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DevinCA 05-08-11 01:33 AM

Custom Bike - worth the price? (sorry!)
I hate posts like this, and do wish that I knew enough to know myself, but frankly I need a bike, and don't know enough to make great decisions by myself. My question is this... is $250 for a custom bike with the below listed parts worth it? He was asking $400 but is accepting $250... thanks for any advice!

"Nashbar 54 cm integrated frame
Ritchey Zero Pro headset
Nashbar stem
Drop bars
Shimano Tiagra brake/shifters (Ran as only brakes for now)
Shimano Sora crankset (with small ring removed - but available)
Cannondale Slice carbon forks
Cannondale saddle
Shimano 105 rear wheel
Super light 16 spoke front wheel (no idea the brand)
Single speed kit with 16 tooth rear cog and chain tensioner (14 tooth available)
Shimano 105 chain
Bontrager tires
Shimano 105 brakes

Also, I will throw in the 105 front and rear derailers, 9 speed cog, and cables so this can be turned into a road bike if you want."

Machka 05-08-11 02:13 AM

A custom frame is a frame built specifically to your specifications, and costs a lot more than $400. A Nashbar frame is not a custom frame ... it's an inexpensive "off the rack" frame.

At best, that bicycle might be customised if the person who built the bicycle selected the components and built the bicycle into something that worked for that person.

Have a look at the Nashbar frames on the Nashbar site:

Then price out the components and decide whether the bicycle is worth it or not.

DevinCA 05-08-11 02:33 AM

Ah yes, my mistake, again I'm sorry, I am not into bikes as much as I should be.. Customized would be the right term, I just meant that it wasn't a stock bike, but that it had been pieced together.

I've looked up all the parts on it individually, and it does seem like a good deal, but without a lot of knowledge about brands/parts specifically, it's still hard to know if the whole package is worth it.

Thank you, though :) , for the clarification, this thread is regretfully just a bike novice asking about a Craigslist ad :(

Machka 05-08-11 02:54 AM

Well, at $250 you can hardly go wrong unless everything is rusted and nothing works. $250 isn't much in the bicycle world. If you go to a shop, you're probably looking at $750 for an entry-level bicycle.

(A custom bicycle would probably be $3000 and up)

wahoonc 05-08-11 05:59 AM

Based on that list it is worth the asking price..IF the bike is your size and you are going to ride it. AND it is the type of bike you want to ride. Or if you plan to strip the bike and resell the parts.

Aaron :)

Retro Grouch 05-08-11 06:31 AM


Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 12611660)
IF the bike is your size.

I think that's so important that it deserves repetition. Would you buy shoes that were the wrong size? Would you buy "average size" shoes if you didn't know your size?

When buying a pre-owned bike size is one of those things that sometimes gets lost in background clutter and I think that it should be the very first consideration. The fit of your bicycle affects your comfort, efficiency, and performance every single minute that you ride it. Nothing else even comes close in importance. If it's not the right size it's not a good deal.

RonH 05-08-11 07:09 AM

54 cm is kinda small. How tall are you?

oneofpr 05-08-11 07:45 AM

I saw custom and $250.00 and was like, What da?, awesome deal...

Like other stated that is not custom, regardless it is a good deal. If you are just jumping into the sport and are testing waters it would be wise to spend that amount of money.

If anything you get the bike bug, and decide later buy a more high-end bike you can use that one as a trainer or rain bike.

On that price range as long as the frame fit generally most frames are the same (once again on that price range). If one thing I would emphasize is the carbon fork, mostly so if you are a heavy rider. Yes shifting on Sora will not be that smooth as Dura-Ace and other more expensive brands, but not something to worry about, but the fork has to be solid that has very minimal road vibration.

I still got a cheap aluminum frame, changed the carbon fork (more expensive than the bike frame) and the difference was night and day.

Post pics if possible, it sound you are getting a good deal.

DevinCA 05-08-11 09:40 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Yeah it would mostly be a "decent get around town" bike, for now. My old bike got stolen last week, so I've been shopping around for a new one, and being a young, naive, college student, I've been trying to be a little careful about what I grab.

I am about 5'10 1/2", and my inseam is around 31", I just looked up bike sizing charts and they say I should get a 55-56" frame, which now worries me a little.. will this make a huge difference, or will it be fine since I'm not running around racing it?

tsl 05-08-11 10:14 AM

I'm about the same size and ride a 56, 57 or 58, depending on the maker. (Actually, I pay more attention to the top tube length rather than the "size" which is seat tube length.)

I have two words to summarize: Size matters.

My first bike was too small. I didn't know, and apparently the LBS didn't care. While I put 4,000 miles on it, mainly around town, I was never comfortable on it. I always felt cramped. It was awful climbing, sketchy descending and on the flats I felt I couldn't get low or long enough.

OTOH, a bike that first is an absolute joy to ride. My current four bikes all fit and all disappear beneath me as I ride. I'm not squirming around on the saddle, or pushing and pulling myself on the bars. My knees never collide with my elbows (or the bars), and I don't feel trapped between the saddle and the bars at stoplights.

If you're buying a price, that's a good price. If you're buying a means of transport, skip it.

oneofpr 05-08-11 05:50 PM

You are 5'-10", but maybe the way arms vs. legs will be the decisive factor.

Just as an example:

On the MTB I got a Medium frame, but I am suppose to have a small frame.
The carbon bike is 54cm.
In the aluminum bike is 52cm.

The difference between them is the stem, handlebar geometry and seatpost (offset).

Follow the usual bike fit rules ( knee to pedal relationship, standing etc.

Like tsl explains, depends on the maker. I prefer smaller frames for stiffer geometry, lighter, more responsive than bigger ones.

fietsbob 05-08-11 06:26 PM


"Nashbar 54 cm integrated frame
thats not custom, its a budget house brand , part of Performance Bike corp , now.
it may be an individuals component pick..

But from what I read you need something bigger..
if you think you can unload the frame and fork .
You might get it for the wheels and parts,
then add another $100 for a bigger F&F at the same, Nashbar , new..

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