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Thread: Build or Buy

  1. #1
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    Build or Buy

    Hello all,

    So I've come to a fork in the road... I am willing to put about $3k in for a new AM bike. Problem is, I want to build my own for next year. In the meantime I will be riding my HT 29er and improving my skills. I've been searching a while now and made a pretty comprehensive list of parts and prices and the best I'm getting to is $4k total. Orrrr I could just buy the bike I want (Santa Cruz Nomad) right at/under my budget.

    I really want the benefits of building my own but we all know that will ruin my wallet (eh what's another $100 gonna do... been there too much).

    Just wondering what are your thoughts/ideas.

    Thanks

    P.S. If this thread should be moved please let me know, I searched quickly for similar and couldn't find anything relevant.

  2. #2
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    BUILD BUILD BUILD! You will not regret!

  3. #3
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    For the life of me, I don't understand why anyone would buy a complete high-end bike. When I started riding, there wasn't even such thing; the high end brands back then only sold frames.

    Not sure how much price hunting you've done, but if you really have a comprehensive list of parts and it's only $100 more than the complete... well first, I wouldn't be surprised if you could get the total down with a little bit of shopping (things like the Universal Cycles VIP code), and second, you'd be an idiot not to build your own. If the difference was more like $500, which is more typical, yeah I see merit to buying complete, but still that usually ends up with having to live with or replace something (Avid brakes anyone? a part that literally no one wants or likes, but ends up on a lot of complete bikes because they get them so cheap).

  4. #4
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    Build or Buy

    You're not without a bike to ride, I've always been of the opinion to get exactly what you want. If that means waiting a couple months to save up the extra cash, so be it.

    There is something to be said about having a bike that is perfectly yours.

  5. #5
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    Build it.

    Shopping around can get you closer to, or under budget.

    Im starting my build as soon as the 456 evo-II frame comes out, im not setting a budget because i am going to build my bike the way i want it. I will shop around for each part finding the best shipped price i can.

  6. #6
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    Let's be honest here... Firstly, I hate Avid brakes 100% also. And anyway, if I was able to get the bike I REALLY want it would definitely exceed my budget (probably a whole lot more) I guess the consensus is that I would really need to wait until this season is over in order to get great deals. Ideally, if I could get away with an X0 drivetrain and XT brakes and all the other junk that goes into it I would be more than happy.

  7. #7
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    Buy used and instead of 4k, you'd be looking at like $1500. If you dont like any component on the build, you've saved thousands so its pretty easy to change that out within budget.

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    I suppose my real issue here is if I find a good deal, let's say a Nomad frame for $1.6k, at what time do I pull the trigger? Or is there something to be said for buying the big ticket items and saving on the components?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SenorSerioso View Post
    There is something to be said about having a bike that is perfectly yours.
    I agree with this 100%. Call it inexperience but the specs on the Nomad are pretty much what I am looking for in a bike. I realize I could spend double my budget and be insanely happy with it but at this point in time (One semester left at school) I don't know if that would be a wise choice to drop that much before loans come back to bite me

  10. #10
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    Build or Buy

    Quote Originally Posted by mmpgh View Post
    I agree with this 100%. Call it inexperience but the specs on the Nomad are pretty much what I am looking for in a bike. I realize I could spend double my budget and be insanely happy with it but at this point in time (One semester left at school) I don't know if that would be a wise choice to drop that much before loans come back to bite me
    If the stock Nomad is very similar to how you would build one (save a few customizations) then I say go for it. Within budget, exactly what you want, I'd say that's a victory in every category.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKxc View Post
    BUILD BUILD BUILD! You will not regret!
    +1 on this

    You just get it exactly as you want it + it's fun

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    Quote Originally Posted by SenorSerioso View Post
    If the stock Nomad is very similar to how you would build one (save a few customizations) then I say go for it. Within budget, exactly what you want, I'd say that's a victory in every category.
    Those are my thoughts exactly in this scenario... but that's my "affordable bike" not my dream bike. If I had it my way I would have an XX1 drivetrain. I'm not looking for the custom look all that much but more of the workhorse/reliable bike that has very functional components... hence the stock Nomad.

    Sorry to go all drama queen here but this has been killing me lately

  13. #13
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    youll get more bang for your buck if you buy a complete bike, esp if you get it on sale
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  14. #14
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    Find the frame you want, and buy a used complete bike. you can always upgrade the components you don't like on it if you want, because chances are you'll have an extra 2 grand left over. I took a chance and bought a full used bike on ebay, and it turned out great. Now I have another $1000 left to replace parts on it when I inevitably break them.

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    Re: Build or Buy

    My builds have always been less expensive and have better parts than complete bikes. Shop around, especially in the fall/winter and you'll find great deals. Plus, you get exactly what you want.

    Sent from my S3 on the way to the trailhead.

  16. #16
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    Absolutely BUILD IT yourself. There is no better feeling in this world than riding your own dream bike, with parts you hand selected yourself. Do all your homework, and the rewards is unlike any other ready-built option around. Life is not about compromises - it's too short for accepting that! Get what you truly want in life, NOW.

    My 23-pound 29er "dream build" was $500 over my $3000 budget. I actually ran out of money, so my goal of 22 pounds was put on hold(more parts upgrades). Was I disappointed in myself? Yeah, a little....until I throw a leg over it!

    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Absolutely BUILD IT yourself. There is no better feeling in this world than riding your own dream bike, with parts you hand selected yourself. Do all your homework, and the rewards is unlike any other ready-built option around. Life is not about compromises - it's too short for accepting that! Get what you truly want in life, NOW.

    My 23-pound 29er "dream build" was $500 over my $3000 budget. I actually ran out of money, so my goal of 22 pounds was put on hold(more parts upgrades). Was I disappointed in myself? Yeah, a little....until I throw a leg over it!

    What is different about that bike over one bought off the floor?
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent701 View Post
    What is different about that bike over one bought off the floor?
    About $3000.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  19. #19
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    So now that we all agree I should build this thing, what time of the year is best to get parts? Common sense tells me if I want the best, wait until the season is over.... but my common sense stops when I see these awesome all mountain/dh rigs that I just want to ride this season instead of my hardtail... Ah first world problems right?

  20. #20
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    most of us would have a cost of $6k+ if we were to build our "dream" bike (w/o carbon wheels). When debating between buying a complete bike vs building, you'll need to look at the major components and determine if they are ideal or not? That is Frame, fork, wheels.

    If you'll need to replace a wheelset on the cpomplete bike, thats usually $500+ added to the cost. Fork upgrades are obviously more $$. Then there are small changes that need to be considered; tires and bars, etc. Dropper post? If these types of changes will come long after the initial purchase, think about what parts and concessions you can make on the front end if you were to build it yourself... where would your cost come to in the end?

    What I have always done when building my bikes is to focus my money towards the components that matter most to me > frame, fork, wheels, crank, brakes & shiftes. For example, is an XO rear derailleur really that much better than an x9? But, XO shifters are the bomb. My build is a compromise of cost vs performance.

    There are some easy ways to save money. I have bought used XT cranks in great condition for $100. And, I'm not one to spend $100 on a stem just for the bling factor. I'd rather put that money towards my wheels.

    Anyway, have fun and be mindful of your $$$. It's a tough job market out there and Im sure you'd rather have the time to ride the freaking thing instead of working an extra job to pay for it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    Anyway, have fun and be mindful of your $$$. It's a tough job market out there and Im sure you'd rather have the time to ride the freaking thing instead of working an extra job to pay for it.
    Luckily for me even though I am finishing school in December, the internship I'm working now will pay me more than enough to pay for this bike build (and then hire me in December if I don't screw up ). I just don't want to spend more than that (but I totally would if someone convinced me enough haha) that's why I'm tempted to just get the pre-built and swap parts when they start breaking/wearing.

    Now if I could only find a good built w/ an XX1 drivetrain for around $3k.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    About $3000.
    Didn't really answer the question but thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by mmpgh View Post
    Luckily for me even though I am finishing school in December, the internship I'm working now will pay me more than enough to pay for this bike build (and then hire me in December if I don't screw up ). I just don't want to spend more than that (but I totally would if someone convinced me enough haha) that's why I'm tempted to just get the pre-built and swap parts when they start breaking/wearing.

    Now if I could only find a good built w/ an XX1 drivetrain for around $3k.
    If you got the time. Build it. If you just want to ride by one off the floor. Upgrade what you need to. I bought both mine off the floor and either going to buy another off complete or build one.. I lack patience and just want to ride.
    I do have a friend who gets parts at cost which I may be talking with and building a Ellsworth..

    and a XX1 build for under 3k. Look for used
    2013 Trek Rig SS
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    2014 Trek X-Cal 5
    2014 Trek Slash 7

  23. #23
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    Decisions decisions! I have some parts coming in for my current bike at my LBS. I'll have a chat with the owner on getting a discount (he usually gives 20-25% off sine this will be my 3rd bike with him) on a frame and fork. If it's too high I'll have to go used (which I don't mind paying a little more for discounted new) or just a complete build and upgrade later.

    Thanks for the help so far here. Nice knowing a new member can still get good advice without the criticism

  24. #24
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    OP - what frame and fork do you have in mind?
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    OP - what frame and fork do you have in mind?
    Frame: Santa Cruz Nomad, Yeti SB66, or I'm starting to look at Intense too but their bikes' geo seem a bit slack for AM IMO.

    Fork: Fox 34 or 36 Float CTD w/ Remote 160mm... I have a 32 Float w/ remote at 100mm travel and I love it for XC but my riding is getting better/more aggro.

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