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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a 29'er for next season. Since I'm in no rush, I'm wondering if it makes sense to think about building one.

I've never built a bike, would it be overly difficult?

Would it get a lot more expensive than if I bought a comparable stock bike? I could at least spread the cost out over a few months and get exactly what I want.

Just looking for pro's/con's on this idea.

Thanks.
 

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Building a bike is a great idea if you have parts that you already have in mind for putting on the bike. The reason you would build a bike over buying it is because you wouldnt want to buy a bike "off the shelf" for 2000 then spend 1000 getting it where you want it and end up with a pile of parts your not using anymore.
So.... short answer- building the bike is more expensive but usually worth it to get the bike exactly the way you want it.
 

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DirtDiver said:
Thanks. Would it be overly difficult to do?
It all depends on your mechanical abilities and tools on hand. It's worth it to invest in tools because they will cost less than you would pay for labor over the long run. Spending a couple hundred $s on a nice toolset is one of the best long term investments you can do *IF* you plan on working on your own stuff indefinitely. I do EVERYTHING except pressing/removing headsets. For some reason I can't take the plunge into possibly ruining my frame during the learning process:madman: I haven't bled hydraulic brakes yet but I'm not scared to try. I would say if you can change the oil in your car, or a car tire, you can build 90% of a bike. Pick up something like this, http://www.parktool.com/product/professional-tool-kit-1 , and use the Park Tools website for instructions and you're good to go:thumbsup:
 

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Naturally Organic
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To build, or not to build...that is the question...

DirtDiver said:
Thanks. Would it be overly difficult to do?
YMMV...YRMV...IMO...
First, ride the mountain bikes that you like and see what frame, geo, fit and feel works for you.
Second, once you determine what you like, what you don't and what you would like to change, compile your list/notes.
Third, start a spreadsheet and switch in and out components as often as necessary.
Fourth, decide if building or buying would better suit you.

Here is some data to help start your spreadsheet. Use what works, delete what doesn't and have fun in the process (whether building or buying)... :thumbsup:

FRAME: Santa Cruz Tallboy (2038g)
SIZE: Large
COLOR: Matte Carbon
REAR SHOCK: DT-Swiss XR Carbon 37.5x165mm w/ Remote (195g)
FORK: Cannondale Lefty Max Carbon w/PBR 140(110)mm (1144g)
STEERERTUBE: Custom Carbon Steerer (106g)
HEADSET: Tune BoBo & GumGum (80g)
CAP: Schmolke Ahead Set (5g)
STEM: Extralite Ultrastem UL3 25.4x90mm Ti Bolts (81g)
HANDLEBAR: Schmolke MTB Flatbar SL 9° 650 mm (105g)
BAR ENDS: Extralite Cyberends (2x19=38g)
GRIPS: HiTemp42 (15g)
F BRAKE: Formula R1, CF Levers + 4 Ti Bolts (176g)
R BRAKE: Formula R1, CF Levers +2 Ti Bolts (183g)
BRAKE ROTORS: Scrubs 160/140mm (90g)
BRAKE BOLTS & ADAPTERS: Ti (34g)
SHIFTERS: SRAM XX Triggers (183g)
MM: Formula R1 MIX-Master (38g)
F DER: SRAM XX LM TP 34.9mm+2 Bolts (117g)
R DER: SRAM XX M Cage+AFC Delrin Pullies (163g)
CRANKSET: Lightning MTB SL 175mm 64-104 BCD w/ Ceramic Bearings & No Logos (430g)
CHAINRINGS: Carbon-Ti 24-36 Titanium (60g)
CASSETTE: Recon 11-34 Ti MTB 10 (175g)
CHAIN: KMC-X10SL (225g)
CABLES & HOUSING: Alligator iLinks w/ PowerCordz (79g)
SEATPOST: New Ultimate Alloy 30.9x290 (110g)
SEATCLAMP: Carbon-Ti QR Seatpost Clamp (32g)
SADDLE: Carbon MTB Saddle (60g)
PEDALS: Egg Beater 11Ti w/ Ward (165g)
RIMS: EDGE Composites XC29er 28h (2x380=760g)
FRONT HUB: Extralite HyperLefty (86g)
REAR HUB: Extralite Ultrahub (196g)
SPOKES: Sapim CX-Rays Black (244g)
NIPPLES: Sapim Alloy & Brass (30g)
SKEWERS: USE SpinStix Ti (55g)
RIM TAPE & VALVES: Schwalbe High Pressure (20g)
TUBES or TUBELESS: Eclipse Bicycle Tubes 29"x1.5-2.25 (2x60g) or Sealant (120g)
TIRES: Schwalbe Furious Fred 2.0 (2x335=670g)
H2O BOTTLE CAGE: Arundel Mandible Carbon (27g)
H2O BOTTLE CAGE BOLTS: Carbon (2g)
MODS: Ti, CF & Alu Bolts & Nuts (-125g)
OTHER: Lubricant (100g)
BIKE WEIGHT: 8352g < 18.42#
 

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DirtDiver said:
Thanks. Would it be overly difficult to do?
Working on a bike is just complicated enough to be interesting, yet simple enough for the average person to tackle. I enjoy building and tearing down and building again almost as much as the riding itself.

Building will almost always cost more. Your first build will cost a LOT more, as you'll need to invest in tools. But once you've built a bike from scratch, you'll never again be intimidated by any sort of mechanical issue. I can (and have) hand my bike and a screwdriver to a bunch of kids and let them go at the work of "adjusting" my rear derailleur, and it won't even phase me when they totally muck up the shifting, because I can dial it all back again in a matter of minutes.

As DFYFZX points out, one of the key hurdles is to get past the fear of damaging something. Accept that you will screw up somewhere along the line. Forgive yourself when you do. If you buy a wrong part or break something, count the cost as "tuition" and move on.
 

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Bikecurious
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301 Posts
If you've got time to hunt for deals then I say do it. I put together a rigid 2 speed for about what that bike would cost complete, but I was able to go with some better components, and as was mentioned earlier, didn't have to spend extra on upgrading or customizing (saddle, pedals, bar, etc). Plus its a really good experience and you'll know the bike inside and out if you do ever have to do any work on it (which you will if you ride it). Just look for takeoffs and closeouts, you can get killer deals.
 

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Never trust a fart
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As someone who has built up 2 MTB's from a frame up, I can attest that its more expensive to do it this way, even when shopping Ebay and using used parts. But the results are way more satisfying and you learn your bike inside/out.

However, the benefit of building your own, is you can take your time sourcing the parts that YOU want, not what the manufacturer has installed.

Its a trade off - more money/get what you want vs. lower priced complete build with a compromise in parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great feedback. Thanks, everyone.

Where would I look to find out HOW to do it? I'm certainly familiar with bike, but I'd still need some form of 'directions' or guidance on certain things.
 

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A local bike shop can be a great help even if you pay for a few things, don't buy a headset press just get it put in by a good shop (pay like $10 or less). buy a tool for your BB ($15)it's cheap and handy to own. Buy a freewheel tool ($15) and a chain whip ($15). Metric Allen keys and few wrench's that's it.
I think it costs the same to buy and build a bike just a different time frame and less spare parts
There is also a sorta satisfaction you just can't get from buying.
 

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Build it! I built my Lynskey up by myself... First time to build a bike. It was both fun and educational. I even pressed in my bb30 as the cranks I bought came with ceramic bearings. So I popped out the ones that came in the frame. You can find how-to videos on the Internet, you tube. Now if I ever need to do any work, anything is wrong, I know what to do. Go for it.
 

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I enjoy building / fitting bicycles, which is why I haven't purchased an off-the-shelf bike in 15 years. If you have the tools, it's very easy. Bicycles are anything but rocket science. Very simple. There is nothing a bike shop can do that you can't do yourself. If you are like me and don't mind cruising Ebay for good used parts... you can't build a really nice bike for very little money (relatively speaking of course).

However, if you are not mechanically inclined and you find an of-the-shelf bike that really turns you on, you should go for it. Nothing wrong at all.
 

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Just like everybody has stated, there are pros and cons, but to me the pros outweigh the cons. The single most important pro for me to build my own vs. buy off the shelf is personal satisfaction knowing that I put my bike together and picked out every single part by myself.

I was in the same dilemma and decided to build my own. Since you have time and in no rush, take your time looking for deals on CL. I found the best deals on CL.

As far as tools are concerned, if you are just gonna be wrenching around this one time for your build, I wouldn't go too crazy on the tools. Performance and many other online retailers sell "beginner/intermediate" tool sets that will be perfect for your build. For a headset press, it can be made for about $5.00 from stuff you can find at Home Depot and to set the crown race, just use a pvc pipe.

Hope this helps make the decision easier, best luck!
 

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Build

I completely agree with everyone else, building a bike is certainly the way to go. I built my first this year and am much more confident with repairs, and happy with the overall spec of my bike. Engaging a local shop and a good toolkit are imperative to a successful build. As my bike is fully Shimano, one underrated resource I used were the instruction pdf's provided on their website for the installation of their cranks, derailleurs, shifters, etc. Good luck, make sure to post some pics when you're done.
 

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DirtDiver said:
I'm looking for a 29'er for next season. Since I'm in no rush, I'm wondering if it makes sense to think about building one.

I've never built a bike, would it be overly difficult?

Would it get a lot more expensive than if I bought a comparable stock bike? I could at least spread the cost out over a few months and get exactly what I want.

Just looking for pro's/con's on this idea.

Thanks.
Yes, it will be more expensive.:thumbsup: But it is worth it for the fun factor, sense of accomplishment and the reality that you get to pick and choose every single component on the bike. Of course, there are online websites where you can pick and choose a frame, fork and all of the components as well to build the bike online and have it shipped to you.:D

If you want to "practice" a build, take one of your current bikes and completely disassemble it. I mean everything - cables, housing, derailleurs, brakes, crankset, chain, headset, grips, etc.... - take them all off of the bike. Clean everything up. Now grease what needs to be greased and build the bike back up. You will quickly find out what tools are required and how to adjust everything. A book like this is a nice guide for all matters mountain bike maintenance to help with your build and to maintain it.

BB

Builds to date: 1 Karate Monkey, 1 Sugar 293, 2 Dos Niners, 1 Air 9, 2 JET 9's, 1 RIP 9, 1 tandem, 2 kiddie wheel bikes
 

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Lets ride!
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Mrphy said:
Building a bike is a great idea if you have parts that you already have in mind for putting on the bike. The reason you would build a bike over buying it is because you wouldnt want to buy a bike "off the shelf" for 2000 then spend 1000 getting it where you want it and end up with a pile of parts your not using anymore.
So.... short answer- building the bike is more expensive but usually worth it to get the bike exactly the way you want it.
:thumbsup: so true...I now have all kinds of parts(take offs) :madman: and wasted money because I didn't do this!
 
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