Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Building a bike from scratch - noob alert

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Building a bike from scratch - noob alert

Old 02-01-19, 07:51 AM
  #1  
larsbb
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Building a bike from scratch - noob alert

I recently had my bike stolen and I am now looking to get a new one. I have a spare bike (rusty and heavy, but functional) so there is no rush to get a new one, so therefore I was thinking of building a new one instead, just the way I want it. I have ridden single-speed most of my life and only recently changed to gears. The last bike I had was a Cube Hyde with internal gears, but I never liked it. However I did like the belt drive, so I have a good idea of what I want on my new bike:

- Lightweight
- Simple and low maintenance
- Thick tyres
- Belt drive, single speed

I have looked around for inspiration and found one that I like (although the handlebar and colours are not my favourite). It is called "YUKKA’S FLOC DE NEU" if you want to get an idea of what I am looking for.

But my question is really, where to start? If I buy a frame, then I need to make sure that it fits to the wheels, that have the right hub for the beltdrive and single-speed. It quickly gets confusing for someone like me, who has not a lot of experience with bikes. I do know one thing though, that the teeth-ratio on the front and rear sprockets has to be about 55-19 or so. I have had a look at Gates' homepage, but not sure which ones are singlespeed (if that even makes sense?).

Any advice is very welcome
larsbb is offline  
Old 02-01-19, 08:51 AM
  #2  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,947
Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 812 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
If you want belt drive, first thing is to look for frames that can take belt drives. You need a rear triangle that opens up. That should give you a width that works with suitable hubs ”automatically”.
Not aware of too many SS belt drives. Might be simpler to buy a geared hub and just not shift it.
Don’t get hung up on tooth counts, it’s the ratio that’s important. Any sets of two numbers that when divided give the same result will ride the same. With that said, 55/17 sound high on a bike with regular wheel size.
dabac is offline  
Old 02-01-19, 09:37 AM
  #3  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,249
Mentioned: 158 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8364 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 33 Times in 30 Posts
For belt drive frames, you'll probably be looking at the touring internal gear hub market. STEEL? Although, I'm also seeing a couple of fixie bikes for sale (also steel, I think).

They should be designed for tightening the belt, so it should be easy enough to convert to single speed.

It looks like Gates sells a 19T and 21T threaded "fixie" sprocket.

https://www.gatescarbondrive.com/pro...rear-sprockets

There is also a 22T freewheel, and I think the 9 spline (20T) should work on a Shimano style freehub????


Hmmm... Do you want "Single Speed" (freewheeling), or "Fixie" (track style, pedals move with the hub)?

There are several brands of "single speed" freehubs. For example Hope has a single speed "Trials" freehub. I think STANS has a little cheaper hub. Some use spacers and a standard cassette lockring. Others are threaded somewhat like the vintage hyperglide freehubs.

Once you find the rear sprocket, use ratios to determine the size of the front chainring.

So, say you choose a 20T sprocket. And wish to have something similar to 55/19.

Try:

55/19 = X/20

X = 55*20/19 = 57.9

So, about a 58T ring.

They've got some big rings, but you would have a choice of 55T or 60T.

https://www.gatescarbondrive.com/pro...ront-sprockets

130BCD will determine your crankset.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 02-02-19, 01:29 AM
  #4  
larsbb
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanks for your answers so far! I am looking for a single speed and not a fixie.
larsbb is offline  
Old 02-03-19, 10:21 AM
  #5  
larsbb
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Is it the hub or the sprocket that determines if the bike is a fixie, single speed or other? I would think that it was the hub, so if I was wanting like a shimano xt hub, how would i know if it is single speed and fits the sprocket I have bought?
larsbb is offline  
Old 02-03-19, 01:07 PM
  #6  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 14,873

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 85 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1756 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 16 Posts
The only SS belt bikes I know of are built by Spot as SS XC bikes. There's only one length belt, so the gearing options are few because whatever size the 2 rings are, they have to add up to the same length. There's enough adjustment in the rear dropouts to alter the rear cog by maybe 1 tooth. I'd look to them to see what components they use for hub and crankset. Googling for SS belt bikes, one gets mostly SS internal hub bikes, not much help there.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 02-04-19, 04:05 AM
  #7  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,947
Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 812 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
[[
Originally Posted by larsbb View Post
Is it the hub or the sprocket that determines if the bike is a fixie, single speed or other?
A bit of all really.
”True” fixies require a hub with a threaded ”neck” around the wheel axle. This ”neck” should have two diameters, the smaller, outer one being reverse threaded to accept a locknut to hold the sprocket in place.
However, the thread for the sprocket is the same thread as for screw-on freewheels, which means that fixie hubs can be used together with screw-on freewheels. Easiest as SS bikes, but often also as derailer gear bikes by adding/moving axle spacers and resisting the wheel.

And of course there are/have been a few conversion kits, adapters and specials.
Used to be one where you took a Shimano (derailer gear) cassette hub and replaced the freehub body(in cassette hubs, the sprockets and the actual clutch mechanism are treated as separate pieces. The f/h body is what holds the clutch) with a solid piece which turned it into a kinda-sorta fixie hub.
then there are sprockets that bolts onto the brake rotor mounts to create a fixie wheel.

Originally Posted by larsbb View Post
I would think that it was the hub, so if I was wanting like a shimano xt hub, how would i know if it is single speed and fits the sprocket I have bought?
I’m not aware of any XT hubs made as SS from the start. AFAIK they’re all cassette hubs.
But you can buy a splined sprocket and a set of spacers to mount a SS sprocket to a stock XT hub with a minimum of fuss.
I believe Shimano has a line of bmx hubs, which would be SS hubs, and entirely possible to lace into the rim of your choice.
To know if a sprocket will fit a hub, check the specs of the mounting method, splined vs threaded.

Last edited by dabac; 02-04-19 at 04:10 AM.
dabac is offline  
Old 02-04-19, 09:23 AM
  #8  
larsbb
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
So if I buy a "Shimano XT Rear Hub FH-M756A 32h" then I also need some kind of spacer for the sprocket, if I buy, say a splined 19T Rohloff sprocket?

Does anyone have any ideas as to where the best/cheapest place in europe is to buy bike frames from? I have googled a lot, but cannot seem to find anything, that allows the frame to be able to open up. Also I would like, if it was rather light-weight.
larsbb is offline  
Old 02-04-19, 01:31 PM
  #9  
exmechanic89
Senior Member
 
exmechanic89's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Richmond VA area
Posts: 2,725

Bikes: '00 Koga Miyata Full Pro Oval Road bike.

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 474 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Honestly with your lack of knowledge I'd look to buy an already built bike. You can probably find something close to what you're looking for a lot easier and cheaper than building it up yourself. Especially since you want something unusual.
exmechanic89 is offline  
Old 02-04-19, 01:54 PM
  #10  
larsbb
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Honestly with your lack of knowledge I'd look to buy an already built bike. You can probably find something close to what you're looking for a lot easier and cheaper than building it up yourself. Especially since you want something unusual.
Thanks for your honest advice. But the reason i want to build my own bike is partly to get more knowledge. And because it would be fun and because I could build it exactly like i want to.
larsbb is offline  
Old 02-07-19, 03:06 PM
  #11  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,464

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6721 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 139 Times in 117 Posts
bike frames

Originally Posted by larsbb View Post
Thanks for your answers so far! I am looking for a single speed and not a fixie.
https://www.somafab.com/archives/product/wolverine...

good start.. Paragon Machine has alternate dropout inserts too ..

note the bolts in the seat stay , that's where the triangle opens for the belt to pass through..

Piece at a time, building a bike from frame up, is the most costly way to go...

a couple Thousand $$ + is probably a ball park Gates carbon belt drive parts is, at last count , $500 ..





...

Last edited by fietsbob; 02-07-19 at 03:14 PM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 05-13-19, 02:43 AM
  #12  
larsbb
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thanks for all your advice. I finished building my bike this weekend and I am extremely happy with it. I knew close to nothing about bikes before I started and now I know a lot more.

I went with a frame from Poison-bikes in a yellow colour of my choosing. I was aiming for a bike with yellow and black colours. The frame also came with a front fork.

Before the delivery of the frame, I had bought a set of 28" rims from DT Swiss, a couple of Shimano hubs and a bunch of spokes. It took me some time to lace up the wheels, mainly because I did it following a YouTube video, which was bugged. I found a better guide for it and ended up with a nice pair of wheels, but I needed the frame for the truing of them, so I had to wait for that. When it came I had a bit of trouble truing the front wheel and ended up starting over a couple of times, but the end result was very nice indeed and I learnt a lot from it during the process.

I had decided for a couple of rim-brakes, but the frame and front fork did not really support this, so I ended up buying some mechanical disk brakes instead. Lucky me for buying the hubs with disc brake attachments! The switch was therefore easy, even though I had to send the brakes back to the shop and wait for the new brakes to arrive. I also made a mistake on the calculating of the belt and had to send that back too and wait for a smaller belt, which then fitted perfectly. Again I was lucky that the frame had a flexible bottom bracket, so I could tighten and loosen the belt. Another thing to be aware of!

Once the wheels with the front and rear sprockets were installed and the belt was fitted, the rest was just installing stuff like mudguards, handlebars etc. I did have to cut of the top of the fork-pipe though, but that went well also.

All in all it was a nice experience and I feel that I know my bike really well now. The bike is quite lightweight and a joy to ride. I could have saved some money by buying a complete bike, but I wouldn't have got the same experience from that and also I would probably have to compromise with regards to the look of it.

And to exmechanic89 who, instead of trying to help, advised against building a bike from scratch due to my lack of knowledge: If you want the bicycle community to grow and more people to use bikes, maybe you are using the wrong approach. You probably have a lot of experience, if your username is an indication of what you do for a living, so why not share that? It seems a bit silly to be on a forum like this if you are not here to help.
larsbb is offline  
Likes For larsbb:
Old 05-14-19, 08:39 AM
  #13  
Ironfish653
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 918

Bikes: 1997 Cannondale, 1976 Bridgestone, 1998 Softride

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 299 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 14 Posts
@larsbb Good for you for seeing the build through to a completed bike!

You have 10 posts now, so you have to post a picture of the bike, or it doesn't exist!


Sorry for the push-back, but we see a lot of "I want to Build A Bike" threads where they don't want to spend any money, or have a pile of parts that don't work together (like MTB wheels on a TT frame) or want BF members to give them a complete shopping list, or they want something that really doesn't exist.

Saying you're a noob and asking about belt drives kinda raised that flag. BF is primarily a US forum, and belt drives aren't really common here.

You seem to have better than typical mechanical ability, and I'm glad you took this as a learning experience. As you found out, even simple bikes like yours are more complicated than they look.

Last edited by Ironfish653; 05-15-19 at 08:10 AM.
Ironfish653 is offline  
Likes For Ironfish653:
Old 05-14-19, 03:36 PM
  #14  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 6,056

Bikes: 90/91 De Rosa, '84 Team Miyata, '82 nishiski,

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 786 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
Good for you for seeing the build through to a completed bike!

You have 10 posts now, so you have to post a picture of the bike, or it doesn't exist!


Sorry for the push-back, but we see a lot of "I want to Build A Bike" threads where they don't want to spend any money, or have a pile of parts that don't work together (like MTB wheels on a TT frame) or want BF members to give them a complete shopping list, or they want something that really doesn't exist.

Saying you're a noob and asking about belt drives kinda raised that flag. BF is primarily a US forum, and belt drives aren't really common here.

You seem to have better than typical mechanical ability, and I'm glad you took this as a learning experience. As you found out, even simple bikes like yours are more complicated than they look.
second the need picture or it didn't happen

and second note there are many I want to build a bike threads where the poster does not understand it will cost more or has ideas that may not be safe or practical.

Truthfully (once the picture shows up.... no hints here) you the OP are a rare exception
__________________
Looking for Team Miyata F&F 58cm
squirtdad is offline  
Old 05-15-19, 08:35 AM
  #15  
larsbb
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Yeah, I was intending to post a couple of pictures - I took a lot during the process - but I was first told, that I had not made 10 posts and when I reached that amount I was then told that I had posted 5 posts within 24 hours, so I had to take a break

Well here they are, in any case:






Truing the wheel
larsbb is offline  
Likes For larsbb:
Old 05-15-19, 08:46 AM
  #16  
larsbb
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
@larsbb Good for you for seeing the build through to a completed bike!

You have 10 posts now, so you have to post a picture of the bike, or it doesn't exist!

Sorry for the push-back, but we see a lot of "I want to Build A Bike" threads where they don't want to spend any money, or have a pile of parts that don't work together (like MTB wheels on a TT frame) or want BF members to give them a complete shopping list, or they want something that really doesn't exist.

Saying you're a noob and asking about belt drives kinda raised that flag. BF is primarily a US forum, and belt drives aren't really common here.

You seem to have better than typical mechanical ability, and I'm glad you took this as a learning experience. As you found out, even simple bikes like yours are more complicated than they look.
That is fair enough Strangely enough bike-forums are rare and nearly non-existent in DK, where I live, even though we have a pretty strong bicycle culture here. I get that my first post seemed a bit hopeless and looking back at it I probably wouldn't have posted an answer myself if I had been someone else reading it. So I am glad you took your time, despite the flags raised and all


second the need picture or it didn't happen

and second note there are many I want to build a bike threads where the poster does not understand it will cost more or has ideas that may not be safe or practical.

Truthfully (once the picture shows up.... no hints here) you the OP are a rare exception
Thanks! In case anybody is reading our posts, I can confirm that it is a very costly project, so you have to expect that before you start. If you get your hands on a cheap frame, you could maybe save some money, but buying the parts separately like I did will increase the price, compared to buying a already built one from a dealership, who buys in larger amounts. Once I had the list of parts I tried to get discount at various shops, but none of them could cut anything off the price. I ended up spending about 10.000 DKK, which is about $1500. I could have bought one for about $1.000 with internal gears and belt drive from a dealer, but I am glad I didn't.
larsbb is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.