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Cheaper to buy complete? or to assemble?

Old 10-09-01, 06:42 AM
  #1  
stewartp
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Cheaper to buy complete? or to assemble?

In the old days it used to be cheaper to assemble computers from top spec components. Now, however, off the shelf PCs can't be beat for price.

What the story with bikes?

I'm after a new bike in spring and I'm trying to decide whether to buy the framset and put on my own choice of components or buy a complete bike.

I'm after a road bike, Campagnolo groupset (probably Daytona or mix).

Is it cheaper to self-build?

Stew
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Old 10-09-01, 07:14 AM
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I have also thought about that. My conclusion, though possibly flawed, is that it could be less expensive to do it yourself.

Preassembled bikes only come in the sizes they can, or want to, sell - and with the components they want to put on them. With judicious shopping, over time, you can clearly get a better deal on the components than is reflected in an assembled price.

But the big plus, I think, may be in the ability to put those savings into a custom frame, add the components, and end up with a bespoke bike for the same cost as an "off the rack" model.

And you get to have the fun of building it yourself! Would that I could see another bike in my future after the one I am waiting for. I definitely would build it myself.

Cheers...Gary
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Old 10-09-01, 07:17 AM
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It'll cost you either way. If you find a bike that has everything you want (which you likely won't) it will be expensive. If you hand pick every piece, it'll be expensive. If you intend to mix and match old and new, it'll be less expensive (but who wants those old parts on the new chi-chi machine?)

My mountain bike was all hand picked and it added up to quite a sum. My road bike was a great deal, but I've already dumped another $500.00 into it in pedals, stem, seat and wheels. It adds up my friend. Even when you find a bike you really like, it isn't yours until you change some stuff. And you HAVE to change stuff
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Old 10-09-01, 07:22 AM
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If you buy new, at retail prices, it costs more. If you get your gruppo from most American mail-order companies, it will be about the same. You will still need to build your own wheels, most of the time. The advantage, though, is that the bike is exactly what you want and need, and the quality of assemblage is not a mystery to you.
If you want a new gruppo and want a great price (at least on Campagnolo), then you probably have to order from an Italian retailer (such as zonabici.com), taking advantage of the favourable exchange rates. You will pay about $25 shipping, and will need to pay some duty (probably 6%, maybe 10%), and will have to wait a long time, too. This is an alternative only if you know what crank length, BB size, etc that you need. Also, you will still need to build your wheels here. They don't sell rims, so you will need to get your rims and spokes here.
In the end, you will still need to by a seatpost, saddle, stem, and bars. It is quite a project, but nothing which a determined cyclist isn't capable of doing at home.
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Old 10-09-01, 07:31 AM
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Originally posted by D*Alex
If you want a new gruppo and want a great price (at least on Campagnolo), then you probably have to order from an Italian retailer (such as zonabici.com), taking advantage of the favourable exchange rates.
Now this is a GOOD idea!! especially with strong Pound nowadays. I'll definitely go look at this site.

I presume best schedule for a build would be frame & forks first, coz this will give me BB data, then wheels, groupset, seat, bars.

Top end Campag is Record, bottom end is Veloce, mid range is Daytona - any ideas on possibilities of mixing to get best quality for value? eg: go top end on shifters, but mid range on cassette?

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Old 10-09-01, 08:02 AM
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I'd tend to agree that building it from scratch is actually more fun and rewarding than buying off the peg!

The only drawback is the time in which you can do this in...still, if you're waiting till the Spring kicks in, maybe the wait is not sooo bad?

Not too sure on Campag stuff or mixing it...Campag Fetish Boy might have a few ideas I should no wonder

Cheers

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Old 10-09-01, 09:16 AM
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Hi stew

I have been pondering over this question also

Think its a bit "chicken or the egg" problem
I cant decide which is best or cheapest.

I have taken quite a bit of time, checkiing out cycle parts, frames , components. etc adding various permutations and i still cant decide which option to take.

like yourself I may leave till the spring before deciding.

Not much point in putting a new bike on the road with all that sh***y salt iminent.
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Old 10-10-01, 12:22 AM
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Also be aware that Daytona is becoming Centaur for 2002.

At the outset, 2001 Daytona and 2002 Centaur are identical except for the name. It may get confusing when they modify some bits in the gruppo, and then you try to match bits from one name with the other.

But their Web site has some good info on mixing components, and they are good about answering questions. Use the form on the Web site if you don't find an answer in the FAQs or the online product catalog.

And ... wait for it ... judicious shopping might allow you to purchase a Chorus gruppo for less that you thought you wanted to spend originally! That would end the dilemma.

Cheers...Gary
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Old 10-10-01, 03:55 AM
  #9  
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Right here's the dream - I open a savings account today to try and save for this baby by March.

Prices are in GBP and taken from www.sdeals.com

Frame: Airborne Titanium: 750 (incl Campo Headset & forks)
Forks: : 0 (Look Carbon)
Bars: Cinelli criterium: 20
Stem: Ahead stem:30
Saddle: Selle Italia Flite: 35
Seat post: Cinelli Titanium: 58
Pedals: M858 (SPD): 60
Brakes: Chorus: 70
Frt. Mech: Record braze on: 39
Rr. Mech: Record: 105
Chainset: Chorus Double: 68
Cassette: Chorus: 50
Ergo: Record: 130
BB: Record: 45
Wheels: Mavik Kyserium: 335 (Campo hub)
Tyres: Conti GP 3000: 30

Total: : 1830

Stew
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Old 10-10-01, 04:14 AM
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Sounds pretty dreamy Stew..

Well, for a road bike anyway :thumbup:

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Old 10-10-01, 05:48 AM
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Go to zonabici.com, and see if you can save a few $$$, first. At least for those of us in the US, their prices are just about the lowest.
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Old 10-10-01, 06:56 AM
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Frame: Airborne Titanium: 750 (incl Campo Headset & forks)
Hey Stew you forgot the link to airborne

Sounds a good bike - way out of my league, but I like the idea of building it yourself.

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Old 10-10-01, 07:02 AM
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I understand and appreciate D*Alex's views on the Airborne frame, & I appreciate the notion that most metals oxidise under the right circumstances, but I'm still impressed by the press reviews of the bike. Cycling Plus & others raved about it for handling and responsiveness.

And regarding the price of the whole project: - I'm taking the advice of another poster (sorry can't remember) and I've just opened a new savings account. Stick some away everey month. The bad weather's set in so I'll be using/abusing my current road bike for the next 4-5 months any way. Hopefully by the end of that time I'll have a decent amount put aside.

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Old 10-10-01, 07:18 AM
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Originally posted by stewartp
And regarding the price of the whole project: - I'm taking the advice of another poster (sorry can't remember) and I've just opened a new savings account. Stick some away everey month. The bad weather's set in so I'll be using/abusing my current road bike for the next 4-5 months any way. Hopefully by the end of that time I'll have a decent amount put aside.

Stew
That was Velocipedio...
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Old 10-10-01, 09:18 AM
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A friend who works in a bike shop tells me two things:
1. Those who get hired in a bike shop to do only bike assembly get paid less than those that are able to be full-fledged bike mechanics.
2. Shops want bike assembly done in a short amount of time. (Places like Wal-Mart will spend as little as 15 minutes per bike -- bike shops will typically spend longer, but they still won't typically spend all day on one ready-to-be-assembled-out-of-the-box bike.)

A store's labor costs for assembling a bike can be very inexpensive. (Of course, there will be mark-up when these costs are passed along to you.)
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Old 10-11-01, 09:50 AM
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Stew,
At one point you suggested midrange cassette with higher end shifters. That sounds good. The mid- and generally even lower price range cassettes are usually just made of heavier materials than the high end. They will last longer for every day riding and training. If you race, you could always keep a Record cassette on standby for those "special occasions".

Your dream bike has me drooling. Can't wait to hear how it progresses.
Regards,
Raymond
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Old 10-11-01, 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by *WildHare*


That was Velocipedio...
Actually, it was my dad. Years ago, when I was 17, had my eye set on a particularly trick Peugeot. He suggested putting my money a few dollars a week in an account that I had to jump through hoops to get money OUT of. It worked. Bought a really trick Peugeot.

Dad's a pretty smart guy.
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Old 10-13-01, 11:22 AM
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It's funny how the older we get, the smarter our Dads (& Moms) get!
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Old 10-13-01, 12:30 PM
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Buy the frame you want, then get the stuff you want on it. Nine times out of ten, if you buy a complete bike there's gonna be something on it you either don't like or doesn't fit etc., and you'll spend time and probably money to get it right.
When a shop builds a "special" bike usually the best and most senior mechaic or the owner builds it.
Get the BEST stuff you can or you'll ALWAYS wish you had!

Ride what YOU want
Pat

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