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Thinking of building my own, seeking knowledge

Old 10-04-08, 06:27 PM
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lbgary
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Thinking of building my own, seeking knowledge

I have been looking for a commuter type bike to ride just for the fun of it. I road bike for exercise and distance riding, but I would like something with internal hub gearing, upright position, mustache bars, handbrakes, lugged steel frame, chainguard, maybe fenders, and the classic look of the English 3 speeds. The (apparently) new Fuji Cambridge pictured on their web site, under Lifestyle > Classics, is as close as I have come to the look and components I want, but so far it seems to be unavailable. Many of you have built your own bikes with a purchased frame, and I think I would enjoy doing that, but there is a lot I don't know about assembling compatible components. Is there a good book on the basics? Specifically, I have no experience with cabling, bottom brackets or modern headsets, and don't know enough about the compatibility of various parts to make good buys on used equipment. I have most of the tools I would need, even welding equipment, and don't mind buying a few more special ones. If I can get a couple of good frame builder recommendations, maybe the frame seller could help me with compatibility issues. For starters, a good book would help a lot, especially if it's fairly up-to-date on modern gear. Thanks for any suggestions, Gary
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Old 10-04-08, 06:51 PM
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BCRider
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No need to get THAT crazy. There's dozens of great frames around that can easily be built into such a bike.

If you're sold on internal gearing then you're looking at a frame with track dropouts. While most track bikes are pretty serious in their steering geometry and short wheel base there's some notable exceptions. The Surly Crosscheck has a derraileur hanger but has horizontal dropouts so it'll work with an internal gear hub. Soma and Salsa also make frames with track dropouts that are not super short and aggresive. Look around before you order any tubing and you may find something that'll work for you.

The rest is just about selecting the right component options to give the bike the look and functionality you're after.

For that matter my new Redline 925 single speed has a fairly nice casual setup steering wise. The previous version had mustach bars and they could easily be fitted to the new ones as well. And being setup for single speed means it would be a snap to alter it to geared hub use.

Also I found a LOT of threads with pictures of bikes with both mustache bars and later with bullhorns when I was looking around for alternative bars. Do a search and see how these other bikes turned out. It'll help you a lot with how you make your own decisions.
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Old 10-04-08, 10:49 PM
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From everything you've descibed you may want to obtain an old Raleigh Sport w/a Sturmey-Archer 3 speed. Upright postion, 'narrow' mustache bars, ig hub, etc. They can be had in clean, rideable condition for under 250.00...and that's on the high side. Try to find one from the 60s and older, but the 70s and newer are still a good buy.

I had one as a kid and it got stolen. Of course, I took the fenders off and tried to make it look cool... Recently, my father-in-law gave me one he no longer rides. I gave it to a friend of mine who lives urban and is only a few miles from his office. He uses it everyday. It's a 70. They were made to last and they do.
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Old 10-04-08, 11:25 PM
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www.parktool.com/repair/

Seriously the best website evar for figgering out what to use.

There are lots of good ideas around, this forum is one of the best resources because you can get instant feedback from knowledgeable people...you just need to know how to sort through it.

I know exactly what you're talking about, and Nashcommguy has a good idea. However, it is incredibly fulfilling to do it yourself, as well.

For good frame ideas check here: https://home.comcast.net/~pinnah/dirt...kes/bikes.html

Download his spreadsheet of geometries, and try and pick something with "sport" geometry or "touring" front and back. A "sport" rear end with a "cyclocross" front end is pretty good, too. So many to choose from! You can find these types of frames all over ebay and craigslist. If you really want an internally geared hub make sure the one you pick has horizontal dropouts (most of them do).

I think the Kogswell P/R is ideal for this. One thing to ask is do you want to carry your load front or back? I ask because the Kogswell is designed more for front-loading (French) and many of the British cycles have been designed more for rear loading. Bikes like Raleigh, for instance. Nontheless, if you have the money to spend on a Kogswell it may just be the nicest blank sheet you can find.

As for headsets there is no reason to go "modern." Threaded headsets are amazing, and still just as useful as ever. Don't buy into the dogma. Also don't say no to a bike just because it DOES have a modern headset. Bottom line, both are useful and have their virtues.

From there just pick and choose! Have fun and ask specific questions! This general one is pretty hard to nail down succinctly. You've more or less opened a very wide door down the hallways of a religion!
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Old 10-05-08, 09:01 AM
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I'm planning on doing the same thing. I've already built up a road bike this summer after getting a good deal on a frame. It is much easier than you may think, provided you have a couple of wrenches, and some other tools. Just take things step by step and you'll have it built up in no time.
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Old 10-05-08, 03:27 PM
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Tools are definitely the biggest hurdle, but once you have those you're set. Mandatory tools:

-chain tool
-cassette lockring tool
-chainwhip (can make at home)
-BB tool
-if you use square taper cranks you'll need a crank extractor
-Allen wrench set
-cable cutter

Not mandatory, but helpful:

-star nut installation tool
-steer tube cutting guide
-hacksaw
-some form of headset cup press (homemade works
-some form of crown race installer (right sized PVC works)
-spoke wrench

From there it's just pick & choose!
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