Building (Up) a Bicycle - Where to Start?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by iciclebicycle, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. iciclebicycle

    iciclebicycle New Member

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    hello, everyone. how are you? nice to meet and socialise!

    i want to build a bicycle as a gift. she uses her current one to commute- classes at uni, to the metro, around down town, et cetera. we live in an arid desert with minimal rain and rarely any weather occurrences other than dust storms. she enjoys everything about riding fixed, it seems, but was given a cruiser as a gift a couple years ago and so has never bought a new bike since hers functions just fine. she is pretty utilitarian like that.
    i am not opposed to either buying a complete & replacing whichever parts to improve it or buying parts and then putting it together (whether myself or with the help of the local bike co-op). i am pretty excited about the learning process that is going to take place, either way! i am in this for the opportunity to learn more about bike building because i would like to do it more after this project.
    i am not in a rush, and since there is no time limit i have no budget in mind, especially knowing that it could become well expensive.

    where do i start? her measurements, frame... ?

    thank you in advance!
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    You got tools? You got to have a few tools! Harbor Freight to Snap-On, a man's got to have tools!

    Start hanging out in your spare time on the Park Tool website and go thru all their technical 'How To' sections...maybe buy their Blue Book of repair procedures.

    Take a course on maintenance and repair at your local bike shop. Hang out there and get to know the wrench turners...ask questions.

    Got a local Craig's List? There's lots of el cheapo deals on there to get bikes to practice stripping/rebuilding or using for pieces parts for your build if you so desire.

    As far as fitting your lady friend...yeah, how's her current bike fit her? Any complaints? What would she look for if she wanted any changes? Maybe start out by detailing her current bike and going thru a thorough lubrication and adjustment.

    Bike building requires some pretty basic mechanical skills. It isn't rocket surgery, but you do have to have some common sense and a little mechanical bent.

    Forgot to add: YouTube has a video for freakin' everything! Wanna know how to rebuild a Mavic hub? Go to YouTube. Need to figure out how to install and adjust a headset bearing? Search Youtube...someone already put a video up with detailed audio to go along with it.

    And many manufacturer websites have all kinds of technical data and installation/service videos linked to their websites. Damn...when we wuz kids, there was no internetz and I had to learn all that stuff on the fly!
     
  3. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    and prepare your biceps, some tasks require considerable physical work, even with the right tools,
     
  4. iciclebicycle

    iciclebicycle New Member

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    aye aye, captain! cue to start hitting the fitness centre!

    i found out that the closest co-op to my flat gives a free 6-8 week course on maintenance and repair with an emphasis on the ability to regurgitate the information to others. therefore people can become productive members of the local bicycle community if they so choose- the co-op is pretty eager for volunteers. they have really great systems in place like work-trade (make an hourly rate to pay toward a bike or other item from the co-op). when they sell you a bicycle, they do it with the expectation that you are going to stick around and build it, detail it, etc to however you like. it is really a gem i found on accident because of campybob's advice to hang around shops and seek out courses!
     
  5. hybridbkrdr

    hybridbkrdr New Member

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    From my point of view, you may want to have the bottom bracket, crankset and headset installed in a shop. But this is a personal choice of course. Part of the reason why I'm saying this is because I read once that when you install a crankset, if you don't apply the right amount of torque in one movement, you may end up with a creak. I'm still tempted to do it myself though. I have a project still in boxes.

    I'm on another computer right now so I don't have all my links. But, I've ordered parts from places like amazon.com, ebikestop, niagaracycle, icycles, velo orange, smartbikeparts, cambriabike, nashbar, bikeman, chainreactioncycles, saint john cycles, xxcycle... (whoa! a lot of shopping there but I'm a little fussy). I think there's even more but you get an idea. Some I've heard of but not ordered from yet: performancebike, pricepoint, blueskycycling, wheelworld, bike24, bikexperts...
     
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