Building a bike from parts- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Building a bike from parts

    Hi guys,

    I am a new MTB builder and I would like a little help to get started.

    I have seen these nice Carbon Fibre MTB frames on ebay and ali express for about 200 poundish and they only weigh around 1kg! Anyway is there anything i need to look out for as to, will the wheels fit it ? what fork will fit ? groupset? do i have limitations with a frame? or once i have the frame am i free to install any parts ? it all seems a bit confusing to be honest.

    any help with compatibility of forks and group-sets please and sizing.

    Thanks

    starway

  2. #2
    Evolutionsverlierer
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    You have to look at the frame specs to see what you can use.
    Do you have a link to the frame in question?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Avid is spelled wrong, there should be an 'O' in there.

  3. #3
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by starway View Post
    I have seen these nice Carbon Fibre MTB frames on ebay and ali express for about 200 poundish and they only weigh around 1kg! Anyway is there anything i need to look out for as to, will the wheels fit it ?
    The spec list should tell you which wheels will fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by starway View Post
    what fork will fit ?
    The specs on the frame should tell you what will fit

    Quote Originally Posted by starway View Post
    groupset?
    This one is a more personal choice, but it does affect some other parts choices, so you need to be vigilant about individual parts compatibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by starway View Post
    do i have limitations with a frame?
    All frames and parts are going to have some set of limitations. You need to do your research so you are clear what those are for whatever you're looking at. Chiner carbon frames have their own limitations that will be different from some other frames you might be able to buy from your LBS, or from a manufacturer with a presence in your country. Namely WRT customer service and support.

    Quote Originally Posted by starway View Post
    or once i have the frame am i free to install any parts ?
    not really. Most parts come in a variety of sizes, only some of which will fit any given frame. You need to understand the specifications of the frame you're buying so you can choose the correct parts, especially when multiple sizes are possible. I would suggest that given the questions you're asking, you're probably not ready to dive head first into a project like this. Based on my own experiences, you WILL buy the wrong parts. Depending on what you get and where you buy it, you may or may not have the ability to return it for a full refund. And if you don't find your mistake until you've already attempted (and failed) to install it, you're apt to learn a very expensive lesson.

    I'd recommend a slower process of learning before you opt to build a bike from the frame up. Start with a complete bike, and teach yourself to service and maintain it. You can take the time to learn each part as you need to, and you can take your time to assemble the tools you'll need. Considering what you don't know, I'll venture a guess that you don't have any of the bike-specific tools that you might need. That's going to be a significant expense, as well, and trying to hack through an install with the wrong tools is likely to damage or break something.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Wow thanks for the replies guys thatís really helpful. It does sound a bit daunting now that you mention the complexities and the necessary tools. I do have various tools but I wasnít expecting much to be needed. I have a chain breaker lol and a cassette installer( the chain attached to a metal bar) I also have all types of spannerís and Allen keys and wrenches and screwdrivers and pliers and all the usual tools but I donít have anything really specific for bikes ? I wasnít aware I needed much ? Maybe a better route would be to post the frame spec here and then come up with some options and discuss them with you guys as you might be able to tell me if it would all fit together. Thanks again for all your replies, much appreciated

  6. #6
    always licking the glass
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    Building a bike from parts

    Quote Originally Posted by starway View Post
    Wow thanks for the replies guys thatís really helpful. It does sound a bit daunting now that you mention the complexities and the necessary tools. I do have various tools but I wasnít expecting much to be needed. I have a chain breaker lol and a cassette installer( the chain attached to a metal bar) I also have all types of spannerís and Allen keys and wrenches and screwdrivers and pliers and all the usual tools but I donít have anything really specific for bikes ? I wasnít aware I needed much ? Maybe a better route would be to post the frame spec here and then come up with some options and discuss them with you guys as you might be able to tell me if it would all fit together. Thanks again for all your replies, much appreciated
    You also need to know what type of bike youíre building, as in its intended purpose. Trail, XC, enduro, DH, gravel, etc. Make sure you order the right size frame too.

    You should understand how much travel for the fork you need, or if you can run a rigid. What the axle to crown measurement, make sure if the fork isnít new that the steerer isnít cut too short.

    The rest should be in frame specs, including wheel size, hub spacing, etc.

    A lot of your freedom will be mainly in brake and drivetrain choice (which is dependent on your hub driver), seatpost (needs to be the right diameter) handlebar, stem, grips, and tires.

    You will need:
    - a set of metric hex wrenches, and a torque wrench
    - the correct BB tool
    - headset press
    - something to cut down the steerer
    - something to cut brake lines if theyíre too long
    - something to cut shifting housing
    - something to cut shifting cables
    - something to install the cassette

    Are you building your own wheels too? Thatís a dark art that requires a truing stand, spoke wrenches, and probably some others tools I donít know about for the Dark Art of Wheel Building

    Please post the link to the frame and weíll help where we can.
    Guerrilla Gravity BAMF, Colorado Front Range
    https://classifieds.mtbr.com/showpro...product=116154

  7. #7
    since 4/10/2009
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    It's worth noting that aside from simply being able to trim cables, housing, brake lines, you ALSO need to make sure that your cuts are clean and square. So while you "can" use just any cutting tool, using the RIGHT tools will make for a better build that's more reliable. Those are little details that actually make a big deal in the long term.

    Also when it comes to trimming hydraulic brake lines (and especially installing hydraulic brake lines onto a frame with internal hydro hose routing), you probably ought to have a bleed kit for your brakes and know how to use it. If you're installing into a frame with internal routing for hydro lines, you WILL need a bleed kit. If you're just trimming, especially with Shimano brakes, you may need one. And if it's your first time bleeding brakes, I'd amend that to say you WILL need a bleed kit (and the correct fluid).

    The real issue with having the proper tools comes down to the various splined interfaces you're going to encounter. Maybe with the bottom bracket, if it's a threaded one. Definitely the cassette lockring. Maybe your crank will have a lockring to attach a direct mount chainring. Maybe your brake rotors (if centerlock interface) will need a splined tool. If you've got a pressfit bottom bracket, there's a whole different collection of tools for those, depending on what size you have. Headset press is an important one, too.

    A torque wrench is going to be pretty important, especially with carbon involved. You'll need to use it in low torque applications anytime you're clamping a carbon part, or clamping a dropper post. You'll need to use it anytime you've got multiple bolts on a clamp that need to be evenly tightened (stem faceplates are the biggie here) to make sure you don't break the stem faceplate. You'll probably need a torque wrench for high torque applications (probably will be a different tool) for crank bolts.

    You also need to make sure you have some torx wrenches, because a fair number of fasteners are using those these days. It sorta started with 6 bolt rotors, but depending on which parts you have, torx might be used on lever clamps and such, too.

    There's also little things like a crown race setter, a saw guide for cutting the fork steerer (to make sure it's a clean, square cut), a star nut setting tool, a pedal wrench, and so on. You'll want to be aware if any part you use requires a particular tool for installation. This is something you'll need to be aware of for every part you purchase, because some do require a particular tool, and some don't. Sometimes it'll be a tool you already have (for example, some centerlock rotor lockrings use the same interface as the cassette lockring, and others will use the same interface as a Shimano BSA bottom bracket).

    Some of these tools are things you're not likely to use often, except when you're assembling bikes. Things like bearing presses can cost a fair bit relative to how often you're likely to use it.

  8. #8
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    While building a bike from the frame up is not rocket science, I completely agree with what Harold has posted. I started collecting tools when I was maintaining my hardtail, and still found that there were a bunch that I needed to purchase when I went to actually build up my first bike. I would recommend that some jobs, like pressing the bottom bracket (if needed) and the headset (if needed) would be better to have a shop do just because of the cost required to buy the appropriate tools. Some other tools - like bleed kits and a cable housing cutter - you will need to do normal maintenance of your bike and it makes perfect sense to invest in those when doing the build.

    The great part about building a bike from the frame up is how much you will learn from the process. I would strongly recommend researching every part and asking questions as needed here on the forums. The frame you choose will dictate the bottom bracket that is needed, the headset that is needed, the diameter of the seatpost that is needed, the appropriate axle-to-crown of the suspension fork that you choose and the appropriate rear hub spacing. Each of these choices will drive further component choices that need to be made.

  9. #9
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    https://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-co...d-1115533.html

    This is an example, I decided to have the bike shop do the whole build but really, now that I found out I prefer externally routed droppers, I could have done pretty much everything myself except the fork. It's not too hard to do everything but the fork and crankset with normal tools in a toolbox. The fork and crankset need special tools, but if it's a Hollowtech II crank, it's not too hard. I played it safe and let the bike shop do it for about $240 total, it's probably better to let them do the build unless you are doing just some $1000 screwing around project that can fail and won't be a financial disaster if you strip something or accidentally crack the frame.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    https://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-co...d-1115533.html

    This is an example, I decided to have the bike shop do the whole build but really, now that I found out I prefer externally routed droppers, I could have done pretty much everything myself except the fork. It's not too hard to do everything but the fork and crankset with normal tools in a toolbox. The fork and crankset need special tools, but if it's a Hollowtech II crank, it's not too hard. I played it safe and let the bike shop do it for about $240 total, it's probably better to let them do the build unless you are doing just some $1000 screwing around project that can fail and won't be a financial disaster if you strip something or accidentally crack the frame.
    Thought I'd seen that link for the last time. Are you still playin' like that bike is a good build strategy? And why is a fork hard to install, exactly? Please elaborate. I'm bored.
    :nono: :thumbsup:

  11. #11
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    I'm saying F-U to BB tool standards. I just use a strap wrench these days.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  12. #12
    No known cure
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I'm saying F-U to BB tool standards. I just use a strap wrench these days.
    BB tool standards are death by a thousand cuts.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

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