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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there all MTBR members (and guests).

I would like to build a bike up from scratch. Could someone run through all the steps (or hyperlink a guide).

General info about me: 17yrs old, 168cms tall. 60Kg.

Into FR/Urban/AM riding and anything else...

What tools do i need? I would like a FS frame (suggestions?) Burly. Durable. Not too expensive. I was thinking about the Transition DirtBag...?

My current budget is about 1500US, but i am constantly saving, so i will have more to spend.

Where do i buy from.. JensonUSA? Wheelworld? who else?


Thanks alot guys. Sorry for all the questions.
Suggestions for all my questions would be great! And please, use proper english. :eek: (is that possible for some people?)

Cheers,
Laurence
 

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Larry you can start by researching Sheldon Brown's website. It has everything from adjusting derailleurs to wheel building. Then go to Park Tool's website. But before you do either of those go out and buy Zinn's mtn bike maintenance book or Park Tools maintenance book. They'll both, along with the websites, give you all you need to know for tools and assembling a bike. The reason I say to get a good book on the subject is there will always be that time when you can't get on the internet for whatever reason and a book on the subject is a great thing to have. Especially when you go on riding trips and the internet isn't available.

Lastly make friends at your local lbs for tips/tricks in assembling your bike/maintaining your bike. There's nothing worse than going to install a new fork and find you've cut the steerer tube too short. Luck.
 

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Just another FOC'er
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Find a friend who has built up a bike in the past to help you through the process. It's a lot easier to have somebody help you through it than trying to pull it off purely from instructions.

You may want to have a LBS press in the headset, that can be a little tricky. Also be very careful threading in the bottom bracket and remember the drive side is reverse thread.

BTW, I helped a friend build up a Dirtbag just last week and it went together very smoothly. The first test was a 10,000 foot (vertical) downhill ride last Saturday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys!

Cheers for the information guys. I am not planning to build the bike just yet, maybe in a few months or before christmas. Can i order the Park Tools' MTB book online and get it shipped to Canada?

Thanks again guys. If you have anymore info please spill the beans.
 

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I wear two thongs
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I highly reccomend the dirtbag frame too I rode with someone on one 2 weeks ago and it was killer it was just eatin up everything he was throwing at it. He did a medium sized 6ft drop (for him) and the frame handled it incredibly. It decended very confidently and was nimble (for a FR bike) in the woods too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Eric Hoefer said:
I highly reccomend the dirtbag frame too I rode with someone on one 2 weeks ago and it was killer it was just eatin up everything he was throwing at it. He did a medium sized 6ft drop (for him) and the frame handled it incredibly. It decended very confidently and was nimble (for a FR bike) in the woods too.
Thanks for the story, its sounded like he had a blast on it. Whats the cheapest price on the Dirtbag (frame) online?? I only know of JensonUSA which is $1000 and that is alot of money... :(
 

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Im not sure if your going to find it cheaper than the $999 price at jenson unless you keep your eyes peeled at Ebay I know My friends dirtbag was a $2800 buildup.
 

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I took on a similar project a few years back...built a hardtail - used an Access frame from Supergo. I kept a log to keep track of decisions on parts and tools, prices, etc. Bought a Park toolset and a maintenance book with photos. This forum was a big help too whenever I hit something unexpected or the book wasn't crystal clear on something. The product review section was helpful on picking parts. Get a workstand if you don't already have one...that was my first purchase...got the Park PCS-1.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Abox said:
I took on a similar project a few years back...built a hardtail - used an Access frame from Supergo. I kept a log to keep track of decisions on parts and tools, prices, etc. Bought a Park toolset and a maintenance book with photos. This forum was a big help too whenever I hit something unexpected or the book wasn't crystal clear on something. The product review section was helpful on picking parts. Get a workstand if you don't already have one...that was my first purchase...got the Park PCS-1.

Good luck!
Thanks. How much is the park tool maintenance book? What about the stand/workstation... i went to the site, clicked on the PCS-1, but i couldn't find a price :confused: What about shipping to Canada? Sorry for all the Q's.
 

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Since you're in Canada, hopefully there's a Mountain Equipment Co-op nearby. It's a great place for tools. Bike shops here seem to look at MEC's prices and triple them. (http://www.mec.ca). Even if there isn't one nearby, you will usually save money with them on shipping. I bought the Ultimate Stand from MEC a few years ago and have been happy with it. I think it's around $150 CDN. They have pretty good prices on some components such as derailleurs, cassettes, shifters, chains, and tires. There's a lot more in the store than on the website.

You can get the Zinn book at Chapters. You may have to order it as when I was looking for it they were out of stock.

Buying stuff online from the States, you'll want to make sure all shipping is done through USPS or you'll pay an arm and a leg for duty. Stay away from UPS shipping to Canada... that $10 deal will cost you $50 in 'duty'.

Since time is on your side, I'd suggest trying ebay. I built up a Dakar XC for $900 CAD, mostly because I was patient and waited for the deals. It's great when you find a listing in the wrong category for XTR disc hubs, and get them for $3 plus shipping.

I'm really enjoying the bike I built up, but have to say I might have enjoyed building it more than riding it. Good luck, and have fun with it.
 

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bike build

I have built many bikes from scratch and it is ALWAYS cheaper to buy a complete bike.
after you have the bike you can always upgrade.
it will tell you what you like and dont like.

you will likely get more for your money.

you will likely have to sacrifice in some department.

buy the best frame and suspension you can, deore stuff will get you by and is usually the same as xt, but black and cheaper.

hardtails are cheaper than FS.

building your own bike from scratch is a good idea when you know exactly what and how you want your bike to ride, this comes with experience.-(pardon my assumption)

nothing is more gratifying to a cyclist when thier bike is done and to thier specs, unfortunately this comes at a price.

for 1500 buck you can get a very nice bike to suit your needs but saving more for what you want will be more satisfying in the end, so dont get trigger happy at the shop.

good deals are everywhere so do your homework and account for shipping costs, it may come out even in the end, LBS vs. online

good luck and dont compromise on what you want.
 

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Not to discourage you, but if cost is really an issue, building up your own bike isn't the cheaper route, especially if you don't already have the tools you'll need. The good thing is that since you seem to be pretty patient about this build, you can slowly buy the frame, tools, and components over time as you find good deals on them.

To save money and to stay organized, keep a spreadsheet of all the components and items you need or are considering for your build. For each component type, note the various alternatives you're considering, along with their weight and the best price you've found so far and where.

I've got a fairly complete set of quality tools for working on my bikes in the garage. I also have the Park PCS-4 stand, which I highly recommend (also take a look at the Ultimate bike stands). I didn't have much in the way of tools before I started attempting to wrench on my own bikes, and I'd guess that I've probably spent about $1,000 to piece together my current set. Like building your bike, building a good tool set at a reasonable price requires some patience. Buy what you need when you see a good deal on it. Any of the good mtb maintenance books will tell you what you'll need. If you can get your hands on quality used tools, go for it. They'll get dirty and scratched up anyways.

Living in Canada, I think the shipping can add up on you in a hurry, so if at all possible, try to combine your orders to avoid paying separate shipping on each component.

Lastly, based on my own personal experience, I'd highly recommend learning and practicing how to maintain your current bike before trying to build a new one. It's a lot easier that way.
 

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crashomatic said:
Iit is ALWAYS cheaper to buy a complete bike.
True - if you're just looking to save money then building a bike ain't gonna help. I built mine to increase my wrenching skills and just have the satisfaction of completing a project and riding a bike I built myself - well worth it I think. And borry it wasn't a Park book...it wasn't Zinn...some other guy - it's out in my garage; don't remember the name - but it did the trick. I think I paid like $130 for the workstand but I've seen it cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks alot guys.

I am most likely going to get a 2006/07 Coiler and upgrade from there... for starters, the fork! BTW, what is the difference between a Marz. Z1 Lite ETA, and a 66. Lite ETA? Maybe its just me :confused:
 

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Some advice here:

I've built a few bikes and it's pretty basic not really a lot of tinkering just hanging parts. Problem with building a bike is that it's not a budget route but rather an expensive custom way to build what you want. IMHO, find the best online, ebay, or major bike retailer complete bike at a greatly reduced price from normal retail and then strip it and do your own custom paint on the frame to make it a one of a kind. When you re-build it get rid of cheap bottom bracket and headset, maybe sell and replace crankset or items like stem or seatposts.
 
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