of maintenance and adjustment, not just the how. Sell it and buy a better bike that needs some work, repeat. That will gain you the most experience in the least time and give you constantly better bikes.
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Old 09-22-15, 05:06 PM
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In my view, building up a bike from a frame and parts is a good learning experience, if you'd enjoy it. But it seldom makes sense economically unless you have access to used parts, or want something that's quite specialized.

A less expensive exercise is simply to overhaul the Schwinn, from one end to the other. A frequent problem with department store bikes is that they start out poorly adjusted and lubricated, so an overhaul might actually make it behave like a better bike.

To find out what your budget will be, you have to look at the exact specs of the new frame and figure out how many of your old parts are compatible. Then start pricing things out.
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Old 09-23-15, 08:33 AM
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You'd get more exercise by walking around the block.
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Old 09-23-15, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
No way to tell ahead of time whether it will work, but I consider such a venture by a person relatively new to bikes to be a colossal waste of time and money. Figuring out what parts are compatilble between two bikes is not a common task, and a different frame with the same parts will make precious little difference, especially at the price you are talking about.

This is my suggestion: Work on the bike you have first, learning everything you can about the why of maintenance and adjustment, not just the how. Sell it and buy a better bike that needs some work, repeat. That will gain you the most experience in the least time and give you constantly better bikes.
Do this three or four times. I started with an old entry level bike, worked my way up the ladder quality wise, and ended up with a really nice bike. Buy right, be resourceful on finding parts, pick up some good tools along the way, and you will have a lifetime skill.

Start your projects with complete bikes, that way you don't have to worry about compatibility. As you gain knowledge and skill, you will be ready for the more complex stuff.
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Old 09-23-15, 09:39 AM
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To learn about bikes you have to work on them. Go ahead and do it. If you get stuck you may be able to get help at your LBS.
What is $200 is in this day and age? One car tire? A months worth of prescription pills?
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Old 09-23-15, 10:04 AM
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You obviously know something about the relative quality of frames and components. Look for bargains on better-quality bikes in CL or thrift stores - even bikes found on the street on trash pick-up day. Some of those finds are remarkable because of our throw-away culture and the prevalence of the "toss-it-dont-fix-it" mentality. I have reclaimed and refit several of those bikes, and I haven't even been looking hard. With a salvage bike, you at least have all the parts and know what replacements you may need.
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Old 09-24-15, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
A less expensive exercise is simply to overhaul the Schwinn, from one end to the other. A frequent problem with department store bikes is that they start out poorly adjusted and lubricated, so an overhaul might actually make it behave like a better bike.
I agree. A good overhaul breathes new life into a bike. Tear the Schwinn apart. Clean everything. Replace the cables and any loose ball bearings. Reassemble!

Give yourself permission and a budget to spend on parts and tools and supplies. Don't worry about cost-justifying every expense against the price of shop repairs. Look at wrenching like any other hobby or recreational activity. Spend on it if you enjoy it. The nice thing about doing your own work is that it does have a way of paying off in the long run in many unexpected ways.
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