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Have you built a mountain bike?

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Have you built a mountain bike?

Old 06-18-09, 10:18 AM
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aphrophluph
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Have you built a mountain bike?

I'm a new bike commuter considering building a mountain bike instead of buying the full package ... for the money I can spend, I like the Trek 4500. I've been told the Gary Fisher Tassajara is a good one as well.

Can anyone give me some tips or pointers on building a bike? What to do, what not to do? Best places to find frames/components/parts, etc.? Other solid front suspension bikes in the $300-400 range (I'm looking to buy used, of course)?

Thanks for any help you can lend.
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Old 06-18-09, 10:47 AM
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if you have'nt built a bike up yet the way to go would probably be to get the best bike you can and start doing repairs and replacements/upgrades yourself until you feel a little more confident ,then upgrade a frame to a bike.If you build a bike with replacement parts it is more expensive (a lot like a car)because bike companies buy 5,000 cranksets at a time they have little more buying power than joe garage
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Old 06-18-09, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by aphrophluph View Post
Can anyone give me some tips or pointers on building a bike? What to do, what not to do?
Take your time, do your research, and accept less than perfect (either that or find some deep pockets.)

I've built two and am building a third. It is possible to build something closer to exactly what you want for less money than buying and swapping parts at the LBS but not by paying retail. If you have to buy very many tools or pay the shop for much more than setting crown races and pressing headset cups, you can't do it at all unless you're buying everything well used. In spite of doing 95% of the work on my own bikes for close to a decade, it still took me a year to collect all the parts for each bike at screamin deal prices through ebay and closeout shops like nashbar, chucksbikes, and icyclesusa. I love the results but I don't think the process has saved me a dime.

I still have what was supposedly a NOS Duke U-turn fork that needs rebuilding before finishing the last bike. Some joker tried to turn it past 108 mm at some point and broke something inside. It was purchased as is though and the rebuild will add at least $100 to the cost of the bike.
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Old 06-18-09, 12:48 PM
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Several years after starting cycling- I got a good bike in a Kona Explosif. It was used offroad and parts wore out on it. Rear deraillers-gear changers- brakes were upgraded to "V" brakes and finally a better set of wheels. All of the old parts- which still had some good life in them- were kept as spares. Eventually I had enough good spares that were usable to build up a bike.

So bought a Custom frame and all the parts from the Kona- the new good bits- were put onto the Custom frame. All I had to buy were cables and a chain. The Old usable spares from the Kona- that had been changed/upgraded well before time- were put back on the Kona so I now had two good bikes.

I still have the Kona- but the custom frame went to its maker several years ago.
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Old 06-18-09, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by aphrophluph View Post
I'm considering building a mountain bike instead of buying the full package ... for the money I can spend.
It's not that hard to do but I wouldn't plan on saving any money by doing it yourself. As a general rule, buying a complete bike is cheaper.
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Old 06-18-09, 02:39 PM
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In 1985 I bought a Ritchey Commando. I love the slack geometry. Over the years I've replaced every part except the left crank arm and the Deore cantilever brakes. I think I'm the only guy in Oregon with a '70's vintage Campy Record (steel) headset on a mountain bike. Rear derailleur is a '90's vintage short cage XT. Front der and crank are Suntour XC Micro Drive. Hub's are mid '80's XT. Shifters too.

Did I save money? Probably, because I worked in a shop and bought closeouts. For example, I bought the only right crank arm with rings. That's why I'm still using a 24 year old left arm.
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Old 06-18-09, 03:34 PM
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The best way to save big money is to be in the right place when someone's mom gets tired of having to walk around your ideal bike in her garage that her son (who happens to be your size) got when he was 15 and has been sitting there since he got his driver's license, and sells it cheap now that he is in college.
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