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Project prioritization

Old 11-27-23, 10:45 AM
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Project prioritization

This is a topic with wide ranging answers but I’m curious about y’all’s thoughts about finishing up projects and what goes into the thought process about finishing builds. Expediency? (Some cables, a bar wrap, fine tuning calipers and derailleurs and she’s good to go!) Aspirational? (This will be a sweet ride when it’s done.) Other?

I’m side stepping necessity since I think a small percentage of C&V builds determine whether or not one will be able to get to work in the morning.

FWIW - I have a few projects that are ~80% complete but I am waffling about bar wrap or cable color, remembering to order a chain, accepting it will be good enough for now and so on.
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Old 11-27-23, 11:03 AM
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‘Need’ is a great motivator for me.
Bikes to ride (during my riding season) = projects are a lower priority.

Also, keeps me from buying more inexpensive projects if there is a queue.
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Old 11-27-23, 11:34 AM
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I never have “unfinished” projects. All of my projects are in a state of flux…I change things constantly…but the bikes are all functional at all times. I don’t start on something until I have all the parts I need.
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Old 11-27-23, 11:43 AM
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Like all my hobbies ever, I usually have two or four projects running simultaneously. With bikes, priority hinges on parts. So far it has been awaiting parts that I knew going into the project. But one was parts compatibility that I learned the hard way. Adding bike projects has been a problem the last month. I’m enjoying the journey so far. As in I don’t feel overwhelmed. Yet.
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Old 11-27-23, 12:05 PM
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Back when folks were buying ready-to-ride bicycles, I had one project at a time because when I found a "new" bike to rescue, a finished project would leave on CL. Now, I have finished projects that need maintaining while two projects are stalled and my garage looks like some of the others posted here.
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Old 11-27-23, 12:23 PM
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My 3 ready to go road bikes require a good amount of prep work to keep them optimal. I spend more time than my fellow club members & weekend riding buddies on this. I have been doing full road tubeless on 2 of the bikes & all 3 have waxed chains.
The hobby has gone viral though & there are 8 (…OK, full disclosure - ten!) bikes in the build stage & 5 or 6 are @ ~90% completion.
Like with tubeless tires & chain waxing, there is contemporary tech (think hydraulic discs with hidden cables) that I stubbornly must deal with myself & won’t hurry it by having the LBS. mechanic finish my build for me.
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Old 11-27-23, 12:42 PM
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More than a wide range of answers it is a pretty pointless question, you do you. Or in my case I do what my ADHD tells me to do, which often is to hyper focus on the dumbest things.
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Old 11-27-23, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by abdon
Or in my case I do what my ADHD tells me to do, which often is to hyper focus on the dumbest things.
I’m guilty of this too. Also, another bike lands in my lap because it was too good to pass up so I have ANOTHER project.

I have a bike that was coming to gather fabulously and I started to put a tire on a rim it was a nightmare. VERY difficult to mount and after fighting for very long time it is mounted but I keep thinking if I get a flat I will be kinda screwed. The rear wheel is still naked until I get hit by a lightning bolt of brilliance. I’ll try a different tire and see if that eases my mind. Someday I’ll get around to it…
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Old 11-27-23, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames
I’m guilty of this too. Also, another bike lands in my lap because it was too good to pass up so I have ANOTHER project.

I have a bike that was coming to gather fabulously and I started to put a tire on a rim it was a nightmare. VERY difficult to mount and after fighting for very long time it is mounted but I keep thinking if I get a flat I will be kinda screwed. The rear wheel is still naked until I get hit by a lightning bolt of brilliance. I’ll try a different tire and see if that eases my mind. Someday I’ll get around to it…
The road to H**l, shiney or not new toy, oh crap what have I done now.......
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Old 11-27-23, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by abdon
More than a wide range of answers it is a pretty pointless question, you do you. Or in my case I do what my ADHD tells me to do, which often is to hyper focus on the dumbest things.
The devil is in the details, we know that it goes well for us when we play to our strength AND it works out.

When it doesn't, well......
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Old 11-27-23, 01:55 PM
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In order of priority from high to low:
1. Repairs to keep bikes I already have on the road.
2. Projects that are in pieces waiting to be done.
3. Projects that are intact that have yet to be taken apart.
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Old 11-27-23, 03:11 PM
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Whenever I start a new project, I have to do an intricate choreography to get all the pieces to complete the build. I have spares, but not a ton, so sometimes I have to move things around between 3 or 4 bikes to get the part for the new bike. If I pick up a better part at a swap meet or from the Box O' Crap, then the flow is disrupted and chaos ensues. That is also the case if I had everything laid out perfectly in my head, only to find out during the build that a particular part won't work where I wanted to use it. I suspect half of my shop time is spent going over in my head how to swap parts around in the most efficient way to gather the pieces for a build.

To answer the original question, I tend to start with the bike that needs the least work and will yield immediate results. A filthy bike or one that needs a paint job, might take a long time for me to get started.
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Old 11-27-23, 03:23 PM
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I built several for a charity and I loved it. Always more motivated to finish bicycle projects that aren’t for myself.
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Old 11-27-23, 03:28 PM
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If one accepts a willingness to have a bike become rideable before its “perfect” and boast worthy, then things can go reasonably quick.
final, perfect answer pieces can take a while.
‘or, like @iab - could get done with timing and piles of cash and still require waiting, thinking rear derailleur. The price tolerance might be rising as the calendar marches on.
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Old 11-27-23, 03:30 PM
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I am rarely in a hurry. I started a build over a year ago and have about 90% of the stuff I need to finish the bike . I will finish it soon but not in a hurry, I have others that I can ride. I just took my Colnago apart ( see "what have you been wrenching on " thread ) . I have darn near finished putting it back together after one afternoon of work . It will be the first bike I ride when I go for my first ride after breaking my hip and surgery in September. I had found a panto stem and a very nice handlebar for it and was just waiting to take it apart . That bike will go together easily. I have other bikes in the "Q" that I haven't even started , just rebuilds. I can build a bike in a couple of days , like most of the folks here , and have , but if it's a new build , I take my time.
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Old 11-27-23, 03:31 PM
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Put a project on a deadline and it will get the most attention. After that, it comes down to parts in hand, whether my wife or I specifically want to ride it (which is sort of like a deadline). Things that derail projects for me are yard work, stuck seatposts or bottom brackets, or trying to decide whether or not to keep it, and demotivation due to nobody buying what I've finished up. I am an interesting (or not interesting) mix of optimism, disorganization and procrastination that occasionally gets in gear.
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Old 11-27-23, 03:34 PM
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I have three in various states of projectness.

1. First is being built up using parts from other projects that I'll sell it in the spring.
2. The next one is for my daughter - it will receive some better parts than what came on it.
3. The other is my around town runner that just needs some love. This one will wait until next summer since I use it for those days I can get out and ride.

With winter arriving, I need all of them to keep me from going crazy... my wife says I'm already crazy.
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Old 11-27-23, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
I never have “unfinished” projects. All of my projects are in a state of flux…I change things constantly…but the bikes are all functional at all times. I don’t start on something until I have all the parts I need.
same for me
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Old 11-27-23, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by masi61
My 3 ready to go road bikes require a good amount of prep work to keep them optimal. I spend more time than my fellow club members & weekend riding buddies on this. I have been doing full road tubeless on 2 of the bikes & all 3 have waxed chains.
The hobby has gone viral though & there are 8 (…OK, full disclosure - ten!) bikes in the build stage & 5 or 6 are @ ~90% completion.
Like with tubeless tires & chain waxing, there is contemporary tech (think hydraulic discs with hidden cables) that I stubbornly must deal with myself & won’t hurry it by having the LBS. mechanic finish my build for me.
Jeeze, you guys all seem to be procrastinators! I have 9 of my own bikes in the garage (including a tandem), my wife’s 4, one for my daughter, my bike in Tucson, my wife’s bike in Tucson and my daughter’s 4 bikes in Tucson that are all ready to go. The only thing I need to do any any bike is to pump up the tires. I do have 3 frames at home that are just spare frames, although as part of the “On the Road Again” Challenge, I put one together from parts in my garage and had it rideable in 3 hours
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Old 11-27-23, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Jeeze, you guys all seem to be procrastinators! I have 9 of my own bikes in the garage (including a tandem), my wife’s 4, one for my daughter, my bike in Tucson, my wife’s bike in Tucson and my daughter’s 4 bikes in Tucson that are all ready to go. The only thing I need to do any any bike is to pump up the tires. I do have 3 frames at home that are just spare frames, although as part of the “On the Road Again” Challenge, I put one together from parts in my garage and had it rideable in 3 hours
I just get pulled in a lot of different directions - and there is also a bit of procrastination. My bike project style is also quite a bit different, but it's not that I have nothing I could ride. Part of it is that I try some rather ridiculous things with many of my builds. Often there's stripping or painting or wheel building involved, and despite having a reasonably well-stocked stash, you'd be surprised how many times lacking the needed configuration of cable stop (or some other seemingly innocuous small part) can cause me to take a pause to either get it, or figure a way around it. Also, having back issues often causes me to have to walk around and find something else to do at inopportune times.

I may have 7-11 projects plodding along, but I then have to choose between 18 options (that's a few more than I realized) when I do go for a ride (not counting the tandem or the unicycle). My wife has a few options as do any guests (on the rare occasions that we have them) I'll eventually work it down to one at a time, but that's still at least a couple years off. Then I'll likely have several concurrent woodworking projects.
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Old 11-27-23, 08:06 PM
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I want to proudly say I work on one project at a time. But I have to admit I have at least three bikes in some state of disassembly at the moment. But all of them are heaping piles of doodie.

I did have a survivor though I bought recently that came to the front of the queue so I will crank things like that out fairly quickly. But because I'm not flipping and only wrenching for the enjoyment of it, I don't have to get in a hurry. In fact I can flat drag a project out, I'll buy parts for one step of the build and when that step is complete, I'll order the parts for the next step.

In a way, dragging it out save me money. Because if I didn't have something to work on, I'd buy another bike.
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Old 11-28-23, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro
I just get pulled in a lot of different directions - and there is also a bit of procrastination. My bike project style is also quite a bit different, but it's not that I have nothing I could ride. Part of it is that I try some rather ridiculous things with many of my builds. Often there's stripping or painting or wheel building involved, and despite having a reasonably well-stocked stash, you'd be surprised how many times lacking the needed configuration of cable stop (or some other seemingly innocuous small part) can cause me to take a pause to either get it, or figure a way around it. Also, having back issues often causes me to have to walk around and find something else to do at inopportune times.
Things like stripping, painting, or finishing, I wouldn’t consider to be part of an “unfinished project”. That’s part of the process and the time needed for that part is often out of your or my hands. For example, I had a titanium bike modified with rack mounts and other braze-ones added as well as the frame refinished. I dropped this bike off at the frame builder in June of 2020 after stripping the frame




And got this pile of parts back in at the end of January 2021. The parts sat in my garage for about 12 hours.


By about noon, my garage had warmed up enough to be just bearable and I started putting it together.




I had a functional bike by 1445.



And took it out on a ride the next day.



Nothing sits in my garage for too long unless I’m waiting on the frame finish.

Wheels are something that I can make in less than an hour. I just can’t wait to put the bike together and get it on the road. I once drove nearly 50 miles to pick up the frame, drove back how, pulled the parts off another bike, and put together the bike only to discover that the wheels wouldn’t work. I ran down to the local shop, picked up spokes (I had the rims and hubs), built both wheels, and still had the bike operational before the sun went down…about 8 hours.

I don’t mess around.
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Old 11-28-23, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Things like stripping, painting, or finishing, I wouldn’t consider to be part of an “unfinished project”. That’s part of the process and the time needed for that part is often out of your or my hands. For example, I had a titanium bike modified with rack mounts and other braze-ones added as well as the frame refinished. I dropped this bike off at the frame builder in June of 2020 after stripping the frame

Nothing sits in my garage for too long unless I’m waiting on the frame finish.

Wheels are something that I can make in less than an hour. I just can’t wait to put the bike together and get it on the road. I once drove nearly 50 miles to pick up the frame, drove back how, pulled the parts off another bike, and put together the bike only to discover that the wheels wouldn’t work. I ran down to the local shop, picked up spokes (I had the rims and hubs), built both wheels, and still had the bike operational before the sun went down…about 8 hours.

I don’t mess around.
We're each a bit (or very) different. I'm happy that you enjoy these hobbies (building and riding) as much as you do. We'd not have nearly as much to share here if we were all the same.
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Old 11-28-23, 08:13 AM
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Old 11-28-23, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames
I’m guilty of this too. Also, another bike lands in my lap because it was too good to pass up so I have ANOTHER project.

I have a bike that was coming to gather fabulously and I started to put a tire on a rim it was a nightmare. VERY difficult to mount and after fighting for very long time it is mounted but I keep thinking if I get a flat I will be kinda screwed. The rear wheel is still naked until I get hit by a lightning bolt of brilliance. I’ll try a different tire and see if that eases my mind. Someday I’ll get around to it…
1) When the full butted 531 Carlton Franco-Suisse landed in my lap (Christmas gift from my wife's sister, who hadn't ridden it in years), who was I to say no?

2) Tire-to-rim fit is my greatest single bicycling pet peeve. Whatever happened to tires that could be removed and remounted with simple tire levers, for quick on-the-road repairs? I am giving up on vintage rims, such as my Campag. Omegas, completely because it is such a *itch to mount any tires on them. I am hoping Sun rims are better in this regard, in which case I can look forward to a rash of wheel building over Christmas vacation.
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