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Thread: Bike Build Help

  1. #1
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    Bike Build Help

    I've searched now for the last couple days looking for a thread with this topic but havent found much. I'm planning in the very near future to buy a Yelli Screamy this would be my third major bike purchase and the first build as you can only get the frames from Canfield. I still consider myself a relative newby especially to building a bike.

    Here is my issue with the bike build, Do I need to wait until I have all the parts for the bike before I goto my LBS and order the frame? If I have the LBS order the frame and build it up is it bad form to just have them order the frame then I show up with a truck load of parts to put on it that I ordered seperately from various internet discount sites?

    I also have parts questions (headsets, bottom brackets, crankset etc) but those might be more specific to a different forum.

    Any and all advice is appriciated.

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
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    IMO, a shop that won't do a parts install on any part (it shouldn't matter if you bought it elsewhere or it came from your parts bin) is doing you a disservice. They're charging you for the labor, so I see no problem. In fact, I had my own shop do just that. I took them a frame I bought elsewhere and a headset I bought elsewhere. I had them face the HT, BB shell, and disc tabs, and install the headset. No problem. I can do the rest of the labor myself.

    I ordered many parts from the internet, but I did order my wheelset through them, rewarding them for their service (even though I could have bought it cheaper elsewhere). They have done a few things for me for no charge, so they have earned the sale. I'll be spending more on this wheelset than most people who visit that shop spend on a whole bike, so it's no small sale to them.

    I worked at a shop years ago where a guy was having an S-Works Epic built with top-end bits (King, XTR, etc). He ordered a lot of the stuff from the shop, but he'd also show up some days to drop off some new part for the build that he acquired elsewhere. We had a parts box for his build going, so that when we had everything, we'd do the whole build. It wasn't a problem, and in fact it was a joy since we didn't get to work with most of the parts he was bringing in very often.

  3. #3
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    Any chance you know someone who's built bikes before and could help? I think you'd get a lot out of building it yourself and if you don't already perform routine maintenance on your current bikes, going through a build will give you the confidence and save you $$$. The only thing you might want a shop to do if you go that route is to have them put in the headset.

    That said, it depends on the LBS whether you could walk in with a box of parts and ask them to build up a frame. Some might be cool with it, others not so much. You could at least talk with them first and see if they can give you a great price on a complete build.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    I ordered many parts from the internet, but I did order my wheelset through them, rewarding them for their service (even though I could have bought it cheaper elsewhere). They have done a few things for me for no charge, so they have earned the sale. I'll be spending more on this wheelset than most people who visit that shop spend on a whole bike, so it's no small sale to them.
    I like this. Buy from them sometimes, but not necessarily all the time - it's obvious that you're trying to support them. Something not to do - buddy of mine was bike shopping and tried out a handful of bikes from the LBS over the course of a few weeks, then shows up with a bike from eBay and asks them to assemble it for him. They were professional about it, but he feels like he can never show his face there again.

  5. #5
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    Good advice!
    The shop that would order the frame for me did just build up a nice (and expensive) wheel set for my current 29er a month back which is the wheels I plan on using on this new bike. I'll have to check with them on a complete build price, thats a good idea. But the complete build parts is the other part that still concerns me - figuring out parts such as head sets, BB, cranksets etc and getting everything sized correctly and making sure it is compatible with the Yelli frame. Then you talk about facing the HT and I have no idea what that even means.

  6. #6
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    I'd go ahead and order the frame, parts or no parts. There are a few spots where you're going to need to know sizes or installation styles - headset and bottom bracket type, seat post size, seat clamp size, front derailleur style and clamp size. Manufacturers vary about how good they are at publishing that stuff. So if you find you have questions, it'll be helpful for your or your shop to actually have the frame.

    The issue of how bike shops make their money gets argued back and forth. I tend to split my purchases among the shop close to me (inexpensive maintenance parts especially, more expensive parts when I'm in a hurry, service on my MTB,) the shop that sponsors my team, and the internet. Although I haven't bought much online in a while. The lowest prices you see online are very close to wholesale, so your shop can't compete. Supposedly the biggest markups in a shop are on clothes. Maintenance parts are pretty variable, since they're something cheap enough for shipping to eat up internet savings a lot of the time. I buy my chains locally, even before I had a deal. Ditto brake pads, riding shoes, random small parts.

    Bla bla bla. Your shop has other expenses, like rent and employees' wages. But when they charge you for service, they don't lose an inventory item that they have to pay to replace. They're getting money back on fixed costs. IME, service is also where shops are most willing to offer a deal to their riders. So I think it's the biggest margin, at least at most shops. Some will have a different business model, and a high-volume shop in the right neighborhood can probably make a lot more selling Tour de France replica jerseys and carbon fiber shoes.

    The point being, get quotes on the stuff you're buying and see if the 'net will really give you a better price. For many items, especially when shipping from multiple different locations, it's actually not that great. And, don't stress too much about paying them to install parts from other sources. Cyclists are always trading and acquiring parts through random other channels that they can't install themselves. You do lose a few things by buying online. If the shop is your point of sale, they also handle warranty service, for example. For most things, I don't consider that much value added. But there are some items on a bike that seem to need warranty service a little more often.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    "Here is my issue with the bike build, Do I need to wait until I have all the parts for the bike before I goto my LBS and order the frame? If I have the LBS order the frame and build it up is it bad form to just have them order the frame then I show up with a truck load of parts to put on it that I ordered seperately from various internet discount sites?"

    Well, you don't need to wait until you have all the parts, but it's a good idea. Spec the bike the way you want it and wait until you have all the parts before you order the frame. It makes it less likely that you'll get antsy to get the bike rolling and make compromises in components. Basically you won't have that pretty new frame sitting around screaming "RIDE ME NOW!!!" while your waiting on the rest of the bits to arrive.

    As for being bad form to order the frame from them and then have them assemble it with "your parts", not in the least. You'll have ordered the frame from them and will be paying to have them assemble it. If the shop gets crappy over that, then you need to find another shop.

    The shop I work at we do it all the time. The only time we have a problem with it is when a customer comes in with their internet purchases and then *****es about being charged full price for install labor, etc.

    One thing you may want to do is spec the parts you want and look em up online, i.e. do all your shopping around for price, etc., and get it all totaled up. Don't forget to add in shipping and build labor. Then go in and talk to the shop about the frame and a build kit with your spec. Some shops will give you a "package deal" if you do it all through them. Often times with shipping and build labor factored in, the cost will come out very close to the same, if not a bit less. I know at our shop if you bought it all from us, we wouldn't charge you to build it. The only labor involved would be if you were specing a hand build wheel set and we had to build em. The bottom line is, do your home work, then go talk to the shop. They might surprise you.

    Unless you're looking to spec used parts from Ebay, or whatever, it might be worth your while to look into internet vs. shop prices.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  8. #8
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    It sounds like you have a good rapport with your shop, why don't you just talk it out with them? Tell them you're looking at buying parts online for the frame, especially if they're ordering the frame for you, and talk to them about what things are going to cost. You might even find out that if they waive their part install fees when you buy the parts from them you'd actually save money buy ordering with the shop. You won't know until you ask.

    Before you take the frame to the shop (or before it comes in) take in your box o' parts that you have collected from wherever you might get them so that the bike shop can see what they're dealing with. That way they'll know what parts they have to order (if any) so that you can get your frame together in a reasonable amount of time.

    Whichever way you go for ordering parts be up front with your bike shop, they'll probably understand wanting to spend as little money as you can and if they're any good they'll help you in that quest.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  9. #9
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    Out-of-Box Bike Build Checklist
    Pedals threads greased and tight.

    Stem Greased.

    Seat Post Greased.

    Seat Post not inserted higher than max safe height or min. insert mark. Seat Post tight.

    Seat level and tight.

    Headset adjusted and top nut locked down.

    Handlebar binder tight.

    Stem not inserted higher than max. Safe height or min. insert mark. Stem bolt tight.

    Hubs adjusted and wheels true.

    Wheels centered with quick releases adjusted and tight. Front lever parallel to fork and rear lever between left seat and chain stays or axle not tight.


    Wheel and pedal reflectors installed.

    Front and rear reflectors installed.

    Brake lever bolts tight.

    Cantilever or caliper brakes mounting bolts tight.

    Brake adjusting barrel screwed all the way in.

    Brake cable fully pre-stressed.

    Brake cables re-adjusted.

    Crank arm bolts tight.

    Derailleur hanger aligned.

    Shifter levers tight.

    Cable casing seated.

    Front and rear derailleur adjusted.

    Cable ends capped.

    Air in tires to recommended pressure. Valve caps on.

    Tires inspected for proper mounting on rim.

    Kickstand straight and tight.
    2009 Access 9.5 29er
    2010 Diamondback Insight RS (700c hybrid)
    Velorazzo frame build (26)

  10. #10
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    It will be smart to buy some parts online so if you find a good deal go for it(Break whole sets, shifters, dérailleurs, crank,cassette,grips, chain), but also it will be a good idea to buy some stuff from the LBS, things that need to be compatible with the size of your frame (head set, stem, button bracket, seat post, handle bar) and if you dont mind some second hand stuff are also good, I bough I nice mountain saddle in my LBS for $10 and some nice pedals for another $10 for my last built. I am sure they will be happy to help you.
    Good luck to you.

  11. #11
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    Well I followed the advice:

    I priced out everything from discount sites on the internet, found one deal that was too good to pass up on a Marzocchi Ti 44 fork from chainlove, went ahead and grabbed that one. Priced out everything else from the discount sites, then went into my LBS and talked to the guys there about the build. I told them what I was wanting and my price limit they made some suggestions then priced everything out for me. Also said they would throw in the labor if I bought everything through them. When I factor in shipping and pain and suffering of making sure all my orders and sizing are correct (which obviously they'll handle sizing and making sure I get the right headsets etc if I go through them) I think I'm gonna go ahead and pull the trigger and use the LBS to order everything. thanks for the advice,

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