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  1. #1
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    Reputation: Noclutch's Avatar
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    Jun 2010

    Buying new low spec complete to part out and build up the frame?

    Does this ever work out to ones advantage?

    The price point of the lower spec builds are interesting, especially when the big online dealers seem to be sorta doing "fire sale" type pricing.

    The frame often is exactly the same as the brands top end model, often with the same shock and rear triangle on some FS brands. However the extra 5# of cheap strong heavy stuff isn't appealing to me at all.

    But are those unappealing parts realistically marketable enough to recoup a significant portion of ones end custom build so that one could "come out ahead"?? Lighter, stronger and cheaper once the other stuff is resold? Or are there too many "snobs" out there (maybe like me) who wouldn't touch those parts even for pennies on the dollar?

    With my previous build I most definitely did come out ahead in those ways relative to an off the shelf offering, but that was with a frame up build. And unfortunately some brands don't/won't offer a frame set only option...

    Thoughts and thanks?
    Last edited by Noclutch; 01-13-2018 at 01:48 PM.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dbhammercycle's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    It all depends on what you consider ahead. If you get the bike you want at the end of the process, I would consider that a win. Some of the no-name parts will not attract attention and you may not even be able to sell them at all. That's not necessarily because of snobs, but simply because a brand name is recognized inferring a level of known quality. It's the market where you live that will determine interest and price levels for those parts. Sometimes you can build up with better parts that are a couple years from current spec. For instance, building with 10 spd parts will be cheaper than 12 speed. Building with better parts on hand in the parts box is a good way to save money, but requires some forward thinking for compatibility. When I was gifted my first fat bike, I spent money on upgrades which then went to the next bike when I sold the 1st fatty with the original unused components returned.

    Coming out ahead depends on many things, most important is your mindset not the frameset. However, IMO, you will spend money and likely will not make it back on the parts you want to sell and it will also take your time to sell them.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  3. #3
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    It all depends on what you consider ahead.

    If you do this thinking you're going to save money, it's possible, but highly unlikely if you have no parts bin to work from on the rebuild.

    OEM takeoffs of lower level stuff aren't going to bring you a whole lot of dough.

    Now if you're doing this because you simply want the frame to build off of and it's the cheapest way you can get your hands on that particular frame, then the scenario changes some. But you need to keep in mind that it is most likely going to cost more to go this route as opposed to buying something else that you CAN get as a frame-only.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Mr Pig's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Building bikes is virtually always more expensive than buying whole bikes unless you already have most of the parts. It can be a fun thing to do but not a good way to save money.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: Lone Rager's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    You might get ~50-60% of retail list price for unused take-off parts. You gotta do the math to see if the overall enterprise is worth it. I'm guessing not.
    Do the math.

  6. #6
    No known cure
    Reputation: Vader's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Buy another frame to hang the parts on, then give it to the wife, make it into a bar bike, loaner, or sell it. It's easier to sell a bike at once than sell parts.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Noclutch's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Thanks guys! I'm slowly whittling down the handful of new bike potentials, and a couple only come as completes, but fortunately at this juncture they happen to be already at the bottom of the list and they're probably staying there. I will be porting over some good parts from my old ride (and replacing them on it with back ups), and newing the rest. Just seems even the top end of many brands have things ( such as wheelsets,bars,seatposts, saddles) that just aren't all that or my cup of tea.
    So it's looking like frame up it will be, which is fine. Just gotta wait for the "offer I can't refuse" LOL

  8. #8
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    Jan 2005
    About two years ago I HAD to get a bike to replace my stolen MTB, and it HAD to be under $500. was having their pre-going-out-of-business sale of a MSRP $975 bike for $329.

    Replaced the fork two months later and the crank a month after that .... fast forward .... I'm on a completely different bike after having replaced the frame. So I bought the bike I could afford and now have the bike I want and enough left over parts to build up an MTB for my nephew.

    That kept me riding all along and was affordable at every step. I am a ferocious shopper and don't mind 3yo NOS parts from Britain so it cost a good bit less than just buying a bike. It did take patience and some scheming and part research.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
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    Dec 2010
    You can sell any parts on eBay...if the price is right. The real question is how much of you investment do you want to recoup?

  10. #10
    Reputation: Cotharyus's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    I have a friend who is truly a snob about parts (but he has his reasons) and he does something similar, although he usually buys higher end builds because he knows the parts he doesn't want off those will be easier to sell and bring more money if there isn't a frame only version of the bike he wants. I have personally, in the past, lowballed into a bike with parts I knew were solid, but could be a lot nicer, and rode it until stuff needed to be replaced, and put the nicer parts on it then. I, quite frankly, don't have the patience or the luck to sell take-off parts and not come out way behind.

  11. #11
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    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
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    May 2012
    Depends. If you are looking at buying a bike that can you can't get frame only and it might make sense. I am looking at bike I can't get frame only. Idea is buy the lowest spec of the same frame type and swap over my high end components from my current bike to the new one. Then either set the new take off mid grade parts or build them on my old frame and sell that. Not sure what is the best return on that. Still works given the cost of new high ends parts I already have on my current bike. For example fresh XTR brakes, Next SL crank set etc.
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  12. #12
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    Apr 2004
    I've bought bikes with a "foundation build" which basically means SLX/lower end parts. It's fine, I still have a carbon frame with decent suspension. Your drivetrain will wear and tare so when it comes time to replace those parts, upgrade. The lower end parts work ok, just a bit on the heavy side. I dont' think you'll get much money for these parts even if they are brand new. I'd recommend riding them until you feel the drivetrain needs to be replaced. This was about a season for me and by the end of the year, I had saved up for my upgrades (waited for previous season parts to go on blowout sale).

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