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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I always heard that if you pay 10K for a car (for example) you would pay 3x that much if you bought the parts individually. So as I get close to approaching my wife about ANOTHER bike I am trying to see if buying it piece by piece is in ANY way cheaper? She doesn't have a problem with another bike, she has a problem with another huge dent at one time to the checking account.
So I was thinking about getting the frame first then the fork, then the wheels, then the bars and seatpost, etc... etc...

Any help or sugestions?
 

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Usually...

Bike companies get big discounts on parts they buy in bulk, and they can pass some of that savings along on complete bikes. Some of the bikes you can order on line or through catelogs cost about the same as what you would pay for the component group alone, assuming you were to pay full retail price for the parts.

But ... if you are willing to shop around and piece together the whole setup as you find good deals on components, you can come out better. I have seen examples of people saving a lot of money with careful purchases of frames and components, plus getting just the parts they want rather than what some marketing exec decided to spec on a bike. It will take more work and more attention to what you are paying for each component, but you could do it.
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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I think you'll have to work it out both ways & see which is better. It's kind of like doing your taxes. Is it better to file jointly or single? You just have to price it out & see.

If it were me, I'd lean toward getting a complete bike. IMO/IME it's lots less hassle, unless you have a specific mix of different components in mind. If you buy the bike from a good store, all the components will be correctly assembled, bb & head tube set faced, headset installed correctly, etc.
 

· eminence grease
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It can go both ways.

What is almost certain though is that you get a better spec'd bike by doing it yourself. Whole bike MFGRs often cut corners by using a lot of house-branded stuff to flesh out the whole bike. Not that those parts are necessarily inferior, but they're not "name" pieces. It's up to you to figure out if that matters.

Another things to consider (which is what drives me more than the bargain) is that it would be virtually impossible for me to find exactly what I want in a local store. Campy - forget it. Obscure frames, forget them too. If you don't live in one of the major metro areas, you might find youself constrained to Trek-Lemond-Specialized-Litespeed-Cannondale. And I have never wanted to go that route.

I do all of mine piece-meal, and I know I have yet to pay more than I would've paid had I bought the indentically spec'd bike in a local store. And that doesn't even account for local taxes, which of course are substantial on a $4000 bicycle.

I use eBay, I use sales, I use all the regular on-line mail order joints. I figure I've saved as little as $300 and as much as $2000. It all depends on how much you want to work at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions. The more that I think about it the more fun it sounds to assemble the bike piece by piece. My LBS sells exactly what I am looking for any what they don't sell they can obviously order. I guess the real quesiton now is, what piece first?!?

This is going to be FUN!
 

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opinion

first - I think wheels effect ride more than frame and fork in most cases

second - it is always cheaper to buy a complete bike and easier to find a deal

shop stores for bikes discounted 35 to 40 percent; shop online stores; and do not forget ebay

you can find a great deal real quickly
 

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If you're very patient . . .

. . . and have a decent bike to ride right now, consider spreading your bike build out in time. That way, you'll only punch small dents into your account every month or so. There are some other plusses in taking a long time to put a bike together: lots of time to hunt for bargains, unhurried, careful assembly—and the chance to put bike parts on your birthday/holidays wish list.:D
 

· eminence grease
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collectorvelo said:
second - it is always cheaper to buy a complete bike and easier to find a deal
C'mon is not always cheaper to buy an equivalent bike in complete form. I'll bet if you (personally) spent 43 minutes shopping some sales and eBay that you could build a bike cheaper than you could buy it from any store. A better spec'd bike no less. Try it, it's a great way to spend .7 hours.

My case in point - I built a Bianchi Boron XL with Chorus and boutique wheels for $1825. That same bike (that year) with lower quality wheels, lower quality control surfaces (stem, post, saddle), cheaper tires and no pedals was selling in local stores for $2500.

The magic - I found a bike store on eBay selling a NOS frame for $400. The rest, coupons, sales and discounters.
 

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Typically, to build a bike will cost you more that a kit bike will but you will end up with a bike with what you want on it and not what some bean counter put on it. You can always get most of the parts online which will lower the overall price quite a bit. I've been riding (both road and mountain bikes) for over 25 yrs and NEVER bought a kit bike. For me, building a bike is the only way to go.
 

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I recently built my own to get exactly what I wanted. I wanted a cross frame setup for light touring and commuting. One of the LBS had a Bianchi Axis, which was pretty close to what I wanted for about $1200. Except, it came with cross tires, I really just wanted 28mm tires. It came with a Tiagra 9-speed group, but I really wanted a 10-speed campy group instead. It came with mountain gearing, but I really only need a triple and a 13-29 at most. I just use a 13-26 mostly.

I shopped around and got a deal on a Surly Crosscheck. Preferred because steel instead of aluminum. I got a Campy Veloce groupset from probikekit. I got Armadillo tires at the LBS on sale. Random canti brakes online. A green Brooks saddle that matches the frame, instead of the random saddle on the Bianchi.. Open Pro/Record wheels on Ebay, instead of the cheap Alex wheels on the Bianchi. The right bars and fork for $70. Probably $60 of random stuff at the LBS. $20 to get them to cut the fork and install a headset. The Bianchi had a pretty trick looking carbon fork with canti brake mounts, lots of room, and fender/rack eyelets. I might have to get one of those eventually. About a month of shopping yielded a bike that cost $1250. I spent more, but don't have to upgrade any parts. If you have more time and are more flexible, you can probably do better.

I will warn you that you might spend money on tools. I didn't include that in the cost. I had the headset and fork installed at the bike shop because those tools are expensive. A bottom bracket wrench, pedal wrench, hub lockring driver, chain whip, cable housing cutter, and chain breaker really add up. If you build your own, you're going to wrench your own. Might as well have the tools.
 

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Hey the important part to me is what you said FUN! Sure i might spend more in the long run, or i migh not! But i get to spend all that good after dark/too icky to ride time shopping around, finding that funky italian company who is going out of business but makes that perfect gold headset you always wanted. (or something like that). Go one better and do all the build up yourself. You will have not only exactly what you want but a bike you know so much better that it is amazing.
 

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I built my kg381 piece by piece because I wanted to. In the end I figure I saved about $1,000 because at the time the exchange rate was good and I got my frame out of country. I also put money into tools and a nice stand, but I use those regularly so they don't really count. It's nice to have every part on the bike that I want, not generic bars/stem/post etc. I don't see myself ever buying a complete bike again unless they are giving it away.
 
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