What you did to get your perfect bike
I was the type of person that had a preference for buying a complete bicycle until the day that that I made a huge mistake because I purchased a very nice looking bike, with very nice components but which was not for me. The salesman from my LBS convinced me of of something that was absolutely not correct.
I had this bike stolen from me while riding in a park, so I guess this was the starting point for me to decide to build bikes from scratch.
How I did it
When I decided to build my bike from scratch, I took a MTB steel frame that was gathering dust in my garage. I had to do some work on the frame (nothing major though). The first thing that I has to do was decide what type of bike I wanted to build. I finally preferred to build a road bike. I know that many bike experts will say that a mountain bike frame does not have the correct geometry for a road bike..I have that very clear, I had owned road bikes before.
This was going to be a challenge because using a mountain bike frame to make a road bike was going to be like trying to mix "oil and water". When the building process began, I started by purchasing the moving parts, I got a 52/39 Shimano, road chainring, a 28/14 Shimano rear cog, front and rear Shimano derailleurs. The next thing was wheels and tires, here I decided to save some money, I had a pair of mountain bike 26" alloy wheels which were in very good condition, so, I only purchased a pair of Kenda 26 X 1,25" tires and mounted them on the wheels. Used center pull Cantilever brakes, I put a drop bar, and from here, the real problen started because I needed to locate the shifters (some people said to me "use the integrated Sora brake and shifters..."), unfortunately, these were much too expensive and quite out of my budget. I got the Shimano Index System Shifters which lock into the frame. OK, how can I put these shifters if there are no supports on the frame? I had to improvise a bit and decided to place them on the stem.
The rest were only details. I really had a great deal of fun doing this and most importantly, I ended up with a bicycle that was built to my very personal likes, with the components that I wanted, and that fits me just perfect. By the way, in general terms, the bicycle runs absolutely great
What I'd Do Differently
- If I have to do this again, I would:
- repeat each one of the steps that I took,
- be sure that the frame to be used has the supports for the SIS shifters, or,
- have enough budget to add SORA Integrated brakes and shifters...
- In this process, what I have learned is that LBS really take a huge share of what they charge for a complete bicycle. I have discovered that building a bike from scratch saves you around 35 or 40% in cost. I saved a lot more because I used a frame that I had, but, if i had to purchase an aluminum frame, the saving would have still been important, around 25 to 30%. Interesting huh!