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New Build - Frame Up - need advice on how to buy GroupSet

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New Build - Frame Up - need advice on how to buy GroupSet

Old 09-15-21, 10:00 AM
  #1  
returnoftheyeti
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New Build - Frame Up - need advice on how to buy GroupSet

So because why not, I have decided I am going to build a bike from the frame up. This is a fantastic idea, except for the fact that I have no idea how to do this. I have a disk bike frame, with a BSA bottom bracket. Now I need a groupset. I need EVERYTHING. So my question is... how to I "narrow" down my groupset choices? I don't need to "cheap" out on this build, but its my first build, and the frame is inexpensive, so I don't really want / need Ultrega... I looked for Sora, but apparently those are hard to buy? I find a lot of packaged groupsets, but they all seem to have rim brakes?

Are there any recommended sites I should be looking at, is this going to be an Ebay thing? How can I tell a "legit" site from a .. not so great one...

I really think a Tiagra 4720 is going to be the sweet spot, what do you think ?
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Old 09-15-21, 10:24 AM
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Try Jenson USA, Nashbar and Performance for decent prices and selection. I would have recommended a couple of UK dealers but they aren't able to ship any Shimano items to the US.

Years ago I had my LBS put together a "build kit" from QBP that included everything I needed for a bare-frame build and allowed me to spec personal choices such as gearing, stem length, wheels, handlebar width, crank length, etc. The package deal was a bit less expensive than individal purchases would have been.

Be aware, in today's environment, supply is limited so it may take you a while to get everything together.
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Old 09-15-21, 10:24 AM
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You need to figure out what your budget is. Then you need to add everything up that you need. Groupsets can be expensive or inexpensive. Handlebars, saddle, seat post and especially wheel sets can add up to more than a groupset.

I will probably always be Shimano or SRAM for groupset choices. But if you need to stay in budget, then just stick with stuff you can actually find installed on current low tier (less expensive) production bike offerings from Trek, Giant, Specialized, Cannondale, Kona and etc. If the bike manufacturers shun a cheap brand, then maybe you should too.

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Old 09-15-21, 10:26 AM
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Good idea pre covid, not the greatest idea today with shortages of parts/long lead times. For discs, even pre-covid, it was often cheaper just to buy a bike with them fitted if you were planning starting from just a frame.

You haven't identified much from your post, do you have a fork, what spec are the wheels (axle) you need, do you want hydraulic or mechanical brakes, Sora, vs Tiagra vs Ultegra, it's more than just don't want/don't need, none are compatible with each other, and all have different features, that you may or may not want/your frame requires..

You say you have a 'cheap' frame, check the specs in detail, is it cheap for a reason, i.e. its already obsolete when it comes to the specs?

With the limited info given, would look at how much your frame cost, how much all the parts you need would cost, if you can get them, and what time scale (spreadsheet time) labor costs if you can't do it yourself, and then what a full bike would cost, and if this is cheaper/easier.

There are other options for groupsets, but for a first time build, would stay away from them, till you know what you are doing/have a working bike, as compatibility & knowing what is good and bad becomes more challenging with this
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Old 09-15-21, 10:47 AM
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Merlin will still ship Shimano to US but 105 is out of stock. Also Texas Cyclesport, but again, out of stock. You will probably have to buy parts piecemeal. If you aren't confident you can do that, the project is ill advised.
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Old 09-15-21, 10:51 AM
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I would look at Bikes Direct (or their subsidiary, Bike Island) for a bike with good components but inexpensive frame (they seem to specialize in this), and transfer everything over, then sell the frame (and fork if applicable). I'm really surprised that my LBS didn't buy some BD bikes when supply of parts was non-existent since it seemed like good value (TO ME).
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Old 09-15-21, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
You say you have a 'cheap' frame, check the specs in detail, is it cheap for a reason, i.e. its already obsolete when it comes to the specs?

and then what a full bike would cost, and if this is cheaper/easier.
This is the Frame, I actually have not bought it yet, but I am quickly realizing that I may need to flip to a rim brake, just because of cost / availability of parts.

m.ltbikes.com/product/77.html

Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
and then what a full bike would cost, and if this is cheaper/easier.
This is not really about cost or time, its about having something to do cause I am bored.

Thanks !
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Old 09-15-21, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by returnoftheyeti View Post
This is the Frame, I actually have not bought it yet, but I am quickly realizing that I may need to flip to a rim brake, just because of cost / availability of parts.

m.ltbikes.com/product/77.html



This is not really about cost or time, its about having something to do cause I am bored.

Thanks !
That's the good news.
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Old 09-15-21, 11:30 AM
  #9  
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It is a lot harder to find groupsets right now than it used to be between no longer being able to source from the uk. and 2 sites that have groupsets are 105 or higher https://www.coloradocyclist.com/road-bike-groupsets or https://www.texascyclesport.com/grou...ade-kits-road/

did say road or mountain what type of disk frame
you need the below items. it is going to cost more than buying a tiagra bike...that simple,

also if you piecemeal components it is always more difficult (not impossible, just more difficult) to get everything working perfectly than if the components are matching

I would be really careful on ebay with groupsets shipped from china i did see this one https://www.ebay.com/itm/38439048450...cAAOSwa4VhPejj




wheels
cassette
chain
crankset
bottom bracket to match crank
front derailler (maybe)
rear derailler
brake calipers
brake rotors
brake levers to match calipers and maybe shifters depending on build
cables/housing/brake line if not included with brakes and shifters
stem
handle bars
seat post
seat post clamp if not included in the frame
seat
bar tape or grips
tires/tubes etc
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Old 09-15-21, 11:57 AM
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If you buy a frame, I would recommend that you have the vendor install the headset and bottom bracket. That will save you some aggravation.
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Old 09-15-21, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
I would look at Bikes Direct (or their subsidiary, Bike Island) for a bike with good components but inexpensive frame (they seem to specialize in this), and transfer everything over, then sell the frame (and fork if applicable). I'm really surprised that my LBS didn't buy some BD bikes when supply of parts was non-existent since it seemed like good value (TO ME).
Bikes direct is out of stock on about 90% of stuff this at $999 would have most of what OP needs https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ntnoir_xii.htm
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Old 09-15-21, 01:00 PM
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You are probably going to want to stick with Shimano shifters. I say this specifically because they have great compatibility reference sheets you can use. Whatever group you end up buying if it is newish and/or a take off from something else you will probably not have post mount calipers. You will need to figure out whatever group you end up with and reference it against a set of post mount calipers that will work.
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Old 09-15-21, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by returnoftheyeti View Post
This is the Frame, I actually have not bought it yet, but I am quickly realizing that I may need to flip to a rim brake, just because of cost / availability of parts.

m.ltbikes.com/product/77.html



This is not really about cost or time, its about having something to do cause I am bored.

Thanks !
135mm i.e. non-thru axle wheels is pretty much obsolete for disc road bikes, yes they are still available, but not easily/you will need to research what current wheel sets that are easily available can be converted using factory part/have the parts in the box.

My most recent bike I got just before C19 hit has non-thru axle disc wheels, and I picked up a couple of sets of wheels at the time, knowing that replacements would be hard to find in the following years, and that was without C19.. happening. If you can build wheels, not so much of an issue, but at the same time, wheel building isn't a massively cheaper option vs just buying an off the shelf wheel.
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Old 09-15-21, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jimc101 View Post
135mm i.e. non-thru axle wheels is pretty much obsolete for disc road bikes, .
I am learning fast.... How do you tell on that bike its a 135MM non-thru axel?

I need to read/learn more about Wheels and axles. Thanks!
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Old 09-15-21, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by returnoftheyeti View Post
I am learning fast.... How do you tell on that bike its a 135MM non-thru axel?

I need to read/learn more about Wheels and axles. Thanks!
Things might possibly be even worse, the frame might have been built to the even less common 130MM non through axle standard
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Old 09-15-21, 04:27 PM
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Supply is going to be a legitimate challenge. Note that you will definitely not save money doing this over a new bike unless you scour for really good deals on used parts, which frankly it doesn't sound like you have the experience to do. I also generally think that properly maintaining a working bike is a better way to learn bike mechanics.

Ignoring all the above, the big choice is between hydraulic and cable actuated brakes. Hydraulic is a big upgrade in my opinion, though installation will be harder for a novice mechamic. Probably the cheapest good hydraulic option is RS405 non-series Tiagra level shifters/levers/calipers. Note that these shifters are only compatible with 4700 series derailleurs.

If going cable actuated you can use most any road groupset.

Hard to give advise more specific than that. Really it seems like you're out of your depth here. You can totally do it, but you're going to have to do fine real research, and will also have to invest a fair amount in tools to do a professional job.
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Old 09-15-21, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Things might possibly be even worse, the frame might have been built to the even less common 130MM non through axle standard
Doubt it, the webpage that the OP has given doesn't have the exact specs for the OLD, but 130mm was only used for about a year by very few companies when road discs first came out, it's so rare that your unlikely to ever see one in the wild. Unless you spec'd one custom today, no-one is building frames with that spec and hasn't been for a very long time.

For the OP, if the frame has dropouts like in the image, it's not thru axle, if it was, the image would have the axles in the image, as these are suppled as part of a frame/fork, where as non-thru axle aren't (they are part of the hub)

One other thing to note about that frame (the LTK115-D) the disc tabs are for IS standard, this is obsolete for road (still standard for MTB's) if you went with road Hydraulic brakes, you would need to look for an adapter or to swap the calipers as almost all road hydraulic discs are now 'Flat Mount' regardless of brand when sold for road bikes. That frame looks to be spec wise about 5 years old, and a lot has changed since then.
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Old 09-15-21, 05:32 PM
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Building a bike from the ground up is extremely rewarding.
So is sourcing the best deal on just the right parts for "you"
And assembly isnt that hard either IF (big IF) you have the tools.
  • Bike stand (makes assembly much easier)
  • BB socket/wrench
  • Cassette socket/wrench
  • Proper headset press tool (not a pieced together threaded rod & washers setup - ugh, so frustrating that is)
  • Proper bike cable cutters, or at least a Dremel with a disc cutter attachment (gottta use one to prevent damaging the control cables)
  • PVC pipe to drive the crown race down
  • chain link breaker
Buying the tools is a little painful but know they'll also be used for maintnence later on.

Last edited by tdipail; 09-15-21 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 09-15-21, 05:33 PM
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It is a super old frame, its also super cheap. For everyone that keeps reminding me
  • Yes, I know this is not a cheap project
  • Yes, I know I have no idea what I am doing, but I am going to learn, and I am learning a ton already from this thread - Thanks
  • Yest I know this will take "a while" - but I don't care, the journey is part of the fun
From what I have learned so for:
  • Spend a bit more money up front - get a newer frame
    • I really didn't realize how much this mattered
  • Due to parts availability - try for V brakes if possible
  • See if I can get the parts I want - at a price I am willing to pay - before I order a frame (instead of ordering a frame and figuring it out later)
  • Figure out this wheel thing - I think I am ok with quick release, and "used" wheels, but find the "used wheels" first.
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Old 09-15-21, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tdipail View Post
Building a bike from the ground up is extremely rewarding.
So is sourcing the best deal on just the right parts for "you"
Dont forget the tools needed to install the parts!
  • Bike stand (makes assembly much easier)
  • BB socket/wrench
  • Cassette socket/wrench
  • Proper headset press tool (not a pieced together threaded rod & washers setup from Lowe's - ugh, so frustrating that is)
  • Proper bike cable cutters
  • PVC pipe to drive the crown race down (Lowe's for this is ok)
  • chain link breaker
Buying the tools is a little painful but know they'll also be used for maintenance later on.
On it ! - I got the Park Tools stand the other day - Took my current bike and put it on the stand and gave it a wash.... Stupid question, can I clamp in my bike by the cross post, or only the seat post ?

I also bought the Park Tools "home mechanic starter kit" - I am still going to need more, but its a start.
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Old 09-15-21, 05:44 PM
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Thats a great stand!
Ive seen people do both but personally I always try to clamp onto the seat post . It would break my heart if I crushed/dented a frame tube
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Old 09-15-21, 05:55 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by returnoftheyeti View Post
.... I looked for Sora, but apparently those are hard to buy? I find a lot of packaged groupsets, but they all seem to have rim brakes?

Are there any recommended sites I should be looking at, is this going to be an Ebay thing? How can I tell a "legit" site from a .. not so great one...
The Sora group itself does not come with disc brakes. However, the levers are compatible with mechanical disc brakes. You just have to buy the brakes separately.

It's easy to tell which is a 'legit' website. Ebay is a legit website. Alieexpress is a legit website. A standalone website selling groupsets, like sale-groupsets.com, would most likely be a scam website.
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Old 09-15-21, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by returnoftheyeti View Post
So because why not, I have decided I am going to build a bike from the frame up. This is a fantastic idea, except for the fact that I have no idea how to do this. I have a disk bike frame, with a BSA bottom bracket. Now I need a groupset. I need EVERYTHING. So my question is... how to I "narrow" down my groupset choices? I don't need to "cheap" out on this build, but its my first build, and the frame is inexpensive, so I don't really want / need Ultrega... I looked for Sora, but apparently those are hard to buy? I find a lot of packaged groupsets, but they all seem to have rim brakes?

Are there any recommended sites I should be looking at, is this going to be an Ebay thing? How can I tell a "legit" site from a .. not so great one...

I really think a Tiagra 4720 is going to be the sweet spot, what do you think ?
Groupsets are damm near impossible to find in this market and those available at listed at premium prices. It might be easier and cheaper to buy a complete bike. I too bought a frame and wanted to but a scram or shimano gravel groupset. Luckily I had an old shimano 3x9 that worked perfectly Good luck
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Old 09-15-21, 06:23 PM
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.
...*cough* donor bike *cough*
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Old 09-16-21, 01:49 AM
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I just pieced together on ebay a SRAM Rival 22 mini group for my old CX bike. Next I'll be piecing together the hydraulic version for my road bike. Seems like all the complete groups available are overseas. Don't limit yourself to Shimano, I'm a SRAM convert. The components look to be a nicer quality, the shifts are firm, I like the location of the limit screws and the front derailleur is awesome with no chain rub. The brake lever feels more solid since it doesn't move sideways to shift. Even Apex looks nice for a budget build. Campy used to be my favorite manufacturer (don't like the direction they went) but SRAM is similar to me.
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