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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I searched the archive and didn't see any old threads on this so if there were, sorry;

As an outdoor writer I get to do some pretty darn fun things and call it work. This latest is that a triathlete/bike shop employee/bike fitter/friend is really good at buying and selling parts on eBay.

I've wanted a titanium bike as sort of a cerebration of being cancer free after a year (June 22). But I can't afford the whole sticker at the moment due to unforeseen expenses on top of foreseen ones, including a used Stumpjumper I bought earlier this year. Another friend who babies his bikes is selling is LaMond ti frame in pristine condition. My eBay friend was about to put it up for auction when I found out about it.

I bought it and then met with him to discuss what to do next. I expected to pay a lot to get new parts. But my buddy said, Hey, why not buy slightly used stuff on eBay? He showed me some of the deals, including a Durace crank set for about $220 that someone had ridden three times. New, about $600. So, the story becomes: buying recreational gear on eBay, how to tell a fraud from a real deal, etc., using this ti bike as the example. He thinks I should be able to outfit the bike with new or slightly used top-of-the-line stuff for a grand, bringing the total to about $2000 with the frame. I am so looking forward to this.

A byproduct is I get to watch him build it and maybe even get to turn a wrench. I would so love to learn to build bikes.

Anyone else build a bike from eBay? Anyone got pictures of the results? I'll post one of mine when it's done.

Thanks.
IceMan
 

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Congrats on being cancer free, I wish you many,many more.
An outdoor writer huh? In another life I dealt with a lifetime of you guys.....
Now, about your screenname...Walleye is the best eatin' fw fish I have ever eaten!
 

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Congrats, may you enjoy many decades

walleyeangler said:
I searched the archive and didn't see any old threads on this so if there were, sorry;

As an outdoor writer I get to do some pretty darn fun things and call it work. This latest is that a triathlete/bike shop employee/bike fitter/friend is really good at buying and selling parts on eBay.

I've wanted a titanium bike as sort of a cerebration of being cancer free after a year (June 22). But I can't afford the whole sticker at the moment due to unforseen expenses on top of forseen ones, including a used Stumpjumper I bought earlier this year. Another friend who babies his bikes is selling is LaMond ti frame in pristine condition. My eBay friend was about to put it up for auction when I found out about it.

I bought it and then met with him to discuss what to do next. I expected to pay a lot to get new parts. But my buddy said, Hey, why not buy slightly used stuff on eBay? He showed me some of the deals, including a Durace crank set for about $220 that someone had ridden three times. New, about $600. So, the story becomes: buying recreational gear on eBay, how to tell a fraud from a real deal, etc., using this ti bike as the example. He thinks I should be able to outfit the bike with new or slightly used top-of-the-line stuff for a grand, bringing the total to about $2000 with the frame. I am so looking forward to this.

A byproduct is I get to watch him build it and maybe even get to turn a wrench. I would so love to learn to build bikes.

Anyone else build a bike from eBay? Anyone got pictures of the results? I'll post one of mine when it's done.

Thanks.
IceMan
of cancer free riding. There are tons of people here who buy bikes, frames and components on EBAY-most of my bikes were done this way. There is no magic formula for picking out the fraud, some are obvious, some are not. It takes time and perseverence to get quality components at good prices on the 'BAY. But if you are willing to make the effort, it can be worthwile....
 

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I built three road bikes in the past year off Ebay, for me and my two kids.

I went for 9 speed 105 parts, and got them on great deals. My guess is that I put in about $1400 for the three bikes between them. I also checked for used parts with the local bicycle club, and got some great deals that way as well--wheels are a good bet locally since folks often upgrade.

I check feedback obsessively. If someone's rating is under 99%, I don't buy (unless the deal is so good I'm willing to take a chance on a total loss). If someone has very few feedbacks, I ask questions: why are you selling it? why should I trust a seller with such a low feedback score, etc. Normally I never buy from folks with low feedbacks, but I make an exception here. With things like bikeframes and bicycle equipment, sometimes people are only interested in selling a few things. I have probably bought 50 bike related items on Ebay, and I haven't been ripped off yet.
 

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I didn't buy entire bikes off of ebay, but they were built off of ebay and web purchases. I'll post pics after I write a little about it. My Colnago Cristallo frame was purchased from Switzerland for $2,500 including shipping, my Colnago Arte frame from ebay for $650, and my Colnago Oval Krono from ebay for $900. I bought 2 Cinelli Ram bars for around $350 each off of ebay, 2 Cinelli Ram seatposts for $175 and $100 off ebay, and all the Cinelli Ram bottle cages off ebay for somewhere around $30. The Record groupos that I bought were from 11speed.com, but their site has been under construction for a little while now, which leads me to believe they are out of business. I bought some Zipp rims off ebay too for about $400 each and then bought the Tune hubs and Sapim CX Ray spokes off an internet seller in Germany. It has been a great experience so far. I just bought a brand new 2006 Bianchi FG Lite Danilo DiLuca special edition frame off ebay for $787 and I am waiting for it to arrive.
 

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Now, as far as fraudulent ebay sales are concerned, just look at the feedback of the seller. If the seller has good feedback and has a lot of recent sales (i.e., the seller would know if his account had been scammed from him), then I don't hesitate to buy something on an ebay auction. Also, look to see if there is insurance offered through ebay. On the Bianchi frame I just bought, there was $2,000 of insurance offered by ebay, so that made me feel a lot better about bidding on it since I knew it was only worth $1,900 brand new.

Bid on a couple of items with your friend to see how everything works. On my first two items (i.e., a Colnago C50 and Campagnolo Hyperon rims), I had no clue what I was doing and I was getting into bidding wars an hour or two before the auction end and then dropping out right before the end because it got too expensive. Now, I put in my max bid 5 seconds before the end of an auction. It worked on a set of Zipp 202's, the Bianchi FG Lite, the Colnago Arte, the Colnago Oval Krono, and the Cinelli Bars and Seatposts. Oh yeah, I also bought a couple of sets of Campagnolo box style aluminum tubular rims, but I worked out that deal behind the scenes and had the seller send me a private auction for the items. The more you play with ebay, the more you will learn about it. I have been playing with it for less than a year now, and I am still learning.

You can also research how much similar items have sold for, so you will have an idea what they are going for. I did this on some of the frames that I was bidding on.
 

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90% Ebay

walleyeangler said:
I searched the archive and didn't see any old threads on this so if there were, sorry;

As an outdoor writer I get to do some pretty darn fun things and call it work. This latest is that a triathlete/bike shop employee/bike fitter/friend is really good at buying and selling parts on eBay.

I've wanted a titanium bike as sort of a cerebration of being cancer free after a year (June 22). But I can't afford the whole sticker at the moment due to unforseen expenses on top of forseen ones, including a used Stumpjumper I bought earlier this year. Another friend who babies his bikes is selling is LaMond ti frame in pristine condition. My eBay friend was about to put it up for auction when I found out about it.

I bought it and then met with him to discuss what to do next. I expected to pay a lot to get new parts. But my buddy said, Hey, why not buy slightly used stuff on eBay? He showed me some of the deals, including a Durace crank set for about $220 that someone had ridden three times. New, about $600. So, the story becomes: buying recreational gear on eBay, how to tell a fraud from a real deal, etc., using this ti bike as the example. He thinks I should be able to outfit the bike with new or slightly used top-of-the-line stuff for a grand, bringing the total to about $2000 with the frame. I am so looking forward to this.

A byproduct is I get to watch him build it and maybe even get to turn a wrench. I would so love to learn to build bikes.

Anyone else build a bike from eBay? Anyone got pictures of the results? I'll post one of mine when it's done.

Thanks.
IceMan
Used mid-1980's Allan Wanta frame for $250 off Ebay.
New and used 9-speed DA downtube shifters $40 off Ebay
New Cane Creek levers off Ebay
NOS downtube cable adjusters $5 off Ebay
Used 105 dual pivots off $40 off Ebay.
New and used Look CX-7 pedals ranging from $80-$130 off Ebay.
New Thompson and Truvativ post both off Ebay.
2 new Ambrosio Excellence rims $80 off Ebay.
New Ultegra front and used 600 rear hubs $50 off ebay.
TA rings and wheels built up by Peter White.
NOS TTT Status and Modus stems off Ebay.
New Nitto Noodle bar $35 off Ebay.
New Nitto computer/light mount off Ebay.
New Blackburn computer off Ebay.
New Topeak Minitool $20 off Ebay.
NOS Carnac Legend shoes $30-$90 off Ebay.
NOS Bar plugs off Ebay.
New Chain and cassette off Ebay.
New and used Rolls saddles off Ebay.
Used Ultegra rear derailleur off Ebay.
Roll-y Pol-y tires and Suntour cranks from Harriscyclery
Used Torelli headset and Phil Wood bb canabalized off previous bikes

"Maybe even get to turn a wrench."? Ask to help out whenever you're watching. There might be some jobs the mechanic has to do alone, but even then ask the mechanic to talk about what he's doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Very cool bikes. Thanks for the input. My buddy is really good at this so I am so looking forward to seeing what he comes up with.

Thanks for the pictures. They look absolutely great.

What work bench is that in your pictures, Fabsroman?

IceMan.

And yes, walleyes are a great tasting fish and fun to catch. I also am a muskie nut. But I fish for almost anything. Outdoor writing, hard life but someone must do it.
 

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It is a Spin Doctor Pro G3 that I got from Performance for a little over $100. So far, I like it a lot. The next repair stand I am going to buy is a fork mount, bottom bracket stand, but that is a Park stand and it is rather expensive and only really needed for the heavy work.
 

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This is the next stand that I am going to buy:

http://www.parktool.com/products/detail.asp?cat=23&item=PRS%2D20#

I like the fact that it doesn't clamp onto any tubing. The only minor problem with this stand is doing front brake adjustments without the wheel on, but those can be done with the bike off the stand. The bigger problem is that the stand is rather pricey, but a good stand is worth the money because it makes building and working on the bike that much more pleasant and the other big problem would be trying to install a headset using this stand because the fork wouldn't already be on the frame.
 

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I've bought and built many bikes off of Ebay purchases. Good advice above. A strategy I've used recently to improve the bottom line is buying complete bikes, stripping components and reselling the frame/fork. A little more labor intensive, but it can save you a lot of money, and I enjoy it. Keep an eye out for less-than-top-end frames with good component groups. I recently bought a Bianchi bike with a Campy record group and Campy proton wheels and switched all the stuff to a Colnago frame from another purchase. The group and wheels (with Zero G brakes) cost me about $500.
 

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walleyeangler said:
I searched the archive and didn't see any old threads on this so if there were, sorry;

As an outdoor writer I get to do some pretty darn fun things and call it work. This latest is that a triathlete/bike shop employee/bike fitter/friend is really good at buying and selling parts on eBay.

I've wanted a titanium bike as sort of a cerebration of being cancer free after a year (June 22). But I can't afford the whole sticker at the moment due to unforeseen expenses on top of foreseen ones, including a used Stumpjumper I bought earlier this year. Another friend who babies his bikes is selling is LaMond ti frame in pristine condition. My eBay friend was about to put it up for auction when I found out about it.

I bought it and then met with him to discuss what to do next. I expected to pay a lot to get new parts. But my buddy said, Hey, why not buy slightly used stuff on eBay? He showed me some of the deals, including a Durace crank set for about $220 that someone had ridden three times. New, about $600. So, the story becomes: buying recreational gear on eBay, how to tell a fraud from a real deal, etc., using this ti bike as the example. He thinks I should be able to outfit the bike with new or slightly used top-of-the-line stuff for a grand, bringing the total to about $2000 with the frame. I am so looking forward to this.

A byproduct is I get to watch him build it and maybe even get to turn a wrench. I would so love to learn to build bikes.

Anyone else build a bike from eBay? Anyone got pictures of the results? I'll post one of mine when it's done.

Thanks.
IceMan




A year free of cancer? Sounds like you got that one beat back and survived that tour. Congratulations and I hope you have many, many, many happy and care free years ahead of you. God knows that you have gone through a lot to be here today.

Outdoor writer eh? Seems like you can make this into some sort of serial story: “How I Got My Road Bike. . . . “ The first story being on how you came upon the idea, then subsequent installments on how you realized you wanted to build the bike of your dreams but do it on a budget.

Don’t know how BICYCLING or VELO NEWS magazines would handle this as your approach kind of flies in the face of what the advertisements in those magazines is trying to get across: if you have last years stuff, well it’s out of date, too heavy, and won’t allow you to proceed to the next plateau of you cycling abilities. For most of us, we could improve performance of our machines by concentrating on the engine. Like taking a few minutes to think about what we’re eating and being a little more careful about our exercise consistency.

So, combine the two things that you like to do. Build a bike and write about it. If the magazines don’t want it, put your posts here, tell us the journey of your bicycle. Then tell us how it rides and tell us how you are improving on your new equipment. Or, make your own BLOG and put it out there. Lots of pictures too!

Betcha you learn a lot about bikes by doing this. The most advanced thing I have done on my bike is remove the cassette to clean it up really good and replace the chain. The bottom bracket, headset, and derailleurs all seem to need initiation into the Society of Mechanical Sorcerers with Oddly Shaped Tools.

Celebrate beating your cancer and putting together your bike in big style next year: come do Ride The Rockies (www.ridetherockies.com). Send me a private Email message if you want more scoop on the ride.

Congratulations on beating back your cancer. And, congratulations on starting into something that most of us really want to do, but just haven’t got around to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I will let you guys know about how it goes, I promise. Nice thing about my job is that I have my own Sunday recreation section. I can put pretty much put what I want there so I don't need a mag to buy it. The magazine work I do is all about fishing right now, though I'd love to get into the bike mags somehow.

IceMan
 

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fabsroman said:
The only minor problem with this stand is doing front brake adjustments without the wheel on, but those can be done with the bike off the stand. The bigger problem is that the stand is rather pricey, but a good stand is worth the money because it makes building and working on the bike that much more pleasant and the other big problem would be trying to install a headset using this stand because the fork wouldn't already be on the frame.
One nice feature of this repairstand is that you can also clamp onto the rear dropouts, freeing up the front end for headset work, brake work, etc. I've had one for almost a year, and I love it.
 

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I'm in the process of building one right now. It's a Battaglin lugged steel frame (Columbus MAX tumbing) that's at the painters right now. While it's out, I put together most of the kit - all new 2006 Chorus bits - from Ebay.

I made up a build sheet on Excel with all the pieces I needed, the MSRP, and links to Ebay searches. I just watched all the auctions for each piece for a couple weeks, and used "completed items" searches to determine what would constitute a good price for each. I used those prices to guide my bidding. I let some auctions go when they went past my target price - though in one case I got cought up in the action and went over my target. I lost anyway, fortunately! :rolleyes:

I saved hundreds of dollars over retail, and I could have saved hundreds more if I were more patient, and willing to buy used parts. But the best part is that I'll REALLY feel like I own this bike, after putting it together. And it will be MUCH better than I could afford to buy otherwise.
 

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built 3 from eBay.
1. Carrera nemo-foco frame eBay, Campy centuar group RBR classifieds, Mavic op/record hubs eBay
2. Strong custom frame (not custom for me) eBay, campy centaur from a bike bought RBR classifeds, Mavic op/record hubs with revo spokes eBay
3. Bianchi boron frame eBay, campy chorus/centuar eBay, velocity areoheads/record hubs/revo spokes built from wheelset bought from RBR classifieds.

you can find great deals on stuff thats 2-3 yrs old. buying a frame and transfering parts is a great way to build at reduced costs.
 

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I bought my first bike off of Ebay, a steel Bianchi with full Campy Centaur and Rolf wheels and new Fizik Arione saddle.

The bike was mint condition, only test ridden, and I got it for $850. I think I got a great deal. When the time comes to upgrade, all I really want to do is swap out the frame (and ditch the celeste if I don't get another bianchi haha).

I checked my sizing at wrenchscience.com and rode other Bianchi's at my LBS to get my best idea of fit, as that was my one and only roadblock to buying online.

Now, I am getting more experienced, figuring out what measurements work best with me, etc. I'll definitely be buying off of ebay from now on (until I'm older/financially stable and can afford to completely support the LBS).
 
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