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Cheapest decent build components?

Old 07-27-11, 09:02 PM
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Cheapest decent build components?

I've got a theoretical question that some of you might enjoy answering, and others might find to be totally pointless, even stupid. I don't have much to add to this topic beyond the initial general question that I am hoping some more experienced folks will enjoy taking up.

There's an old adage - you can have a bike that is 1 - cheap, 2 - light, and/or 3 - high quality... pick two. Let's say you wanted to build a complete working all-rounder bike from scratch, just for the experience, from a nice frame that you got pretty cheap.

If we throw out light, and just say "cheap and high quality," what kind of components would you choose?

The idea here is if you wanted to build a dependable bike on the cheap, just to have the pleasure of doing the work and having something to show for it, and with a fairly conservative budget, what would you put into the machine?

If you think it's a stupid question, that's your opinion. If you think it's worth discussing and you're willing to contribute, thanks!

Think of it as: somebody gives you a nice basic frame, and you have to build a bike you can depend on and not worry about it failing you. Your budget is really tight. What would you throw together? You need a headset, crank, stem, bars, wheels, hubs, gearing system, etc. Are there certain "old faithful" components that are neither sexy nor cutting edge, but just a great value that you would choose?
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Old 07-27-11, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by xrayzebra
If we throw out light, and just say "cheap and high quality," what kind of components would you choose?
Used Campagnolo 10 speed gruppo not stamped "Record" (expensive) or Chorus (not cheap) except for new Veloce loose cog cassette (about $45 imported from the UK) and chain ($35, they take a lot longer to stretch than other chains). No Escape or Powershift levers. Some readily available rim laced to cup-and-cone Campagnolo hubs (they use Record level cups and cones) sold as 9 or 10 speed (same spline pattern; 8 speed is different though).
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Old 07-27-11, 09:50 PM
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Want Index shifting? still better off just plunking money down on the counter
for a new bike.. complete.

Built up my last bare frame bike , many years ago,
an RB1, circa 90 something..

but it got parts off an older bike I sold the frameset of to someone else..

so a mishmash of components some of them 30 years of service

Friction shift , bar ends, means all sorts of stuff works together..

last couple bikes I got were used , complete, I made a few changes, refurbishments,
or like the Bike Friday Pocket Llama, was
a good deal as someone else ordered a custom , refused the color it came out.
and so It was reduced in price..


I'd, if real low budget , go get a few Yard-sale/CL rigs ,
and combine the components on the frame that fit.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-27-11 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 07-28-11, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by xrayzebra
Let's say you wanted to build a complete working all-rounder bike from scratch, just for the experience, from a nice frame that you got pretty cheap.
If you're thinking all new parts, you'll almost always be money ahead to just buy a complete bike. The bike companies can buy parts more cheaply than you can.

On the other hand, assembling your own bike is a pleasure by itself. Last year I built a personal recumbent for myself and this year my grandson and I built up a road bike from left over parts.

The trick is acquiring the parts. Ultegra/XT is my preferred level, 105/LX is my OK fall back level, Dura Ace/XTR is my "nice but only if I can get a really good deal." Both bikes contain a mixture of all three. I don't worry much about the age of components, but you have to be acutely aware of compatability and, if it's not in "as new" condition, I won't mess with it. In both cases I already had most of the stuff that I needed, but any small parts that you have to pay full list for can really run up the cost.

In the past I've built up bikes from cheaper parts and even from parts I scrounged by driving around the sub division on garbage day. They produced reliable bikes but it's more work and you get no style points so it's not as satisfying for me.

Sometimes an accent detail can make a lot of difference. People completely overlook the Dura Ace bar end shifters and the XTR derailleurs on my recumbent, for example, but they really pick up on my $45.00 Dapper Dan leather handgrips.
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Old 07-28-11, 09:34 AM
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Hard to beat Apex for the price.

For a commuter type bike, Deore LX and XT are a good value and should last for many years of trouble free service.
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Old 07-28-11, 02:47 PM
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Microshift
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Old 07-28-11, 03:34 PM
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Suntour with friction shift and Ultraglide cassettes. Bulletproof, cheap, light, widely available and far less troublesome than indexed Hyperglide.
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