What do I need to do in order to build a road bike?

by wjputt   April 4, 2013  

I would like to build a road bike from scratch but not mould the frame. My reasons for doing this are to a] get another bike b] learn about the bike & understand all of its parts c] while away any spare time & not have to converse with others d] third point is a joke. Any tips will be gratefully received.

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What are you looking at building? Im a big fan of custom builds. that said, its what i do by trade and do its easier for me than for most as i already have the tools and knowledge. The main thing you'll need is the frame spec before you go any further as this will dictate what standard b/b (bb30, pf30, bbright, Italian thread, English thread), headset size (1 1/8" or 1 /8"-1 1.5"), fork standard (non tapered or tapered) that you'll be able to fit to it.

Make sure you research tool prices too for everything you buy because if you don't have them, you'll end up spending a fortune just on those. Headset press and facing tools, b/binstallation tool, torque wrench, large Allen keys for cranks etc. These are all things youll need. Then there's the lubes on top of that. Basically, unless you're a mechanic and/or have a whole workshop at your disposal, this won't be a cheap option.

If you still feel confident after all that then you should be ready to get shopping and building. Just be sure to check compatibility, don't be tempted to bodge anything or skimp on tools and do take your time. I have had a few people come in after having attempted the same thing and either some of the parts are not compatible or they've pressed a bearing in at a dodgy angle all because they didn't want to spend £60 on a tool to do the job propertly.

If everything is done by the book, the feeling of pride you'll get when you finish it ant the knowledge of how every nut and bolt goes together is incredibly rewarding. Especially when you take her for her first spin..

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posted by SpeshRider7287 [75 posts]
4th April 2013 - 20:53

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http://twitter.com/GE03RGE/status/309384585609875456/photo/1

Gonna start building up a road bike in a month or two to match this bad boy. The level of detail you can go into is immense. Black spokes and red nipples on right and silver spokes with black nipples on the left. Opposite for the back wheel. People say I'm OCD/sad etc but the sense of joy you get from riding something you've built completely from scratch beats any feeling you get with an "off the shelf" bike (small handful of bikes excluded).

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posted by SpeshRider7287 [75 posts]
4th April 2013 - 21:03

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Thanks for both of these tips. Your new road bike sounds wonderful. I am a real mechanical dunce so I'd be grateful if you could explain the following to me please:

"The main thing you'll need is the frame spec before you go any further as this will dictate what standard b/b (bb30, pf30, bbright, Italian thread, English thread), headset size (1 1/8" or 1 /8"-1 1.5"), fork standard (non tapered or tapered) that you'll be able to fit to it."

I was thinking of starting with a small scale project spending about £1000 on the bike including all components so if things go horribly wrong then replacements might not cost too much [I hope]. However you indicate that tools will be expensive as well.

Are there any good books that can help with this as well?

Cheers,
John

posted by wjputt [44 posts]
5th April 2013 - 6:45

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Just built my own bike.

Pretty easy really, everything comes with clear instructions, especially the SRAM Stuff.

tbh, a headset press isn't worth buying, neither is a derailleur hanger alignment tool, so just take it into a bike shop and say that you're building your own bike and they'll probably do it for a fiver or so.

A cable puller is a useful tool, as is something that holds the brake calipers shut, saves having three hands.

Otherwise, all you really need are allen keys and a chain tool.

Maybe a hammer as well.

Instead of buying a torque wrench, just get a torque key for the smaller things (>5Nm) and for the bigger things (Cranks basically) just get the shop to torque em up.

Good luck.

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
5th April 2013 - 11:58

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Raleigh wrote:
Just built my own bike.

Pretty easy really, everything comes with clear instructions, especially the SRAM Stuff.

tbh, a headset press isn't worth buying, neither is a derailleur hanger alignment tool, so just take it into a bike shop and say that you're building your own bike and they'll probably do it for a fiver or so.

A cable puller is a useful tool, as is something that holds the brake calipers shut, saves having three hands.

Otherwise, all you really need are allen keys and a chain tool.

Maybe a hammer as well.

Instead of buying a torque wrench, just get a torque key for the smaller things (>5Nm) and for the bigger things (Cranks basically) just get the shop to torque em up.

Good luck.

Thanks Raleigh. Really helpful that. Have you got any pics of your bike? How long did it take please?

Cheers, John

posted by wjputt [44 posts]
5th April 2013 - 13:58

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Sure. Basically different frames will give you different fitting standards for bottom brackets and for headsets. Most decent frames will have 1 1/8" upper and 1.5" lower bearing cups which will accommodate s tapered fork. The advantages of this is that due to the larger diameter bearing and bigger contact area, it stiffens up the steering and is able to withstand a lot more force. Other headset standard is just 1 1/8" top and bottom but is not as strong.

Regarding the bottom bracket, there are so many standards depending on the frame manufacturer. If its an Italian frame it'll more than likely use Italian threads, English frames will likely be bb30 or English thread. Bb30 is a bigger bearing and is stiffer and stronger. I'd personally recommend getting bb30 as this is the most solid and easiest to find spares for.

In terms of the groupset I'd recommend either SRAM Apex BB30 or SRAM Rival BB30 as they're the 2 best groups in that price range and available in both English thread (Youll need an English thread frame and a SRAM or Truvativ GXP bottom bracket) and BB30 (you'll need a BB30 compatible frame and a BB30 bottom bracket) options.

Anything else just ask. I'm more than happy to talk you through it if you need more advice.

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posted by SpeshRider7287 [75 posts]
5th April 2013 - 14:45

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