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Benefits to building a new bike?

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Benefits to building a new bike?

Old 02-05-20, 10:36 AM
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Lrdchaos
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Benefits to building a new bike?

I知 looking towards a new bike in a couple of years and I知 wondering if it痴 better to buy a complete bike or build. For those that have done both, what did you prefer, cheaper one way of the other?

What I知 finding is that the more I ride the more I specific I become with what I like, prefer. For instance I like the Tarmac pro disc, but would prefer di2 instead of SRAM components and I would most likely change the wheel set once I purchase the bike. So I would have to buy/sell to get the components I want. Has anyone else had this issue, or an I just too nitpicky?
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Old 02-05-20, 10:51 AM
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Building can be advantageous, as far as price is concerned, but it all depends. How set are you on certain pieces (frame [including colorway], wheelset, groupset, etc)? More flexibility means a larger pool of stuff to choose from when it's on sale. What kind of time-frame are you giving yourself to piece things together? If you're patient and looking over a period of months, you give yourself a better chance of sourcing things at a great price.

Really, though, this is all math that you'll need to do when you're closer to buying, because the best deals aren't going to be around for very long.
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Old 02-05-20, 11:30 AM
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It all depends on what you want. Building a bicycle up from a frameset and components might cost more than a complete bicycle does. BUT. Building up a bicycle with a frameset and other components can let you tailor the build to your exact needs/wants.

I built this Miele up using a Tange Infinity frameset and a mix of 9-speed Campagnolo Mirage and Veloce components. I might get silver Veloce Ergo levers if I can find them at a low price. The frame was custom painted in the Italian colours. I enjoy the bicycle a lot.




Cheers
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Old 02-05-20, 11:37 AM
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I've only ever built up my own bikes. I do this so I can get exactly the components I want at the best price possible.

And it's more fun.
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Old 02-05-20, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Succhia Ruota View Post
And it's more fun.
Some people aren't as particular and think bargain hunting is a pain in the ass and a waste of time. For many, it's more fun to walk in to, and then roll out of, a bike shop. Personally, I find both options to be fun in their own way.
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Old 02-05-20, 11:49 AM
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If you really want to save money, either start with a frame or bike that's a leftover from the previous year or two. Both bikes and frames have very large markups, so leftovers are often heavily discounted. I prefer to start with a frame because the bars, stem, seatpost and saddle are rarely what I would choose. I haven't bought a prebuilt bike since 1990.

I recently bought a new $1700 MSRP Colnago C-RS frame (the cheapest model for 2017) for only $700 and built it up with Campy Chorus 12 speed for about $3000. I put quite a few nice parts on it, like Easton EC-90 bars, SMP Stratos saddle, FSA K-force carbon seatpost, Zipp stem and speedplay pedals. I used Campy Zonda wheels that are a good value for the price. Campy Shamal wheels would have cost twice as much.

Although disc brakes have become popular, rim brakes work fine for me. I'm light and don't ride in the wet, but I do ride the Colorado mountains and do many mountain descents. Using rim brakes reduces the bike weight by 3-400 grams and lowers the cost of wheels and the groupset. A bike built with a lower level frame can be just as light as a much more expensive frame, with discs and cost less.


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Old 02-05-20, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Some people aren't as particular and think bargain hunting is a pain in the ass and a waste of time. For many, it's more fun to walk in to, and then roll out of, a bike shop. Personally, I find both options to be fun in their own way.
More fun for me. Didn't mean to imply for everyone.
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Old 02-05-20, 12:17 PM
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I disagree about saving money if you build your own bike. Most of the time you get better deal with factory built bikes. You do get the ability to customize your bike as well as the satisfaction of having a custom bike, but many brands like Trek have programs where you can change the build through them and still be cheaper than buying parts 1 at a time. Also there are so many options that you should be able to buy a bike that will do what you need/want it to do.
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Old 02-05-20, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Lrdchaos View Post
I知 looking towards a new bike in a couple of years and I知 wondering if it痴 better to buy a complete bike or build. For those that have done both, what did you prefer, cheaper one way of the other?

What I知 finding is that the more I ride the more I specific I become with what I like, prefer. For instance I like the Tarmac pro disc, but would prefer di2 instead of SRAM components and I would most likely change the wheel set once I purchase the bike. So I would have to buy/sell to get the components I want. Has anyone else had this issue, or an I just too nitpicky?
I've built 2 bikes up from scratch. One was done "on the cheap" by buying a frame and sourcing all all the other parts off a bike with a broken frame and my parts bin. The other was built entirely from hand selected new parts.

I personally enjoy the process of building a bike. It lets me pick the parts I want, is a generally enjoyable hobby, and I have confidence that the bicycle is put together correctly (as I have confidence in my own skills).

In the case of my "build from new parts" bike, the bike I wanted (a Ritchey Road Logic) was not available at the time as an off-the-shelf fully built bike. If I had asked my LBS to build it to the specs that I wanted, it probably would have cost me $1000+ more than I spent, both because my LBS charges labor and also their parts cost for a build is based on MSRP US prices, whereas I sourced my groupset from the UK for half that price. So I guess in that sense it was "cheaper", but not really cheaper than buying a ready built bike.

For the record, the total cost of the build of the Ritchey Road Logic, with me saving as much money as I could with online sales and UK sourced parts was $2000, not including the wheels (I already owned a set, which cost $700). For an Ultegra based bike that doesn't really seem crazy expensive, and I used high quality parts for the cockpit.
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Old 02-05-20, 12:50 PM
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One more benefit to building up a bike (for me): Several smaller purchases spread over time are less likely to raise an eyebrow with the spouse.
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Old 02-05-20, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Succhia Ruota View Post
One more benefit to building up a bike (for me): Several smaller purchases spread over time are less likely to raise an eyebrow with the spouse.
This.

One option is to buy a complete bike that痴 close to the spec you want, and then upgrade. You can then sell parts on eBay as you replace them (or keep as spares, eg wheels) Bonus to this is that the bike is rideable from day 1

A warning; if you plan to do this, make sure the funds for the upgrade are available from the start. My CAAD10 never did get that silver Athena group I so wanted to put on it.
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Old 02-05-20, 01:06 PM
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I built my last bike, and it was a fun process, mainly because I had a friend who helped me and he basically has a bike shop in his garage. Probably wouldn't have been as fun by myself with my limited tools.

Having the shop build my next one, they're upgrading it to di2 and offered me a good deal on the upgrade with trading in the take-off parts. Doubt I could do it cheaper myself, and definitely easier to have them do it. I'll upgrade small stuff later, but with the frame and groupset I want, the hard part is done and I can ride it immediately.
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Old 02-05-20, 01:09 PM
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The build would most likely be over a few months, I would probably try to find the wheels/drivetrain on sale and the fun the frame later. But then again, I really like my current bike but would like Di2 so that would be an easy upgrade along with newer bars.
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Old 02-05-20, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by "Fred" View Post
I disagree about saving money if you build your own bike. Most of the time you get better deal with factory built bikes.
If you're intent on buying a current model year frame/colorway, yeah, that's often the case, but if you're open to a previous model year (and often frames are the same for 3-4 years, with only the colorways changing), then there can be significant frame discounts to be had. Likewise, all of the ancillary components may go on sale at one time or another, sometimes with stacking discounts from certain vendors.
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Old 02-05-20, 03:15 PM
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The cost savings really depends on what you want, your timeline, and any connections you have.

If you want all 2020 stuff and you want it now, buying a complete bike is probably your best bet.

If you are willing to wait, shop for deals, buy parts used or NOS, then you can probably save a decent chunk of change.

If they the Specialized you mentioned is AXS, you may have a harder time selling the Sram parts due to few people having AXS compatible wheels. (Not saying the parts won't sell, they just might not sell as quickly or at the price you want. And that is just an assumption on my part - I know I cannot just upgrade to AXS without replacing wheels.)
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Old 02-05-20, 04:09 PM
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It's a wash. A factory bike will have a better groupset than you can get for the same money. BUT, that bike will generally have crappier wheels and handlebars to make the price more appealing. Every factory bike I've ever received needed a wheel and handlebar upgrade, and I couldn't give away the factory stuff.
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Old 02-05-20, 05:35 PM
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It depends.

You're more likely to save money on the complete bike, particularly if it's a totally modern bike. On the other hand, you can build up an awesome bike for very little if your components are not the latest. Example: my son's 10-speed, cantilever brake, aluminum frame CX bike. Found the frameset on eBay for a song. Tiagra group for cheap, already had several 10-speed, rim brake wheelsets. The bike is as light as my Tarmac. And my kid won the local 15-18 juniors cross series on it. (proud dad)
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Old 02-05-20, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
It's a wash. A factory bike will have a better groupset than you can get for the same money. BUT, that bike will generally have crappier wheels and handlebars to make the price more appealing. Every factory bike I've ever received needed a wheel and handlebar upgrade, and I couldn't give away the factory stuff.
Pretty much this.

It's never really cheaper to build especially trying to match a groupset. If you get the group you want it's always more money that a factory build. Stem/Bar/headset/seat post/saddle/bar tape, etc... are $200 - $300 alone.

Really the only reason to build is you get to put on better wheel that what the factory offers, which is ALWAYS where they scrimp.

You can about break even if you buy a Chinese carbon frame/fork for $350-$400. Maybe.
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Old 02-05-20, 06:52 PM
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My personal preference is building a bike myself. I have done so to the tune of slightly over 20 road bikes over the years. Consensus seems to be that it is more economical to buy a complete new bike than to buy the frame and components and build it oneself. However, since I buy only used frames off eBay, and a few other sites, and only spend when I can win with the maximum I have decided my limited budget allows, I still think I save money over buying new. As examples, I recently bought a 2014 Alchemy Helios frame for $650.00 and a HIA Velo Founder frame for $520.00 and built them up with parts off other bikes and a few newly purchased components. When all parts are tallied, I have spent far less than the costs of equivalently equipped new bikes from those manufacturers. So far, the fact that such frames are less than new has caused no problems. It also comes down to the fact that building, fiddling, tuning and adjusting are very enjoyable hobbies to me.
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Old 02-05-20, 09:10 PM
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It really depends on the price that you can get the bike/frame for. I've been able to save a lot of money buy buying a complete bike, then upgrading the groupset (mechanical to di2) myself. And I've been able to save A LOT of money by buying the frame and building it myself.

In your particular case (swapping AXS for Di2), I'm guessing it would end up costing you a few hundred dollars. The better option would be simply purchasing the Expert di2 version. It's the same frame, but $1200 cheaper. The only "downgrade" is the wheels (C38 vs CL50) and alloy bars, vs carbon....definitely not worth the $1200, in my opinion.
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Old 02-05-20, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
It's a wash. A factory bike will have a better groupset than you can get for the same money. BUT, that bike will generally have crappier wheels and handlebars to make the price more appealing. Every factory bike I've ever received needed a wheel and handlebar upgrade, and I couldn't give away the factory stuff.
+1

One exception is building classic bikes. I started collecting parts for an classic Italian road bike back in 2008. Regularly searching eBay/Craigslist for deals that were too good to refuse, on NOS or nearly new Campagnolo parts. After 10 years of searching, the right frameset came along. Now I have near show quality classic Italian road bike, and it cost me next to nothing.
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Old 02-06-20, 10:43 AM
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I will echo what most have already stated.
1. Its a lot of fun to build a bike, especially if you live in a place with a winter season.
2. You can get the exact build you want with parts you want.
3. If you like the "hunt" for parts that is fun I think.
4. Spouse is happier with small purchases at a time than one LARGE one
5. You learn a bunch about bikes and working on them your self

a few cons:
1. Usually more expensive but you get what you want and don't have to change them on a new bike so its a wash IMO
2. Can be frustrating to get it set up just right if mechanics aren't your idea of a good time
3. Coffee budget goes up
4. Spend lots of time in your shop, some spouses don't like that. My wife didn't so much.

Enjoy the ride, its just neat I think to say yeah, I put this together. Its my as custom of a bike I can get. I will say after building a bike last year that took me over a year to do I will never buy a complete bike ever again.
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Old 02-06-20, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Pretty much this.

It's never really cheaper to build especially trying to match a groupset. If you get the group you want it's always more money that a factory build. Stem/Bar/headset/seat post/saddle/bar tape, etc... are $200 - $300 alone.

Really the only reason to build is you get to put on better wheel that what the factory offers, which is ALWAYS where they scrimp.

You can about break even if you buy a Chinese carbon frame/fork for $350-$400. Maybe.
You don't have to buy a cheap no name Chinese frame to build a bike for less than a new model at a local shop. They key is finding a top quality leftover frame at 30-50% off.

SRAM and Shimano sell groupsets for low prices to high volume buyers like Trek, Specialized and Giant, which improves their profit margin, but does not always lower the MSRP on the bikes they sell. In my case, I bought a Colnago C-RS frame for less than half the the normal price. That frame is actually made by Giant. It's lighter than a Trek Emonda SL and has the same MSRP of $1700. I bought a Campy Chorus 12 groupset for $1060, Campy Zonda wheels for only $320 (far below MSRP) and found substantial discounts on the Easton EC90 carbon bars, FSA post, SMP saddle and Zipp stem, with a few google searches. A comparable Trek, the Emonda SL7 would have cost about $2,000 more ($5,000) , weighed 300 grams more and only had Ultegra 11 speed. The Emonda SL 7 with Force AXS 12 speed is really a better deal, for only $200 more ($5299), but weighs 470 grams more than my $3000 Colnago.
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Old 02-06-20, 11:34 AM
  #24  
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Ive built up every bike I have- either from the frame or built the frame too thru a class.

I prefer building to buying new because I enjoy the process of finding components, enjoy building bikes, and like trying out smaller brand components. It also gives me exactly what I want the first time, instead of buying a bike and immediately buying a new saddle, bar tape, stem, wheelset, and tires(which all seem to be the most common changes from what I see).

There was a thread a month or two ago about the All City Zig Zag(disc road bike) and I listed off specifics that would give the user a bike of the same quality for less or a higher spec bike for the same amount if they built.
Sure, a lot of times a full bike is cheaper than building one, but its often because you are buying exactly what you want for the home build. Its close to comparing apples to oranges, really.
Kona Sutra 2020 vs All City Gorilla Monsoon Total cost of the build was $2670(thru axles are included in the frame apparently). Retail is $2700. Building up gets you handbuilt double butted spoke wheels and nicer tires than stock, which is significant.
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Old 02-06-20, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
You don't have to buy a cheap no name Chinese frame to build a bike for less than a new model at a local shop. They key is finding a top quality leftover frame at 30-50% off.

SRAM and Shimano sell groupsets for low prices to high volume buyers like Trek, Specialized and Giant, which improves their profit margin, but does not always lower the MSRP on the bikes they sell. In my case, I bought a Colnago C-RS frame for less than half the the normal price. That frame is actually made by Giant. It's lighter than a Trek Emonda SL and has the same MSRP of $1700. I bought a Campy Chorus 12 groupset for $1060, Campy Zonda wheels for only $320 (far below MSRP) and found substantial discounts on the Easton EC90 carbon bars, FSA post, SMP saddle and Zipp stem, with a few google searches. A comparable Trek, the Emonda SL7 would have cost about $2,000 more ($5,000) , weighed 300 grams more and only had Ultegra 11 speed. The Emonda SL 7 with Force AXS 12 speed is really a better deal, for only $200 more ($5299), but weighs 470 grams more than my $3000 Colnago.
You're comparing a new, complete bike versus a bike built up using a leftover frame, without a single component common to the two builds. I think this defines an apples-to-oranges comparison.
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