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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    176

    Question Buying a complete new bike or building one

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    Hi folks

    I've been happily riding my Giant CRX1 which is a nice hybrid, for the past 4 months since I've taken up cycling seriously. I bought it when I wasn't sure what sort of cycling I wanted to do. Well, it's now pretty clear to me that the road is really where my love is and the CRX isn't quite what I want (you learn these things as you go!!!). And so I'm now thinking of my next bike.

    So, I'd like to hear your opinions, of buying a complete new bike vs building one up. The LBS that I went to had this very compelling salesman (who was the owner too), who just about convinced me to buy an Orbea Line frame and get it spec'ed up. He was obviously a euro sort of a biker, because he also strongly suggested a Campag (Centaur) and not Shimano Ultegra groupset.

    The other bike that sort of appeals are the specialized dolces.

    Really would love to hear what you all think....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
    Posts
    9,673
    It depends on whether built up bikes fit your needs - fit, components, bling factor, gearing, public oohing and aahing, wanna get on it and ride factor, etc., etc., etc. Generally, built up bikes are the more economical way to go, but building from the frame up - nobody else is going to have one like it let alone the ways you can make it fit your riding style. Some folks need custom geometry, so a custom frame may even be best. So many reasons you can go one way or the other, but nobody can really recommend a specific way to go without knowing more about you. "Road cycling" has a wide spectrum and could be anything from fast and short time trial-like rides to loaded long distance touring.

    What is important to you? What do you want from a bike? And, it's OK for one of things to be "it's different."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    176
    Quote Originally Posted by SadieKate
    What is important to you? What do you want from a bike? And, it's OK for one of things to be "it's different."
    I'm really figuring this out as I go. No I don't think being unique is important, and I don't think I need a custom sort of a deal. I'm pretty average and particularly long/short in either torso or leg.

    I'm beginning to learn that cycling is a metaphor for life, where you don't know what you like/don't like until you try it. I see myself more of an endurance rider but still want to be able to go quick.

    Wow factor is important, you gotta like the look of your bike! And the Orbea does come in PINK! (so, so shallow of me ..) But that's not as important as performance.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    508
    Quote Originally Posted by SadieKate
    Generally, built up bikes are the more economical way to go, but building from the frame up - nobody else is going to have one like it let alone the ways you can make it fit your riding style.
    What is important to you? What do you want from a bike? And, it's OK for one of things to be "it's different."
    I have to disagree. Usually, building up a bike yourself is significantly more expensive. Unless you regularly hunt ebay and are willing to wait a long time for the components you want to appear and not get outbid... Pick any bike in your lbs. Check the msrp. Then do the math if you bought components seperately. It is never even close.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    257

    $ vs $$$

    Hmm. I'd always wondered about the build versus complete bike. When trying to figure it out, it's a little mind boggling because there are so many parts!

    You MIGHT save $$ if you build the bike yourself and save on labor. But it is hard to imagine that you can buy the parts cheaper and install them for less than a company doing thousands of bikes...

    Don't Orbea bikes come with Campy anyway? If you are looking for a unique bike swap ln/out some bling parts on a complete bike...

    sarah

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
    Posts
    9,673
    Doc, yes, you can build up a bike yourself for less if you already have the knowledge to pick out compatible the components, including cables, ferrules, and barrel adjusters (if necessary), you already own the tools, and you have the skills to install and adjust everything youself. Most people don't own a headset press; therefore you have to factor in the cost of having your LBS install the headset. Buying all your parts off eBay takes a ton of knowledge because you can't truly comparison shop to make a decision and you also have to be able to spot the mismarked items. I've caught more than one. Part of the additional cost of parts from an LBS is to pay for their knowledge when you don't have it.

    Yes, it can be done. My husband and I do build bikes this way exclusively. But the type of question allabouteva posed indicated to me she probably doesn't have the knowledge at this point in time to do this let alone the motivation. Some people don't find the huge amount of effort it takes to build a bike this way at all fun. They'd rather be out riding. The effort is too costly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    724
    I agree with SadieKate and have swapped out almost everything on my old Surly except the headset and I let the LBS do that. But I also like to tinker and learn how things work. If you don't I wouldn't recommend trying to do it yourself. That said, you can also have the LBS build up a bike for you and I thought that was what allabouteve meant. I did this with my Orbea, which I love by the way. I have Shimano on my Orbea and I picked everything from gearing, handlebar, seatpost, pedals etc. My suggestion is to try Campy vs Shimano on a bike before you decide. I didn't like the way you had to shift on the Campy but all of this is just personal experience so try a few things before you have them build the bike up and they should be willing so swap out stems etc to get the bike to fit you properly which is probably the most important thing of all...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
    Posts
    9,673
    I love the Campy vs Shimano debate. The last bike I built was my one and only with Shimano shifters. I just swapped them to Campy because I hated the curve of the Shimano. It all comes down to what fits and is comfy.

    A note - if you want the low mtb gearing of Shimano but with Campy levers, a Jtek Shiftmate makes the mutt system work really, really well.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    176
    Sorry folks, its pretty obvious I'm new at this. I didn't mean that I would build up the bike myself, but my LBS would.

    Anyway I went to my LBS today, and have decided to get the Orbea, just really liked the look of it. And they're going to put it together for me. It's based on the Orbea Linea, but they're changing some components to make it more compatible for me - Terry handlebars, Centaur 10 speed groupset, selle italia women's saddle, campag vento wheels, and some shimano spd pedals(what is on my bike) and it's in PINK! Can't wait to get it!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Tustin, CA
    Posts
    1,308
    Quote Originally Posted by doc
    I have to disagree. Usually, building up a bike yourself is significantly more expensive. Unless you regularly hunt ebay and are willing to wait a long time for the components you want to appear and not get outbid... Pick any bike in your lbs. Check the msrp. Then do the math if you bought components seperately. It is never even close.

    I have many friends who build up bikes but they definitely know what they
    are doing and what they want and are always on the hunt for components at good prices etc.

    One thing I always caution to folks - do the research yourself. Understand the difference between Campy and Shimano and make sure, if Campy is recommend you agree with the recommendations and why you would want that. Campy is expensive. You can get a much better Shimano set for the price of a low end Campy set. But many people like how Campy works. To me, not worth the extra price.

    Also make sure once the bike is built, it is built to suit your style of riding. What your bike guy is recommending is for someone interested in racing. Your riding style is fairly agressive, laid out, and you like to go fast. If that's you, then you'll probably like the Orbea and Campy. Again. do the research on all the bikes in your price range to see what best suits your riding style. Will you be happy with Aluminum? Is Carbon more your bag? How about steel and if you have the money why not Ti? I have lots of friends you got talked into a certain bike cause their bike guy, who is 20, a race and weighs 120 lbs, like it and found out it doesn't work for someone 45, who needs to lose weight and likes to ride recreationally. Those expensive bikes are still sitting in the garage or were sold at a loss.

    Have fun, don't rush into anything.

    PS: We all know you don't mean to build the bike yourself - by build-up we know you mean they have recommended a frame and then the components. The Shop makes more money on these types of purchases. Just think of the labor they can charge.
    BCIpam - Nature Girl

 

 

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