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New Frame or New Bike(3 posts)

New Frame or New BikeJELLIOT1
Nov 15, 2003 4:33 PM
I am considering buying a good Aluminum frame and taking all the parts from my current road bike and putting them on the new frame. My objectives are to improve the quality of my ride, make it lighter, and save money.

My current bike is a Tiagra set-up.
I believe after I buy a frame, carbon fork, and pay my LBS for the rebuild it will cost 400-500. Over time I will upgrade parts and hope to have Ultegra set up within 1-2 years.

Here are my questions:

Is this a good idea or should I justg go out and buy a new bike?

Will my LBS be able to transfer everything to the new frame assuming it is shimano friendly?
re: New Frame or New Biketorquecal
Nov 15, 2003 5:27 PM
"Will my LBS be able to transfer everything to the new frame assuming it is shimano friendly?"

Assuming that both frames are made for 700 wheels, and the same bottom bracket thread, and the seat tubes are the same inside diameter, and both forks have the same diameter steerer...

Then the only issue would be headset. Does your current frame have an integrated headset? Is it 1" or 1 1/8"? If you had to buy a new headset expect that to cost anywhere from $30 to $110 USD depending on how fancy you want to get.

Personally, as long as my current frame fit, I wouldn't do it. I'd keep saving until I could afford an Ultegra equipped bike pre assembled. Take a look at some of the end of season sales at the online sellers like Performance, you might be surprised just how low some of the ultegra/aluminum setups are going for. I think I even saw an Ultegra equipped Litespeed for about $1100.
re: New Frame or New Bikerussw19
Nov 15, 2003 7:35 PM
I would get the full bike. I have done this in the past before.. exactly what you are talking about. It never quite works out the way you should expect it to. There is no guarantee (and in fact good ol' Murphy's Law says it won't) that your bottom bracket and headset will work. Then there is the seatpost diameter, front derailleur being braze on (not likely anymore, esp. with aluminium frames) and issues like that. Then of course you are putting used parts on. You will need new cables and housing anyways. You are most likely going to have to retape you bars. It's all small stuff, but it adds up. Before you know you have added $100 to your frame and fork cost.. and you are a long ways to your new bike.

Also, if you ever try to piece together a bike (outside of very top end bikes) you will always come out more expensive than just saving up until you can afford the whole bike up front. Bike manufacturers pay what's called "OEM" pricing for the parts they put on. It's lower than a shop's wholesale and so it costs less for the bike company to buy the part than the shop you buy it from. So the bike complete will cost less than if you bought all the parts yourself. And if you get a complete bike you have 2 other big advantages for you. One is that you know that every part on there is the right size (seat post, bottom bracket... that sort of thing) and two is that you now have a 2nd bike complete and in tact to sell to help offset the extra you spent to get a new bike. If you part out your old bike, you can't sell it as a complete bike. It's easier to just sell your old bike as used and get a new one as a full bike, and cheaper too.

Now the other side of this is that if you piece it all together yourself you can build up a bike with the parts you like best, not what's best for a product supervisor for the company you are buying a bike from likes best. You get to pick what bar and stem you like and what seat and post you want... you get a fully custom bike, even if you pick an off the shelf frame and fork. So that's the argument for buying the frame and doing it that way. But I still think in the long run, you are better off buying a complete bike instead.