Bike Builds Worth While?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bike Builds Worth While?

    Hi,
    I've been considering purchasing an AM FS and it crossed my mind that it might be cheaper to find a frame and get a build kit with every thing else. It seems that there are plenty of build kit and frame options from internet suppliers. But it seems just as expensive to just buy a complete bike from a manufacturer than to build one, even when starting with a used frame off ebay or something. What are people's experiences, is it cheaper to assemble yourself, or just get the whole package? Am I just a bad deal hunter?

    I was looking a buying or building a kona coiler or elsworth moment and it just seems it will be the same price or more to build.

  2. #2
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    I've done the sums a few times and unless you are the worlds best bargain hunter there is no way that you can buy stuff cheaper than Giant/Scott/Specailized et all. My rough figures put the built bike at 25% more dollars than the same bike built on the shop floor.

    There are a lot of reasons to buy a frame and build it up. To save money isn't one of them.

    Example: The Australian speced Giant Anthem 0. The retail for the bike is less than the total of the parts minus the frame (you pretty much get the frame for free).

    You could buy a frame and build it up cheaper than the full bikes but the specs will be a lot worse.
    Not that all teenagers are evil mind, just most of them.

  3. #3
    I AM I AM
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    Personally I reckon a bike build is most worthwhile if you're:

    Trying to do it on the cheap - ie all second hand parts & not in it for the bling....

    Or you know that you'd want to change numerous things that are specced as stock off the shop floor.

    Bike builds aren't for the $$ savings (or lack of) but more so because you enjoy doing it or you want particular custom specs. Or a further reason to build one up is if you already had a frame or already had components from another bike lying around.

    Even still do some calculations - what could you salvage by selling the stock parts that you plan or replacing?

  4. #4
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    Depending on where you buy parts can be swapped for savings or for upgrades on complete bikes, just ask. (worked for me)

  5. #5
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    I agree with what everyone's saying. Sometimes you can find forks, wheels, and other components on close-out. If you're patient and you don't mind older, off-wish-list parts you can build a bike cheaper than buying it complete. If you were to match the complete bike part for part, it's probably going to be more expensive.

    Also, if you like to wrench on your bike, then why let the LBS have all the fun? Build it yourself. If you haven't done much work on your bike before it can be a great learning experience.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for every one's input. I guess unless I can find used stuff I'll just buy the bike when the time comes (probably used). My only motivation to build would be for expense, I'm not super concerned about having an awesome custom component setup. And I've just stopped working at the LBS so wrench time is not necessarily a must.

    Thanks again

  7. #7
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    This comes up every now and then.....

    and when it comes right down to it, no you can't build a new bike with new parts cheaper than a factory bike. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE! That is if you are being completely honest in your comparisons, i.e. new cureent year parts and new frame for your build. If you start comparing used parts and last years blow outs then you're missing the point. An 08 production bike is going to come with 08 parts. And there's no way you can come close to what the big manufacturers pay of those components. They buy in quantity and get huge discounts from the suppliers!

    If you want to do an honest comparison then get the price of the Coilair frame and then chose the spec that suits you off the Kona website for the Coilair production bike and right it down. From there go to an online dealer that has a "bike build kit builder" option like Universal Cycles. Then set up you build kit to match the spec of the production Coilair that you've chosen off the Kona site. I gaurantee you you'll be looking at considerably more for your build bike than you would for the complete bike from Kona. The rules are, you must spec it exactly like the Kona production bike, or upgrade the components that you would normally upgade if you were to buy the production bike.

    The only way to build a bike from frame up cheaper than the retail offerings is to compromise components, buy used, or outdated parts. You end up with less than what you'd have gotten if you'd bought the production bike.

    The real and only reasons for building a frame up are first the spec. You can spec the bike EXACTLY the way you want it, no compromises to "meet a price point". And second for the satisfaction and pride of doing it yourself. And third, the manufacturer only offers frame only. Believe me those are great reasons!

    That doesn't mean you don't look for bargans! You do, you shop hard to get the best price for the components you want. You just don't compromise them for lesser parts "just to get it in the dirt".

    The bottom line is, yes you could build a bike from frame up for less than a production bike using the same frame. But it won't be the same bike and the components spec will be much lower than the production bike, or the parts will be used, or obsolete.

    Like I said, if your being honest and specing the frame the same, you won't be building one cheaper than the production bike. If you are willing to make compromises it's possible, but very difficult and time consuming. And the result is usually less in both component quality and performance. It's like buying a 67 Corvette Stingray body and frame and stuffing a 250 6 cylendar engine in it. Looks cool, but deffinately doesn't perform as intended.

    Good Dirt
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squash
    and when it comes right down to it, no you can't build a new bike with new parts cheaper than a factory bike. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE! That is if you are being completely honest in your comparisons, i.e. new cureent year parts and new frame for your build.
    True.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squash
    The bottom line is, yes you could build a bike from frame up for less than a production bike using the same frame.
    Also True.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squash
    But it won't be the same bike and the components spec will be much lower than the production bike, or the parts will be used, or obsolete.
    I don't know how true this is. My experience has been different. For example, I've purchased, new, a heavily discounted Pike 454, new Juicy brakes, new Stylo cranks, and more parts, where the only difference was the year of manufacture. The brakes, fork, and cranks are some of the more expensive and important parts of the build.

    You also have to consider that purchasing a 2007 XT gruppo on clearance or ebay will still be equivalent to, if not better than, a higher priced Deore or LX set that comes on a 2008 pre-built bike.

    So, while hard to do, you can buy a better component spec, cheaper, than what you can get on a pre-built Trek, Specialized, etc, as long as you're patient and have very good product knowledge.

    Ant

  9. #9
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    Yes not forgetting that pats used on a production bike can be OEM only type parts, with less features or different in other ways to aftermarket stuff (particularly forks). Of course when you buy bargain gear aftermarket there is always the chance that you're buying this OEM stuff anyway depending on where you're buying from

    Either way components features and design will always change year by year, sometimes just in colour, so stuff will get outdated quick enough anyway. Like Antonio said, knowing your gear and pricing is the way to go.

  10. #10
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    Oh Yeah

    What to do? Truthfully both routes will cost near the same depending on the specs, always pros and cons. If you don't care about the specs, the cheapest way to go is get the frame, new or used and log onto WheelWorld.com and purchase one of their build kits. They come pre-packaged, probably all outdated stuff but who cares, it still works damn good. All their kits run under 1 grand and are 100% complete, even the damn saddle is in there. So buy a frame, get a wheelworld build kit and get out in the dirt!

  11. #11
    ride hard take risks
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    Shop through Spadout for the best pricing.

    http://www.spadout.com/store.php?cat_view=1&cat_id=509

    Formotion Products
    http://www.formot

  12. #12
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    wow, wheelworld.com had some amazing closeout prices.

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