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  1. #1
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    gunnar rock hound frame

    I made an impulse buy of a Gunnar rockhound 29er frame. My bike is an entry level Trek hardtail, but I have borrowing rights of a Fisher x-caliber 29er. I do some of my own tuning up (use the Zinn book), but don't know about actually doing a build. As a girl, I wouldn't mind the shopping part!
    There are a few good bike shops in my area. I was thinking about 1) trying to do a build, but have the shops do the tricky parts (which things should I leave to the pros) 2) buying a complete bike and having them swap the parts to my frame, then selling the frame If this option, should I buy the bike from them (maybe x-caliber), or maybe the Ibex 29er? 3) Abandon the whole hair brained scheme!

  2. #2
    Jacob 34:19
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    It's not rocket science and the satisfaction you get from doing the build yourself is worth it. Not to mention, once you've put something together, most repairs become far less mysterious. Do the build. There's very little about building a bike that is difficult. The real issue will be having the right tools and with wheel building, experience is really helpful.

    Some tools are too expensive and used too infrequently to invest in, i.e. a headset press. Generally, I'll buy my headsets from a local shop and have them press it in. Most will do it for fee if you buy the HS from them and if you're using King or Hope, there's not usually much advantage to buying online anyway. Make sure they face the headtube and you might have them face and chase the BB shell if it hasn't been done already. And once you've done all your fitting, maybe have them cut down the steertube for you. You can do it with a 5 dollar hacksaw but if you cut it too short, you can compromise the fit of your bike and/or ruin your fork.

    Same with the wheels. The required tools are expensive and you'll probably get better results having them built by someone with a ton of experience. If you're not buying prebuilt wheels, maybe check with someone like Mike Curiak about building some wheels for you. He's a great builder and you'll probably find you can't buy the parts cheaper than he can deliver a complete wheelset. Or check out some of the semi-custom builds from I9. Ben and Milltown Cycles can get you hooked up with them. QBP also has some decent builds available. They used to be handbuilt but I'm not sure if that's still the case.

    The only other tools you'll need will be a torque wrench, bottom bracket tool, cable cutters, and your basic hex wrenches, open/box end wrenches, pliars, and screwdrivers. A chain breaker and chain whip can be useful as well. All of which you will find useful for everyday maintenance so the investment isn't so bad. You can probably buy a kit with everything you need for less than $50.

    As for the rest of the parts, if you've got good local shops cool. However, do your research and check with several online retailers for pricing (AE Bike, Speedgoat, Monkamoo, Blue Sky). I usually build an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of pricing, weights, and other options.

    Buying a complete bike and swapping the parts will probably be the least expensive way to go. Most manufacturers will OEM parts to the bike companies for pennies on the dollar compared to retailing them individually. The difficult part will be finding a bike with the component spec that you want. If you're flexible on the build, you'll probably save some money. Finding a stock build with really good wheels will probably be the difficult part. If they aren't what you're looking for, sell them along with the frame and get something better. Next to a good fitting frame, the wheels are the best place to put your money.

    You may even find the satisfaction of building your ride is 'almost' as good as riding it....almost.

    One last thing, if you've never done a build before, you might have a fellow rider that wrenches or a local shop do a once over before your first big down hill. Just in case
    Last edited by JAKEtheDOG; 03-25-2007 at 09:27 AM.

  3. #3
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    You may want to review Bob's thread in beginner's corner (seach "building" in title) on buiding a f/s bike just to get a feel for process, tools and what you will do self vs. outsource...sorry, I would link you to it but I dont know how.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the thoughtful and encouraging replies. I am tempted to try, though certain parts look really scary in the thread by Biker Bob, esp the facing and chasing section, obviously I wouldn't be doing that. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...light=building A lot of the stuff I was thinking "I could do that".

  5. #5
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    for an impulse buy, the Gunnar frame is one of the best out there, for the money. I've had mine for over a year and love it. I ran mine SS with a ENO eccentric hub and had a blast on it. Alas, now I'm selling it and the parts as I just built a Black Sheep. Gunnars ride VERY well.
    Good choice and you can do most of the work. Have your LBS do the facing and chasing. Pretty small cost for that.
    If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains,
    you're lucky enough.

  6. #6
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    Sounds like option no 1 it is...dont forget to post pics....I too an a perpetual beginner, but still too apprehensive about building (plus it would probably take me a year) myself, which seems silly in light of Jake the Dog's points. Good luck.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    dent in head tube

    There is a dent in the head tube, presumably from shipping. It affects the lower 1/4 inch or so. The box is damaged in an area that corresponds to the dent. The seller is being cool about it and contacted the shipper very fast. They are picking it back up for a claim.
    I don't know if the pics show it well enough, but was wondering if I should still want if it is repaired. I've tried to read up on it and it sounds like steel may be able to be bent back in shape. It was insured, so now we wait to hear from the shipping company.
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  8. #8
    i heart singletrack
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    Quote Originally Posted by beegirl
    There is a dent in the head tube, presumably from shipping. It affects the lower 1/4 inch or so. The box is damaged in an area that corresponds to the dent. The seller is being cool about it and contacted the shipper very fast. They are picking it back up for a claim.
    I don't know if the pics show it well enough, but was wondering if I should still want if it is repaired. I've tried to read up on it and it sounds like steel may be able to be bent back in shape. It was insured, so now we wait to hear from the shipping company.
    OUCH! That's just brutal... I'm glad everyone is being cool about it, at least, and it sounds like you'll end up OK.

    As far as building it up goes, I think it behooves you to have and experienced wrench do the actual bike build. From an initial safety and satisfaction with your purchase standpoint, you stand to gain much by going this route. You can still pick out and buy the parts you'll need. Find a shop that will take the time to walk you through everything you'll need to do the swap, because it's likely some parts (the seatpost, bottom bracket, and perhaps stem length/rise) will need to be changed from your current setup. Seatpost size, in particular is a big variable, and you don't want to put the wrong size post in the frame. I just saw a Karate Monkey frame come into Monkey Wrench that was ruined by its owner by putting a 26.2mm post in and clamping it down tight (the seattube is designed for a 27.2mm post). That was a hard/expensive lesson for the owner to learn.

    That said, I now find building new bikes to be one of the most enjoyable things ever, but that's after spending 7 years at a bike shop and 18 years riding mountain bikes. Don't be afraid to try, but when you do, it makes sense to have your work checked by a professional. Your safety on the trail is worth too much to take the risk.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
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    Insurance may want to repair instead of replace it. You should call Gunnar and talk to them. Then e-mail the pics so they can see the damage. Get their advice to protect yourself. Good Luck!
    If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains,
    you're lucky enough.

  10. #10
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    It can be fixed

    I had the same thing happen to me on a steel frame that was shipped to me. What I did was I got a piece of 1.25 diameter aluminum about six inches long. Put it in a lathe and turned it down to about 1.100 with a 1 degree taper per side to make a slight cone shape. I tapped it in to the head tube and the dent came right out. And the head set cup went in with no problems.

  11. #11
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    Buy good tools

    While I agree with JAKEtheDOG's list of a bare-bones tool kit, I don't think "You can probably buy a kit with everything you need for less than $50", especially if you include a decent torque wrench. And for $50, you will be getting some cheap tools and cheap tools can do as much harm to your fasteners and/or components than your lack of experience.

    My 2 cents if you decide to do the build yourself is to buy good name brand tools (i.e. Park, Pedro's, etc) that will be easier to use and actually help you to do a better job. Good tools will also last a lot longer and bring a better return in the event you decide you want to sell them.

  12. #12
    Jacob 34:19
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    Beegirl - That is a major drag about the frame. I would agree with azjonboy. Send the pics to Gunnar and see what they say. A compromised HT is not a good thing. Might even want to have the welds inspected. The good news is steel is a lot more forgiving than Al and usually fixable. Glad everyone is being cool about it. Besides, it'll give you more time to shop for parts.

    brontotx also has a good point about good tools. While buying tools in a kit is convenient, (I have a kit in the truck for emergency trail repairs), I typically buy my tools ala carte. I save money by just buying the tools I need at the time. Over time, you'll build up a nice collection without a big cash outlay up front. As my dad always said, quality tools will last you a life time. I can usually find what I need online at Bike Tools Etc. However, my torque wrenches came from Sears. Good warranty on Craftsman tools.

  13. #13
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    same thing happened to my peyto frame - I sent it back and paul fixed it and shipped it back to me on his $ . I have ridden the frame for 3 years without issue I certainly wouldn't try to fix it myself

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