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Mixcoatl 11-30-15 08:55 PM

Help building a custom bike
Hi I am trying to make a custom cruiser bike
I a cassette (from my old bike)
I have handlebar (no stem)
seat (again no stem)
I have brakes
I need the rest of the parts to cost at max like $300
Thank you for your help!
(if you need additional information feel free to ask this is my first custom bike build)
I live in minnesota, I know I need a frame I was asking for help buying the right parts

Maelochs 11-30-15 09:47 PM

I'd suggest using a frame--I know, that is sooo old-skool, and uncreative, and tradition for its own sake ... sorry it is just the way i think.

Aubergine 11-30-15 10:11 PM

Hola, Mixcoatl. Where are you from? We could help you out more if we knew what you wanted. Are you looking to buy parts? Or get advice on how to find them?

Maelochs 11-30-15 10:28 PM

I strongly suggest shopping on EBay for used parts if you have a tight budget. Seat tubes and stems can be had very reasonably and really can't be worn out ... Another good idea is to watch local classifieds to find parts bikes. They can be completely the wrong size and style or be badly beat up but still have usable parts.

Phil_gretz 12-01-15 07:43 AM

With more than due respect, OP, I'd suggest that you buy a bike that fits you. You can change out whatever doesn't suit your needs. That way, you'll know the size that you need for the replacement parts.

Start with the actual bike (frame, wheels, drivetrain, controls, contact points). It's a buyer's market on your local Craigslist. Find a steel rigid forked MTB from the 1990s in your size. Trek, Giant, GT, Schwinn...

Maelochs 12-01-15 08:38 AM

I'd agree with Phil_Gretz. If you are ready to build from the frame up, a good place to start would be Ebay and/or Craigslist to get a bike you like and can customize.

What you put on the bike is mostly determined by what you want to do with it and how much you want to spend. Even an entry-level wheelset will run you $130, plus $40 for tires and $10 for tubes/tape, so there is $180 to start. Derailleurs $50, shifters $30-$130 depending on whether you go flat bar and trigger shifters or drop bar and brifters. Seat post $15, stem $15 if you shop Ebay and the clearance section at Nashbar. That's minimum $290 so far, and then cables $10, bar tape or grips $5-$20, pedals $15 (and these are bargain-basement prices for used or clearance items) and that's about $330 ... crankset maybe $30 for a total of $360----plus the frame.

Or you can spend a couple hundred on a ready-to-ride or needs-a-little-care used bike. Since you were planning to build frame-up, tearing a bike down to the frame and fixing/upgrading it should be fine and will save you a lot of money.

You've got about $120 in parts already ... but that's $120 out of maybe $500 to build up a bare frame. You'd be much better off buying one decent bike and two or three junk bikes for parts, getting everything running, finding out what you needed to make everything work, and then upgrading the running bike to meet your desires.

Please know that I am Not trying to discourage you. I love building cheap bikes. Thing is, they aren't cheap, compared to what I could buy for the same money. I am trying to get a realistic pricing structure into place for you. Your best bet is almost always to start with a decent bike and upgrade it ... IF you are dead set on building your own. It is Not the cheap way to go about it.

Shoot, visit Bike Island and Bikes Direct and see what a few hundred can buy there. Then compare it to spending $500 for a bunch of stuff you need to put together ... with a lot of used parts, a lot of problems, a lot of headaches ... I love it, but it ain't the cheap route.

The more you narrow down exactly what you want to do, the more helpful people here could be about specific parts and stuff. Trust me, people here would love to help ... let us know how things progress.

GravelMN 12-01-15 11:05 AM

My suggestion is to take the $300 and buy yourself a used brand name cruiser in good condition. If your new-to-me bike needs any of the parts you have, use them. If not, toss them in a box and forget about them until you need them.

Maelochs 12-01-15 12:03 PM

If yopu had to buy an inexpensive off-the-shelf cruiser, what models lok good to you? This might give us some idea of what you like/seek and thus we could more cogently comment.

ramzilla 12-01-15 12:21 PM

Niagra Cycle has the best prices on new parts. Sort by lowest price first. You could maybe get a set of wheels & tires for around $150 there.

CliffordK 12-01-15 12:28 PM

There are a few different sizes and styles of seat posts, handlebar stems, and etc. Plus, many lengths and angles on the stems.

If you really want to make a "cruiser", start with finding a frame you like. Next get wheels and tires to match your frame. Then build up from there.

Buying the bike one piece at a time gets expensive, but you also get finished product customized to your needs.

Velo Dog 12-03-15 11:26 PM

The advice to buy a complete bike is good, but an alternative might be to look around thrift shops (Salvation Army etc) for something decent and work from there. Three or four years ago when my daughter needed a campus bike, I bought two mid-'80s mountain bikes for $60 total, cannibalized one to improve the other, put on good roadish tires and wound up with a comfortable, fast-enough ride with little appeal to thieves. I'm only an average mechanic, but the work's pretty simple and there's lots of information online.

capnjonny 12-04-15 12:23 AM

Is there a bike co-op in your area. If there is find out if they will sell you used parts.

The last bike I built up was for a friend who lost his license and need a bike to get to work.

Looking on Craigslist I found a guy with a bunch of old junk bikes for sale.

He had an old Schwinn Mesa Runner that had bad tires and a rusted chain and frozen rear Freewheel. He sold it to me for $15.

At the bike Exchange I found some 1.5" x 26" tires that were used but usable, some new cable and covers, and a used seat that was way better than was on the bike . All together I paid $15.

Back at the house I removed the chain and soaked it in solvent for a few days, cleaned it up and reinstalled it. I lubed the axles and head set, adjusted the bottom bracket, installed new cables for brakes and derailleurs and put on the new used seat. New reflectors and a cheap front and rear light and it was back on the road.

Total cost for the bike (minus labor) was about $40. It is a solid bike, rides well, and just scruffy enough not to attract attention.
You don't have to spend anywhere near $500 to get a nice bike for yourself. Just keep your eyes pealed for good deals on craigslist , visit your local Bike co op for advice and hopefully cheap parts, and do the wrenching yourself.

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