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Old 04-23-14, 05:03 PM   #1
EvanE
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Stolen bike, build new or buy complete for replacemement?

This is my first post so bear with me,
I am a college student at Oklahoma State, and sadly our campus security is not as good as our wrestling. My bike got stolen a few days ago from our library while I was studying at night. My baby was a 19in 2013 Trek Mamba. Now that I am slowly coming to the realization that it is not going to be recovered, I am starting to look into a new bike. I would love to get another Trek. All of the used bikes on the market around here seem to be selling for about fifty dollars less that what they paid retail so I don't see the point in buying used. So, my question is would be it more cost effective to buy a complete new bike, or to build it myself?

I would like my replacement to be a hard tail 29er with hydraulic disk brakes. I'm working with around a $1000 give or take, and our LBS here is mainly a Trek distributor. The Trek Stache looks like an awesome ride but maybe a little out of my price range. I mainly ride on campus, and through town to work but I also go biking on the trails during the weekends. Any recommendations on the new Treks and or where to find components that won't break the bank while building a new bike? I would like to get back on wheels again as soon as possible because my bike was my main form of transportation. Walking to work is about to not be an option with the Oklahoma heat here.

Thanks,
-Evan
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Old 04-24-14, 12:50 AM   #2
Zephyr11
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For 99% of people, you get a better deal buying complete. Manufacturers can buy components at cost, and some of that savings gets passed on to the consumer.

The 1% who get the better deal building are the ones who have both the patience and knowledge to check eBay, Craigslist, and the close-out sections of websites to know what's a good deal, exactly what's compatible with what, what used components are in good condition, how to put everything together, etc. Most likely, if you have to ask, you don't fall into this category. My recommendation is to go complete.
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Old 04-28-14, 12:12 PM   #3
EvanE
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Thanks for your reply, Zephyr.
I've been looking at the different Treks available at my LBS, and I'm leaning towards the trek X-Caliber 8. From what I can tell this is the closest match to my Mamba. They have it offered for around $940 in store but they will have to get it shipped in.
Since it stays the same on each model, I've ridden the X-Cal 7 at my LBS to get a feel for the frame and was pleased. That got me to thinking about the differences between the 8 and the 9.

The main differences seem to be (in my untrained eyes) the fork and the shifters/drivetrain components. Do you have any experience with a SRAM drivetrain and any opinions about it? Looking at other threads it seems to be fairly the same besides the fact that on the SRAM you use your thumbs only and the guy in the shop was telling me that they shift into the bigger gears quicker and more smoothly. The fork on the 8 is a RockShox XC32 w/ Coil Spring, and the 9 has a RockShox XC32 w/ Solo Air Spring.Would an air spring really be worth the price difference ($280) so I could customize the resistance to my weight? I weight about 175. Also, I would think that the air spring would sort of become useless if a seal became compromised, making it a long walk back on the trail.


X-Caliber 8 X-Caliber 9
Fork:
RockShox XC32 w/Coil Spring RockShox XC32 w/Solo Air spring
Shifters: SRAM X5, 9 speed Shimano Deore, 10 speed

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Old 04-28-14, 05:02 PM   #4
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I would buy a used low cost replacement so that you won't be feeding the thieves. Now they know where you park and that you will be getting a replacement.
To answer your SRAM question my hardtail has SRAM x7 setup and it has awesome fast and smooth shifting.
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Old 04-28-14, 06:12 PM   #5
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Zephyr is right about the cost...it took me well over a year to build a bike for less than I could buy a complete, checking daily on dozens of sites for deals. Not only that, but the attachment I developed for my bike will likely prevent me from ever selling it, & I would be completely distraught if it was ever stolen for reasons totally unrelated to the expense. It's also worth investing in a few locks for your bike on campus, I'd recommend either hefty U locks or a 14mm chain lock--something bolt cutter proof. The idea is to lock your wheels to your frame & your frame to something sturdy. Sorry to here about your bike, hopefully you end up part of the minority that gets their bike back.
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Old 04-28-14, 06:57 PM   #6
EvanE
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@spdracr The campus bike thieves are certainly getting their fill around here. The police officer I made my report with informed me that a $1,300 Giant was stolen from the same location the night after mine was taken. I went ahead and ordered the X-cal 9, but plan to use that for strictly trails. I'm looking online for an old cheap road bike to use for on campus that a thief wouldn't look twice at.
@samburger Losing that bike was by far worse than any breakup I ever had. No note, no phone call, just disappeared. The sad part was that it was properly locked. My only conclusion is that they had serious bolt cutters or an electric angle grinder with them. Now if I ever take my trek on campus again I am planning on using a U lock as well as a chain lock. Then park next the the nicest looking bike I can see that hasn't learned the hard way yet so I'll be less likely of a target.
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Old 04-28-14, 07:07 PM   #7
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Yikes, tough break! The next best thing I can recommend is to invest in a hunk of junk on craigslist as your commuter & save the nice bike for the trails. I used my trusty ol' GF Wahoo as my college commuter for a few weeks until I took it down a large flight of stairs & taco'd the cheap wheels on it Also, as you suggested, I parked it next to some brave soul who's been parking his Scott Speedster ($1000 road bike) at school all year with nothing more than an X-Mart cable lock. How no one has stolen it in an area where road bikes dominate everything is beyond me, but it sure did make me feel safe.
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Old 04-29-14, 06:43 AM   #8
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For your campus bike, I would suggest that you get a single speed from Uncle Wally. Something like the Mongoose Sinsure, the Mongoose Detain, or the Beast. Just disassemble it. Spray paint it to make it look uniquely ugly and place decals on it. Next get two U-locks. One cheap one for your single speed and the NY Fahgettaboudit for your new mtb.

Good Luck!

Last edited by WestPablo; 04-29-14 at 06:47 AM.
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