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Building a custom ti bike, want advice on components(19 posts)

Building a custom ti bike, want advice on componentswjtm
Feb 28, 2003 1:40 PM
I am splurging and going to buy a custom ti frame, probably a Seven for about $2000. Please don't give comments about the frame or "a different frame I should get for the money" - that's a discussion that will have no end.

Instead, I hope someone who has built a good bike recently and has paid some attention to cost/benefit (weight) of components and can give me advice. I'm not going for a "money is no object bike." Instead, I'm going for a nice reasonably high-priced bike (maybe $2k on frame and $2.5k on components?). Essentially, where do I spend my money? Is the extra $350 worth it for Dura Ace over Ultegra, or should I spend the money on Ksyrium SSC's instead (or should I save the money and get Shimano wheels... you see what I'm getting at). Is a fancy carbon fork and Seven stem worth over $600?? I've got to believe there is something that is almost as high-quality but half the price.

Thanks for the advice in advance.
campy only...C-40
Feb 28, 2003 2:11 PM
Might as well start this out right. With shimano changing to 10 speed next year, it would be a mistake to invest in soon-to-be-outdated 9 speed DuraAce.

Take the plunge and get Chorus or Record 10 speed. For the price of DuraAce, you can get Chorus with a Record crank and Record carbon ergo levers. Personally, I'd go all the way to Record and skip the Ksyriums, if you're on a budget. A complete Record build kit can be had for well under $2K if you stick with Mavic open-pro rims.

If you buy from a euro source like you can get a complete Record 10 speed build kit with Ksyriums for about $2K.
campy only...altidude
Feb 28, 2003 2:40 PM
I know, I know!..C-40
Feb 28, 2003 2:55 PM
You can save 60-70 grams with a DA crank and BB and another 60 grams with DiaCompe BRS-200SL brakes.

Who needs 10 speeds? 9 is good enough.

Double yawn.
re: Building a custom ti bike, want advice on componentsFez
Feb 28, 2003 3:50 PM
I didn't know you could get a custom Seven Ti frame for that cheap! Is it new or used?

Anyway, plenty of Sevens with the Reynolds Ouzo Pro. You can't really go wrong with that one. Sure you can spend more on an Alpha Q or a WoundUp, but I've never been a big fan of the WoundUp. And plenty of folks with Serottas get that really pricey F fork and paint it, but if you're on a budget, an unpainted Ouzo is hard to beat.

A Ti Seven stem is just about the last thing I would get if I was on a budget. It does look good, but there are tons of lighter and stiffer choices out there in a stem.

Tons of discussions on wheels if you search the archives. But you can't go wrong with Open Pros and a good hub.
re: Building a custom ti bike, want advice on componentsibhim
Feb 28, 2003 8:25 PM
I feel your pain as I went through the same..but with Airborne. Seven, while excellent, wasn't on my short list because I thought they also subscribed to Lightspeed and Mervin's marketing insanity - no frame sales, just full bikes with LBS custom builds. But enough of the soapbox.

As far as wight goes when spec'ing a bike, use airborne's web site as it adds the weight of different components, then manually adjust for the wieght difference between Airborne's frame and Seven's.

I found it was cheaper ($700 record, $500 chorus) to personally build than order identical spec. Both shimano's were almost a toss-up for build vs order full. Favorite web sites for most parts were TotalCycling, Glorycycles, and Wisecycle. Note, Wisecycle is free shipping. All three consistently had lower prices than the major mailorder firms. I did an excel spreadsheet of the components and compared.

Example: Groupset less hubs and stems; (Wisecycle prices) Record 999, DA 775, Chorus 699, and integra 525. For quality vs budget, chorus is the value leader and competitively priced Totalcycling will let you upgrade some components to Record still be below the DA price!

On forks, Wisecycle was $50 cheaper than Airborne for both Ouzo pro and Alpha Q at 299 and 349. Personally, I would lean towards the Ouzo Pro.

Good luck.
Seven framesmcteague
Mar 1, 2003 6:24 AM
Posted by: ibhim Feb-28-03, 08:25 PM

I feel your pain as I went through the same..but with Airborne. Seven, while excellent, wasn't on my short list because I thought they also subscribed to Lightspeed and Mervin's marketing insanity - no frame sales, just full bikes with LBS custom builds. But enough of the soapbox.

Seven sells frames only. I bought one this fall. Who are Lightspeed and Mervin? Knockoffs of Litespeed and Merlin? I hear Rollex watches and Sorny TVs are good also.

re: Building a custom ti bike, want advice on componentsslide
Feb 28, 2003 9:14 PM
You don't mention Campy at all in your post. Any reason? If you havn't thought about it or tried it I would suggest you do. I was running Ultegra and switched over to Chorus/Centaur and am loving it. I've always like the feel of Campy hoods better, plut the cable routing is just so much cleaner. Now that I have owned both, I don't think I would ever go back to Shimano. It's all just personal preference, but if you havn't checked Campy out you should. If I were in your position and wanted really high quality, but not to the extreme on price I would build the bike up with a nice carbon fork (there are a fair number of them out there), a Campy Chorus groupo with Open Pro rims and your preference for the bar/stem/pedals etc. I don't know how much a Seven stem is, but if it's very expensive I would probably skip it, though I'm sure it's pretty nice.
Thanks to the people who offered opinionswjtm
Mar 1, 2003 1:19 PM
I still welcome more info, but want to say thank you to the people who have written so far. In particular to guy with the Airborne w/Reynolds fork: thanks for the insight. I'll probably go with a fork like that.

Regarding a couple of points raised:
Seven makes a straight-tube road frame, called the Alaris, that goes for $2000. I am reasonably big, so this would probably be my choice.

As for Campy vs. Shimano: Quite honestly I think they're both great, and I'm sure I'd love whatever I got. However, I already am familiar with Shimano stuff (have older Ultegra/600 on my Klein and have a couple of mountain bikes) and think that replacement parts might be easier to come by. Stick with what you got unless compelled to change, right?

Where I'm at now:
Probably a 7 road frame with full Ultegra, Ksyrium SSC wheels (hey they look cool too), Ouzo fork, no-name but light handlebars, and an old Specialized seat that fits my rump.

I know this has probably been answered elsewhere, but is it easy enought to build my own bike? I've serviced my bikes for years, adjusting components, removing cranks, etc. But won't I need exotic headset and bottom bracket tools? And I'm almost embarassed to ask my shop, but is it ok for me to buy the frame and components, and then ask my shop to assemble the hard stuff for me (like the bottom bracket and headset)?

Thanks again
Thanks to the people who offered opinionsslide
Mar 1, 2003 4:40 PM
I currently work in a bike shop as a sales guy but I spent over 4 years as a mechanic as well. If you know how to adjust your shifting, brakes, etc then that part of the assembly shouldn't be too hard. The headset and bottom bracket will require some tools that you probably wont have (bottom bracket tool, torque wrench, headset press, possibly a facing tool) so that is best to let a experienced shop mechanic with the right tools handle. Frankly, some shops don't like it when people bring in stuff they bought elsewhere (though they will almost always work on it, they'll just give you some attitude) others are great and don't mind a bit. Hopefully you can find a good shop who will be happy to help you out.
Upgrading wheels vs. upgrading componentsBonked
Mar 1, 2003 3:50 PM
I recently bought a new bike myself and went through the same questions about components. Luckily, it took forever for my frame to arrive :( so I had plenty of time to think about this!

I had a relative give me some money for a present, enough to upgrade either my wheels or group set. I went back and forth over which to upgrade and thought I would get the wheels for a long time because they would save the most weight. However, I finally decided, and am glad I did, to upgrade the components instead. My thinking was (and still is) that I can save up and buy a nice set of race wheels next year and I will then have good components, racing wheels and training wheels. However, if I upgraded the wheels, what would I have in a year when I had some more $? A racing component set?! This way I will eventually have the best of everything instead of an extra set of components and only one set of wheels.

Good luck and enjoy your new ride!
Upgrading wheels vs. upgrading componentsrogue_CT1
Mar 1, 2003 7:46 PM
Good advice from bonked. If you are set on Shimano then go DA. I would recommend Record with a King headset. The Reynolds fork is the way to go there. Then I would say a 3T Zepp XL stem (140 grams) and XL bar (215 grams). you can get a great price on both right now from Excel sports. If you really want something different try the CarbonLord carbon fiber cranks. They are essentially FSA Pro-Race (carbon arms and alloy spider 574 grams w/rings) for $200. They also have a lifetime warranty and 1 free crash replacement. I've got to say, the Ksyrium SL's are a great choice too. A guy on my team just built up a 7 with some of the same components and it looks pretty sharp.
You're going to wantLeroy
Mar 1, 2003 9:18 PM
full record for that kind of bike. If you have to go with DA, wait until their 10 speed comes out and get 9 speed on sale,
Record 10!russw19
Mar 1, 2003 10:11 PM
I just built my dream bike a few weeks ago. I got hold of a never riden Pinarello Paris that was built for a sprinter on the Banesto team. I built it as follows.
King headset - best on the market, why choose anything else
Deda Newton Stem, Magic bar - I like the deeper drop of the Magic over the Newton and it's only 20 grams heavier.
Record Carbon 10 Shifter/Brake Levers
Record Carbon 10 Rear derail.
Record 10 front derail
I have a set of Cat Claw brakes on order, but for now I am using my Dura Ace brakes until they arrive.
FSA Carbon Pro crank and Platinum Pro BB.
Moots Ti post
Avocet Air40 saddle
Look CX-7 pedals
As for wheels, I have 4 sets, but most are Shimano compatible. So I have 3 American Classic 10 speed cassettes that fit the Shimano freehub. That way I didn't have to sell my old wheels.
I run a Connex Stainless Chain (for compatibility with my cassettes) and IRD Metawire cables and housing.
My wheels are: 1 set of American Classic 420's (haven't riden yet though) 1 set of Cane Creek Aerohead Team Ti's (the best wheels I have ever riden so far) 1 set of Dura-Ace hubs, Open Pro rims, and 1 set of Chris King Hubs, IRD rims, Ti Bladed Spokes (nice everyday wheels)

That's my set up. And I think riding the bike is almost as fun as building it. But I work in a shop and paid EP for all this, so it didn't cost as much as what you would think.

Hey Russ!!!!!!!!rogue_CT1
Mar 2, 2003 12:49 PM
Where did you order the Cat Claw brakes? What was the cost? Please, Please write a review when you get them. I for one would be interested in hearing about them.
Hey Russ!!!!!!!!russw19
Mar 2, 2003 9:18 PM
They are on order.. don't have them yet. I will be sure to write a review on them when I get them. I ordered direct from the company. They are out of Atlanta if I remember right. I work in a shop and so I had to send them my shop's tax ID number and a copy of our yellow pages add. I faxed my info in along with my credit card info and told them to ship me a pair when they are ready. Should be soon. I didn't talk to them on the phone, so I wasn't quoted a price. I didn't care, I want a set of those to see how nice they are. I think they retail for about $380 a pair, so I expect to pay about $200 if markup is standard. They haven't hit my CC yet, so I don't know for sure. When I asked them for a dealer info package, they told me they would be shipping brakes around the middle to end of march. So I will let you know when I see mine.

Hey Russ!!!!!!!!rogue_CT1
Mar 3, 2003 7:22 PM
Cool I'll be looking forward to hearing about them.
Mar 3, 2003 8:37 AM
Id go with top of line components--Shimano or Campy, whichever you like better. But get Dura Ace or Record, because the return on the investment is higher. Then Id suggest a nice 300 dollar wheel set mavic open pro with good hubs.

You can upgrade your wheels later (or not) and then use the open pros as your training set.

I'd want to match a top quality frame with similar grade components if I were you...and the Open Pro/dura ace wheel is actually top of line too, and a few hundred bucks cheaper than the Mavis Ks SSCs.

Regarding your question about the Seven fork and stem, they are super nice but you can purchase comparable product a lot cheaper from any shop or warehouse...assuming you dont want to go crazy on your budget you can save a couple hundred bucks there...

The KVS web site has nice all inclusive build packages --both Shimano and Campy--which are the best deal Ive seen, and the owner will work with you to get the best bang for the buck.

Have fun, the Seven is a nice frame
Oops thats GVHwillin
Mar 3, 2003 8:44 AM
Sorry, the web site is GVH.

Full build sets Shimano DA 1295, Campy Record 10 speed 1595

With Mavic Open Pro rims

Take care