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Old 04-12-2019, 10:58 AM
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Default Bike Building

Has anyone built a bike up from scratch? I have a fairly nice hardtail, and it holds up pretty well on the trails that are within an hour drive of my place. But I've recently taken a number of mtb vacations, and have been exploring trails that would be weekend trips, and think that I can justify upgrading to a full suspension sometime this summer.

I'm debating between buying a comp, or buying a frame and building it out. If I can still get a 2018 model, I'm looking at a budget between $4,000-$5,000. I'm guessing that I won't save much by doing it myself, so it would be more spreading the costs over a few months and learning how to work on it in more depth than I currently do.

Has anyone done this? How difficult is it? I like to tinker on my bike and am generally a DIY kind of guy, but I usually youtube specific topics before diving in. I've seen some articles saying, "do it". But I've seen some videos that make it look a bit more involved.
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Old 04-12-2019, 04:38 PM
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I have done this. I did it with BMX bikes a ton of times when I was younger and generally like to do the same on my MTB if at all possible. From what I've found, buying a new bike completed will be cheaper, but comes with sacrifices in pre-chosen components that you may otherwise not have selected when building it yourself.

FWIW, if you get good wheels prebuilt the hardest thing will be running lines and getting disc brakes to function (bleeding, testing, etc). Building a bike is also nice because it makes repairs easier since you have an even greater understanding of your specific bike.

Overall, I'd say it will be more expensive than buying from your local bike shop/online. The difficulty depends on your level of comfort in making repairs and tuning your bike. The return can be worth it in having control over the parts you pick and the knowledge you gain on your specific setup.

Also, I'm sure you know this but Park Tool has a youtube channel that is amazing for anything you might have trouble with.
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Old 04-12-2019, 05:00 PM
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Trek Tri bikes are all custom made now, down to the color scheme. Starting price $8,000 though.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:30 PM
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I've thought about it before. I am also really bad at the handiwork. If I we're building a bike it would really be me sitting down with a LBS, choosing each component, and letting them have at it. At least with the ones by me, they have a great time with the custom build projects and will give it a lot of love, and do a much better job than I can.
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Old 05-29-2019, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Funk View Post
Has anyone built a bike up from scratch? I have a fairly nice hardtail, and it holds up pretty well on the trails that are within an hour drive of my place. But I've recently taken a number of mtb vacations, and have been exploring trails that would be weekend trips, and think that I can justify upgrading to a full suspension sometime this summer.
I haven't built a bike from scratch, but I have cobbled together a few mountain bikes from different parts. I do have a softtail frame that I plan on working on this winter. Hardtail bikes are definitely less comfortable to ride than softtail bikes.
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Originally Posted by G-Funk View Post
I'm debating between buying a comp, or buying a frame and building it out. If I can still get a 2018 model, I'm looking at a budget between $4,000-$5,000. I'm guessing that I won't save much by doing it myself, so it would be more spreading the costs over a few months and learning how to work on it in more depth than I currently do.
The softtail I bought for the winter project was a little over 600. China, carbon, hopefully it will hold up, but I'll see. If you already maintain your bike and have DIY projects, you probably have most of the tools you'll need. But if not, hey, it's nice to have tools.


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Originally Posted by G-Funk View Post
Has anyone done this? How difficult is it? I like to tinker on my bike and am generally a DIY kind of guy, but I usually youtube specific topics before diving in. I've seen some articles saying, "do it". But I've seen some videos that make it look a bit more involved.
Not any of the newer bikes, but the older bikes are pretty easy to work on. They don't have disc brakes, hydraulics, or carbon frames. You could go with disc brakes and cables instead of dealing with hydraulics.


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Also, I'm sure you know this but Park Tool has a youtube channel that is amazing for anything you might have trouble with.
Thanks for the park tool youtube recommendation!

Last edited by Alpha12; 05-29-2019 at 01:23 PM.. Reason: fixed quoting taglines
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:16 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I didn't want to waste too much of the riding season tinkering with this, so I decided to buy a comp for myself... went with the Santa Cruz Tallboy SC. But my girlfriend has been showing more interest in biking with me on a regular basis. My old bike is just a bit too big for her, and her bike is a super heavy Target special, so I'll be building her a hardtail for her birthday (aiming to finish by mid-July). So far, I only have the frame on order, and went with the Salsa Timberjack.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Funk View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions. I didn't want to waste too much of the riding season tinkering with this, so I decided to buy a comp for myself... went with the Santa Cruz Tallboy SC. But my girlfriend has been showing more interest in biking with me on a regular basis. My old bike is just a bit too big for her, and her bike is a super heavy Target special, so I'll be building her a hardtail for her birthday (aiming to finish by mid-July). So far, I only have the frame on order, and went with the Salsa Timberjack.
Which build did you go with and how do you like it?

I'm on a 2015 Specialized Epic that's on it's last legs, and looking for something that is fast but will inspire a little more confidence in the rough stuff than my epic. Tallboy is near the top of my list.

There's a guy locally that bought a 2018 carbon R a few weeks ago and only rode it for a single race, because he drove like 12 hours to get to it and his bike broke and the local shop didn't have the parts to fix it. He's asking $3500 for it and I don't blame him, but I'm thinking I'll pull the trigger if he drops the price to $3000.
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:46 PM
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buddy of mine just got a new tallboy and loves it.

last bike i built was my Ibis. Got the frame used, planning to swap parts from my old Giant Trance that I rode until it broke. Turns out I needed to get a new fork anyway because my old one didn't fit the new frame.

anyway, have fun!
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:48 PM
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I went with Carbon S. So far I'm really enjoying it, but who doesn't say that about the bike they just dropped a few grand on? The first ride on it, I shaved 5 minutes off of a trail that took me ~55 minutes on my 2012 Trek Stache.

I was down to the Tallboy, Yeti SB100 (or SB130), but I also test rode a Specialized Stumpjumper, with the Yeti being the bike I wanted before test riding. Unfortunately I only have one Yeti dealer in my area, and they recently moved and sold all their demo bikes, and still don't have any in. So I can only compare the Stumpjumper and the Tallboy. I'm not sure if it was the weight or the geometry, but the Tallboy felt a lot more light and nimble to me. I liked it enough that I didn't feel the need to wait to try the Yeti.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Funk View Post
But my girlfriend has been showing more interest in biking with me on a regular basis. My old bike is just a bit too big for her, and her bike is a super heavy Target special, so I'll be building her a hardtail for her birthday (aiming to finish by mid-July). So far, I only have the frame on order, and went with the Salsa Timberjack.
I pretty much finished it up over the fourth. All that's left is the saddle, which I'm going to let her pick. I was having some troubles with the shifting in the lowest gear, so I asked my LBS to check that out along with a safety check.

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