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Dealing with Frustration and Disappointment

Old 02-25-22, 01:57 PM
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hmhaines
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Dealing with Frustration and Disappointment

At what point does a project seem no longer worthwhile? I'm hitting a big wall here, having wasted a whole bunch of time and money on something that doesn't look like it'll ever get finished. Much of this is because I'm inexperienced and really don't know what I don't know. Finally got the race on the fork and was excited to get the fork on the bike, only to discover that I'd really screwed up - the headset I bought had too much stack height. There's no thread for the top nut and washer to go on, so....

Disheartened. I'll need to regroup. I also need to decide if it is time to take a step back and start over.

(This isn't the first issue with the project, it probably won't be the last, and I know there are much worse things to have happen to me. It just stinks and I wanted to whine about it.)
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Old 02-25-22, 02:36 PM
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A little over two years ago I'd acquired most everything I needed to put a full 105 5800 11 speed group on my '78 Raleigh Competition G.S. Had the frame sanded down and added braze-on bottle bosses and braze-on cable stops since the downtube shifters would be no more. Then I got to thinking of weight and weighed the bike. Frame and fork together didn't weigh any less than my 91 Paramount I'd done the same conversion to a few years prior. So I was a little down trodden too!

So to get over it, I went out and bought a brand new Specialized Tarmac at a mid-tier level and haven't suffered from any more bad thoughts about my abandoned project on the Raleigh.

A new bike might lift your spirits too!

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Old 02-25-22, 02:50 PM
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A little over two years ago, bikes were still comparatively cheep and plentiful.

Regarding the project, these things happen. There is always a fix. I've always had bike shops do the fork races etc., so you are already better than I am. Don't be too proud to take it to a bike shop and ask for help. Most reasonable mechanics will be encouraging. [Others might tell you not to post in the general forum ]. Ignore the pessimistic naysayers and incorrigible vultures of ill-omen.
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Old 02-25-22, 02:57 PM
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FRUSTRATED....stop and take a break ...set things aside for a few days ...think about other stuff ... read this book



it's dated but the message is still good ............................. and then go finish your project
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Old 02-25-22, 03:10 PM
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Failure is the best teacher you'll ever have. Burn the boat and forge ahead.
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Old 02-25-22, 03:34 PM
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the answer is NEVER, a project is a learning experience, the more you mess up, the more you learn, knowledge is usually expensive but well worth the price
and the best part? when you finally finish the project you will have a nice pile of spare parts, for your next project, and let's not forget the power of bartering parts you don't need, for stuff you do need, or want. ......... live, learn, start another project, repeat as necessary
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Old 02-25-22, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by hmhaines View Post
It just stinks and I wanted to whine about it.)
Run with it. Whining can be a true art-form, and is the basis of most good comedy.
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Old 02-25-22, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by PBC peugeot View Post
the answer is NEVER, a project is a learning experience, the more you mess up, the more you learn, knowledge is usually expensive but well worth the price
and the best part? when you finally finish the project you will have a nice pile of spare parts, for your next project, and let's not forget the power of bartering parts you don't need, for stuff you do need, or want. ......... live, learn, start another project, repeat as necessary
Oh, I know the feeling OP. Easy for us to speak wisdom but when you're in the thick of it, hitting road blocks, it sucks a$$. I screwed something up one day with a new bike, drove to the lbs (1hr each way, on a toll road in traffic) and they fixed it in 1 minute.

I like the point above, about a pile of spare parts. I actually built up a bike using many of the parts from failed attempts at trying something that didn't go as planned. I decided to start selling other parts this winter and did really good. I then use these funds for the next project.
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Old 02-25-22, 03:57 PM
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another REALLY good idea is to start with junk bikes, learn to fix them, take them apart and put them back together, figure out what parts work with other parts
THEN move on to building higher end more expensive projects, fixing and selling old clunkers is a great way to learn, and help offset the cost of tools
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Old 02-25-22, 04:15 PM
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If your new headset is a Tange Levine, go out and buy the cheapest, OEM replacement HS from Tange. ($8 pre-COVID.) Use the top race and hardware. Much shorter than a Levine, fully compatible and top races don't do very much beyond keep the steerer oriented. There's an intermediate Tange HS also. Midway in both quality and stack. I have a bike built around a different HS that has a mix of all three models to dial in the stack.
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Old 02-25-22, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by PBC peugeot View Post
the answer is NEVER, a project is a learning experience, the more you mess up, the more you learn, knowledge is usually expensive but well worth the price
and the best part? when you finally finish the project you will have a nice pile of spare parts, for your next project, and let's not forget the power of bartering parts you don't need, for stuff you do need, or want. ......... live, learn, start another project, repeat as necessary
You will discover that your projects go a lot easier if you ask your local bike shop some advice before proceeding. If you're a beginner,. There's not a whole lot to know to build bikes unless you're making your own frame and fork.
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Old 02-25-22, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
You will discover that your projects go a lot easier if you ask your local bike shop some advice before proceeding. If you're a beginner,. There's not a whole lot to know to build bikes unless you're making your own frame and fork.
For everything else, there's Sheldon Brown's website.
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Old 02-25-22, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
There's not a whole lot to know to build bikes unless you're making your own frame and fork.
For a beginner building up a bike from individual parts, there is a lot to know: bottom bracket type, shell width, wheel spacing, seatpost diameter, clamp size, headset type and size (sorry OP), bolt circle diameters, chain width and length, etc., etc. I think those of us who have been doing it for awhile forget that newbies have to navigate all the various "standards" and learn the tricks of the trade the hard way. Not much of it is as intuitive as it probably should be.

I agree that the LBS is the best resource if you have a good one, and Sheldon Brown deserves a permanent bookmark on every cyclist's browser.
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Old 02-25-22, 05:41 PM
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I feel your pain. I am not a patient person in general and I have a strong tendency towards frustration, which leads me to anger, which can lead me to " this is not worth continuing. Now who is that directed to, and who is hurt by it? I have learned a lot in the past 6 years since I started acquiring tools and doing my own work, including rebuilding numerous bikes. I do not even want to remember some of the stuff that I screwed up. I am still not real good at this, but sometimes just walking away and giving it a break, get your mind on something else, is the best thing you can do.

I have had much help from BikeForums members, videos from Park Tool and Youtube. The key is to do the research and ask the questions before attempting to do what you do not know how to do. Or if you hit a snag that you do not know what to do with it, guesswork and over analyzing usually do not turn out well. My LBS has also been really good with helping, I have established a good relationship with owner and the workers. Youtube bike videos run the gamut from really good to very bad.

I can also tell you, that when I struggle with a build, or while fixing and maintaining a bike, in the end, I really get a kick out of finally getting it right. I do sometimes wish it had not taken so long to get there, but it takes what it takes. I understand your emotions, but my suggestion is " Don't give up the bike!".One other thi I am at an age and a point if my life that it is quite likely that I will not build another. but I said that last year, and did another re-build over the past month or so.

The stupidest question is the one you do not ask when you do not know. One other thing, when you get 2 more posts to get you to ten, you can start loading pictures and web links. Pictures are a big help to those that want to help you.
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Old 02-25-22, 06:59 PM
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nothing that some good tacos can't help change the mood. Might try having some of those & check back in the morning.
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Old 02-25-22, 09:59 PM
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Everyone who’s ever built bicycles from the frame up has been in your shoes. And anyone who says otherwise is a liar. The good news is that the more bikes you build, the less it happens. So yeah, take a break, imbibe a couple of your favorite adult beverages, and resume, comfortable in the knowledge you’re not alone.
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Old 02-25-22, 10:12 PM
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Assuming you are setting your goals of doing your own projects, learning as you go, and being creative with your bike hardware, I’d say that you’re in the perfect place with your current frustrations! Rejoice in it!

Don’t be afraid to ask others for help with starting over or gleaning ideas. That’s a great way to foster relationships. Bikers need relationships with other bikers. And then it’ll all work for the better as you go.

Again, now that you’re done whining, be thankful and reach out to other bike people and make friendships while you progress in your projects.
:-)
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Old 02-26-22, 08:05 AM
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If you screw up enough times, that's experience. I have enough experience to build another bike from the accumulated mistakes, er, parts.
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Old 02-26-22, 08:44 AM
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Frustration and disappointment seem to ride two abreast slowing the pace for you. But don't give up. Those that overcome the frustration and disappointment are rewarded with satisfaction and elation.

My current project is the poster bike for frustration and disappointment. I just keep breaking it down into small mini-challenges. When I'm done I expect it to exceed the projects I have completed and enjoy riding.
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Old 02-26-22, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
If your new headset is a Tange Levine, go out and buy the cheapest, OEM replacement HS from Tange. ($8 pre-COVID.) Use the top race and hardware. Much shorter than a Levine, fully compatible and top races don't do very much beyond keep the steerer oriented. There's an intermediate Tange HS also. Midway in both quality and stack. I have a bike built around a different HS that has a mix of all three models to dial in the stack.
No offense to the anecdotal advice that we all have gone through this, but this is what you should be focusing on.

This is brilliant. I had never heard, nor considered mix-n-matching headsets. Right now you are better off in understand your next step. You know the stack height of the current one. Go research either a completely new headset or a mix-n-match.

What headset did you buy?

John
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Old 02-26-22, 09:59 AM
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We used to swap headset parts all the time BITD when threaded headsets were the norm. Stack height is a curse with threaded headsets, I always figured that was a big driver behind threadless. That, and the fact that factories could only make one fork for all their bikes.

As far as avoiding frustration, I have been there many times when a project just required throwing more money at it. Good thing my bike projects usually aren't undertaken for the purpose of saving money. But with something like a headset replacement, the problems are known if you search or if you ask in the mechanics section or C&V in this case.
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Old 02-26-22, 10:22 AM
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Every one of my builds had some issue, resulting in mis-spent money, and time. Just takes more money and time to fix. The disappointment and frustration would have only entered the picture, had I given up. Don’t give up!
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Old 02-27-22, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by hmhaines View Post
At what point does a project seem no longer worthwhile? I'm hitting a big wall here, having wasted a whole bunch of time and money on something that doesn't look like it'll ever get finished. Much of this is because I'm inexperienced and really don't know what I don't know. Finally got the race on the fork and was excited to get the fork on the bike, only to discover that I'd really screwed up - the headset I bought had too much stack height. There's no thread for the top nut and washer to go on, so....

Disheartened. I'll need to regroup. I also need to decide if it is time to take a step back and start over.

(This isn't the first issue with the project, it probably won't be the last, and I know there are much worse things to have happen to me. It just stinks and I wanted to whine about it.)
I guess I don't understand what advice you're looking for. But, now that you've learned about stack height, threads, etc. you should be able to just go and find a headset with the stack height that will allow you to hit the threads adequately. Or if your lesson learned is that your fork steer tube is just too short, you know what to look for in a new fork - matching a frame head tube length and threading length and headset. Or getting a 1" threadless fork and going that way so you don't need to deal with threads and the figuring.

There is nobody here who hasn't learned these lessons, either by researching, asking and calculating ahead of time, or by trial and error. You can ask this sort of question easily - probably the mechanical sub forum is the best for this sort of question, fwiw. Post subject: "How do I figure steer tube and threading needed?"

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Old 03-01-22, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by hmhaines View Post
At what point does a project seem no longer worthwhile? I'm hitting a big wall here, having wasted a whole bunch of time and money on something that doesn't look like it'll ever get finished. Much of this is because I'm inexperienced and really don't know what I don't know. Finally got the race on the fork and was excited to get the fork on the bike, only to discover that I'd really screwed up - the headset I bought had too much stack height. There's no thread for the top nut and washer to go on, so....

Disheartened. I'll need to regroup. I also need to decide if it is time to take a step back and start over.

(This isn't the first issue with the project, it probably won't be the last, and I know there are much worse things to have happen to me. It just stinks and I wanted to whine about it.)
you learn a lot from mistakes eat a piece of cheese with that whine and get at it.
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Old 03-02-22, 10:01 AM
  #25  
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You learn to fix a lot of things by breaking a lot of things. Go watch a bunch of YT videos. Even the pros botch up things every now and then.

"Experience is a tough teacher. It gives the test first, then the lesson".
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