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Built up or frame and fork(10 posts)

Built up or frame and forkfixedgearhead
Dec 13, 2002 9:41 AM
This subject came up in another post. What is the consensus of how you acquire your bikes. Do you buy one already built up or do you buy components and seperate frame and forks and then build, or have built , them up. I thought that regular Road /Multi Types and Dirt Types probably bought what was available from the dealer off the floor and maybe swapped out or up graded components then or later. I suggested that this group probably built up their own after buying seperate frame/fork/components but I would have no way of confirming that without asking the question. It just seems that ,from the posts, a great many people here are comfortable with building up their own stuff. What say you.

I prefer framesets..Dave Hickey
Dec 13, 2002 9:49 AM
I'd rather build the bike myself. Even if I buy a complete bike, I still strip it down and add my own components.
re: Built up or frame and forkfixedgearhead
Dec 13, 2002 9:56 AM
I too build up all my bikes. I haven't bought a built up bike for 20+ years.

Complete bike for the price, frameset for the ride.MB1
Dec 13, 2002 10:20 AM
If we just want a beater we will buy a complete bike. The values in a complete bike are amazing.

We are picky enough though so we usually just get the frameset and build it up the way we want. It must cost us at least 1/3 more to do it this way than if we could find exactly what we want off the rack.
Prefer to build upmadstork
Dec 13, 2002 10:50 AM
I enjoy the process of picking out the parts and putting the bike together. But if a good deal on a complete bike is available, I'll go for that. Can always tinker with upgrades later.
re: Built up or frame and forkDad Man Walking
Dec 13, 2002 11:30 AM
I converted an old road frame, so "build up" was the only way to go. My LBS did the work for me. We salvaged everything that was still in working order, and built up a new rear wheel with a Phil track hub. The only parts I had to buy besides the rear wheel was a new HS, and other "consumables" like bar tape, bearings, and the like.
re: Built up or frame and forkLC
Dec 13, 2002 3:08 PM
Taking an old frame that is destined for the dump and bringing back to life with new paint and modern components make me feel just like Dr. Frankenstein! The more work you put into building up the bike, the greater satisfaction you get riding it and the more knowledge you will have when you have to adjust or repair it. Customizing it helps it look and feel just right for the most important!
Not really sure what to do...zmarke
Dec 13, 2002 2:15 PM
This has been my main question for a few weeks since I have never had a single speed or fixed gear bike. Also, it is difficult to find a frame or complete bike since I need something with a longer than usual top tube. I am trying to build a multi-purpose bike that I can use to run errands in NYC and as a winter bike to keep in shape. My current options are:

1) I have been acquiring parts via trading or purchase on eBay at fair prices. These will then be put on either a Surly Steamroller or Urbanite Fixed ( but by the time you add everything up it can become very expensive.

2) Based on the cost of number 1, it seems less expensive to purchase a Fuji Track bike or the KHS Track bike and just add the brakes although there would not be room for fenders like you have on the Surly or braze-ons for a rear rack and fenders on the Urbanite Fixed. But, the Fuji is really nice this year both in color and parts selection which makes it a great value.

3) I realized that my younger brother has an 80s era Motobecane with nice long horizontal drops. It even has the old style attached derailleur hanger which can be removed without changing the drop in any way. The problem is that it has 27" wheels, singe pivot long reach brakes, cheap heavy cranks, is very heavy, and I think the Miche hubs cannot accept a Shimano BMX freewheel which means I would need to build a new rear wheel. Although it does have the rear brake cable routed through the top tube and it does not have downtube shift bosses since the original shifters were attached to the stem which both add to the "cool" factor .

What to do, what to do, for my first singlespeed/fixed...
Not really sure what to do...fixedgearhead
Dec 13, 2002 4:01 PM
I don't understand your concern about the Miche hubs. I run a Shimono freewheel on one of my wifes bikes with Miche track hubs and it works fine. I think for your first project you should use the Motobecane. You can probably use 700 cc wheels with the frame and long reach brakes. They are available from Sheldon Brown at Harris cyclery and are not expensive. They also have Sora Cranks which are 130 size and 165 length and are also very reasonable. It will cost you some money to get it up and running but you will have a bike that is usable for the purpose you stated. On the other hand, the purchase of a complete bike gets the job done right away with little hassle. I bet that if you go that way you will be chainging out parts in the near future to correct some percieved deficiency which will make the bike that much more expensive in the long run. The Motobecane probably has a more relaxed geometry than either of the bikes you mentioned as other options. It would be more suitable for relaxed riding such as commuting. You just pays your money and makes your choice. The important thing is not agonize and to do it. In the long run either approach will work.

Home built when possibleTig
Dec 13, 2002 7:06 PM
Only rarely have I bought a bike already built up within the last 12 years. I like to build them from scratch if possible. I rarely like what the parts prebuilt bike comes with across the board. The ones I do like are way out of my price range! Since I'll spend plenty of time riding on a bike, I like it to be set up and equipped with whatever I can aford, like, and works well with the bike's character. My current fixte was done on a tight budget, so I had to make do with what I had or could get at a good price on eBay and the LBS. It turned out pretty well considering.

If money was no object, I'd build a fixed starting with a fine track frame like this Merckx (although I'm not crazy about the blue paint). Phil Wood hubs or maybe Record woulr be nice, as would a record pista crank. DuraAce would be a cool high end option as well. Ah, dreaming is nice, but riding is better!!!