Unfortunately I am going to be 40 soon and to get over the depression I am thinking of building a road bike. I have been mainly a runner and mountain biker over the past 12 years but seem to be enjoying more and more riding on the road - my converted hybrid just won't cut it anymore!

What I would like to do is build my own road bike ideally for long distances - I might decide to do a sportive at some point. The mechanical side does not bother me too much I have always upgraded and replaced parts on my current bikes my self. What I am concerned about is choosing a frame etc. that is comfortable for me. I don't want to build the bike and then find that it is uncomfortable to ride - which my current hybrid is.

My question is should I build my own bike or should I just buy one from the LBS? If I build my own I worry about frame size, head angles etc. and that the bike will be uncomfortable. Can anyone who has built a road bike before offer any advice on choosing a good size frame and suitable components that will offer a good fit?


esayers [51 posts] 3 years ago

Not built a road bike, but in the process of building a new fixie (first one I've built).
I would say go to a bike shop and try a few bikes out, if you have one or two preferences you can ask or look online at the dimensions and materials of that bike and then use that as a guide for your own purchases. Of course, if you find one you really like, you may want to buy that instead as it may be cheaper than building your own.

vorsprung [283 posts] 3 years ago

Seeing as you are turning 40 get a custom made frame from a noted builder like Mercian, Roberts or Dave Yates

You will get a fitting as part of the process and they would be happy to do you a frame with nothing fitted or a fully kitted out bike

The cost of a "nice" off the peg non custom steel frame is likely to be £500+ but a custom frame is more like £1000+ So it's twice the price but you get what you pay for

Flying Scot [1005 posts] 3 years ago

Shand is another for custom build if you're up north.

A full bike fit can get you a set of measurements to compare against stock frames for about 100 quid, if it doesn't work out, take the sizes to a frame builder.

SilverMerlin [25 posts] 3 years ago

Thanks for all the comments some really good advice, please keep it coming  36 . Like the idea of getting a proper bike fit so I can get some measurements to work from. If i decide to buy an off the shelf bike this would be handy anyway.

The way I see it is that there is not much point in getting a frame from a standard company and building it from that as I might as well just buy a full bike as I won't be reusing any components they will be all be new.

If I did go down the self build route seems to make more sense to get a custom frame built. But I do want it to be reasonably light (around 9 kg when fully built).

Based near Durham so a north east england frame builder would be useful. I've still got a few months yet so I have plenty of time to have a think.

I am based near the cube bike centre at infinity cycles so that may be an option for an off the peg bike.

Getting excited there is an upside to becoming 40!