If you have a love for building things, you might want to seriously consider building your own bike. Building your own bike is a great way to express yourself and get just the bike that you want. This allows you to have the advantage of a custom-built bike, without the extra expenses. Assembling your own bike is easier than you might think, and it all depends on finding the right componants. Sites like Bike Nashbar and Performance Bicycle carry the parts that you need.
Find Your Perfect Frame and Componant Kit
Most frames are offered in one of two different materials: titanium or carbon fiber. Of the two, titanium is a bit heavier. This might be a better option for riders who prefer to do a lot of mountain or other off-road biking. If you're looking for more customization options, carbon fiber will probably be a better option. A used frame can work as well as a new one, but you'll want to make sure whoever you purchase it from has a return policy just in case. You'll need to have a componant kit, too. These are sometimes marketed as build kits. All of these kits will have the same parts, which include a crankset, dÃ©railleurs, chain, shifters (also called controllers) and brakes.
Wheels and Tires
Your wheels and tires will be an important part of the building process. Please be sure you select these carefully, depending on what your bike will be used for. Also, make sure that the wheels you choose are compatible with the componant kit that you used. Otherwise, you'll run into frustrating assembly problems. You'll need to choose between clincher wheels and tubular wheels. Clincher wheels generally make it easier to change flat tires, while tubular wheels roll faster. Whichever you choose, make sure that the tires match the wheel type for a proper fit.
Saddles, Handlebars and Pedals
While these aren't usually seen as being as important as the other parts, you'll want to make sure that these are satisfactory. Your saddle should seat you comfortably for either a long or short trip. Your handlebars should be chosen according to your gripping preference. The pedals should be a proper size for your feet and match the rest of the bike's style.
Putting It All Together
After you've put the tires on your wheels, you'll want to attach the wheels to your frame. Next, attach the saddle on its seat post to the frame using an allen wrench. The handlebar attaches to the frame's stem, which you'll attach to the steering tube located on the fork. The shifters or controllers will need to be attached to handlebars using the allen wrench.
Put both brakes through the frame, and then secure them with your allen wrench. Attach the bottom bracket for the crankset using the wrench specified in your kit's instructions, and then the crankset. Be sure to attach your dÃ©railleurs to the frame before attaching your chain. The chain will need to pass through the dÃ©railleurs and chain ring before you cut it. The brake and dÃ©railleur cables are added last.