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Buy it or build it?

Old 04-08-20, 10:49 AM
  #1  
QPM
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Buy it or build it?

Hi gang. So I bought a low end fixie/singlespeed flipflop. Well, I'm already looking to trade up. Thinking of spending around 1k. Bianchi Pista, Cinelli Pistia, Pinarello Lungavita (a unicorn), new oldstock Jamis Sputnik... these are the types of things catching my eye.

However, the components aren't really super great except a piece here and there. So, do I buy a complete bike knowing I will be switching out parts, or just build it from scratch? I like to learn and building a bike will undoubtedly teach me lots, but the price of a frame-set seems high when considered as a percentage of the cost of a complete bike. I can ride while I build so time isn't a concern...obviously bike makers get a better deal on parts so I didn't really think I would be saving money, but I am just really surprised that it seems to make more $ sense to just buy complete and switch things out.

Any thoughts? Anyone have experience trying both routes? Good spots to find fair deals on frame-sets? Frame-sets I should be looking at?
Thanks!
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Old 04-08-20, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by QPM View Post
Hi gang. So I bought a low end fixie/singlespeed flipflop. Well, I'm already looking to trade up. Thinking of spending around 1k. Bianchi Pista, Cinelli Pistia, Pinarello Lungavita (a unicorn), new oldstock Jamis Sputnik... these are the types of things catching my eye.

However, the components aren't really super great except a piece here and there. So, do I buy a complete bike knowing I will be switching out parts, or just build it from scratch? I like to learn and building a bike will undoubtedly teach me lots, but the price of a frame-set seems high when considered as a percentage of the cost of a complete bike. I can ride while I build so time isn't a concern...obviously bike makers get a better deal on parts so I didn't really think I would be saving money, but I am just really surprised that it seems to make more $ sense to just buy complete and switch things out.

Any thoughts? Anyone have experience trying both routes? Good spots to find fair deals on frame-sets? Frame-sets I should be looking at?
Thanks!
I've been pondering the same thing. Looking more at the Wabi lineup. Leaning towards the build-up a frame because I'd really like a nice set of wheels on it.
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Old 04-08-20, 12:21 PM
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Building a bike from scratch with $1000 will get you approximately a $500 bike.
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Old 04-09-20, 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
Building a bike from scratch with $1000 will get you approximately a $500 bike.
This is very subjective. If you're careful and buy second hand quality items you can save your $$ but add value to the bike. Maybe finding a nice second hand frame for $200-300 and buying a nice fixie bike locally to swap parts on.

Dura-ace hubs, H+Son rims, Omnium crankset, nitto cockpit bikes pop up fairly often locally and could be negotiated on in price. I'm sure you could find your dream frame while also using second hand quality parts to make a bike that's $1000 for less than $1000. Not to mention a nice fixie bike carries the "hipster" tax and if presented nice will sell for high dollar!
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Old 04-09-20, 05:29 AM
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It is up to every individual what they want to do.

I would buy a complete bike, and not switch parts until something breaks.
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Old 04-09-20, 12:19 PM
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many of the better framesets are not available as a complete.
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Old 04-09-20, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SoccerBallXan View Post
This is very subjective. If you're careful and buy second hand quality items you can save your $$ but add value to the bike. Maybe finding a nice second hand frame for $200-300 and buying a nice fixie bike locally to swap parts on.

Dura-ace hubs, H+Son rims, Omnium crankset, nitto cockpit bikes pop up fairly often locally and could be negotiated on in price. I'm sure you could find your dream frame while also using second hand quality parts to make a bike that's $1000 for less than $1000. Not to mention a nice fixie bike carries the "hipster" tax and if presented nice will sell for high dollar!
You can definitely score some deals if you're very patient, but it can take a long time, and good stuff still isn't going to come cheap most of the time.
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Old 04-09-20, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
You can definitely score some deals if you're very patient, but it can take a long time, and good stuff still isn't going to come cheap most of the time.
I agree. I've found some nice stuff on Craigslist over the years, emphasis years. Maybe some cities are better than others but I haven't found desirable parts at good prices very often.

I'm not a Wabi owner but I've read that their wheels are decent. Maybe Wabi is where you want to go.

If you do end up doing a build, check out Velomine.com for deals.
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Old 04-09-20, 05:13 PM
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You won't be able to build a bike better than a wabi for the price of a wabi, but a wabi is just a decent frame with a bunch of inexpensive yet functional parts. If you get one of those frames you mention, a thousand dollar budget doesn't leave room for a lot of bling.
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Old 04-09-20, 07:18 PM
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Sputnik if you can find the 631 version. Great package, and when bought used the value is high. I have said it before and will do so again: Spicer cycles are a good value if weight is not a huge concern.

Otherwise, try to find the best overall package based on usage. I would look at geometry you like (track, relaxed, etc), then pick frame that can fit at least 28c if not larger. As previously stated, frame up builds will never have the value that a premade bike has.

Pick something and ride it! Then let us know.
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Old 04-11-20, 11:06 AM
  #11  
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I would pretty much for myself always say build from frame up as all my bikes have been built that way. I don't do well with stock it typically is not what I want and what will work well for me. However when building from a frame up you will end up spending more because you are buying one at a time rather than 1k+ at a time so you won't get a discount of scale. What that means is your budget is not going to take you as far as it might on a complete bike.

However the idea of buying a stock bike to swap components is an expensive endeavor unless you can make some money back on what you take off. My Surly Disc Trucker ended up getting less and less stock as time grew on and that is when I said ok time to get a different frame and build a new bike and sell this one. I clearly wanted something more custom and new more or less what I wanted at the time and found Co-Motion who built my frame and then spec'd it how I wanted it. Though honestly wish I had done that with 2020 me and not 2014 me as my wants have changed riding so many other bikes and learning more about my riding and my needs and what is out there but I still love the bike and it has worked out wonderfully.
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Old 04-12-20, 07:08 PM
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I saw I really good deal on new old stock so went ahead and bought a Pinarello Lungavita which should last me a while, swap out parts as needed on the way.

Last edited by QPM; 04-12-20 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 04-12-20, 07:25 PM
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I’m actually dying to get my hands on a Wabi special. But I am so happy with my Iro that I can’t really justify the purchase.
Maybe just the frame-set? I dunno. It’s a pickle...
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Old 04-17-20, 12:00 PM
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I bought 3 new bike in the last 2 years. Just bought a used Medici Pro Strada and trying to decide if I want to replace some missing original parts, or convert it to a single speed.
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Old 04-18-20, 12:32 PM
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"Buy it or build it?" If you have to ask, then just buy it.

My personal preference has generally been buy, ride, learn, modify.

I once built a complete bike from parts, exactly as I thought I wanted it. I then rode it, learned, and modified it anyway.
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Old 04-18-20, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Rage View Post
Iím actually dying to get my hands on a Wabi special. But I am so happy with my Iro that I canít really justify the purchase.
Maybe just the frame-set? I dunno. Itís a pickle...
I am in the same boat. Been eyeing a Wabi Special or Thunder for a while now. It just may be my N+1. LOL

I also decided to restore the Pro Strada since it's just missing a few Campy parts. I'll use Cinelli to replace the quill stem and saddle. Anyone selling the original Medici stem and saddle will want more than I'm willing to spend.
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Old 04-18-20, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by VS3 View Post
I am in the same boat. Been eyeing a Wabi Special or Thunder for a while now. It just may be my N+1. LOL
Letís do it lol!
We deserve it. Weíve been good under lockdown and deserve it!
And the funny thing is, I was looking to blow a bunch of money on a fixed gear freestyle build to keep myself busy while locked down.
The Wabi frame would probably be less than the build and the complete would probably not be much more.

But then I would still need a quarantine project...
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Old 04-18-20, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Rage View Post
Letís do it lol!
We deserve it. Weíve been good under lockdown and deserve it!
And the funny thing is, I was looking to blow a bunch of money on a fixed gear freestyle build to keep myself busy while locked down.
The Wabi frame would probably be less than the build and the complete would probably not be much more.

But then I would still need a quarantine project...
LOL, I'm with you. I already told the wife what I might do with my half of the stimulus money. Stay posted....lol
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Old 04-18-20, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by VS3 View Post
LOL, I'm with you. I already told the wife what I might do with my half of the stimulus money. Stay posted....lol
Hmmm out of my size on the frame sets.
They do have complete bikes in my size, tho.
But new colors arrive early summer...
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Old 04-18-20, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Rage View Post
Hmmm out of my size on the frame sets.
They do have complete bikes in my size, tho.
But new colors arrive early summer...
I'll be going for a complete custom build when I do pull the trigger.
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Old 04-18-20, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by VS3 View Post
I'll be going for a complete custom build when I do pull the trigger.
Why would you tell me that?! Lol
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Old 04-18-20, 05:48 PM
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But would still have to be in the anthracite gray and topaz blue, right?
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Old 04-18-20, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Rage View Post
Why would you tell me that?! Lol
LOL...how could you not? Everything in one swoop. And should there be any issues, it all goes back to them. Their customer service is supposed to be bar none. Richard actually invited me to take the few hours drive to Denver to see the showroom in person once the quarantine is lifted. Gonna be like a kid in a candy store.
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Old 04-22-20, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by VS3 View Post
LOL...how could you not? Everything in one swoop. And should there be any issues, it all goes back to them. Their customer service is supposed to be bar none. Richard actually invited me to take the few hours drive to Denver to see the showroom in person once the quarantine is lifted. Gonna be like a kid in a candy store.
Well, I don't think it was Richard since he left the company about 4 years ago. It was probably me. :-) You are welcome to come by when everything settles down.
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Old 04-22-20, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by wabi_damon View Post
Well, I don't think it was Richard since he left the company about 4 years ago. It was probably me. :-) You are welcome to come by when everything settles down.
My apologies. Looking at the email reply it only say Wabi Support. Richard's name has been mentioned so much on blogs and videos that I assumed incorrectly. As a demonstration of my humility, you can send me one to Grand Junction so I can rep it STRONGLY for you and Wabi Cycles.🤔😏🤪🤣👍💯❤
If not, I'll still gladly make the 5 hour drive!
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