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What parts can I $kimp on?

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What parts can I $kimp on?

Old 10-18-14, 05:20 PM
  #1  
cbank35
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What parts can I $kimp on?

I'll be commuting around SF and want to build my own bike pretty soon. It will be a single-speed/fixed gear. My question is, which parts should I put more money into and which parts can I skimp on?

Right now I'm thinking of putting a decent amount of money into:
  • a frameset
  • rims (CXP22) / tires (Gatorskins or Thick Slicks)
  • brakes (for single speed riding)
I'm planning to buy the rest of these parts used or go for the cheap versions:
  • seat
  • seat post
  • handle bars
  • stem
  • bottom bracket
  • crankset
  • pedals
  • etc
I'm still on the fence about hubs.
How does this sound to you guys? I wanted to get the most bang for my buck with the money I've allocated. Again, I don't care that much about performance as this is basically for leisure / commuting.
Thx!
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Old 10-18-14, 05:26 PM
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I wouldn't skimp on the saddle. A good one will last a long time and make your rides much more enjoyable. That said, there are some good cheaper ones out there. For hubs, any budget-friendly sealed bearing hub like Formula or Novatec should be more than fine enough.
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Old 10-18-14, 05:31 PM
  #3  
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Skimp on seat post, handle bars, stem, pedals. Just a little weight gain. Assuming flat pedals? Use better shoes. Used components? How about converting an old road bike frame? That should save you $$ and get an excellent frame to boot.
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Old 10-18-14, 06:27 PM
  #4  
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Don't skimp on anything.
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Old 10-18-14, 08:19 PM
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Of course, the best situation is to just not skimp on anything. But thats not always possible. Keep in mind even if you cash out on something nice, it will always be better than your car insurance bill/cost of gas.

That being said, its okay to skimp on seatpost, stem, handlebars, chainring, cog(when buying used cogs and chainrings, check for worn teeth), pedals. Don't skimp on the frame, but you can definitely find great deals. Get a decent crankset, but you dont need to get a high end one, like njs cranksets. You don't need to get high end wheelsets. (Although CXP22 can be considered skimping out in someones else's eyes). What you shouldn't skimp out on is tension and truing services.

Things you should definately not skimp on, for sure: saddle, handlebar tape, wheelset tension and truing services. Probably more, but these off the top of my head.

Last edited by Bakersb; 10-18-14 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 10-18-14, 09:44 PM
  #6  
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I wouldn't even build up wheels. There are a lot of cheap but good quality wheelsets out there for a couple hundred, or less.
Some sealed Formula hubs, like Seau G said.
Also, all the components, cheaper ones are strong and you are just giving up finish and weight for the most part.

As long as you have a good frameset, and saddle, and good bike fit- everything else can be had for very little and function very well.

I would spend just a bit on the crankset and get one with 1-1/8 chainring and get a sealed bottom bracket.

So you are looking at maybe the $50-70 zone for crankset? Not sure on prices for that.
The cheapest ss crankset I have is a Sugino RD2 and I love that. I would recommend it if you decide to buck up for this part.
But, I even got a cheap Origin 8 sealed bb for $10 new and it's been good for a few years now.

Get a sealed headset, but again, even the decent quality ones are cheap.
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Old 10-18-14, 09:55 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by cbank35 View Post
I'll be commuting around SF and want to build my own bike pretty soon. It will be a single-speed/fixed gear. My question is, which parts should I put more money into and which parts can I skimp on?
I'd ether convert (or just never shift) a cheap old Japanize 10 speed (buying NO pricey items) or I'd buy a big box store cheapie. Ether way.... you will be riding in a major American city where cycling is popular. A desirable, or pricey bicycle can be difficult to retain ownership of. They can vanish in a minute.
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Old 10-18-14, 10:07 PM
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Just buy a complete off bikesdirect... why do it yourself when somebody already did it for you?
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Old 10-18-14, 10:14 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Leukybear View Post
Just buy a complete off bikesdirect... why do it yourself when somebody already did it for you?
If you are on an extreme budget, then I agree with this -- DIY is not going to be able to beat BD's economies of scale.
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Old 10-19-14, 12:45 AM
  #10  
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Agreed, really. Al' a Carte means $$$.

Buy a BD bike piece by piece, and you'll spend $100 more. Just an off-the-top guess, but wouldn't surprise me.
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Old 10-19-14, 01:26 AM
  #11  
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I build my own bikes for friends and family too and usually use Nova tech sealed hubs and they work just fine! Not too much maintenance required which is perfect for those guys that just need to go and can't waste time opening up. might be a taiwanese brand but i think it works well and is price conscious. good luck
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Old 10-19-14, 01:53 AM
  #12  
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buy used gear, but dont skimp on points of contact. wheels/tires, saddle, handlebars/tape. crank/pedals....

well, pretty much everything....
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Old 10-19-14, 05:37 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
Don't skimp on anything.
Exactly, dont skimp on anything. You dont have to buy super high end like all dura ace or campagnelo but there is a middle ground for parts.
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Old 10-19-14, 05:50 AM
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The derailleurs and shifters,
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Old 10-19-14, 07:05 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by GENESTARWIND View Post
You dont have to buy super high end like all dura ace or campagnelo but there is a middle ground for parts.
Generally, the second from top component group from any given manufacturer tends to be a good value.
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Old 10-19-14, 10:30 AM
  #16  
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Skimp on the saddle and still get a great saddle and buy a Charge spoon.
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Old 10-19-14, 10:42 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by inCOGneto View Post
Skimp on the saddle and still get a great saddle and buy a Charge spoon.
Exactly what I was about to post, best saddle in the budget range by a long shot.
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Old 10-19-14, 01:10 PM
  #18  
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The Spoon is a great value, and I liked mine a lot until it got swiped. Also, for pedals, MKS makes lots of good stuff at a reasonable pricepoint.
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Old 10-20-14, 05:52 AM
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I don't care much for brand name valve caps.
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Old 10-20-14, 02:25 PM
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Even cheap wheelsets that are true and have even spoke tension and hubs that get some love now and then will last a long time. Same for brakes; set them up properly and use good pads.

I built a nice singlespeed for my wife using a $25 Peugeot mixte frame. I used Mavic Open Sport rims and Formula hubs; could've spent more time looking for a cheaper used wheelset but got impatient. Brake levers were some used Dia-Compe's I got dirt cheap. And the brakes are old Weinmann centerpulls I got from another project bike.
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Old 10-20-14, 06:45 PM
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Skimping is fo' suckaz. Gotta be about that CREAM life, son. Cash Rules Everything Around Me CREAM it's da money dolla dolla bill ya'll.

Clearly you haven't been through the 36 Chambers University so here are just a tiny few important lessons:
Wu-Tang is for the children. whom they teach.
They are not to be fu˘ked with and you best protect ya neck
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Old 10-20-14, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Skimping is fo' suckaz. Gotta be about that CREAM life, son. Cash Rules Everything Around Me CREAM it's da money dolla dolla bill ya'll.

Clearly you haven't been through the 36 Chambers University so here are just a tiny few important lessons:
Wu-Tang is for the children. whom they teach.
They are not to be fu˘ked with and you best protect ya neck
I lol'd
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Old 10-20-14, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Skimping is fo' suckaz. Gotta be about that CREAM life, son. Cash Rules Everything Around Me CREAM it's da money dolla dolla bill ya'll.

Clearly you haven't been through the 36 Chambers University so here are just a tiny few important lessons:
Wu-Tang is for the children. whom they teach.
They are not to be fu˘ked with and you best protect ya neck
Diversify yo' bonds.
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Old 10-20-14, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by tomatsu View Post
Diversify yo' bonds.
One of the best sketches
For all the chilrens who were too young for that show or if you just want to watch it again and again (ah yeah):
Wu-Tang Financial - Uncensored - Video Clip | Comedy Central
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Old 10-20-14, 08:03 PM
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If by "skimp", you mean buying lower end/generic, then you can get functional budget components for parts that don't really increase performance or durability a significant amount, especially if weight isn't a prime concern of yours.

High end last gen/used parts are a great balance of mid range price and very good performance (or bling).

  • seat < go affordable but right for you, a small price to pay for much more comfort
  • seat post < Go ahead and skimp
  • handle bars < Go ahead and skimp
  • stem < Go ahead and skimp
  • bottom bracket < go mid-range. Bottom shelf BB's are not worth the headache when they start to creak and grind months later
  • crankset < go mid-range
  • pedals < go mid-range, unless you're planning to use platforms, then just skimp (metal not plastic)
  • etc

Heck you could even skimp on brake levers and calipers, money spent on them have only marginal increase in performance. Unless you're racing even a cheap $50 pair of calipers and $25 levers will do you fine. Just get good pads.
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