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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Building a road bike for the first time.

    I am thinking of building a road bike for the first time. I love to ride and know what I need but I am not sure of the tools that I would need and what tolerances such as torque I should use. Are there any good web site that talk about building a road bike and what is needed,,,besides parts. Thanks!

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Unless you have most of the parts around already, it's cheaper to buy a complete bike.

    That said, the Park Tools web site has good general instructions. Most new components come with installation instruction sheets, and most component companies have their installation instructions on the web. Torque values will depend on the particular components. A shimano crank won't use the same torque values that an FSA crank uses, etc.

  3. #3
    MING
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    gongrats

    roadspeed 1. Congratulations. Building your own bike adds a layer of personal accomplishment and confidence that doesnt come with off the floor bikes. Choosing your own parts/frame/wheels makes a bike that is yours and original.

    Tools I used when I built up my bike 2 months ago, there are people who have alot more info and experience, check out the park site, and pick up a copy of zinn and the art of road bike maintenance.

    4,5,6 mm allen wrenches, with torque wrench.
    phillips screw driver.
    Bottom bracket tool - type will depend on bb.
    8,9 or 10 mm to install crank, or not depending on bb.
    Cable housing cutters, yeah theyre 30 bucks and you dont think you'll use them more than once, but they're useful; and do a great job.
    Lube, Grease, Beer.
    headest presses are expensive, there are dyi setups, but I have my headset installed by my lbs, they can also face the bb and headset surfaces if applicable.

    good luck
    Fight Like Susan!

  4. #4
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    I have built a Specialized S-Works Epic and just this past winter, a Specialized S-Works E5. I loved doing it. Even though I made a couple mistakes along the way, I learned and know these bikes very well. You become much more in tune with your bike if you build it. Most importantly, you will know how to fix it! I would also recommend posting in the Manufacturer section and ask people about the particular frame you are building up.

    Have a great time!

  5. #5
    BrooklynVelo
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    The diy headset presses work pretty well if you're careful and slow. Of course you need to be careful and slow no matter what with headset presses. Don't forget cable-ends, housing ends and other small parts. Also with a first bike build be sure to take your time. Get all of the parts onto the bike and then start adjusting. Don't adjust as you go along, wait until the end of the build.
    Damn the Man, Save the Empire
    Brooklyn Velo Force

  6. #6
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    Do it for love, not for money!

    As the previous guy(s) said, you're not going to save any $'s on this by doing it yourself.

    I recently did the same thing. My 2 cents:

    1. Have the headset put in by a shop. That's the tough part.
    2. Grease all threads
    3. Use a torque wrench
    4. Extra credit - build your own wheels.
    Kalukis
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    I ride lugged steel and I vote!

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadspeed1
    I am thinking of building a road bike for the first time. I love to ride and know what I need but I am not sure of the tools that I would need and what tolerances such as torque I should use. Are there any good web site that talk about building a road bike and what is needed,,,besides parts. Thanks!
    If you can live with the sort of road bike that comes out of a box, it's way cheaper to just go to a store and buy one in your favourite colour.

    If you know the bars, stem, saddle and other stuff you want, likely the only way you'll get just what you want is to either (A) Buy a bike-in-a-box and pay to swap stuff or (B) Buy what you want and either pay someone to assemble it or learn how to yourself.

    Building a bike isn't that difficult if you understand the best end of a tool to hold! I concur with suggestions above to have the headset professionally fitted and getting the BB cleaned out and faced. The tools for those two jobs are costly, will unlikely to be used often.

    The rest - RTFM (Read The Flippin' Manual!). Seriously. All Shimano components come with simple well-illustrated single sheet instructions for fitting and adjustment - these work if followed. I assume Campag and the rest have something similar in their packaging. Torque settings are somewhere on the instructions for most bike bits I've bought, and my Sears-bought pre-set wrench has done me fine from stem bolts (surprisingly little torque) to BBs (lots and lots and lots of it )

    Folk who just hang stuff on bikes, then crank into every adjustment screw in sight always seem to have trouble.

    Take your time. Get yourself into the right frame of mind, get set up to work and don't rush a job. Fit one part at a time.

    Wheel-building. I keep telling myself that it's all I haven't done, I need to do it, and then I find myself short of time again and go buy some ready built ones! It's a thing that requires a whole set of talents and skills, and a great wheelbuilder is a true find - I salute them, one and all!

    If you like reading, Leonard Zinn's maintenance books are always highly spoken of, and the Park Tools website is invaluable.

    Good luck, this approach beats the heck out of just buying for me. Only you really know if it will do it for you.

    Regards

    Dereck

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadspeed1
    I am thinking of building a road bike for the first time. I love to ride and know what I need but I am not sure of the tools that I would need and what tolerances such as torque I should use. Are there any good web site that talk about building a road bike and what is needed,,,besides parts. Thanks!
    Several posters recommend Zinn and the Art of Road Bike maintenance, which I second. Skim the book cover to cover before you start, or even buy the first tool or component. It has an appendix with torque tables, which is highly useful. It also has suggested tool kits for varying levels of work. Use a good torque wrench and you won't spend the first two weeks trying to locate the source of sundry creaks.

    If you can't get the parts you need from your LBS, try a build kit from Excel Sports or Colorado Cyclist. Also, invest in a good workstand if you don't have one already. Rope from the rafters or a car rack will do in a pinch for some repairs, but not if you're building a bike.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I'm in the middle of my first build too. Have been stubborn about doing it myself which basically means I got to the part where you have to cut the steerer tube and get the star nut set correctly... and stalled due to laziness and not having the requisite tools. (now rectified)

    On the good side while I was procrastinating (weeks!!) my main ride kept having niggling problems - broken cables, chain skip/worn casettes, poor shifting (cables/housing replaced), saddle-rail break, blah blah - and I keep dipping into the new bike parts bin and getting right back on the road with my main ride. If I didn't have the parts bin and tools I would have had to wait for the LBS to service my bike and would have been out of comission.

    So not only is it great to have the knowledge necessary, knowing how to do this stuff yourself keeps you on the road. I fully expect to keep a supply of the basic parts on hand given my experience over the last couple months. There's nuthin like knowing if things aren't right you can come hope and get everything back up to spec in a jiffy.

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