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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am interested in building up my first bike. A full suspension 29'er mountain bike in particular. I would likely buy a frame with rear shock and go from there.

I'm a competent shade-tree auto and moto mechanic, but have no real bike mechanic experience beyond typical brake/shifter adjustments, lube, etc.

I have a bike stand and complete (non bicycle specific) hand tools, and am not adverse to buying any new tools required.

I'd be doing this 1) to save money, as there are few deals on 29'er FS bikes, and 2) for fun.

A few questions:

  • Any good on-line tutorials for bike building?
  • What bike-specific tools do I need to buy?
  • Other than 29'er specific wheels, fork & frame, are there any other parts that are different on a 29'er build?
  • Best on-line sources for complete or semi-complete build kits rather than buying each component individually?
  • Any other thoughts or comments for a first time bike builder?
 

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you might want to buy the Zinn mtb repair book http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Zi...intenance/Lennard-Zinn/e/9781931382595/?itm=3. also check out http://parktool.com/, they have a repair section that covers the basics.

you will need some bike specific tools like metric allen keys, bottom bracket tools, crank puller, cog wrench, chain whip, ect. have your local bike shop install your headset so you dont have to buy a headset press.

for a 29'er build the only 29'er parts you need are the frame, fork, wheels, and tires. you can use regular 26" tubes to save weight.

check the best deals forum for good online shops. jensonusa.com usually has good deals on buildkits.
 

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Building a bike is tons of fun.
x2 for the Zinn book. It's a great reference for random things like common measurements, and information on the various "standards" that dictate which components will fit with each other (like making sure you don't buy a square taper bottom bracket, and ISIS splined cranks).

My two cautions:
- Probably going to be more expensive to build your bike than to buy one complete. You're not saving any "labor" costs by building your own, but you are sacrificing the mass-quantity discounts that MFR's get when spec'ing components for their models.

- Read up on 29" bikes. There's some interesting things people are discovering about the (potentially) odd geometry of running such big wheels on FS bikes. You may want to look into moving ahead of the pack and building a bike with 650b wheels. Larger than 26ers, but without the geometry issues of 29ers. Just food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Probably going to be more expensive to build your bike than to buy one complete
From reading, this definitely seems to be true for common bikes, but with the prices and comparative scarcity of pre-built 29'ers several have suggested buying a good deal FS 29'er frame and building will save $$.

Agree/disagree?

Disagree?
 

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pfb said:
From reading, this definitely seems to be true for common bikes, but with the prices and comparative scarcity of pre-built 29'ers several have suggested buying a good deal FS 29'er frame and building will save $$.

Agree/disagree?

Disagree?
Generally speaking, you will save money purchasing a complete bicycle. You'd have a hard time beating the value of, say, a complete Gary Fisher. But building up a bicycle from the frame yourself has several worthy benefits: you get to spec exactly the components you want without having to sell off and buy parts, you gain mechanical experience building it, and it is fun doing the project yourself.

As for build kits, you can get customizable build kits from any local bike shop through their QBP dream cycle program.
 
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