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  1. #1
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    Big Dummy - complete or custom?

    I am compiling my build list for a Big Dummy. This will be used in SF in a hilly area with 2 kids and groceries etc., and I plan on including and electric assist.

    The big question I have, and one that will fundamentally dictate which type of e-assist system I use, is whether to go with the standard build, or an IGH (Alfine most likely).

    Using the standard build allows me to go a little more stealthy with a rear direct drive hub while using an IGH means I need to use a front hub, likely geared for more torque.

    Mid drive does not really seem to be a good option at the moment with Stoke Monkey out of the picture.

    Finally, I think that I'd end up saving money on the standard bike build as I don't really have a donor bike to swap parts from.

    Those of you running the BD, what are your thoughts about this?

    Kook
    Last edited by obkook; 08-17-2012 at 11:22 AM.

  2. #2
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    Jason
    Disclaimer: www.paramountsports.net

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    Thanks - good thread with a lot of info. I guess it comes down to how passionately I want to use an IGH.

  4. #4
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    Go custom

  5. #5
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    I know this is an old thread but I went with a frame/custom build up hoping to use most of the parts off of a donor bike and it has been a nightmare. The LBS has had it for almost three weeks and they keep calling with this won't fit, that won't fit etc and in the end it's cost me a fortune and I still don't have the bike. I hope to pick it up today but I would have been MUCH cheaper had I purchased a complete bike. The only problem for me was that Surly said it would be after the first of the year until I could get one and I really wanted one for the fall.

    It probably also didn't help that they were not a Surly dealer(nearest one is a couple hundred miles away) and they didn't sell cargo bikes so some of the stuff with the cables and such was not commonplace for them.

  6. #6
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    I went with a custom one, the nearest dealer reported that they would not get their hand on a complete one in 20" for quite a while.

    Another reason was that I think some of the complete build parts is not to my taste, I do not like wire-based brakes, so I will go for a complete SLX-kit with hydraulic brakes on my custom build. Another thing I want do to differently than the complete bike is to use the heavy duty racks from Xtracycle. All in all I think I would have saved a few bucks by buying the complete bike and change the parts I want to change, but part of the fun is building my own bike from scratch. I will use LBSes for building beefy wheels as well as installing the headset and check if the frame needs facing, but otherwise I plan to do the build myself.

    Sorry to hear about the bad customer service from your LBS, what kind of parts do not fit? Apart from a longer chain and modifying the hoses of the disc brakes, a Dummy should be possible to build with ordinary parts that fit other bikes (although you should have properly dimensioned wheels for the added weight).

  7. #7
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    I mentioned this in another thread, but QBP (and in turn, your LBS) will be getting completes around mid November, this was per a phone call between my LBS and QBP yesterday.

    I just built one up custom, and that was a slippery slope. I spent like $2,400 and that doesn't include the Xtracycle bits. The complete is a very, very good value.

  8. #8
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    I saw on your BD 2013 page that you went custom. What did you get on your frame?

    Per my post on the other thread, I am also considering complete vs custom. Sounds like we're in a similar situation (kids + etc.)

  9. #9
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    Well, I reused an SLX triple crank from my parts bin, but everything else I got was new- it's still being built but from what I remember:

    Sun Ringle MTX39 (LBS owner picked them, I *think* they are the 39's)
    Hope hubs
    Big Apples
    Chris King headset
    X7 front derailleur, X9 rear
    X9 grip shifters
    Avid BB7's / FR5's
    Kalloy stem and shifters (one of the few places I managed to stay budget conscious)
    cheapy WTB seat
    Salsa Moto Ace flat bar 17 degrees (Surly Moloko not available yet)
    Ergon GP1 biokork grips

    ...the main problem, aside from me getting the nicer wheels and headset (most of the bike parts were 10% and free installation, free framesaver, etc), is the cost of buying the Xtracycle stuff.

    I was at $2,400 or so including my crank that I supplied. My bill from extracycle for:

    KickBack 2KB1000 1
    Standard Rack (v-rack) - single 2VR1000 2
    Whatchamacollar Pair 2WH1000 2
    FreeLoader Hardware Kit 2FR1200 1
    FlightDeck (PeaPod III compatible) 2FD3000 1
    FreeLoader - Black - Pair 2FL2400 1
    PeaPod III - Lime Green (includes FlightDeck Adapter)

    ...was like $780 or so after shipping. Now, take out the $150 kickstand and the $250 child seat, and you're still talking $370 or so in Xtracycle bits added to the build. So minus kickstand and child seat I'm at like $2,800 to get what a $2,000 complete build had (albeit with certain nicer parts).

    I will totally love it, but I mean I am completely find with the stock build on my Ogre and would have been fine with that build on the BD, which is more or less how the complete was. It's just that I lacked a little self restraint when we were going over the build list and bought parts that I could conceivably want to use on other future projects if I ever decide to get rid of the BD.

    All this because I didn't want to wait until mid November to get a complete from QBP

    ...it is a fun process though, curating a bike from a frame to a complete. There's something to be said for that. And honestly, I won't be suffering from upgradeitis down the road with this bike, so I suppose I saved money in that respect.

  10. #10
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    So, when will your bike be ready? I ended up with the complete bike in mid-Nov... Are you riding around yet?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by evandy View Post
    So, when will your bike be ready? I ended up with the complete bike in mid-Nov... Are you riding around yet?
    The frame is at the LBS, they are waiting on a few parts! Should be Sunday, maybe Monday-Tuesday.

    I still maintain, for whoever is reading this, that the complete is the way to go! I probably should have just waited til November, ha ha. But I'm sure once my bike is ready I'll be pleased as can be with what I chose for it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    The frame is at the LBS, they are waiting on a few parts! Should be Sunday, maybe Monday-Tuesday.

    I still maintain, for whoever is reading this, that the complete is the way to go! I probably should have just waited til November, ha ha. But I'm sure once my bike is ready I'll be pleased as can be with what I chose for it.
    So... did you get it? How does it ride? Those of us waiting for their bike to show up at the bike shop want to live vicariously through someone with a new dummy. (Or maybe that's just me?).

    Waiting is definitely bad... I am now considering plunking down $200 to get a Shimano dyno-hub up front so I can install some permanent lights.

    BTW, if anyone is interested, my Yepp Easy Fit (aka Peapod III) arrived last week. No bike to mount it on, but the seat looks VERY Well made.

  13. #13
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    It's great! My only gripe was they put too short a stem on it, but I remedied that yesterday.

    Here is a bad picture:



    ...my fenders should arrive any day now. The Yepp seat is very nice. It installs and removes very quickly.

    Without the seat and my son on it, it actually rides mostly like a "normal" bike. And weighed down with son and groceries, it rides very nice and stable. Getting on and off with my son on the back is not a problem at all.

    We are currently working on a prototype bike rack to allow his Specialized Hotwalk 12 to stand up on the deck behind the seat. The problem is the bike will hang off the back by about a foot, ha ha. But I think it'll be better than putting it sideways or getting one of those wideloaders.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    We are currently working on a prototype bike rack to allow his Specialized Hotwalk 12 to stand up on the deck behind the seat. The problem is the bike will hang off the back by about a foot, ha ha. But I think it'll be better than putting it sideways or getting one of those wideloaders.
    Looks good! That neon yellow Yepp should be mighty visible. I went with the blue.

    I've seen a bunch of photos of people with their kid's bikes stuck in the free-loaders and bungied and/or cargo strapped on. I don't think they even need the wideloaders; just strap it to the frame and you should be good to go.
    Last edited by evandy; 10-27-2012 at 06:06 PM.

  15. #15
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    Hmmm. I didn't even think of strapping it on the side. I tend to overanalyze things ha ha

  16. #16
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    Nice build! I started with the original army green curved top tube first year model. It was only available as a frame and fork back then and they sold through the first run quickly!

    I had lots of donor parts in my bins. In terms of parts that are unique for the BD, it was really only the chain and a half and having an extra long rear hydraulic brake line installed

    But upgrade-itis sets in quickly! I've done a fresh powder coat, custom wood fenders, snapdeck, footsies, custom stainless porteur rack, changed the wheels out to a set of Large Marges with Alfine dyno and IGH, Brooks saddle and grips, replaced the freeloaders, added a kickback, etc, etc.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRALPH View Post
    But upgrade-itis sets in quickly! I've done a fresh powder coat, custom wood fenders, snapdeck, footsies, custom stainless porteur rack, changed the wheels out to a set of Large Marges with Alfine dyno and IGH, Brooks saddle and grips, replaced the freeloaders, added a kickback, etc, etc.
    I'm an engineer, and I love to tinker... I may follow suit. I really need mine to get here so I stop buying stuff while waiting! Once my bike arrives and is built up I'll make a post with some photos and final configuration. With 6 weeks to wait, I've been adding way too much stuff (sigh).

    It's hard to stop buying extra things in advance!

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