Bike building ideas

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by maria01, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. maria01

    maria01 New Member

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    Hi Peers,

    I am Maria. I love to cycle and have few bikes. Been thinking about building a bike myself or for my kid.

    Any ideas or suggestions?

    Share with me your experience?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. Gnufrau

    Gnufrau Active Member

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    You need to start with some questions:
    1) what kind of bike do I want to build?
    (road bike, Mountain bike, hybrid, touring, cyclecross, etc)
    2) what is the desired result from building this bike?
    3) can I get the same result cheaper by buying a bike already made?

    I have built every bike I have owned sice I was a girl of 11 years old. At first it was because my parents would not spend money on me. Then they found out how much freedom I gained by having a decent bike, and there was no way they were going to support that! Later, my finances would not allow me to buy the level of bike I wanted all at once, so I got my bikes a part at a time. And finally, I developed preferences for what componentry I wanted ( I had what works very well for me), but no one made the kinds of bikes I wanted with the components that I wanted to use...

    I only start building bikes after I have answered that first question. Number 2 follows closely after that, and (at least for me) number 3 is a forgone conclusion.

    In the last 18 months, I have built two bikes, and I just started on a third.

    The bikes I am building are touring bikes based on Campagnolo drivetrains. They all have custom wheels (I build those), and no one thai I have ever heard of is using those components for that kind of bike. So my number 1 is a touring bike using Campagnolo. Number 2 is to have a high quality touring bike that I can rely on, with the features I chose for each bike. Number 3 is, of course 'no' as no one even makes bikes like the ones I build.

    So, Maria, I gan give advice, but I need to know just what advice you need?
     
  3. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Problem with building a bike is that most of the time you can get a completely built bike for less money than building yourself. If you trying to put some things on that are specific to your wants or needs, some bike shops will swap new unused stuff for whatever you want, you simply pay for any difference between the value of the one on the bike vs the one you want. I did that with a bike I bought about 4 years ago and it worked out quite well for me.

    Otherwise like Gnufrau said above we need more info.
     
  4. Gnufrau

    Gnufrau Active Member

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    Yeah, the reason I go with custom building my own bikes is that quite often, the bike shops do not even carry the components I want to use. I ride a full Campagnolo groupset, at a level that is not easy to find in America (Athena). I use this groupset for reliability, not for racing. Most people that use Campagnolo do so for racing, so the groups that are easy to find here are the Record and Super Record groupsets. Not only are those too rich for my blood, they do not come in the configuration that I use (11 speed tripple). As a result, I buy a lot of my kit from online storefronts in England or on eBay. I actually bouht a full bike recently (I feel so dirty! ) in order to get the frameset from it. I have not been able to find a road disc frameset anywhere unless I had one custom built (way out of my price range) so I hot this bike on clearance for about a decent price for the frame and brakes alone. As the rest of the components do not even come close to my needs, they will be stripped off and I will be building the bike up almost from the frame up. I've already started, in fact. The rear hub should be arriving in the next few days, if eBay is to be believed. I need to get the rest of the kit as funds become availabe.
     
  5. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Athena is a very nice group, having owned Athena I didn't really like it quite as much as the way Shimano operated (I didn't care for the thumb lever) but it did look a whole lot nicer than Shimano. Shifting performance was similar, to close for me to say one way or the other. Reliability wise I never found out because I sold that bike with only 1200 miles on it, but from what I've heard from others the reliability was about the same but there are more small parts available to rebuild major components for Campy over Shimano, but some people get weird about that because they think by the time a part breaks you would want to upgrade the component anyways...I don't agree with that.

    The best price I found for Athena was this: http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/campagnolo-athena-black-11-speed-triple-groupset/

    Another Campy group that is one level up from Athena is the new Potenza which isn't a whole lot more than Athena, see: http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/campa...7AKZxUGmpTi3TSb9adRZkUERu-qg2_D_NYaAqTG8P8HAQ
     
  6. Gnufrau

    Gnufrau Active Member

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    For Feuertänzerin, I plan on using Athena for the chainset shifters and front deraileur, with Potenza for the rear derailleur and cassette. This is because I want to use the 11-32 cassette that Potenza has available.
     
  7. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    There you go, that's a great way of doing it. Are you going with Athena for the levers and calipers instead of Potenza? I would because you won't feel any difference between the two anyways.
     
  8. Gnufrau

    Gnufrau Active Member

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    Disc for the calipers, Athena for the shifters. Not as cost savings, but because Potenza does not offer a triple option. Only double. Disc for two reasons: 1) the UCI ruling does not affect my needs ;) and 2) this is a touring bike, and will be ridden in all sorts of weather.
     
  9. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FYI ...

    I do NOT know what the dimensions are of the Campagnolo Potenza rear derailleur, but ...

    I have found that I could use an 11-34 Shimano Cassette with an intermediate-length cage 2001-2008 Campagnolo rear derailleur ...

    I found that the long cage was actually problematic depending on who much-or-little chain slack was present because of the variable geometry of the rear derailleur's upper jockey wheel ... that is, I guess I was running a slightly longer chain than was necessary with the long cage rear derailleur.
    With the 1998-2000 Campagnolo long cage (which are closer in length to the recent middle/intermediate length cages) rear derailleurs, I can run an 11-36.Shimano Cassette.​

    If you need more chain capacity then you can easily fit a 13t pulley in the lower pulley wheel position ...

    I think that the "long" cage 1998-2000 rear derailleur can possibly handle a 15t pulley wheel!​

    Now, the caveat with regard to how large a Cog can be accommodated by the rear derailleur is the length of the frame's derailleur hanger AND (again) how much-or-little slack the chain has.
    That's a long way of saying that because YOU already have Campagnolo derailleurs, you could see whether or not you need to pony up for a Potenza rear derailleur vs. a middle-length-cage 2001-2008 Campagnolo rear derailleur.OR the slightly older-and-porkier 1998-2000 model.

    As you probably know, the "classic" Campagnolo rear dropout which essentially had zero drop. Consequently, when I wanted to use an 11-34 Cassette I opted for a Shimano XT (GS ... middle length cage) rear derailleur (off hand, I don't recall trying a 1998-2000 rear derailleur).

    The Potenza's specs are probably conservative AND my impression is that the "largest Cog" for ALL Campagnolo is based on fitting the derailleur on a bike whose frame has the "classic" Campagnolo rear dropout.

    BTW. I am guessing that the length of the Potenza parallelogram is close-to-or-the-same-as the length of the parallelogram on the 1998-2000 parallelograms.​

    If you get a Potenza and find that it can barely handle a 32t Cog and you want to use a larger Cog, then you can swap the 11t upper jockey wheel with a 10t pulley wheel.​

    The 2009-2014 (?) Campagnolo rear derailleurs have a shorter parallelogram which DOES limit the largest Cog size closer to factory specs ...

    One of these days, I will substitute a Shimano B-screw "plate" for the non-adjustable plate which 2009-and-beyond Campagnolo rear derailleurs have to see if one can be made to work with a 32t-to-34t largest Cog on a frame with a "standard" vertical rear dropout..

     
    #9 alfeng, Mar 9, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
    Gnufrau likes this.
  10. Gnufrau

    Gnufrau Active Member

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    Hmmm, perhaps I can use my existing Athena rear deraileur then. I had always planned on grabbing the cassette first anyway. I have decided to use most of the components from a previous build (same set up except with mini-V brakes instead of the discs). This would mean I can simply build the wheels and be all but done with the build. I'll be "repurposing" the components that came attached to my new frame into a fairly vanilla hybrid for my son in law. Better than tossing them, anyway. And it will be loads better than what he is riding now... (I would tell you all what he is riding, but I do not like to use the words "Huffy fat bike" in a public forum. As a mechanic, they give me too many nightmares... )

    Maria, I hope you do not mind. I seem to have hijacked your thread...
     
    #10 Gnufrau, Mar 9, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  11. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    YES!

    I just "fact checked" myself ...

    And, I measured the parallelogram length of my Athena rear derailleur with the expectation that it was going to be 1/16" shorter than the parallelograms on my 2001-2008 Campagnolo rear derailleurs ... but, it is the SAME LENGTH!!
    I don't know why I wasn't able to make my Athena rear derailleur accommodate a 34t Cog in the past ...

    I'm pretty sure I had swapped the upper jockey wheel with a 10t ... but, maybe I didn't!?!
    So, IMO, you should definitely try-before-you-buy with your current components.
     
  12. Gnufrau

    Gnufrau Active Member

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    Oh I will be! I have stripped my earlier bike build for the drivetrain and a few bits. The bits from the store bought bike will be going in that frame as a hybrid bike for my Son in Law. It is about half built now, in fact. Most of what I need for this build are the wheels, with the front being the hardest to manage. The front hub is about $300 by itself!
     
  13. autodrome

    autodrome New Member

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    So in this article I want to begin with the “how” part. If you have read any of my other articles you will know that I truly believe the bike is a utilitarian machine. It is easy to work on, fun to customize, and even more fun to ride around. Sure there are plenty of carbon fiber and graphine compound frames out there that cost more than your first born but you shouldn’t let that intimidate you.
     
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