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Building a new bike!! need advice and tool help!

753 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Dremer03
I have never built a new bike before. I have been riding a Specialized Rockhopper FSR for 10 years! After I blew out the rear coil I figured its time to upgrade anyway. A little background on myself: I'm 6'4, 245lbs, aggressive all-mountain rider. I like a challenging climb up and a long downhill. I will jump off smaller drops, nothing too crazy. About 5 ft is my limit due to my current set-up.
I have been looking at Specialized and Giant Reign, but neither one has all of features that I am looking for. I found a sick deal on a '09 Reign frame and have just purchased a 2005 rock shox boxxer fork on ebay for a great price! So thats what i'm starting out with.
Here's a list of components that i'm looking at:
Hayes Stroker Trail brakes, 203mm F&R
Race Face Atlas AM Crankset
Race Face headset, handlebar & stem.
Not sure on the rest.
Wheels are the big thing. I need em strong, but also good for climbing in a price that I can afford.
Any insight on other components?
I am confident that I can build the bike, the problem is that I don't have the special tools to do it. Should I go out and buy a set of bike mechanic tools or will general tools work?
Or would I be money ahead to have my LBS put it together for me?
Any help will be greatly appreciated!!
Ezekiel:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
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I have just started building bikes this year (I almost love it as much as riding-very fun), but I have learned a lot and spent a lot in the process. I would suggest either checking out 'Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance' by Lennard Zinn at the local library or purchasing one if this is going to be something more common. This book will give you a good idea of what you are getting into because he goes into tons of detail.

I found that some of the tools you can get that will come in handy often, and others tools you might want to avoid because they cost so much and you might use them once or twice-price them out and see. It really is a personal thing as you move towards how involved the build will be and if you think you will do this again in the future.

Here are a few things I own:

Bottom bracket tool (cost $12)
Allen wrench set ($10-$15)
Allen wrench socket set ($13)
Chain whip ($16)
Chain tool ($8, unless you use the SRAM chains which I recommend-no tool needed besides your fingers).
Cassette tool ($8)
Crank pullers ($15)
Torque wrench (I borrowed this one from my dad-cost around $80-$90)
Crescent wrench (cost ???)
Phillips & standard screwdrivers
Spoke wrench (set of three $16)
Work Stand (you can spend between $50-$300, but make sure you get a good one so your bike wont fall and scratch-this was my #1 purchase for building bikes because I use it ALL of the time).

Then there are things that you need outside of tools: grease, lube, de-greaser, rags (lots and lots of them), clean work space and a place to place your parts and coffee(in the am) and beer (after your coffee).

The first bike I built is a Jamis Dakar XC. I am currently working on my dream bike-a Santa Cruz Heckler.

Good luck.

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Good list

Everything DW listed will help you put it together, and then keep it maintained. Many companies offer different levels of tool sets that would be cheaper than buying them seperately, check Park Tools website for some quality options. I went with Craftsman for torque wrenches, quality, good price, and a lifetime warranty. You may want to also look into a good quality cable cutter to make your life easier.

Have fun, it's a great way to learn your bike in and out, and it's addicting.
thank you for your posts! I have most general mechanic tools. hopefully I can find a descent set of bike tools for a value. I am very much looking forward to my bike building journey. Does anyone have any ideas for wheelsets? I've been looking at sun single track and dt swiss??? thanks
Dave Wardwell said:
Chain tool ($8, unless you use the SRAM chains which I recommend-no tool needed besides your fingers).
You still may well need a chain tool at least once, when you shorten the chain to the appropriate length. If your multitool has one, good enough.

Have fun, I just built up my first bike and I learned a lot, so much so that I'm about done with one for my G/F.

David B.
Re: the work stand: It's not nearly as nice as a good stand, but I just run a rope over the rafters in the garage/basement and hang the bike from the stem and seat. The price is right :)

I found a sick deal on a '09 Reign frame and have just purchased a 2005 rock shox boxxer fork on ebay for a great price!
Isn't the Boxxer a dual crown downhill fork? Have you checked what the recommended maximum travel for your Reign is? I think using that fork might void your warranty. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but if you haven't already, you might want to check. I have heard nothing but rave reviews about the Reign though. I'm sure your going to love it.
Get this and this and you will have pretty much everything you need to fix/install parts. No real need for a headset press, a nice 2x4 and hammer will do the same thing, I have also been told a nice thick piece of PVC can be used in the same way as the press. You should also consider getting something like this

OH and dont forget a hollowtech 2 Bottom Bracket tool, if you need it.
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