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Advice needed. tempting to build a bike from a frame.

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Advice needed. tempting to build a bike from a frame.

Old 09-06-10, 01:43 AM
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Advice needed. tempting to build a bike from a frame.

hello,

Well, my cousin dumped me a frame from his weeks old "Giant Boulder" (he loves to take things apart. I guess he messed up this time and want nothing to do with bikes?).. .... I'm not really sure what to do with this piece of steel. It's actually in pretty good condition, looking from the paint. I know the entire bike is $330 brand new according to Giant's website, but I'd love to use this opportunity/excuse to build a bike myself based on this frame. Is this frame at least durable enough so that I can drop 6? 7 hundred bucks on other parts and make it a "working" mountain bike?
(in other word if I related everything to cars, I don't want to build a car from a poorly made 3 cylinder Geely engine. But, I'm not counting it to be a BMW engine either, a Honda Civic's will do just fine)

I have never done anything to a bike before, so this can be really fun and I just reallly want to at least give it a try.(how hard can it be?) I just don't want end up spending all the effort building something around a "walmart-ish" bike frame. I'm not looking to just buy a bike either, the whole point of this is to build a bike.

Thanks in advance

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Old 09-06-10, 08:07 AM
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If he had all the original parts, I'd say go ahead and put it back together. But, if you had to build it from scratch with new stuff, I wouldn't. First off, do you have any experience biking? Do you have any idea what you are doing? I'd at least go to borders or somewhere that teaches you how to build a bike. (You CAN really screw it up or cost yourself way more money that you should have.)

If you truly must build a bike, get a good frame. A Surly frame should be a good start.
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Old 09-07-10, 05:00 AM
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Do it. Build your bike up. no better way to learn than on a free frame. When or if you mess it up you won't feel so bad on a freebie. After your all done take the parts and put them on another bike. A giant boulder is not a bad frame. Do lots of research and buy a bike maintenance book.
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Old 09-07-10, 07:13 PM
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Choose a fork -- suspension forks cost ~$200 to start, decent ones, anyway. A rigid steel fork can be had for half that. You want some cush up front?

Headset with cartridge bearings can run as low as $15. Handlebars and stems can each go from $20 to over $100.

A wheelset can be as low as $100, or as high as $1000; good ones are available at the low end, I have a Deore disc/Sun Rhyno Lite wheelset, ran me $110 shipped.

I prefer SRAM shifting; X.7 setups are ~$100.

See if you can find a Deore Octalink crank, the bottom bracket (crank axle assembly) is still available, reliable, and cheap. Got an ES-25 last winter for $5.

Go Avid for brakes; FR-5 levers are nice, and can work with either the mechanical discs (BB7) or the V-brakes, which are excellent.

ODI or Lizard Skins lock-on grips, in a variety of thicknesses -- pick one.

Generic aluminum seatpost that fits, saddles are a personal choice -- try some out at the LBS.
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Old 09-08-10, 01:21 AM
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KISS - keep it simply stoopid! Make it a singlespeed, get cheap parts from fleabay or craigslist. My 2 cents...
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Old 09-08-10, 06:12 AM
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Building bikes is fun. If you're interested, go for it. Just don't expect to save money. Don't go in to save money. Go in to have fun.

The frame you have is the sort that I'd probably build up with spare parts, and with leftovers from other bikes. I wouldn't necessarily invest a lot into it. OTOH, most parts that you buy will transfer to other frames. Once you get bitten by the "I can build a bike" bug, you'll find that parts never go to waste. There's always another frame coming down the pike to play around with. For example, when I buy a fork now, I buy it with the expectation of using it across multiple frames for years to come. I look past whatever frame I happen to be playing around on at the moment.

Not everyone likes to build, but for some of us it's a huge amount of fun to build bikes, swap parts, change up configurations, etc.
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Old 09-08-10, 08:19 AM
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I'm thinking of doing this too, but I don't have a frame yet. I've been talking about/getting advice about getting a new bike for months now but I just don't think I'm going to have enough money at any given time to buy a complete bike outright. I figure this will be a good learning experience, a way to get my bike exactly how I want it, & a pay-as-you-go option.

That said, anyone have advice on a decent cheaper frame to start with? What are our opinions on the Access XCL frame? Right now I'm looking at a budget of about $200 for the frame alone. It would be really nice to find a nicer used frame (I'm still drooling over the Jamis Komodo chelboed got me thinking about) but I don't know much about the frame-only market.
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Old 09-08-10, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by samburger
That said, anyone have advice on a decent cheaper frame to start with?
Sometimes you can get name-brand frames on eBay for reasonable prices. You just have to watch the auctions and see what comes by. I saw a 29er Motobecane with only five rides go for less than $100 just this week.
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Old 09-08-10, 09:02 AM
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sam, I have a buddy who's had 2 Access XCL frames; the first went away because he needed cash, the second he raced for a season, then pulled parts from it to swap to his 'new' Epic -- he bought things like a King headset and Deus crank for the Access, so they were swap-worthy.

I was looking HARD at the Access frames last year; but since they've been redesigned, the aesthetics don't do it for me anymore. It was just gonna be a #2 bike, anyway.
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Old 09-08-10, 11:20 AM
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I've got my eyes open for something appealing on ebay or CL, but I like the aesthetics of the new Access XCL so I might just go with that. Only bag thing I've heard about them is that the paint is really cheap, so I may just go ahead & repaint it with higher quality paint before I start adding things to it.
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Old 09-08-10, 11:24 AM
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find a mountain bike on CL that you don't like, doesn't fit you, whatever - and gank all the components for your frame and build it. I did that, and then sold the frame and fork of the bike I didn't want and made out like a bandit. I built this bike for a little over $200

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