General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Bike Build......Good or bad idea for non bike Mech? Rss Feed  
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2015-11-19 9:17 AM

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Expert
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Pfafftown, NC
Subject: Bike Build......Good or bad idea for non bike Mech?
I know very little about bike mechanic works. But, I'd like to learn more.

Would a relatively inexpensive complete build be a nice little project.......or, a great big nightmare? I'm fairly good, mechanically.....but I've never done any bike work....at all.

I've upgraded some parts on my tri bike (I have the parts, I just haven't had them put on). I'd like to watch my bike shop guy put these on, then maybe use that knowledge to build my own road bike (from the old groupo and other parts I acquire).

Am I asking for trouble? Would not having the exact tool needed lead to a lot of despair? If I do this, I'd like for it to be fun.

Thanks.


2015-11-19 9:20 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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787
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Across the river from Memphis, Tennessee
Subject: RE: Bike Build......Good or bad idea for non bike Mech?
My suggestion would be to get a beater bike. That way you can practice all you want/need and figure out what specialty tools you need. As a bonus, you'd end up with a backup ride while you do the work to your primary ride which means no rushing.
2015-11-19 9:22 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Champion
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Knoxville area
Subject: RE: Bike Build......Good or bad idea for non bike Mech?
It's probably the best way to learn.

If it's going to be your primary bike (at least in the near future) then probably not, if you have another ride it will be a great way to become more proficient at wrenching yourself.

Tons of video's online to help through any of the tough stuff.

Don't do it to save money though if that's an objective. You never save money (especially if you don't have all the tools already)
2015-11-19 9:49 AM
in reply to: Leegoocrap

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Expert
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Pfafftown, NC
Subject: RE: Bike Build......Good or bad idea for non bike Mech?
I have a tri bike. I would like to have a road bike, but it's just a want.

I have a set of extra wheels and an entire groupo that is soon to be lying around. Am I being naïve that I think I have a good head start on a build?
2015-11-19 9:50 AM
in reply to: Leegoocrap

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madison, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Bike Build......Good or bad idea for non bike Mech?
You'll end up needing to buy some very specific tools. Might be good to own if you plan on doing repairs in the future. But don't expect this to be a cost saving event over having someone else do the work. Bike tools are expensive.
2015-11-19 9:58 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Champion
7136
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Knoxville area
Subject: RE: Bike Build......Good or bad idea for non bike Mech?
it's a good head start for sure.

If you have wheels and a grouppo things you'll probably need besides the tools (allen wrenches, the proper crank tool and possibly a homemade press can get you pretty far.)
-headset
-bb
-tape
-cables
-housing
-cassette and chain
-tires/tubes
-saddle
-grease


and of course the frame itself (which may mean you also need a seatpost / fork depending on what frame condition)


2015-11-19 10:24 AM
in reply to: nc452010


304
100100100
Subject: RE: Bike Build......Good or bad idea for non bike Mech?
Build it!

I just tore down my primary bike and replaced entire groupset this last week. I was in the same boat as you. Do I pay local shop a couple hundred bucks or buy $50 worth of tools(over half of them i didn't use). I bought a tools set and went to work tearing it down to nothing but bottom bracket and frame.

End the end I learned a lot about my bike and how to work on it. watched lots of videos and tweaking here and there. I did however pay LBS to fine tune my gearing. I just could not get it right. I watched spend 20-30 mins tweaking it and it's perfect. That cost me an extra $24.

Good Luck on your choice.
2015-11-19 11:02 AM
in reply to: dworth

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Floriduh
Subject: RE: Bike Build......Good or bad idea for non bike Mech?
I do 90% of my own work, it's really not that hard. I go to the LBS for derailleur cable installations and anything doing with the headset. There are a few tools you need, but the best tool is a repair stand.
2015-11-19 11:33 AM
in reply to: Leegoocrap

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Subject: RE: Bike Build......Good or bad idea for non bike Mech?

Agree with Leegoocrap.  It's a great way to learn, there are tons of good videos on youtube to basically do anything you want, it will likely take you longer than you expect (hence his recommendation that this project not be your primary bike), and it will likely cost more than you expect (all the small things add up when you buy them ala carte...mostly the tools).

But think of it as an investment...really no different than paying for college classes.  Going forward, doing your own wrenching can save you quite a bit of time and labor costs compared to having to always take your bike into the shop.  It's still usually cheaper to buy a complete bike even if you know how to wrench, but if you plan to ride your bikes a lot and keep them for a long time, the upkeep costs can add up if you don't do it yourself.  

I ride my road bike enough to replace the chain 3-4x a year, BB bearings 2x a year, new chain rings almost every year, and all cables and housings 2x a year for optimal performance.  Labor costs aside, it would be a PITA just to have to take my bike into the shop that often.  

2015-11-19 9:03 PM
in reply to: #5152812

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Subject: RE: Bike Build......Good or bad idea for non bike Mech?
I put my second Tri together in the garage. Between online help like Parks website and YouTube, the instructions that come with components are great. Even if you buy used parts you can get digital copies of the manuals. Rear derailleur dymstified via a quick read of the included instructions :-)
2015-11-20 9:46 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Extreme Veteran
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Chicago, USA
Subject: RE: Bike Build......Good or bad idea for non bike Mech?
Originally posted by nc452010
I know very little about bike mechanic works. But, I'd like to learn more. Would a relatively inexpensive complete build be a nice little project.......or, a great big nightmare? I'm fairly good, mechanically.....but I've never done any bike work....at all. I've upgraded some parts on my tri bike (I have the parts, I just haven't had them put on). I'd like to watch my bike shop guy put these on, then maybe use that knowledge to build my own road bike (from the old groupo and other parts I acquire). Am I asking for trouble? Would not having the exact tool needed lead to a lot of despair? If I do this, I'd like for it to be fun.


Have you ever fixed a flat? Or at least changed a wheel? If you haven't done either of those, I would suggest you wait for a bit. But if you're at least good with that, then, yes, if you are fairly good mechanically, this is a good idea with the following important caveats:

1) Do your first build with a fairly inexpensive conventional road or tri bike, don't do it on a $5k to $10k superbike.

2) Allow yourself A LOT of time to do every single step slowly (I don't mean hours, I mean many days or, sometimes, weeks). And allow yourself A LOT of time to research how to best do every single step. The best way to do this is to view at least 3 to 5 youtube videos for every single unfamiliar step (most Park Tool videos are good) and to ask qualified people on forums about the fine points.

3) Plan to buy at least a few specialized tools for your bike. Many tools for bikes are not standard and you don't want to "make do" with other tools. You don't need a BB bearing press or a headset bearing press, but you will likely need a few other smaller tools including a full range of metric allen keys, some high quality metric box/open end wrenches, metric sockets, a chain tool, a spoke wrench, a pedal wrench, a cassette lockring tool, a chain whip, a small torque wrench, cable cutting tools, dura ace grease, etc.

Good luck!
It's a fun journey ...

Greg @ dsw




2015-11-20 10:44 AM
in reply to: DarkSpeedWorks

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Champion
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Philly 'burbs
Subject: RE: Bike Build......Good or bad idea for non bike Mech?

Remember:

Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

— Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid 
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