Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

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Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby PmB » May 19th, 2013, 11:44 pm

This is just a general question to some of the "seasoned" riders out there who are probably 50 x more experienced in bike mechanics than I.

Ive known that I wanted a hardtail (I have) and a FS bike. I dont have the money, like some, to go out and toss a few grand on a nice bike.

So my options are as follows:

1) Save money over time and drop it on a complete FS bike from my LBS, or,

2) Buy the frame and start piecing it together over time. (I would start a build thread and basically use suggestions to complete the build 8))

Which would you suggest is the way to go??

I kind of like to buy my stuff new-er so not sure if I want to pick up a used bike off someone, BUT could be an option..

Thanks for the time and comments.

Cheers!

PB
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Re: Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby deuxdiesel » May 20th, 2013, 4:42 am

If you are patient and careful, you can find lots of closeout parts on-line that will save you money, but that cuts out the LBS and the repair and support you get from a good one, which is important if you don't have great mechanic skills. Things like headset pressing and BB chasing all require special tools and skills, and while some frame-only bikes might not need it, a complete bike is ready to go. There are usually lots of great end of season sales on complete bikes at LBS's, if you can wait.
Personally, I love building up my own bike- I'm super picky about the smallest details and parts selection, but I usually don't save any money in the end.
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Re: Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby Derek G » May 20th, 2013, 6:36 am

Generally, you can't build a bike for what you could buy it for.
Just from a volume pricing perspective, the bike manufacturers buy so many parts they get them much cheaper.

Like previously mentioned. If you wanted to spend months, maybe longer, trying to find close-out or discount parts you might be able to build a bike for a bit less but by then it's fall again. At that point, you might as well buy a bike on discount from the LBS. Some of the local shops are having spring sales right now and you could probably find a pretty good deal. I'm not going to get political but, if you buy from your LBS, you have the satisfaction of helping keep your neighbors business going and they will be much more likely to give advice or assistance when you need something for your new bike.
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Re: Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby SteveF » May 20th, 2013, 6:55 am

I couldn't leave a frame unbuilt this time of year--that's fine in the winter, but no time to work on it now-I'd rather be riding! Find a good deal on closeout for a complete bike and ride it now-upgrade it later...instant gratification is king!
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Re: Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby mtbfree » May 20th, 2013, 7:03 am

Yep, like others have stated, it's almost always cheaper to buy complete.

Are you set on buying something new? By far the cheapest option is to buy a complete used bike. Search the classifieds and ebay and the like, and you're bound to find some amazing deals on bikes that are only a season old and still in great condition.
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Re: Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby iamkickstand » May 20th, 2013, 7:18 am

If you have a specific frame, drivetrain, wheels, brakes, seat, bars, etc. in mind build your own.

If you want to save money buy a complete.
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Re: Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby ibisman » May 20th, 2013, 7:39 am

Build! Build! You can still help out your LBS and buy the frame from them. They can get deals from their bike companies they sell for, sometimes at great savings.And when you build it your self you pick the parts you want on it...not some bean counter at headquarters. I have done it for 15 years and over 16 bikes. I have gotten $105 WTB Laser disc light hubs off e-bay that list for over $300, and complete disc brake systems (levers,calipers,and rotors bled) $87. Build.
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Re: Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby bikerector » May 20th, 2013, 9:10 am

I love building frame up as well but sometimes it's not cost effective. Buying complete is usually cheaper, buying a used complete is usually cheapest.

Personally, I like to buy a used complete and then make it my own and sell off the parts I don't want or keep them for spares or just save them up for a future project. Getting a used complete helps fill in the gaps of parts that you're not particular about, for me that would be stems, handle bars, non-race wheels, and so on.

If I had the money and it was in my size, I would buy this:
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=118920

Seriously, I keep finding myself getting on the forum to look at it during work. I have no use for it but it would make a dang fine centerpiece in my kitchen.
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Re: Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby PmB » May 20th, 2013, 9:16 am

I saw that last night and would look real good on the back of my car, but sure as *beep* don't have 2700$ right now :(

Looks good though.
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Re: Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby black2003ss » May 20th, 2013, 11:45 am

I guess I will ask the million dollar questions, are we talking about 26" or 29"? I think that can influence the decision quite a bit. Also, are you wanting 3x9 or stepping up to 2x10/3x10 drivetrain? Personally, I couldn't buy used or even build my Giant Anthem X 29er for what I paid for it new in 2011 ($1,750). Fox fork and shock, 3x10 drivetrain, the giant hubs are fantastic, hydro disc brakes, etc. When I do see them come up for sale used, I see them around $1,500-1,700. I see the frames (sans fork usually) for around $1,200 and up.

I would guess building a 26er could save some coin, especially in the 3x9 variety just because parts (especially used) are so much more plentiful on the cheap. But that's just a guess, I haven't done the research. If you are looking at 29ers, I think a complete bike on model clearance or a 1-2yr old used complete bike would be your better bet.
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Re: Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby PmB » May 20th, 2013, 12:05 pm

I know for my hardtail, I love the 29ers that I have on them. Being my first bike, since my bmx days, that is what I got and have become used to riding.

I dont know if on a FS set up, is it better to have 26 or 29ers? or, is it still preferance.

The way I look at it, and I hope people can realized, that I wouldnt be buying all the pieces at once and building a bike this season. Its one of those on going project type things, and I would hope to have it done and ready to ride next year sometime.

That is where I run into the choices.

Save some money and buy a closeout, or build.

LOT of factors but still like seeing everyones ideas and such.


As somone mentioned. Buying from your LBS is great because you get their experience and help, which I currently take full advantage, so that is not out of the water. I go to my shop for everything and they are great guys and have done a lot for me for free as well. (Town an Coutry - Northville)

Still some stuff to still consider but keep the "IMO" coming..
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Re: Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby black2003ss » May 20th, 2013, 12:25 pm

I dont know if on a FS set up, is it better to have 26 or 29ers? or, is it still preferance.


I say preference, but also somewhat dependent on what you want to do with the FS bike. It's something you should probably decide on before venturing into this project much further. If you want more travel and all mountain type bike, jumping off drops, log piles, rocks, etc. a 26er with a slacker head angle might be the ticket. If you plan to just go fast on single track and want more comfort, the 29er might be more appealing.
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Re: Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby PmB » May 20th, 2013, 12:30 pm

black2003ss wrote:
I dont know if on a FS set up, is it better to have 26 or 29ers? or, is it still preferance.


I say preference, but also somewhat dependent on what you want to do with the FS bike. It's something you should probably decide on before venturing into this project much further. If you want more travel and all mountain type bike, jumping off drops, log piles, rocks, etc. a 26er with a slacker head angle might be the ticket. If you plan to just go fast on single track and want more comfort, the 29er might be more appealing.


Do they make a 27.5er, because I wanna do all of that :wink:
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Re: Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby mtbfree » May 20th, 2013, 12:36 pm

PmB wrote:
black2003ss wrote:
I dont know if on a FS set up, is it better to have 26 or 29ers? or, is it still preferance.


I say preference, but also somewhat dependent on what you want to do with the FS bike. It's something you should probably decide on before venturing into this project much further. If you want more travel and all mountain type bike, jumping off drops, log piles, rocks, etc. a 26er with a slacker head angle might be the ticket. If you plan to just go fast on single track and want more comfort, the 29er might be more appealing.


Do they make a 27.5er, because I wanna do all of that :wink:

Is this a serious question? If so, have you been living under a rock? There are TONS of 27.5ers (also known as 650b's) coming out this year. I dare say that every major manufacturer will offer a Full Suspension 27.5" wheeled bike in the next year or so.

For reference, here's what I'm saving my money for: http://www.santacruzbikes.com/bronson-carbon/#13description.php
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Re: Better to BUILD or BUY a FS??

Postby PmB » May 20th, 2013, 12:50 pm

Ouch! Well, I guess I dont follow as closely as I should to "the new trends", but that Santa Cruz looks absolutly beautiful. Looks like an all around perfect bike, love to add that to my list. Yellow vs Black???
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