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Building a Bike(5 posts)

Building a Bikesuperdreadnought
Aug 10, 2003 2:50 PM
How hard is it to build a bike? I have a frame for a cyclocross bike, but need the rest of the bike, and, of course, money is always short. I keep eyeing the Shimano 105 Comp Cyclocross Kit on cyclocrossworld.com, only $799.99. It seems to have everything I would need. I plan to try my hand at cyclocross racing this fall, and want to see if I can put this thing together and not have to race with the MTB.

Therefore, what might I be able to do my self (basic tools, and basic knowledge), and what might I need to have a shop do? I do have a bike work stand, and a basement.

Is there anything (aside from pedals) that does not come with the kit, I have just the frame and fork. Just want to make sure I am not missing something that would be obvious to anyone with more experience.
Just do it!Spoke Wrench
Aug 10, 2003 3:07 PM
I say just jump in and do it. If you worry too much about it, you'll make this project so hard that nobody could do it. Worst case, you'll screw something up and have to buy a new stem or shift cable or something. You'll hate having to do that, but you'll get smarter in the process. More likely you'll find it goes together just fine.

No matter what you do, when you get done some lout will tell you that your stem is too high or your handlebar tape is on wrong or your tires are the wrong color. I'm only telling you this so that you'll be prepared when it happens. The proper response only takes two words.
Not hard but cheaper to buy usedJTS628
Aug 10, 2003 4:41 PM
Building a bike is not very hard and a load of fun, but unless you have parts and are changing frames, it's almost always easier to buy a used bike. Even if you buy a bike for parts, you'll be under the 799 kit price.

Examples: I just bought a boutique 'cross bike with XTR, King, etc. for $500 on Ebay. I also found a guy selling a bike with crap frame with full 600 STI, e-mailed him to see if he wanted to end the auction early, and bought everthing but the frame for $200 shipped. I now have a ton of spares.

If $ isn't too big a concern, get the kit. Otherwise, check Ebay and the classifieds here and see if you can't get a deal. I see lots of complete bikes in the $6-700 range (Jakes, Poprads, etc.). Even if you use your own frame, you'll save a few bucks by just swapping parts.
Not difficult at allLive Steam
Aug 10, 2003 6:03 PM
For me, wrenching is one of the added pleasures I get from this sport/hobby. I have built all of the bicycles I presently have. I would say just jump and go for it. This board is a great resource for help and advice.

There aren't too many specialty tools that you would need, but there are two important ones that I don't think are worth your investment unless you plan on doing others. I am not sure whether your frame has an integrated headset or a standard headset with cups. If it is the latter you need a headset press. Also your BB needs to have the threads cleaned of paint that was over sprayed during painting. This is done with the proper sized tap.

Your LBS should have both of these and will do this part of your assembly for a fee. The cost of these items does not make it practical for you to purchase them for just one bike assembly. I would however, suggest you purchase Lennard Zinn's book "Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance". This you can use as a reference for bicycle repair and as a start to a cycling library. I say go for it. It's not that difficult and you will know more about your bike and what makes it operate well or not :O) Knowing how to repair your own bike is important as far as I am concerned.
A few tips....asphalt assault
Aug 11, 2003 2:57 AM
Have a shop press in the headset, install the bottom bracket and build the wheels.

Use a Dremel tool with a cutoff wheel to cut your cable housing to size. Use a built bike with a similar cable routing setup as a model....measure twice, cut once!

The last part you should buy is the stem. Take a measurement from a built bike that fits you well from seat to bars and calculate stem length and rise from there. There is some guesswork involved here so you're best to buy a cheapie stem first from someone like chucksbikes.com. I paid 5 bucks for the stem on the road bike I built and the fit was perfect, I haven't found reason to get a "nicer" stem yet.

Like posters above say, building is not the most economical way to buy bike but you get exactly what you want and you know your rig inside-out. Also there's something very cool about spinning down the road or tearing up your favorite single-track on a bike that you built yourself.