Buying a setup or buying parts?

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Buying a setup or buying parts?

Postby CB » Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:15 pm

Lets say you're looking to really spend a lot of cash on a roadie and buy your dream setup.

option one: visit a bunch of different bike shops and buy the frame/gruppo/wheels combo that you like the most

option two: buy the frame, components and wheels etc over the internet. test ride the frames at LBS to ensure they are a good fit, pick up all the other stuff like pedals and handlebars on the net or locally.

It seems to me that option two is a good way to save some money if you're getting up in the high end of road racing machines. an get great prices on group and wheel sets at places like probikekit. But it's not much good if you've no idea how to put the thing together. would a bike shop fit all your loose components onto your bike for you?

what are some people's experience with this?
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by BNA » Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 pm


Postby heavymetal » Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 pm

Being into touring and not racing, I have to buy everything over the internet and assemble it myself.

Luckily I have the skills and most of the tools to assemble a bike from scratch. You will learn as you go along, but with highly expensive gear one mistake could be costly.

You could get a shop to build you a bike from scratch. Some of them are open to fitting the loose parts, if you purchase the majority of other parts from them.

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Postby CB » Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:21 pm

one other thing, anyone know of a good website for buying frames?
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Postby heavymetal » Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:32 pm

CB wrote:one other thing, anyone know of a good website for buying frames?

St Kilda Cycles in Melbourne will make you one. They do steel and carbon fibre.

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Postby Zujan » Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:34 pm

try; ... TYPE=FRAME
Ask them any question, they are very helpful, but bear in mind, anything over AUD1000 you will have to pay import duty and GST, maybe sites from UK will be your best bet, there, you will get VAT back into your own pocket!
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Postby sogood » Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:35 pm

You really shouldn't spend a bundle on a "dream" when you don't have a lot of experience with any specific form of cycling. Get a decent bike and get to know road biking before you consider your dream. By that time, the two options would be a more realistic choice. Prior to that, you'll pay for your lessons either way.
Last edited by sogood on Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby toolonglegs » Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:46 pm

Just a quick pointer...if you are buying a high end frame off the web or any high end parts you may save money for sure.But beware of warranty matters.I snap frames on a pretty regular interval so unless it was a pretty cheap frame I would always buy thru my LBS,and like my frame that I found a nice big crack in yesterday I am not worried that it will be sorted out with no problems.Funnily enough of all the bikes I have ever owned I have never sold one...just upgraded thru warranty. :wink:
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Postby Kalgrm » Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:36 pm

2 points:

1/ I agree with sogood. Neither option is good until you are quite experienced with the riding you prefer. When you've picked up the experience, you'll be confident enough to do your own builds. Basically, if you need to ask the question, you're not ready to spend the money.

2/ I think it's usually frowned upon by LBSs to buy your equipment from someone else and ask the LBS to assemble. They may do it for you, especially if you have built a very good rapport with them previously, but you won't be high on their list of priorities. And they WILL charge you to do so, which is likely to wipe out any savings you made during the purchase. If you bought the parts from them, they'd likely fit them for free though.

Personally, I'd buy a complete bike with a good frame and buy upgrades as things wear out or break. Or as you get tired of them, which is more likely. AKA upgraditis! In that way, you get experience with replacing things over time and learn which parts are worth upgrading.

Think outside the double triangle.
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