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More expensive to build bike from scratch or buy at shop?nm(13 posts)

More expensive to build bike from scratch or buy at shop?nmstinkfoot247
Jul 29, 2003 7:33 PM
Usually much more $ to build from scratch (nm)Jervis
Jul 29, 2003 8:11 PM
I would have to disagree...CrazyMan
Jul 29, 2003 9:05 PM
If you have time to burn, you can get great deals using ebay, rbr classifieds, and mailorder / online sites, especially overseas options.
I am currently building up 2 bikes and have saved many hundreds of dollars over pre-built options. Plus, you get the choice of components. This does, of course, require some knowledge of what you need.
I'll 2nd thatninelittlepiggies
Jul 29, 2003 9:40 PM
I built up my last bike and it came out substantually cheaper. Like CrazyMan said, you just have to be patient. I compiled stuff from E-Bay and the internet. It took about a month, which was excrutiating, but needed because of the $$$ flow timetable. It is so cool to pick out EVERY part of your bike. You can look at it, and say that you vasilated about each part for at least 3 hours, all the way down to the CF headset spacers.
It dependsLeroy
Jul 30, 2003 4:16 AM
You can shop for the best deals. The real reason to do it is that you get exactly what you want.
Not a chanceterry b
Jul 30, 2003 5:27 AM
if you shop wisely, there is no way it costs more to build it yourself.

I've just finished my 9th home build and I have saved anywhere from $500 to $2000 over prices seen on internet bike dealers. It would've been even more had I bought them from an LBS (assuming of course the LBS here in the provinces would even have such bikes.)

If you buy all your parts from the LBS and then put it together, I imagine you'll pay an arm and a leg more. But if you buy your parts from places like Excel or Wisecyclebuys or Texas Cyclesports, your frame via mailorder or eBay and the rest of the stuff either online or eBay, you will save a bundle.
REAL costs...filtersweep
Jul 30, 2003 5:36 AM
consider this: you can buy your pre-built bike for a deal, but you will lose on any "upgrades." Who wants to buy your old Bontrager stem, or your Coda crank? Last bike I purchased was shop-built. It was much cheaper than I expected- they really wanted to move the frameset and build me a bike. There were no labor costs, and lets face it, there prices of Campy or Shimano parts are practically controlled by a cartel (unless you want to mess with grey-market/used/ebay parts and build it over the winter as each piece trickles in). I purchased mine with no wheels- another way to save money.

In other words, I purchased mine from scratch AT a shop.

BTW- it is funny how all the great frame deals on ebay do NOT include a fork or headset.

Are you looking to build a low, medium, or high end bike?
My experience says whole bike...TFerguson
Jul 30, 2003 5:47 AM
I've bought three and built six from the frame up and would say that, if you shop as carefully for the full bike as the others did for their parts, the full bike is cheaper. My personal experience has shown that if you have to (or want to) change two components after getting the bike, building/buying breaks even.

That said, I build because: If I didn't build it, it's not really "my bike".

Has anyone factored in the cost of YOUR labor??? (nm)Creaky Carnivore
Jul 30, 2003 6:41 AM
you can't put a price on a labor of love (nm)terry b
Jul 30, 2003 7:18 AM
Depends on how well you shoppmf1
Jul 30, 2003 6:45 AM
The one big advantage of building from scratch is that you get everything exactly the way you want it. There's no swapping this or that after you pay for the bike. Sure, some shops may be willing to swap a few items, but a lot of the more mass market bikes (e.g., Trek, Cannondale, Specialized) come with a lot of in-house buils stuff on them. Think a bike shop will swap out some CODA cranks?

I think if you're talking about a real high end bike, its cheaper doing it yourself if you can find deals. In the case of kit bikes such as those sold at Colorado Cyclist, you'd be hard pressed to do any better -- assuming you are willing to live with what they spec on the bike.

The last two bikes I've bought, I went the build it yourself route. In each case I got what I considered to be a good deal on the frame ($1600 for a 1999 Litespeed Ultimate + Look HSC2 fork on closeout in early 2000 and $2500 for a C-40 from a bike shop in Tuscany where I was on vacation). Instead of buying a complete component kit, it was actually cheaper to get the components separately (most came from Performance where I get 10% off, others were from Excel). Since I had lots of wheels and cassettes, I didn't need hubs and that real useful 11-21 cassette you get with a kit. Same with the worthless threaded headset. Other parts (saddles, pedals, posts) I bought here and there.

I ended up doing the Litespeed for around $2800 (without wheels) and the C-40 for around $3600 (without wheels).
If you know exactly what you need to build it right.......MR_GRUMPY
Jul 30, 2003 7:07 AM
You can save a ton of money. If you can't do most of the work yourself, you'll end up in the red.
If you can't get a "deal" on the frame, fork, and parts, you might as well get the whole thing from a very good shop.
If you don't know how to "Fit" tourself well, you're going to end up with a crappy fitting bike.
More expensive to build.lemmy999
Jul 30, 2003 8:24 AM
My wife was getting a 2002 Quantum Race in 12/02. It was on sale for $1700 including tax. I then got on the classified and looked for used Quantum Race frames. I found one that had the headset, fork, bottom bracket, fr. der., seatpost and crank. I looked all over the web for best prices on new or used ultegra components. It ended up being nearly the same costs. Here are the costs:

Build cost:
New Components: $1017 (this included shipping)
Used Frame: $700

Brand new bike: $1700 (with warranty)

I found a 56cm complete bike(not the size I needed) on ebay for $1400, and a 54cm for $1500. Sure I could have gotten some used components or gotten lucky on ebay and saved maybe $200. But I have noticed things go for more on ebay than I can buy them at the right online retailer. And I would have still had a used frame. The cheapest used Klein Quantum frame (of any size) that I found was $450 but it didn't have the BB, crank, seatpost or fr. deraileur Also, if you bargain hunt and buy each component from a different place, then your shipping costs go up. I got my component prices from 3 different places (supergo, lickton, performance) to save on on shipping and all of the stuff was on sale at the time. However I looked at many other online places to get the best deal I could find at the time.