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Building a commuter

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Old 10-27-09, 11:23 AM
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prxmid
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Building a commuter

Hello All, I bought a Fuji Cross Comp frame and carbon fork, to build up as a commuter. I have a nice road bike so this will be strictly for commuting 15 miles round trip.

I thought it would be a nice winter project and a way to learn. Problem is, I'm not sure where to begin.

I guess my plan is to buy parts on ebay, good quality but used or cheap. I can cobble it together and bring it to the LBS for a final go through.

Any suggestions of how to buy components, or even determine what to get? (I realize that's a pretty broad question)
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Old 10-27-09, 11:29 AM
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If you haven't done this before, chances are you will not have all of the tools you need either. My suggestion would be to find someone who can help you with the project - and can guide you through the thousand little decisions that you will have to make. I don't know about Annapolis, but I know of local places where there are people with collections of bike parts and tools and would help you with a project like this - you might find yourself buying some parts from this person, which helps to support him making it a win-win situation.
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Old 10-27-09, 01:34 PM
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I wouldn't know where to find people like that. My plan is to buy tools as needed, vs a whole repair kit. Wheels would be a critical purchase. from what little research I've done, it looks like it would be cheaper for me to have bought a complete bike
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Old 10-27-09, 01:37 PM
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Hey, you could also looks at it this way:

You will spend money now, but maybe gain the skills to fix your own stuff basically forever from now on! . I loathe all the money I spent having other people fix my stuff when I first got into cycling. Now I do everything myself and like it.
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Old 10-27-09, 01:46 PM
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I'll second what sauerwald said.

Tucson has this organization called BICAS - they basically have a shop where you can use all their tools for something obscenely cheap like $4/hr. Plus their parts are dirt cheap (albeit heavily used and you have to sort through a lot of crap to get what you're looking for).

Annapolis might have something similar - inquire at whichever LBS the hipsters / hippies go to.
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Old 10-27-09, 02:01 PM
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Is your headset installed? If not, the most annoying tool you'll need to do it yourself is a headset press. Easier to bring it to your LBS to install your headset, IMO.
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Old 10-27-09, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by prxmid View Post
I wouldn't know where to find people like that. My plan is to buy tools as needed, vs a whole repair kit. Wheels would be a critical purchase. from what little research I've done, it looks like it would be cheaper for me to have bought a complete bike
Yes. Yes, it would have been.

But you're kind of in the soup now. Building you own is a good way of learning how to work on bikes but don't expect it to be cheap...especially if you don't have tools. That's going to double or even triple the cost because tools aren't cheap

Perhaps the best way to proceed would be to purchase a donor bike. Bikes Direct excells at providing bikes that are inexpensive. You can pick up low level cross bike for around $500 and swap parts. It's faster than trying to find parts on Fleabay. You can recycle the frame from BD either to make aluminum cans or to give someone else the experience you are getting

Once you have the parts, go to Park Tools website for how to do all the stuff you'll need to do.
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Old 10-27-09, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by afwen View Post
Is your headset installed? If not, the most annoying tool you'll need to do it yourself is a headset press. Easier to bring it to your LBS to install your headset, IMO.
Or you can easily and inexpensively make your own headset tools with hardware store materials.
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Old 10-27-09, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Gene2308 View Post
Hey, you could also looks at it this way:

You will spend money now, but maybe gain the skills to fix your own stuff basically forever from now on! . I loathe all the money I spent having other people fix my stuff when I first got into cycling. Now I do everything myself and like it.
That was my thought when I bought the frame. And I have about 5 months to put it together. How badly can it go? (famous last words)

Cane Creek headset is installed
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Old 10-27-09, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by prxmid View Post
I wouldn't know where to find people like that.
Here is a list of "bike collectives" in Maryland.

MARYLAND

Mount Rainier Bike Co-op - Mount Rainier, MD
Renaissance Community Youth Bike shop - Riverdale, MD
Velocipede bike project - Baltimore, MD

Source: http://communitycycles.org/links/bike-collectives.html (links to above here)

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Old 10-27-09, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by hairyman View Post
Or you can easily and inexpensively make your own headset tools with hardware store materials.
Yeah, I tried that and failed. I'm not mechanically gifted, I guess.
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Old 10-27-09, 04:56 PM
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Ah!!! The old headset press. One of the few tools I still have to have a shop in order to use . Luckily I don't install many headsets.

Any blueprints that are decent for a headset press?
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Old 10-27-09, 05:22 PM
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I rarely leave a bike stock. I have to change it to fit me. And more often than not it gets a makeover when I'm through with it.
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Old 10-27-09, 05:42 PM
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I did the same with my Cross Check. I started with a good deal for my frame and fork ($325). I bought only the parts I wanted and I paid attention to the forum for suggestions. I went with the Park tool set and a good stand.
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Old 10-27-09, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bugly64 View Post
I did the same with my Cross Check. I started with a good deal for my frame and fork ($325). I bought only the parts I wanted and I paid attention to the forum for suggestions. I went with the Park tool set and a good stand.
Did you buy new parts, or used off ebay?
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Old 10-27-09, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by prxmid View Post
it looks like it would be cheaper for me to have bought a complete bike
Don't lose heart! Yes, you would have got some bike if you bought complete, but by buying selectively and used, you can come out with a better quality and you-sized/suited bike this way.
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Old 10-27-09, 08:33 PM
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Well, I went a slightly different route and started with an old, but complete Miyata and have been slowly mod'ing it as I find problems with the original parts. So far, I have added aero brake levers and planet bike fenders from Nashbar, interrupter brake levers and bar end shifters from Rivendell, leather bar tape, dual pivot big mouth side pull brakes, and a new chain from Velo Orange, a new small chainring from my LBS, and various parts (wheels, brooks saddle, lights) from other bikes I already had. Of all the upgrades I have made, I would say that the interrupter brake levers, bar end shifters and the dual pivot brakes made the biggest difference. If you ride much in traffic with drop bars, the interrupter levers are a must, in my opinion. Craigslist is also an excellent source to pick up used parts on the cheap. That's where I got my Miyata initially for $50!
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Old 10-27-09, 08:36 PM
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I bought both new parts and ebay parts. I got some sweet deals on Ebay.
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