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cheap build?

Old 04-29-16, 09:08 AM
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HasteTheMoment
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cheap build?

Cheap Bike Project: An Exercise in Cyclocross Penny Pinching - Cyclocross Magazine - Cyclocross News, Races, Bikes, Photos, Videos

Where to get a frame for $50? USED hybrid frame?
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Old 04-29-16, 09:54 AM
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Step 1.. DIY.. Looking around you. .. good luck .. I cant do it for You.

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-05-16 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 04-29-16, 12:14 PM
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This is based off a 25yo hybrid I bought for $100. The wheelset, derailleurs, frame and fork, and canti brakes are all original. So effectively, I got the frame and fork for $50 or less. The same could be done for cyclocross, I am sure.

I swapped out the stem, bars, tape, brake levers, shifters, seat post, triple crank, and tires. When I find a frame I like that is more my size, Ill move some components to the new frame and then replace the original components on this Univega and sell it.
Until then, the geometry on this bike is great for how I use it(gravel country road rides).
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Old 04-29-16, 12:46 PM
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Craigslist and Ebay are going be your friends here. I kept a daily eye on Craigslist and just bought a cross bike that someone built up and had to get rid of on the cheap. The frame is a little on the rough side cosmetic wise but it has good bits (Mavic Wheels, Gevenalle Shifters, XTR/Campy Components, Continental cross tires). I just swapped over the seat from a previous road bike, bought a cyclocomputer from Target or Walmart. I swapped on more touring like tires for daily riding. Front tire (nearly brand new) was acquired for free and rear tire was grabbed from lbs for cheap. All in $ wise is probably less than a nice wheel set and tires.
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Old 04-29-16, 12:53 PM
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I'm building a gravel/cross/utility bike off an old steel frame that was GIVEN to me. $643 is a cheap bike according to the article? I have less than $150 into my build at the moment, all DIY. Craigslist an old steel frame roadie and build from there. If you go 1x or SS and throw some cheap modern wheels and parts on it from ebay/nashbar, you could easily be rolling on a cross setup for under $300, maybe much less.
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Old 04-29-16, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ypsetihw View Post
I'm building a gravel/cross/utility bike off an old steel frame that was GIVEN to me. $643 is a cheap bike according to the article? I have less than $150 into my build at the moment, all DIY. Craigslist an old steel frame roadie and build from there. If you go 1x or SS and throw some cheap modern wheels and parts on it from ebay/nashbar, you could easily be rolling on a cross setup for under $300, maybe much less.
YEP, that was I was expecting. The only problems/questions I have are:
1. Will a road frame have the rear clearance for larger tires? 32c+
2. Most will have 135mm rear ends?
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Old 04-29-16, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by HasteTheMoment View Post
YEP, that was I was expecting. The only problems/questions I have are:
1. Will a road frame have the rear clearance for larger tires? 32c+
2. Most will have 135mm rear ends?
depends on the age of the frame. mine is a late 80s I think, and the front dropouts match a modern 700 wheel perfectly. the rear dropouts on MY frame are 126mm, so you can easily fir a 130mm spaced 700 rear wheel just by coaxing it a little bit. the only issue is clearance for the chain on the right side seat stay, so you might have to set the limit screws on the RD to lockout the smallest cog. Some older bikes have a 120mm rear spacing, so you would have to bend the rear triangles to accommodate a modern wheelset, but if you get a later model 80s or 90s bike this shouldn't be an issue.

as for clearance, I'm on 25mm road tires for now, but eyeballing it it should fit at least a 32 or maybe even a 34 (the stock 1 3/8" 27" wheels equate to a 34mm). brake clearance would be more of an issue than frame for me, but again, this is highly dependent on which frame you choose to cannibalize.

FYI I have another thread going right now about my build. I'm using a fixed 33T chainring, original chain and BB, shimano RS10 130mm 700 wheelset with an 11 speed hub mated to an 8 speed cassette with a spacer, and limited to 7 speeds for frame clearance on the chain. using the stem mounted friction shifter for the rear with new cables all around. stock fork and stem, with some old style drop bars, tektro levers/hoods, nashbar saddle and modern brake pads on the original center pull dual pivot calipers. running 25mm road tires now and will switch to cross tires come fall (probably 32mm). granted I'm using a lot of parts and wheels i had laying around, but I have less than $150 new spend into the build right now.

I'm stuck at the moment because I decided to mitigate some rust and refinish it by hand . . . DOH. NEVER AGAIN. lets just say sanding a lugged frame by hand is worse than torture. now I know why we invented sand blasters . . .
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Old 04-29-16, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by HasteTheMoment View Post
1. Will a road frame have the rear clearance for larger tires? 32c+
Look for an old touring frame that uses cantilever brakes. The clearances are much more generous. Even an older sport touring frame with long reach brakes will allow for some fairly wide tires.

2. Most will have 135mm rear ends?
Do you mean 130mm? Road frames before the 90s are all going to be narrower, but can be easily manipulated as mentioned above.

Last edited by justin1138; 04-29-16 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 04-29-16, 02:58 PM
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I would guess that the cheapest thing to do is find a 70's or 80's recreational bike with center-pull brakes, or touring bike with cantis, put in the biggest tires you can, and just ride the snot out of it. Someone posted this in another thread, it's a good example...

https://denver.craigslist.org/bik/5526662767.html

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Old 04-29-16, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post

before I realized my RS10 wheels would fit the frame, this was my exact tire setup on the original steel? rims, and those are the same dia compe center pull caliper brakes that I have. they have a ridiculous amount of clearance for a non canti caliper.
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Old 05-01-16, 07:40 AM
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I'm way too poor buy a new gravel bike, so I turned an old lugged steel Schwinn into one. I cold set the rear to 135 and put on a fairly cheap set of Sun/Shimano 36H wheels. I had some Shimano 7-speed stuff lying around and just used a 42T chainring and got rid of the front derailleur for a 1X7 setup. I would like a 36T big ring in back to get uptaller hills, but so far so good. I'm using Dia Compe Gray Matter pads with the stock centerpulls; I did a 37-miler with big hills in the rain yesterday, and I felt good about the braking.
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Old 05-01-16, 08:46 AM
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If cheap is the main requirement just go to bikesdirect. $499 with free shipping gets a bike that checks all your boxes

Save Up to 60% Off Disc Brake Road Bikes - Motobecane Turino Disc
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Old 05-01-16, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Primitive Don View Post


I'm way too poor buy a new gravel bike, so I turned an old lugged steel Schwinn into one. I cold set the rear to 135 and put on a fairly cheap set of Sun/Shimano 36H wheels. I had some Shimano 7-speed stuff lying around and just used a 42T chainring and got rid of the front derailleur for a 1X7 setup. I would like a 36T big ring in back to get uptaller hills, but so far so good. I'm using Dia Compe Gray Matter pads with the stock centerpulls; I did a 37-miler with big hills in the rain yesterday, and I felt good about the braking.
nice looking build! are those 29er MTB wheels then?

here's a mockup of my build, just waiting for nice weather to spray the frame. I slapped everything together just to look at her and get an idea where I'm going . . .

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Old 05-01-16, 12:37 PM
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Flip the seat post 180.

What will you spray the frame?...color and type of spray.
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Old 05-01-16, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Flip the seat post 180.

What will you spray the frame?...color and type of spray.
I have wide sit bones and need to be able to access the widest part of the saddle, so I'm orienting it that way on purpose, unless I have clearance once I actually fit myself on it when it's done. on my roadie I needed to set the saddle very far forward, so when I mounted the seat clamp I just planned ahead. I'll make final adjustments as necessary, and I literally slapped this together to take a pic, so nothing is final.

as for the spray, it's a rattle can job. I hand sanded to mitigate some surface rust and pitting on the down tube, bottom bracket, and stays/dropouts. I'll start with some rust reformer on the previously rusted areas, followed by krylon base/primer in gray. light sand any imperfections then several coats of krylon gloss black and a couple wet coats of clear. I like the simple black on black look (also less likely to be stolen), and it's easy to clean and respray small spots in the future if anything happens to it. I have had good results in the past with this technique on various things including furniture, guns, etc.

the fork already has the primer and a single top coat of color, the finish came out surprisingly good for spray paint. it took a TON of labor, especially the prep, but I find that modern spray cans actually do an excellent job if the surface is properly prepped and you have a decent area to spray sheltered from wind an dust.
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Old 05-01-16, 02:48 PM
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You can do better.

Why not get a used bike off eBay? What's your overall budget? You can get a high quality bike for under $500 if you shop around.
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Old 05-01-16, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
If cheap is the main requirement just go to bikesdirect. $499 with free shipping gets a bike that checks all your boxes

Save Up to 60% Off Disc Brake Road Bikes - Motobecane Turino Disc
Just get an Omni Strada Sport - its BD's gravel road/adventure bike.
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Old 05-01-16, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ypsetihw View Post
nice looking build! are those 29er MTB wheels then?

here's a mockup of my build, just waiting for nice weather to spray the frame. I slapped everything together just to look at her and get an idea where I'm going . . .

Thanks! The description just said 700c 135mm spacing. I assumed they were meant for a hybrid but I could be wrong. I'm not sure what the difference between 700c hybrid wheels and 29er MTB wheels are exactly. Wider rims on the 29er maybe?

https://www.amazon.com/WHL-CR18-T4000...ilpage_o09_s00

I would think the slack geometry on that frame of yours would be comfortable on a long ride. Be sure to update with pics as your build comes together.
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Old 05-01-16, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Primitive Don View Post
Thanks! The description just said 700c 135mm spacing. I assumed they were meant for a hybrid but I could be wrong. I'm not sure what the difference between 700c hybrid wheels and 29er MTB wheels are exactly. Wider rims on the 29er maybe?

https://www.amazon.com/WHL-CR18-T4000...ilpage_o09_s00

I would think the slack geometry on that frame of yours would be comfortable on a long ride. Be sure to update with pics as your build comes together.
yeah I think it's gonna be a nice comfy and hopefully compliant ride, and much more relaxed for tooling around than my race bike. can't wait to get some paint down, I have basically all the parts on hand, so once the color is on it should come together practically overnight unless I have some unforseen issues with the build. I'll definitely post pics!

modern 700 hubs basically come in 2 spacings, 130mm for road, and 135 for mountain. a lot of cross frames are 132.5 so they can fit either style of wheel. generally mountain rims are wider, but this goes out the window when you talk about new wide road rims, cross specific rims, and custom handbuilt wheelsets.
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Old 05-01-16, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Flip the seat post 180.

What will you spray the frame?...color and type of spray.
correction, it's rustoleum matched paints, not krylon, but same difference
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Old 05-01-16, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
Just get an Omni Strada Sport - its BD's gravel road/adventure bike.
I was trying to match the $500 price point in the cheap build article. The Turino had upright relaxed geo, discs and claim room for 42s
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Old 05-02-16, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by HasteTheMoment View Post
Where to get a frame for $50? USED hybrid frame?
Early 90's hybrids make good budget CX/gravel bikes. Schwinn Crisscross and Crosscut, Trek 700, Bianchi Project series, Giant Innova, etc. Typically lugged frames with butted 4130. Geometry is slightly relaxed from a road bike, but not nearly as much as modern hybrids. Cantilever brakes and 700c wheels with clearance for at least 40mm tires. Most are already 130mm rear spacing, so you don't even have to cold-set to run a modern road wheelset.

You can often find complete bikes for under $100 which is often a better deal than just buying the frameset. Brakes are usually serviceable (with new pads and cables). Other working parts you can swap-meet/ebay. With a little luck/effort, you can get the frame cost down to nearly free. The only down-side is that they are flat-bar bikes, so if you want drops, you'll have to size down (to get the right reach) and then buy/scrounge parts for a conversion. I have a '92 Crisscross that I set up singlespeed for SSCX races and commuting. I switch it over to 1x8 with a bar-end friction shifter for the occasional long gravel ride.
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Old 05-02-16, 10:44 AM
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Nice to see that you have your dirt drop set up correctly, for maximum braking in the drops.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
This is based off a 25yo hybrid I bought for $100. The wheelset, derailleurs, frame and fork, and canti brakes are all original. So effectively, I got the frame and fork for $50 or less. The same could be done for cyclocross, I am sure.

I swapped out the stem, bars, tape, brake levers, shifters, seat post, triple crank, and tires. When I find a frame I like that is more my size, Ill move some components to the new frame and then replace the original components on this Univega and sell it.
Until then, the geometry on this bike is great for how I use it(gravel country road rides).
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Old 05-02-16, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by GeoKrpan View Post
Nice to see that you have your dirt drop set up correctly, for maximum braking in the drops.
Yeah, the Origin8 Gary Sweep OS bars are really comfortable and the brakes are easily accessible in the drops when mounted this way. With the not so elegant stem, its comfortable to ride on the ramps(what little ramps there are) and on the hoods too. Its rare that brake levers are accessible from the hoods and drops while being very comfortable at both locations for extended ride time.
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Old 05-02-16, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by theraggyone View Post



finished but with mudguards added for commuting duties
that's a very smart looking commuter, well done
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