1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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Thread: bike building

  1. #1
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    bike building

    I think I'm gonna get the Santa Cruz Chameleon frame, but the hard part is getting all the components and installing them. I know I will have to go to my LBS for the fork,headset,brakes and most things, but just so I know, what things should I be able to install on my own that are fairly easy? How much should a LBS charge? The LBS I will go to will not be the place I got the frame, because none of my LBS sell that frame. Is it a good idea to look out for good deals and search random and different stores for parts? And lastly, I live in Canada, and I want to know if online stores like JensonUSA and Price point are good and trustworthy. And, has anyone ever bought through bikeroom.com? (canadian site) Oh ya,and why does it say Jenson and price point only ship to the US? (I thought they shipped internationally)

  2. #2
    ride hard take risks
    Reputation: dogonfr's Avatar
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    Jenson sels to Canada as for Price Point you will have to email them.
    Check these places for building advise.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/

    http://www.parktool.com/repair/

  3. #3
    Formerly DMR For Life
    Reputation: Full Mountain's Avatar
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    for shipping to canada make sure you use USPS not UPS or Fedex its much cheaper

    On the build maybe see if you can get the bb., headset (crownrace bearing cups), and anything else that you might not want to install before you get the frame then take the parts to the LBS that you getting the frame from and see if they can put them on for you...make sure they face the headtube, BB shell, and disk tabs while their at it

    DMR

  4. #4
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    Well, how much you can do yourself depends a lot on your experience and talent as mechanic. Me for example is just a fool. So I spend more money on specific tools (which real mechanics often don't need). But then - I do ride a lot and pretty aggressive. I simply cannot afford to bring the bikes to the LBS all the time.

    I try a quick summary of what tools you need besides the standard screwdrivers, wrenches, hexes and so and so forth. Good hint: Don't do this if you don't have a toolbox at home already.

    You need:

    Headset, fork: Don't go there. You need too many expensive tools here. Think at least pressing tool.

    Bottom bracket: Depends whether the frame is fully prepared. Ask if the BB shells have been chased/faced. If that is the case get a BB spline tool (basically an adapter for the socket wrench) and you can do this.

    Disk Brakes: Depends whether the frame is fully prepared. Ask if all the brake mounts have been faced - or go for a post mount system and you can do this.

    Shifter, front and rear deraillieur: Get a cable cutter for cables and housing. Besides that - very do-able.

    Wheels: I assume you buy them complete and all you need to do is get the casette on. So get a freewheel remover and a chain whip and practice.

    For all above: get a torque wrench!

    Whether it is worth building your own by yourself depends on two factors. First, if you buy the parts at your LBS you might find that they are willing to do the build for a nominal fee. The parts will be expensive, but you get the guarantee that everything fits. Mistakes can be costly. This is factor one. Don't build yourself is this is your first foray in bike wrenching. Second, if you buy all parts on the internet you'll get better prices. But you'll have to buy the tools. I would assume just the basic ones will cost you easily 200$ (including the torque wrench). And you need time to get the good prices. So second factor is time versus money. Don't build yourself if you are in a hurry.

    Check out the sites drogonfr posted!

    Cheers

    Klaus

  5. #5
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    I built my 2001 Chameleon and my 2005 Blur - but that is after years and years of riding/breaking/fixing my bikes since the early 80s.

    It is a ton of fun to build your own bike, but it cost more than buying one pre-built. If you are trying to save money....well I am afraid that will not be the case. Besides the initial cost of the separate parts (bike companies buy wholesale), if you make a mistake and tear something up it is your bank account that will pay to fix it. You also need the proper tools - one time buy but still a factor.

    If you are picky on exact parts, have wrenching skills and tools and are up for an adventure, go for it. If not, buy off the shelf.

  6. #6
    Your bike is incorrigible
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    Yep

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeep_Nut
    I built my 2001 Chameleon and my 2005 Blur - but that is after years and years of riding/breaking/fixing my bikes since the early 80s.

    It is a ton of fun to build your own bike, but it cost more than buying one pre-built. If you are trying to save money....well I am afraid that will not be the case. Besides the initial cost of the separate parts (bike companies buy wholesale), if you make a mistake and tear something up it is your bank account that will pay to fix it. You also need the proper tools - one time buy but still a factor.

    If you are picky on exact parts, have wrenching skills and tools and are up for an adventure, go for it. If not, buy off the shelf.
    The only reason you should be building a bike is if (a) you have the parts laying around and get a good deal on a frame to put them on or (b) you must have a bike set up your way no matter what the cost is. It gets to be very expensive, especially if you don't go with a complete components package and buy everything separately.

    Then again, I like to build my own bikes because half of the fun for me is the building part, messing about with all the parts. But you will have to spend some money on the right tools.

    Brakes are not a problem, even if they are hydraulic. As mentioned before, the only thing you need to make sure of is that your disc tabs are faced so that, when mounted, the calipers are parallel with the rotors. You don't need anything more than some allen wrenches to install brakes (unless you get Shimano brakes that aren't pre-bled).

    BB is not a big deal. You just have to get the right tool and know which way to tighten which side.

    The headset is the most PITA area. Headtubes are rarely faced when you get them. So, you would have to take it to your LBS. You can pound in the headset yourself, which takes a lot of patience and runs the risk of damaging your frame and/or headset. Again, the LBS can do it for $10.

    Ask yourself if you want to continue working on your bike all the time. If so, then go for it: get the tools and order the parts. Just be prepared to pay a premium up front for wrenching yourself.

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