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how to build a bike?(8 posts)

how to build a bike?lap1966
Jan 17, 2004 11:22 AM
i am haveing a hard time finding a complete bike that has both the frame and components of my choice. i have no problem finding the right frame, and have found some excellent deals on components, but don't know the next step. obviously, i am a novice...i am wondering how difficult it is to build a bike. there are not any great bike mechanics where i live so i cannot just hand the project over to someone and trust them. besides, it might be a good thing for me to know how things work.

anyhow, any suggestions, or references to books or sites or anything at all would be useful.

thanks so much.

Check out www.sheldonbrown.comspookyload
Jan 17, 2004 12:07 PM
His site will teach you how to do anyting you could ever want to to a bike. It even has some educational stuff on what to look for when buying.
also consider Park Tools...Akirasho
Jan 17, 2004 12:46 PM

Be the bike.
You'll be fine for the most partpitt83
Jan 17, 2004 12:55 PM
There's a couple of tricky steps early on which you may want / should get professional help with. Chase and face the bottom bracket threads nd possibly headset installation. After that, you should be fine building yourself. Some confidence, patience and perhaps a beer or two and you'll do fine. It's really a great winter project. Take pictures.

Also, buying a tool or two like a third hand brake tool, a set of T handle metrics and a torque wrench with stud sockets will make the job much easier and better quality when done.
GO FOR IT!!RemmingtonShowdown
Jan 17, 2004 2:18 PM
I recently finished assembling my new bike and for all the fuss I thought it would be that couldn't have been further from the truth. My bike consists of an '03 Giant TCR Composite 1 frame, '04 Shimano Dura Ace grouppo, Nokon cables... All of the specialized tools I needed came with the grouppo, otherwise ordinary tools were sufficent. It's a really easy process that seems to guide itself. The hardest part is tuning the derailleurs to the action that you preffer. Have no fear, it's really fun and results in a bike that you truly know and have a real sense of pride in.

re: how to build a bike?ukiahb
Jan 17, 2004 3:03 PM
"Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance" by Lennard Zinn would be a great help in building your bike too...well worth picking up in any case, lots of good info and illusrations
i would agree...go for it!Bonked
Jan 18, 2004 11:00 AM
despite all the hype, there really isn't much to it. i am about as much as a technical idiot as anyone, but bikes are really, really simple mechanical devices. and don't get scared off when you read about it...everything seems really complicated until you do it once, and then it seems like the most obvious thing in the world. just give yourself plenty of time (i.e. don't plan on putting your bike together in an hour) and ask any questions on this or the component board. you'll do fine and the best part is that you'll never have to spend $$$ in a shop for someone to fix something easy again. you'll also be able to get good deals on things on ebay or the grey market and not have to worry about going into a shop to have them install a component you didn't buy there.

on the book side, i wouldn't waste my money. the park tool website as all the info you'll ever need. and i'm a campy guy, so i can't comment on shimano, but campy posts all of their manuals online so, between the park and campy websites, i haven't ever needed anything else.

and for tools, i would 1) buy good (probably park) tools and 2) wouldn't waste money on buying one of the kits. on point 1, my first tool set was cheapo and it performed as such. most of the tools didn't work well (which only adds to the confusion if you are trying to learn bike maintenance at the same time!) and wore out quickly. i ended up spending the money for good tools as well and was out more money in the long run. on point 2, most of the kits include tools you'll never use. you could probably save money by buying just what you'll need:

1) a set of allen wrenches
2) a chain whip
3) a bb tool
4) a cassette tool
5) some screw drivers (but most people have these)
6) a crank extractor
7) chain tool
8) tire levers

i may be forgetting a few things, but that's about all you need. HOWEVER, you may want to consider a torque wrench. these are somewhat expensive, but well worth it in my opinion if you want to be sure that everything is torqued perfectly (i.e. not going to fail suddenly).

most of all, don't forget to have fun!


ps - another great advantage i just thought of is when something goes wrong and you are alone and in the boonies. if you don't know anything about bike maintenance, you're screwed. but if you know how everything works, you can rig something that will at least get you home.
re: how to build a bike?djg
Jan 18, 2004 11:13 AM
I'll second the recommendation of Zinn's book. If your'e careful, read first, and don't rush yourself, you should be able to do this well. There are a few specialized tools you'll need but most of these are easily obtained and not expensive. The book will be a good guide here (and perhaps the web sites mentioned above).