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Building your bike

Old 10-21-05, 07:12 PM
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Building your bike

I have a frameset that I plan to build up this winter. This will be a new experience since I have not wrenched on a bike since I tackled repairs to my Schwinn Sting-Ray when I was a kid.
I've bought Parks "Big blue book of bicycle repair" and am mechanically inclined. Has anyone tried this? What parts should I leave up to the lbs mechanic? Love to hear your stories.
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Old 10-21-05, 07:26 PM
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headset can be a little tricky without a press.
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Old 10-21-05, 07:54 PM
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I've thought of doing that myself. I say go for it and we want to see pictures.
By the way, what frame set do you have?
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Old 10-21-05, 08:02 PM
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A lot of us started exactly the same way. Nowadays, I can't imagine anybody else working on my bikes.

Headsets are still left to the LBS but only because the tools are too expensive for how little they get used.

I bought tools indvidually as needed. Seemed smart at the time. But, if you know you are going to really dive in, I'd suggest a kit. Not a $400 set, but I've seen several in the $100 range that have most of what you'll need.

The only advice I'll offer is to be patient. You will make mistakes, but far less so if you aren't in a hurry. Some tasks take a bit of dexterity that only comes with practice and experience. Before long, you'll wonder why you ever thought differently.

And remember - good advice is easy to find right here and on the Parktool website.

Good luck.

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Old 10-21-05, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
I have a frameset that I plan to build up this winter. This will be a new experience since I have not wrenched on a bike since I tackled repairs to my Schwinn Sting-Ray when I was a kid.
I've bought Parks "Big blue book of bicycle repair" and am mechanically inclined. Has anyone tried this? What parts should I leave up to the lbs mechanic? Love to hear your stories.
The Park book should tell you everything you need to know. It may be cost effective to get a local bike shop to prep your frame (face and chase the BB and head tube), install the headset, cut the fork steerer, and true your wheels.
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Old 10-21-05, 08:10 PM
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I say you should just let a mechanic build your bike. You will probably just ruin it or break some expensive parts.
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Old 10-21-05, 08:18 PM
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I built up my road bike that way. E-bay frame, came with fork and headset so I left that alone (had LBS replace headset recently - needed it). Also had LBS install bottom bracket. Did everything else myself with help of a much more knowledgable bike nut friend, the Zinn road bike maintenance book, the Park Tool web site, and some trial and error. Trickiest part for me was getting front derailluer (a triple) working right. Buying a built bike from the LBS would have been faster, but I can do a lot of my own maintenance now. BTW, a friendly LBS mechanic or a friend with a good parts bin comes in handy when you discover the brake bolt is slightly too short, you need a wedge shaped washer for the brazeon derailluer mount, or you drop a chainring bolt and it rolls out of the garage, gone forever.
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Old 10-21-05, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BostonRob
I say you should just let a mechanic build your bike. You will probably just ruin it or break some expensive parts.
Building a bike isn't that hard and guys who wrench on their own steeds have it all over guys who don't even know how to change a flat.
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Old 10-21-05, 08:33 PM
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The good thing about Park Tools is they recommend their tools with the order number for any job you need! lol.
The frameset is a Trek 1500 that has the fork and a bottom bracket installed. I plan to install an Ultegra 10 speed set (haven't decided between double or triple). The wheelset will be Mavic Ksyrium Elites (Silver not Black). I already have a Richey Handlebar and Stem. Still haven't decided on a Saddle yet and that will be a tough one. Maybe the Fizik Arione? Anyway thanks for the advice!
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Old 10-21-05, 08:37 PM
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Building them up isn't difficult, though its easier once you've taken one apart. Like Rad said, some things just take a bit more time and are not things to be rushed. Headsets are the one thing I would let a bikeshop handle as noted above. It's a bike, not a Saturn V rocket, above all else let common sense guide you from making it too complicated. The Park tools guide, their online info, and the search function on these boards should supply you with all of the extra help you need. I know I've used them all a fair bit.
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Old 10-21-05, 08:42 PM
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That sounds like a sweet ride. Check out Colorado Cyclist and look up the build kits. I think there are a couple of other places but i can't remember them right now. You can save a ton of money doing that. You might even consider buying one of those cheap bikes off of E-Bay and strip it down. Do some research and it will pay off.
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Old 10-21-05, 08:48 PM
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As far as a build kit, I'd say buy a motobecane and strip it or wait for a performance sale and use a 20% coupon (hopefully) and you'll be able to get a lot of stuff for cheap.
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Old 10-21-05, 08:55 PM
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Building our own bikes? Who would have thought?
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Old 10-21-05, 09:03 PM
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This bike already has a headset installed but it's a cheapo integrated unit and I'm a bit of a Clydesdale (200 lbs). I want a king headset, is it overrated or worth every penny?
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Old 10-21-05, 09:22 PM
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So if your steerer tube is already cut then installing a king headset will lower your steerer tube and your handlebars. You may want to think about that.
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Old 10-21-05, 09:38 PM
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I would assume that external bearings on the head tube and the bottom bracket will be better. I don't think that the steerer tube would be much lower after installing a king headset.
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Old 10-21-05, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
A lot of us started exactly the same way. Nowadays, I can't imagine anybody else working on my bikes.

Headsets are still left to the LBS but only because the tools are too expensive for how little they get used.

I bought tools indvidually as needed. Seemed smart at the time. But, if you know you are going to really dive in, I'd suggest a kit. Not a $400 set, but I've seen several in the $100 range that have most of what you'll need.

The only advice I'll offer is to be patient. You will make mistakes, but far less so if you aren't in a hurry. Some tasks take a bit of dexterity that only comes with practice and experience. Before long, you'll wonder why you ever thought differently.

And remember - good advice is easy to find right here and on the Parktool website.

Good luck.

55/Rad
A homemade headset press is about $3.
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Old 10-21-05, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by toomanybikes
A homemade headset press is about $3.
Oh yea - and I use one without any problems.

On my kid's bikes.

But not on mine. Call me obsessive and compulsive.

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Old 10-21-05, 09:59 PM
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Heck I don't mind giving the LBS some business, it's more for my curiosity and education than the money outlay
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Old 10-22-05, 12:20 AM
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headset.. i still leave to the lbs to install the star nut. other than that.. i build the rest...

it's a good learning experience.. plus u'll learn to appreciate the bike even more~
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Old 10-22-05, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
The good thing about Park Tools is they recommend their tools with the order number for any job you need! lol.
The frameset is a Trek 1500 that has the fork and a bottom bracket installed. I plan to install an Ultegra 10 speed set (haven't decided between double or triple). The wheelset will be Mavic Ksyrium Elites (Silver not Black). I already have a Richey Handlebar and Stem. Still haven't decided on a Saddle yet and that will be a tough one. Maybe the Fizik Arione? Anyway thanks for the advice!
I have the same frameset, but I installed the bottom bracket. I'm going with the Ultegra 9 spd triple (clydesdale here too LOL). I have most of the parts, but just have to find the time to get everything together. I figured it would give me something to do over the winter.

If you're mechanically inclined and have the time and patience, do whatever you feel comfortable doing. If you have a good LBS and run into a problem, ask for their advice. Most of the time they're very helpful.
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Old 10-22-05, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
The only advice I'll offer is to be patient. You will make mistakes, but far less so if you aren't in a hurry. Some tasks take a bit of dexterity that only comes with practice and experience. Before long, you'll wonder why you ever thought differently.

55/Rad
Isn't that the truth. Every build seems to be an adventure and every turn in the adventure isn't always pleasant. I'm lucky, I guess, because I have a pretty good selection of tools. I have a headset press, a BB shell facer and most of the other headset tools (except for the facer and crown race cutter.)

If you don't have the tools, then leave frame prep to the bike shop mechanic who does have the right tools. I wouldn't shy away from a headset just because I didn't have all the tools, though. You can install headset cups, if you're careful, with a mallet, and you can remove them with a mallet and drift. It's easy to scar the parts doing it this way but it can be done if you are careful. A press and remover are better, of course. If you have an integrated headset, you won't need any of the traditional headset tools except for a crown race setter (or a length of big pipe.) Except for the crown race, these go together just with a hex wrench.

You will need special tools to install and remove your bottom bracket and your cassette. These two aren't expensive like the milling tools. Do invest in a torque wrench. It's pretty important. The rest of it is pretty straightforward. The only thing I leave to others is wheel building (and the frame milling tasks for which I don't have tools.) One day I'm going to conquer the wheel as well, but I haven't yet. I'm shopping for a crown race cutter as we speak.
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Old 10-22-05, 01:37 PM
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If it doesn't seem to fit, don't force it! That's my little piece of advice.
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Old 10-22-05, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by fmw
If you have an integrated headset, you won't need any of the traditional headset tools except for a crown race setter (or a length of big pipe.) Except for the crown race, these go together just with a hex wrench.
Two questions. Can you install a Chris King headset in a bike that is setup for an integrated headset? What does the crown race setter do for a integrated headset? The instructions for assembling mine didn't mention using one.
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Old 10-22-05, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
I have a frameset that I plan to build up this winter. This will be a new experience since I have not wrenched on a bike since I tackled repairs to my Schwinn Sting-Ray when I was a kid.
I've bought Parks "Big blue book of bicycle repair" and am mechanically inclined. Has anyone tried this? What parts should I leave up to the lbs mechanic? Love to hear your stories.
Just do it!

If you run into trouble post a more specific question or take your bike to a local shop to get you over the hump. Honestly, if you have average mechanical ability, I doubt either will be necessary.
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