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Newbie Q: How to buy a "frame only" bike(6 posts)

Newbie Q: How to buy a "frame only" bikepitt83
May 8, 2003 9:24 AM
OK, I did just this based on opinion only; I decided to buy a LOOK KG461 since it was in my price range, made from carbon, good reputation, esoteric, and the geometry should fit my measurements. I got lucky; I love my bike.

Yet, everyone always says to "ride and compare". How is this possible? You're LBS doesn't have every frame in every size with every group and certainly isn't going to build up a frame to have you say, "don't like it, thanks" and walk out the door.

How should you pick a frame?
re: Newbie Q: How to buy a "frame only" bikesievers11
May 8, 2003 9:39 AM
First of all, nice choice...that is a sweet frame.

Second, almost any bike is going to be great as long as the geometry and component sizing are correct. This is almost impossible to do with a stock bike...so you are well on your way to the best ride of your life.

I was lucky, I searched around a ton and found a great inexpensive bike that every component matched my size perfectly. One regret, I would like 73 and not 74 on my seat post angle. no biggie, but I will watch that for my next ride.

You have found the delema of fitting a bike...you can't test a bike, but you can get testimonials from other who have ridden the bikes that you desire. This site is a good place to start, but I think actually talking to people in person on a local century or tour are a better place.

First, choose a material (steel, carbon, al, ti...mix)
Second, find one that matches your body size...wrench science.com and/or airborne.net are a good place to start.
Third, get components that work for your size...corect crank arm lenght, Q-factor, stem lenght, seat post, saddle.
Fourth, get comonents that fit your ridding style...cassette, handle bar, peddles, wheels.

Now, put it together and start tweaking...it will take 2-3 years and/or 4,000 miles.

or call up seven cycles, independent fabrications or steelman cycles and prepare to be placed on the perfect ride with out the headache.

meh?
10 bikes - Zero road teststerry b
May 8, 2003 10:00 AM
all bought on line.

If you know what you need in terms of sizing, and you're willing to do a lot of reading and research, buying one sight unseen is a pretty low risk proposition. I've got one or more in just about every material and they all ride very well. In fact, so well that I've developed the opinion that beyond a certain price point they all ride about the same regardless of materials. Sure, there are subtle differences but (for me) none so much that they change the riding experience significantly.

If the bike is well designed, well built and suited to your body, it will probably work out just fine.
... agreed...Akirasho
May 8, 2003 1:11 PM
... I've got a lot of bikes, and all but the first 3 (not counting a Bianchi Milano) and a P2K were bought as frame or frameset.

While not necessarily cost effective, such allows you a bit more leeway on the gruppo and other components.

True, it takes a bit of homework and perhaps experience to get a ballpark on what will and will not work for you, but you're most likely to be happy with your overall package (after all, the vast majority of test rides are quick zips around a parking lot on a frame that's probably been adjusted a bit to "fit" until you commit to buy the correct size).

My latest acquisitions were a CAAD5 and Klein Q Pro Carbon Team... both bought as framesets... both quite... schweeeet.

Be the bike.
your very first?wielerpret
May 9, 2003 1:20 AM
Much depends on your commitment and budget. It will be a shame if you invest in an expensive carbon frame with first class components to find out after some time that cycling isn't quite what you had hoped it would be, you're too busy or that you ride it for 500 kms a year only.. (Small chance, o.k.)
I greatly enjoyed my 25 year old Peugeot. Although it weighed a ton and had only 2 x 6 gears, it handled so well that this didn't bother me at all. Fond memories. There are plenty fine affordable steel bikes around. These can be tried out and after a year or two you are likely to have discovered exactly what dreambike you want. So to conclude, I advise patience to every newbie. Good luck. Luke. Amsterdam. www.iwaarden.com
No, first time Frame onlypitt83
May 9, 2003 4:40 AM
I have the fever, believe me. Been a roadie since 1980. This is my first frame only after buying complete bikes which you could actually ride to check.

I did fine; I love the frame. I just don't understand the prevalent opinion about "ride it and see" on this board. That's often not possible.

A LBS (who no one uses anyway) once told me to pay for a Marin sight unseen and I would be taking it. That's the only way he'd order the bike for me to look at.