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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  1. #1
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    Building a Bike?

    After a flit to BMX-ing for a few years I'm getting back on the mountain bike bandwagon and fancy doing a spot of bickpacking. As such I was looking at sub-600 hardtails online but wondered if I could build my own for cheaper or roughly the same price? On-One have some fantastic deals on frames just now but I'm unsure as to how much I would be paying for a driveset, forks, wheels etc.

    Basically, is it worth the hassle or should I just go for it? :P

  2. #2
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    Best reasons for building a bike:
    You have other bikes you can share parts with - most of my bikes started out sharing the wheel set, then pickup a rear wheel, tire, cassette eventually.
    You have spare parts already or have another bike you want to upgrade.
    You want an odd setup that can't be bought - rigid fork, drop bars, monstercross etc.
    You just like building bikes.

    Otherwise, its pretty well always cheaper to buy a factory bike.

    And the On One bikes are great - be embarrassed to tell you how many I have.

  3. #3
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    It's sounding like I'm better buying a bike to start with and maybe building my own sometime further down the line! I also really like the On-One frames, is it possible to switch out all of the components from a cheap complete build and throw them onto an OO frame?

  4. #4
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    Too many variables to say for sure .Look on bikepedia for specs of frames.You need to know head tube size ,tapered or non.Type of bottom bracket ,threaded or press in. Seat tube diameter for the derailluer and seat post.

  5. #5
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    If you can get a great deal for an On One frame and go with the cheapest parts you can find to keep under a certain budget, what you'll bascially end up with is a nice frame with cheap parts that you'll probably upgrade sooner than later which means more money on top of the money already spent.

  6. #6
    Redcoat
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    building your own bike means no one else has one. you can also cater and customize it to your tastes. Building is the way.

    one thing though. if you have a budget it will be hard to stick to. i always find things that i prefer and spend a little more on then a little more and it all adds up. is it worth it? hell ****ing yes.

    Also you have the proud factor of riding something you built. i always think to myself how cool it feels to be riding something that i put together myself. puts a smile on your face for sure.

  7. #7
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    IMO, best bet is to get something you can get out riding on right away, then upgrade or start a build on the side in time. You'll learn a lot about what you want out of a bike by doing some riding, and you'll pick up some mechanical/functional knowledge doing maintenance and part swaps, which will come in very handy when getting into your first build. Putting a bike together isn't exactly rocket science, but there are a ton of variables to sort through, some specialty tools required, many hours of internet research and shopping, etc. I like building bikes, but I like riding them more, so I'd go with the ready-to-roll option and get out on the trails, then maybe do a build down the road a bit. You'll have something to ride sooner, and for less money and hassle that way.
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  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Someone else had a thread recently about building a bike for bikepacking on a low budget.

    It's actually kind of a tricky problem because if you want to use panniers, a lot of MTB frames aren't that suitable.

    I'd look at what's available that you can mount a proper rack on, with stays to the dropouts and seatstays. If you can get it as a complete, that's probably cheaper. But you may find you need to start from a bare frame.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    One of my recent On One builds came about cause I found a super deal on a Norco 29er in a pawn shop. It was too small for me but I had a On One Inbred frame that I was having trouble selling. All of the Norco parts moved over with the odd replacement here and there from the parts bin. Then I sold the Norco frame for about half of what I paid for the bike. Ended up with a complete On One Inbred for about $150 plus what I had in the frame.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamnought View Post
    After a flit to BMX-ing for a few years I'm getting back on the mountain bike bandwagon and fancy doing a spot of bickpacking. As such I was looking at sub-600 hardtails online but wondered if I could build my own for cheaper or roughly the same price? On-One have some fantastic deals on frames just now but I'm unsure as to how much I would be paying for a driveset, forks, wheels etc.

    Basically, is it worth the hassle or should I just go for it? :P
    Well, most of the times it's cheaper to just buy a bike than build it. However, building a bike can give you satisfaction that money can't buy. It really depends on you and if you enjoy building bikes.

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