I'm building a SS from scratch. Need Advice please- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    I'm building a SS from scratch. Need Advice please

    So I've decided to build a single speed from the frame up. It will be a budget, no frills type project. I almost have the frame picked out but since I have no experience working with bikes, other than changing a flat or cleaning my chain, where should I go from here???
    Should I buy a book on how to build a bike yourself, or look online?

  2. #2
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    become friends with your local bike shop then bug them until they show you how to fix what your stuck on and you can search the forum, there are some pretty knowledgeable people one here.

  3. #3
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    Look for a bike coop. Seems to be trend. We have one in boise, and you can go in and scavenge parts for cheap, use good tools, and get help from knowledgeable mechanics.

  4. #4
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    I have just finished building my second single speed....that said, I have built a number of cross country race bikes and trail bikes ( geared) beforer, but the single speed build is unique in many ways... I found a ton of info here and on other sites, use GOOGLE and go mining, it's ALMOST as fun as riding without gears

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyule
    I have just finished building my second single speed....that said, I have built a number of cross country race bikes and trail bikes ( geared) beforer, but the single speed build is unique in many ways... I found a ton of info here and on other sites, use GOOGLE and go mining, it's ALMOST as fun as riding without gears
    i like the idea of a single speed because it's simple and i like to try different things. also, it seems like a good idea for city riding just the idea of a basic bike with no extras.

  6. #6
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    Zip ties? Not on my bike!

    Want:
    650B rims or wheel set. 80's vintage 32 or 36 x 135mm

  7. #7
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    To the OP,

    Learning to build up your own bike from ground up is noble quest, but understand that as a novice, you will save neither time or money. The info online is great, and you probably will not need to invest in books. Tools, however, can be very expensive. Finding a local co-op with all the tools and stands is the way to go, if you can. I have built all but my very first bike, and I have learned a lot over several years and several builds. You have to knopw yourself and capacity to deal with frustration. You also have to respect the fact that building a bike up from scratch takes a lot experience, knowledge, and usually a lot of time as well.
    Responds to gravity

  8. #8
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    Find someone to show you how it's done.
    And be very careful not to chew up any threads, find out which are left handed before you start!
    And have fun, it's not rocket science, you'll enjoy riding a bike more that you've built yourself.

  9. #9
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    I've built a road bike, a geared xc bike and am finishing my first single speed...all on my own. Like others have said, don't expect to save any money this way. You will learn a lot though and it's fun to ride something you have so much time invested in (and it is a ton of time). Here's what I've found:

    If I just want advice and won't be buying any parts, I've gotten great info from the mechanics at our local big-box sporting goods store. They seem to be much more willing to give out free advice than their counterparts at the small LBS in town. I guess they figure they get paid whether I have them do any work or not.

    If buying parts, hit your LBS...they're usually pretty helpful as long as you're not looking for a handout (rightfully I might add). I have one near me who I have to practically walk out on otherwise I'd be there for hours discussing what I'm working on.

    Find an old retired biker. I know a retired dentist who lives bikes and if he's not riding, he wants to be talking about riding. He walked me through the entire build process of my road bike. Let me use his tools, helped when I got stuck, and gave some pretty solid advice along the way.

    Lastly, google is your friend. Tons of free info out there if you just look.

    Good luck & have fun!

  10. #10
    AZ
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    Find someone that can show you , first hand demonstration . Hands on learning cannot be replaced .

  11. #11
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    Oh... just dive right in. Nothing better than a little auto-didaction.
    There's nothing too complicated in there, and everything that anyone could teach you is really stuff you gotta learn on your own. Your bike should be your art. Your soul. You need to make some bad choices and screw a few things up to really get the full appreciation for it. I mean that seriously. Building bikes is a journey, and the path is not always straight. All the hiccups you will encounter along the way are an essential part. Making multiple, disheartened, frustrated, possibly even embarrassed trips to the bike shop in a single day are just stops along that path.
    Sure, you could just do it the rich-guy way and have someone build you something that's more bike than you have talent.... but you'd be missing the point.
    Here are some basics to get you going:

    Read the Instructions
    Read the Instructions
    Measure twice, cut once.
    Don't force it.
    Facing, clean threads, loctite, and thread-prep (grease, anti-seize, whathaveyou) are your friends.
    Don't buy first-generation anything.
    Ask for help.
    Be patient.

    And if you have questions just post a thread. You might get a little sh!t, but you'll get much more help.

    That about covers it. "No more training do you require, already know you, that which you need".


  12. #12
    Dinner for wolves
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    Quote Originally Posted by subliminalshiver

    Read the Instructions
    Read the Instructions
    Measure twice, cut once.
    Don't force it.
    Facing, clean threads, loctite, and thread-prep (grease, anti-seize, whathaveyou) are your friends.
    Don't buy first-generation anything.
    Ask for help.
    Be patient.
    So nice, you should read it twice.
    Responds to gravity

  13. #13
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    <--- subscribing

    Despite a lack of time and money, interested in a similar quest.
    Got the Zinn book coming, looking for a SoCal Co-op.
    Planning on piecing together a Ridg29r as well.

  14. #14
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    Take a course, of course!

    Check your local college...lots of them offer bike maintenance courses through their continuing education program. For $150 and a weekend, you get a lifetime of knowledge.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryceorama
    Check your local college...lots of them offer bike maintenance courses through their continuing education program. For $150 and a weekend, you get a lifetime of knowledge.
    good idea. i'm definitely going to check into it myself. you can never have enough skills.
    Last edited by bwheelin; 12-11-2009 at 03:43 PM.

  16. #16
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    I dunno if it is hard as it is seeming from the posts. Go on craigslist. Find a relatively decent steel bike- probably best to make sure they have semi horizontal drop outs for chain tensioning. Pull of everything from the bike. Take off fork. So far, hex keys, screw drivers and wrench do you fine. Check bearings in BB and headset. Buy new ones, clean everything, repack. Pull cassette, buy ss chainring bolts (now you need an old chain to hold the freebody, or a chain whip, and a cassette tool). Depending on what year the bike is, either redish the rear wheel and buy a SS freewheel or buy cassette spacers and a cassette cog. Buy a SS specific chainring. Put everything back together, ride bike.

    I think it is cheaper than fixing the derailers, picking up a new cassette, cables, maybe shifters. I think SS is the cheap way into mountain biking and you can learn a lot about biking before making a large financial commitment.

    There will be some variables with every conversion, but if you have a camera and patience, the forum members will guide you through....

  17. #17
    PSYCHOLUST
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    Interesting.... I had never considered a couple of UMATH's points. I never gave much thought to SS being cheaper or less complex and those quailties being a good thing for someone starting out in mountainbiking.
    As an older guy myself, I see most of the singlespeeds in the woods being ridden by guys with years (even decades) of geared experience looking for something NEW in SS riding.

    Personally, I found that having ridden geared mountain bikes before trying an SS meant that to me (and my pride) that just about any hill is RIDEABLE and I wonder if I might have been less determined to power up some of the bigger stuff if I had no geared past to look back on.

  18. #18
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    -----removed by poster who is no longer online and drunk-----
    Last edited by Plinkomatic; 12-13-2009 at 01:54 AM.

  19. #19
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    My 2 cents

    Quote Originally Posted by roc865
    So I've decided to build a single speed from the frame up. It will be a budget, no frills type project. I almost have the frame picked out but since I have no experience working with bikes, other than changing a flat or cleaning my chain, where should I go from here???
    Should I buy a book on how to build a bike yourself, or look online?


    Webcyclery.com

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plinkomatic
    One thing they can so is try to get a tax break for hot chicks, something our Governor will likely approve. Since all women are +2 to +4 in ski towns depending on snow level, time of day and booze consumption, there is a huge swath of eligible people who could be incentivized to serve as a catalyst to make the refreshable petri dish we call The Village a burgeoning community once again (thusly a 4 becomes a 6, perhaps more startling is how a 6 could become a 9).
    Hopefully that's less offensive than funny; if not, I apologize.

    that last comment fell about 30 yards short of making any sense.

    what does that have to do with the price of tea in china?
    no chain no gain.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10speedbiopacefreewheel
    that last comment fell about 30 yards short of making any sense.

    what does that have to do with the price of tea in china?
    Wow. Um..ok...
    1) Karmic Koala has once again in swift time proven it's more than just a version name.
    2) That was the result of too many windows open.
    3) It was a reply on what can be done to re-invigorate the downtown area at Mammoth Mountain called the Village.
    4) Blanton's goes down like water.
    5) Too many days of rain and not enough on the bike is taking a toll.

    As you were, RTT and other netwise acronyms.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjenkins@
    Look for a bike coop. Seems to be trend. We have one in boise, and you can go in and scavenge parts for cheap, use good tools, and get help from knowledgeable mechanics.
    This.

    Volunteers at our local coop showed me how to build my bike up and now that I've graduated and have free time I try to go over there and repay what I was taught by volunteering.

  23. #23
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    Dude YOUTUBE is great for video tutorials on building! I would say the hardest part about building a bike is having the right tools! Found this out after building my Giant XTC. Currently Building a On One Scandal SS, wouldn't buy a completed bike now!

    Only thing I leave to the pro's aka local bike shop is wheel truing... only as I have no experience at this.
    Custom Giant OCR T-Mobile Edition
    On-One Scandal 29'er Project on the go

  24. #24
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plinkomatic
    Wow. Um..ok...
    1) Karmic Koala has once again in swift time proven it's more than just a version name.
    2) That was the result of too many windows open.
    3) It was a reply on what can be done to re-invigorate the downtown area at Mammoth Mountain called the Village.
    4) Blanton's goes down like water.
    5) Too many days of rain and not enough on the bike is taking a toll.

    As you were, RTT and other netwise acronyms.
    ********. Don't delete old posts. Those are the hilarious ones.

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