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cost of building a bike

Old 08-07-12, 09:54 AM
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spectastic
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cost of building a bike

is it a wasted effort? i recently ordered parts for replacing the wheels and the brakes. It cost me $255, almost price of a whole bike from bikesdirect. I went for the cheaper components too.

tektro r599 brakes: $42
tektro rl340 levers: $25
aeromax wheelset+low end cassette: $143 with shipping
2x vittoria zaffiro pro ii tires: $47

it adds up really fast
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Old 08-07-12, 10:10 AM
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IMHO there are only three reasons to build a bike for yourself:

1) You have a flexible amount of funds to finance such a project and you'd liked to either customize the bike, or add your finishing touches onto the build. $$$$

2) You don't have adequate cash to finance such a project, but you have an unrelenting desire or need to have a bicycle for transportation and a bicycle co-op, provides just such an opportunity to build such a bicycle. $

3) You already have practically all of the assorted components laying about your humble abode and an appropriate frame just happens to come to mind. $ $

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Old 08-07-12, 10:10 AM
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I prefer to buy used bikes or take bike in find in the dump. I have a lot of bike parts of all sorts so when I need something I go search in the pile. I rarely buy new parts. Lot cheaper but you don't get the brand new stuff
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Old 08-07-12, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
is it a wasted effort? i recently ordered parts for replacing the wheels and the brakes. It cost me $255, almost price of a whole bike from bikesdirect. I went for the cheaper components too.

tektro r599 brakes: $42
tektro rl340 levers: $25
aeromax wheelset+low end cassette: $143 with shipping
2x vittoria zaffiro pro ii tires: $47

it adds up really fast
Is it a wasted effort? It depends on what you want to do. If you want the most economical, buy the bike complete. If you want something with parts that no manufacturer is going to spec on a bike, build...but realize that you won't save money doing it.
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Old 08-07-12, 10:37 AM
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You've also hit upon the reason so many noobs are advised to buy as much bike as they can afford. Some get it in their head(s) that they can just buy the base model and upgrade to what they want cheaper than OEM. If you have the knowledge and patience, then maybe. If you lack either it's frustrating or lack both and have to rely on the LBS, it's gonna get pricey in a hurry.
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Old 08-07-12, 11:07 AM
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Rowan builds most of our bicycles ...

Let's see if I can recall all the ones he has built in recent years:

-- Carbon fibre Merlin
-- Titanium Hasas (x2 ... one for each of us)
-- Steel Thorns (x2 ... one for each of us)
-- Steel Shogun

(and possibly a few others )

Acquire the frames, acquire the parts, and build.
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Old 08-07-12, 11:10 AM
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Starting from scratch, it's most time- and cost-effective to buy a whole bike. I think I last did that during the Clinton Administration.....
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Old 08-07-12, 11:11 AM
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It really does add up fast, my latest fixed gear build cost me $141 and I got the following items FREE:

frame,fork,HS, stem, bars, wheels.
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Old 08-07-12, 02:23 PM
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It is ALWAYS cheaper to buy a whole bike than to try and build one up from parts purchased at retail. I have bought a couple of new bikes to strip down for the parts. The latest was a Torker Graduate for the wheels, I sold the frame to a friend so he could hang the parts he wanted to on it. I came out ahead $50 over purchasing the necessary components at retail for my build.

I do buy parts and build up bikes, I ride XL frames (64cm) and finding a complete bike in my size and with specifications I like is very rare. I have to do the same thing for my bride on the other end of the spectrum, she rides XS (42cm).

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Old 08-07-12, 02:56 PM
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If you figure it out at retail prices, the last bike I built came out to 6933.00 but i have what I want and I can tell you for certian that there is not another one like it on the face of the earth.

http://www.notubes.com/Featured.aspx If you link to Groovys page there are more photos of it
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Old 08-07-12, 03:05 PM
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I don't build my own to save money;
I build my own because it is the only way to get exactly what I want.
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Old 08-07-12, 03:16 PM
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If you can get really good deals on parts and can put the bike together yourself it's worth it!
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Old 08-07-12, 03:24 PM
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There is a certain satisfaction in building a bike yourself, and you can't put a price tag on that. If you are patient and buy non current new parts, you can do better than the price of a new complete bike and have it exactly the way you want it. I should note that this applies to bikes beginning at about the $1000 price point.
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Old 08-07-12, 03:37 PM
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I was trying to decide between buying a new bike or upgrading my vintage. I decided to upgrade my vintage, but maybe I could have benefited from buying a $600 bike from bikes direct with tiagra components, and selling my vintage for $150. I've always wanted to have one of those modern bikes.
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Old 08-07-12, 04:14 PM
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I worked in bike shops , got some nice parts on closeout..
like Campagnolo's Dropping out of the MTB sector, and so
I got those parts to equip my Cyclo-camping touring bike ..
25+ years ago..
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Old 08-07-12, 05:17 PM
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As everyone has pointed out starting from scratch may be the most expensive way to get the bike you want. It also would be about the only way to get the bike just exactly like you want. Most of us that build our own bikes have an advantage in that we have something to start with. When I first upgraded from my first road bike I simply bought a better frame and took all of the parts off of my old bike and put them on my new one. After a year or two I had enough parts in my parts box to rebuild my old bike. After another year or two I had enough parts to build a new Bike. Today I have two spare Cranksets, 4 sets of wheels and a complete set of shifters and derailleurs and two sets of breaks, both Dura Ace.

The point is if you have access to then parts building your own bike is far more satisfing than just about anything you can do. If however you are starting from scratch it will cost you more than a new bike at the LBS. If you bought a new bike from BD you more than likely would have to replace the wheels and tires anyway.

What kind of bike are you looking for?
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Old 08-07-12, 05:40 PM
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I recently bought an '81 Fuji S12-S that's in the shop right now having a few things done to it. When it's all said and done I'll be in it for a little more than I would be in a lower-end BikesDirect road bike. But to me that's not the point. I wanted something C&V. I'm happy w/ what I have. There are a few more things I'll do to it before I'm done, and that'll cost me. I'm sure I'll be even happier with it then.

I'm already looking at my next project. That one I will build myself. It's not about the money. It's about learning, doing, having exactly what I want the way I want it. I never learned anything by whipping out a checkbook.
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Old 08-07-12, 05:53 PM
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I guess i should note that the frame I used was custom made. When I said I built this bike, I did help build it. I was lucky enough to be involved in the entire process from concept to fab.I took a day off of work to work with the master frame builder and build the front triangle. Every part chosen for a reason. Its a 29er hard tail that thinks is a 26. Head tube and setat tube angles that would do a crit or track bike proud. ( some day I may have to a post on what its like to be measured and have a frame built
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Old 08-07-12, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
As everyone has pointed out starting from scratch may be the most expensive way to get the bike you want. It also would be about the only way to get the bike just exactly like you want. Most of us that build our own bikes have an advantage in that we have something to start with. When I first upgraded from my first road bike I simply bought a better frame and took all of the parts off of my old bike and put them on my new one. After a year or two I had enough parts in my parts box to rebuild my old bike. After another year or two I had enough parts to build a new Bike. Today I have two spare Cranksets, 4 sets of wheels and a complete set of shifters and derailleurs and two sets of breaks, both Dura Ace.

The point is if you have access to then parts building your own bike is far more satisfing than just about anything you can do. If however you are starting from scratch it will cost you more than a new bike at the LBS. If you bought a new bike from BD you more than likely would have to replace the wheels and tires anyway.

What kind of bike are you looking for?
I did the same, but opposite. My first nice bike was 9-speed Ultegra. When DA went 10-speed, the LBS was selling 9-speed DA groups at a great price so I bought the group, and migrated the Ultegra to my rainbike.
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Old 08-07-12, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
is it a wasted effort?
It depends on what you want (getting _exactly_ what you want is _great_. I had a frame turned into a bike in 1996 built to spec and have kept somewhat (only 10 cogs in back) up to date as things wore out continuing my odd choices - it rocks and looks good to me) and whether your parts are used or new.

If you want a Shimano double gruppo on a conventional (no travel couplers, custom geometry, or anything odd although you can pick material) frame with a common gearing choice (like 53-39 x 12-25 or 50-34 x 11-28) and live with the cockpit choices a complete bike won't cost much more than the gruppo so it's like getting discounted wheels and a free frame.

If you want a Campagnolo mechanical gruppo, odd-ball frame features, etc. you can spend a lot less. $800 for pedal force frameset, $1100 for Chorus gruppo, $500 for hand-built wheels, $200 for cockpit, $80 for tires totaling $2680 beats $4000 for a factory bike with Campagnolo Chorus.

An XACD frame with couplers built into a bike could run thousands less than a Co-Motion.

A stock bike adapted to suit your tastes also might not be that inexpensive because once you replace wheels, saddle, handlebar, stem, crankset, cassette, and shifters to suit your taste you're no longer using the freebies that came with the bike.

This is _especially true_ when you have parts around the house. I'm $40 worth of spokes away from having three spare wheel sets (hub set in one box, rims are hanging on a wall, there's a 100 count nipple box which should have 68 left). I have four cassettes in various configurations, two front derailleurs, two chains, a brand new pair of tires, one rear derailleur, two cranksets with bottom brackets, one seat post, and one saddle. If I bought another frameset I'd only need brakes, stem, bars, and headset to have a bike.

I think parts breed when you leave them alone some place dark and romantic - a long cage derailleur couple makes sweet love producing a baby short cage, that sort of thing.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 08-07-12 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 08-07-12, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I did the same, but opposite. My first nice bike was 9-speed Ultegra. When DA went 10-speed, the LBS was selling 9-speed DA groups at a great price so I bought the group, and migrated the Ultegra to my rainbike.

I have been changing over to SRAM. I have short fingers and after trying Apex and Force I discovered it is easier for me to push the derailleur up the cassette than my DA. I just upgraded to SRAM Red on my Tarmac and now I have one bike with Red and one with DA. I have thought about building a Steel road bike but I have to have a modern 130 spacing on the drop outs so I can use SRAM and FSA Cranks. I also need a CF fork before I start a new build.
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