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Thread: Spare Parts

  1. #1
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    Spare Parts

    My wife had me doing some spring cleaning in the garage this weekend and I found I have a few too many parts just lying around collecting dust. I have been considering buying a commuter with gas going like it is. I think I may just build one, after cleaning the garage I figure all I need is a BB, head set, and frame. I noticed that many of you use steel frames. Is there an advantage to the steel over aluminum? Is new better or would an inexpensive used one work just as well? Finally would a 9sp road cassette provide an advantage over a 9sp mountain?
    Just so we know what I am looking at I found the following hanging out in the garage and want to put it to use:
    Fox F80 fork
    Shimano XT crank
    Juicy 5 brakes with 160mm rotors
    Thompson stem and post
    Monkey light aluminum o/s riser bar
    XT (have long and short cage) rear LX front
    XT rapid fire shifters
    Several saddles to choose
    Wheels can be 819ís or 719ís
    CB 50/50 pedals
    I am open to suggestions if I should make some changes.

  2. #2
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    Pretty much what I did....

    but I had a frame as well.

    "Is there an advantage to the steel over aluminum? Is new better or would an inexpensive used one work just as well?"

    No real advantage to either alu or steel. A steel frame is usually a bit more compiant and smoother riding than an aluminum frame. But it's more dependant on how the frame is made than anything else. A frame made of either material will work fine.

    "Finally would a 9sp road cassette provide an advantage over a 9sp mountain?"

    This one depends on the terrain on your commute and your set up. If you've got some steep hills on the route the mountain cassette will give you better climbing gears. The cogs on a road cassette have a more closely spaced tooth count so changing from one to the next makes less difference in your pedaling cadance. This can be a good thing if you commute is fairly flat. It also depends on what you intend to use for chainrings as well. With the XT cranks (most likely 44/32/22T gearing) you'd be better off with a mountain cassette. To really get the speed advantage out of a road cassette, you'd need to run a road crank with something like a 53/39T double or a 50/39/30T tripple set up.

    The only thing I'd likely change on your build is the pedals. The 50/50's are great for sure. But I've found that a set of clipless pedals are much more efficient on the road. It's not like riding a technical trail where a bail out could cause problems. A simple set of Shimano 520's and good shoes work wonders.

    So find a frame and go for it. You can build a pretty efficient and durable commuter out of a used mountain frame and go to it.

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

  3. #3
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnslr
    Is new better or would an inexpensive used one work just as well?
    Used is much cooler- the older the better. I suppose new would work in a pinch though. Whatever you do, I doubt it`s possible to avoid having fun with the build- happy pedalling!

  4. #4
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    Squash, the terrain here is SLC has its climbs but not anything I haven’t rode a thousand and one times. I have even kicked the idea of a SS but think I like my gears too much to make the jump. I do prefer to ride clipless as well so I will look into possibly stowing some personal items at work. They have shower and locker facilities but we are not supposed to leave things there when we are not.
    Rodar I like your suggestion., used it will be, maybe I can find a relic that will produce something incredibly unique.
    Look out eBay here I come

  5. #5
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    I hear ya there....

    I've got one gut buster on my route that pretty much requires gears. Most of my commute to work is flat and fast, but the last 1/4 mile is a killer. But it sure is fun on the ride home! On a good day without a head wind I've hit 40mph running down that hill!

    Anyway, yeah used doesn't hurt a thing. That's pretty much what I did. Had an old mountian hardtail frame that wasn't doing anything, and I was getting pretty tired or riding my main dirt ride for the commute. So I emptied out the parts box and started piecing things together. I ended up spending about $200 on bits that I didn't have or wanted to change and that was it. It turned out great. Stout but not overly heavy, reasonably fast, and able to take a pot hole without killing the rider! That's a big plus around here, we've got pot holes in the spring that are known to eat pedestrians, dogs, and small cars!

    So have fun with it. You never know what you'll find on flea-bay.

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

  6. #6
    M_S
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    Those are some awfully nice parts for a commuter. I would sell the F80 and buy a rigid fork though, unless you commute on ultra rough roads or singletrack. The money you get from it, if it's in good shape, could go towards a basic nashbar steel or aluminum frame.

    Don't worry about steel versus aluminum. I don't think it really matters that much either way.

    So here's what I would do:

    Sell the pedals and fork, since you mentioned a desire to use clipless, and buy a frame and fork. If you want new, maybe the Nashbar 853 frame a and a Kona or surly fork would work well. Then all you need is tires, chain, cassette, and cables.

    Even cheaper would be to find an older, beat up frame. Might be a good option if you need to lock the bike up. Mid-end hardtails show up on craigslist all the time around here.

    Or you could sell your extra parts and just buy a Kona Smoke 2-9. Low end parts though.

  7. #7
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    Most of the parts I have came off a bike that I had broken the frame on. The fork has never even been cut for a frame. I bought it for the HT but I broke the frame before I could mount it. Since it was an older frame I just replaced the bike and it came with a great fork on it already. I have considered a rigid but since I already had this fork I figured I would use it. The entire idea of the build is to get the parts off the bench and onto a bike I can use anyway…and it will let me leave my trail bike for the trails.

  8. #8
    M_S
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    Well, I know you just want to use your spare parts, but my opinion that you should sell the fox fork is only strengthened by the fact that it is unused and uncut, simply because you could probably buy a rigid fork AND frame for what you could sell it for. If you look at it that way, you aren't buying anything, even the frame .

  9. #9
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    Sell all those parts and buy a Bianchi Pista.. hands down the best bike commuter ever. (OK, maybe I'm a little biased.)
    Draft College Republicans

  10. #10
    PM Me for Wood Fenders
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    gn

    I'd second the idea of selling the fork and buying a nice inexpensive steel frame. I've been commuting a long time. Started on my old Trek, aluminum frame stock setup. Then I went and bought a CrossCheck, steel frame. I love the ride of the steel. You'll also appreciate the feel of a rigid front fork when commuting, as all the power you generate goes to the gears rather than the slight smoosh into the front fork. I have no idea of the lock out features on the FOX so that may be a nonissue, but I'm sure it weighs more than a rigid. As far as the cassette and chain rings, I run a 48/36 and a 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25t cassette. I haven't had any problems with climbs.

    Regardless, it's cool to see posts about building commuters....oh, just another note about a used frame...correct me if I'm wrong all readers, but I'd have more confidence in a used steel frame over a used aluminum as far as strength and longevity.

    Have Fun!
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

  11. #11
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    Ok, I think I have it. I sold some things as recommended and ordered the Cannondale Bad Boy with a ridged fork and disk brakesÖno more out of pocket then I would have had if I built one.

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