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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, im pretty new to the serious biking world (having only ridden crap-mart bikes) and im looking to build a custom single speed mountain bike and i need some advice. First off, im 6'4" and 180lbs so im looking for a large hard-tail frame, and im also considering 29' wheels. im not interested in any suspension because i would like to keep the bike light/cheap and stay true to the simplicity of a single speed bike. the bike will primarily be used for smooth (mostly) trail and urban riding. I want something light and fast for riding on campus/around town, but rugged enough i can blaze some easy trails in the woods. There are just so many options out there i dont know where to start or what companies to check out. Being a college student im on a tight budget so used parts are a definite consideration. A local shop here (http://freezethaw.com/index.php?section=7) charges 230$ to build a custom single speed mtn bike with mostly recycled parts. i figure if they can build it for 230$, why cant i buy parts and build a bike myself and save the cost of labor and whatnot? im all for supporting the local shop, but at the moment... im poor, you know how it is. can anyone recommend a frame that meets my needs that i can look for used? wheel brands? Hubs? any resources or advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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I'm not sure from your post, are they charging $230 to build the bike plus the cost of the parts, or is it $230 for the whole enchilada?

Unless you already have a lot of parts lying around, I doubt you can build your own for $230, and definitely not if you want a 29er. There are a some 29er SS's that go for about $600 (Raleigh XXIX, GT Peace, Redline), you might find a deal on a used one on ebay or Craigs.

Or buy an old mountain bike and convert it yourself, probably the cheapest way to go.
 

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Jam Econo
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I'd be hard pressed to build a bike for $230 part by part. Even on the cheap, a frame and wheels will eat up most of that budget.
They probably have quite a stock pile of used parts from repairs, and old and outdated parts to select from.
Even so, that's less than Bikesdirect or Redline.
Ask about the quality of the wheels; at that price I'd be suspicious.
 

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Starting with an older, used MTB and stripping it down (remove gears, add single speed cog and chain tensioner) can be a good way to start. I started with a $400 used Schwinn Moab, bought a single speed conversion kit, and had my LBS do the work. $60 in labor and $40 in parts, and I had a SS.

Granted, that's a very basic way to go, and doesn't really give you a "real" SS. To finish it off, you'll probably need a new set of cranks, wheels, and a freewheel. If the shop can build you a decent SS from used parts for less than $400, that's going to be the cheapest route.
 

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There's no such thing as "light and cheap". You have to pick one or the other. $230 sounds like only the labor costs to me. If that includes a bike, then it must be quite a junker.

If you want cheap - get a Redline Monocog 29er. If you want light,,,, well, you'll need at least $3000 to $4000 to build up what I would call a light bike. Maybe a Niner AIR 9 with carbon fiber rigid fork and I9 wheels...
 

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Garage sales and the salvage yard bro.

Strip it down, buy some parts and resurrect it into an SS.

My favorite is a $10 one I found in the salvage yard, bought some parts and now it's as nice and rides better than most bikes 10 times what I have into it.

Click my sig link and look at 3 nailz
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
that redline is looking pretty good actually and if i could find one used id probably go for it, but new thats still out of my price range. And yes the 230$ includes everything, parts and labor. The guy at the shop here showed me the frames they use and they appear to be just late model frames some trek from what i could tell (most of them had the decals pretty much gone) i mean as long as they are structurally sound i could care less. they use new wheels and tyres but some components are used and some are new (shimano if i remember correctly)

also haha by "light" i basically meant lighter than the hulking dual suspension mountain bike made from cast iron that my parents bought me from walmart when i was 15, light to me and light to some of you guys is probably an entirely different thing since my experiences are somewhat limited

Duotone has got the right idea, thats basically what i want to do, i want to find a used frame/fork and build it up from there, im pretty mechanically savvy and im confident i could build it up if i had the parts (especially with all the resources online), the main problem i have is that i know nothing about the market concerning bicycles, i dont know what names are respectable and the only way i can tell junk from a good component is the price. the parts i would need to buy would be brakes, wheel hubs, whatever chainring and sprocket i want, wheels, tyres, fork post thingy, handlebars, seatpost, tyres, pedals, and a chain, is that everthing? low end components (i would probably upgrade them as i had the money) would cost around how much for all of those?
 

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Lukthree said:
(i would probably upgrade them as i had the money)
If you're going to upgrade as you go I would at least start with a good frame. That way you have a good base to build off of that will last you long enough to wear out the old parts and replace them with nice ones. You won't want a frame that's beat all to hell and about to break with all your new shiney parts on it. :nonod:
 

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Lukthree said:
the parts i would need to buy would be brakes, wheel hubs, whatever chainring and sprocket i want, wheels, tyres, fork post thingy, handlebars, seatpost, tyres, pedals, and a chain, is that everthing? low end components (i would probably upgrade them as i had the money) would cost around how much for all of those?
You can find deals on that stuff on line, but probably not from the same place, so shipping will still put you over $230, probably a lot over. I'd buy the bike from the shop and then save up some money to build a real SS in a couple years.
 

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surfer w/out waves
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If your LBS can build you a bike for $230... including frame, wheels, cranks, labor, etc.... and use a decent frame (like you said an older model nondepartment store frame)... then I say go for it and save up for a graduation treat late on! Otherwise Monocog's have a tremendous following here on the 'board.

but just remember... trails can eat up wheels and tires, especially if they are cheap.
 
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