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I have found a frame of a bike lusted for last year that I could not afford. My question is how much skill is needed to build it up or how much would I be looking at for lbs to complete for me?
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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If you have some experience and a modicum of mechanical ability, mixed with some patience and a few beers, and some tools, you shouldn't have too much trouble. Personally, I never build my own wheels. I can true them, replace spokes, etc., but I've never built a set, nor do I have a desire to do so.

Oh yeah, a good instruction manual with pics would also be most helpful.
 

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The good thing about bicycles is that they are pretty simple and don't require many special tools. The Park Tools web site has lots of good info on how to assemble and repair bikes. Park also makes good tools. LBS mechanics may be more experienced than you are, but you have lots of time since you are not on the clock. That time means you can do a careful through job and set the bike up exactly how you want it. Take the time to read the asssembly instructions, use a torque wrench, think about what you are doing. Being careful is why I usually don't drink beer while I'm wrenching... beer kicks in the "aw fsck it" mindset, and then I break things.
 

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I'm wondering the same. I got my new 5900 frame today, and all the parts should be here within the next week. The prices I was quoted for assembly ranged from $150 to $250 from local shops. I think it would be good experience to do it myself. I'll check out the Park Tools site.

What's an estimate on how long it would take to build up a frame with all new parts if you know what you are doing?

What special tools will I need besides a torque wrench that does in-lb and a bottom bracket tool? I'm sure I'm set for hex keys and wrenches.
 

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classiquesklassieker
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qwijibo said:
I have found a frame of a bike lusted for last year that I could not afford. My question is how much skill is needed to build it up or how much would I be looking at for lbs to complete for me?
It's not hard to build up a bike, but there are many tricks that one learns from having built many bikes, such as setting the correct cable housing lengths (measure thrice, cut one), how to route the cables around the cockpit, where to put tape to protect your frame from scratching by the cables, etc.

So it's easy to build up a working, dependable bike, but experience helps in making it a "great" build with the "right" finishing touches. I guess it depends on what you are looking for.

I should also add that at the lower price points, it's hard to beat OEM pricing, so buying complete will be cheaper.
 

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Fat Guy in a Little Coat
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techlectic said:
The prices I was quoted for assembly ranged from $150 to $250 from local shops. I think it would be good experience to do it myself. I'll check out the Park Tools site.
Maybe it's due to differences in regional pricing, but the LBS charges you stated above seem high to me (I'm in Indianapolis). Build charges here seem to range in the $75 - $100 range with reputable shops.
 

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qwijibo said:
I have found a frame of a bike lusted for last year that I could not afford. My question is how much skill is needed to build it up or how much would I be looking at for lbs to complete for me?
If you bought the stuff elsewhere, your LBS will be justified in making some money on your build-up - so just go ask them what they'd charge. If you like it, fine, if not, time to hit the books

Skill to build up - as the aged politician says "Depends".

For starters, I'd never mess with headsets - not that it's difficult, just that it's easier with the right tools and I'd never use them enough to justify buying them (and I have much of a bike workshop in my garage!). Ditto cleaning up a BB - though I'm happy to fit or replace them. Might even wimp out and take it around a local shop to get the steerer lopped down once I have the stem height figured.

RTFM - yes, Read The Flippin' Manual. Park Tools as above, plus the parts maker's instructions. You can download all the current Shimano 'manuals' off their website and, having done it several times, I can tell you that following them is not hard and works. People who toss stuff on and them start randomly messing with screws usually have far too much fun :rolleyes:

Tools - do you feel edgy about the best end of a screwdriver to hold? Maybe a bike build is not for you ;) If you have a decent home/auto based toolkit, you might be halfway there and if you know what they're for, you're in. You'll have to buy some specialist tools - to fit BB bearings, cassette mounting, etc. I also got me a torque wrench a while back - fiddly, I suspect that not many BS mechanics use them too, but I look up all the torque settings myself now. Things like hex keys, common wrenches are not really bike-specific, but I'd recommend avoiding really cheap junk tools - those hex keys that come with the likes of flatpack furniture really need to go straight into the trash after their one-shot job, for one example.

My new frame, I got the supplier to fit the headset - which he charged me for - and clean and prep the BB threads, which he didn't. Nice guy! The rest I fitted myself, and - surprise - it all works.

Wheels - you'd really have to want to, to build your own. That's one area I can stay clear of, though I true my own up. Having once bought two pairs of "bargain" wheels at Performance, I've had lots of practice in that region :mad:

Good luck and remember - once you've built it yourself, you won't have to pay anyone to maintain it either.

D
 

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Sounds like it might be good if I assembled everything but left the cable work to a bike shop.

Don't understand your last point - my build-up bike will have almost all new components on a 3-year old frame in excellent condition for far less than the cost of a comparable 2006 model, maybe even half the price.
 

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go for it

qwijibo said:
I have found a frame of a bike lusted for last year that I could not afford. My question is how much skill is needed to build it up or how much would I be looking at for lbs to complete for me?
I just finished building up my second bike (literally this morning). Its really not that hard and it can be fun. It also provides a bit of extra pride. I really take my time and check and re-check eveything so it probably took me 6-8 or more hours over a couple of days. The most time consuming part for me is always cutting the cable housing. Spend some time figuring out your routing before you cut. If the frame does not have a headset that might be one left to the shop because it requires some special tools. Using a torque wrench is a good idea. Good luck
 
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