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  1. #1
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    Newbie Building Bike from Scratch - Check My List?

    I bought my first road bike almost a year ago and it was just a cheap starter road bike (Merax Finiss). Despite making several smaller upgrades and riding it more and more, I'm not completely happy with it and want something lighter with higher quality components. Instead of buying something off the shelf, I decided I want to build my own bike and because I'm a newbie I'll probably have to take it to the bike shop for a couple things. Anyways, if you guys could look at my parts list, that would be awesome. I'm pretty sure everything is compatible, but I could be wrong.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/w.../21XR6PUYK5PDC

    By far the hardest thing to find was the frame. I'm completely fine with aluminum frames, but it was hard to find something that looked nice, had a good fork, was aerodynamic and had a good color scheme in the $200-400 range. Any higher in price and carbon fiber seems like a better option. If you have any recommendations I'd really like to hear them because the frame is what's really driving the total cost up. I don't want anything larger than 50cm and I think I'd be okay with anything down to 46cm since I can always increase the seatpost height and stem length. I'm 5'5" 170lbs.

    I went with an 11/42T cassette because it's pretty hilly where I live and I'd like the extra range. I went with a standard crankset instead of a compact because I want it to be easier to pedal at 25+mph.

    If you have any other questions about the parts I picked please let me know.
    Last edited by Avvakening; 3 Weeks Ago at 02:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    L b s

  3. #3
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    You should focus on spinning, you will then not be able to spinout a 50/11. At 35mph, why pedal?
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  4. #4
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    ?????

    And I'm not worried about spinning out on the highest gear, aha. I just don't want to pedal at a higher RPM while going 25+ mph. 52/11 should let me pedal at a slightly lower RPM.

  5. #5
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    42T...?

    sounds like your terrain is more mountainous than hilly...
    the 45th POTUS is inept, corrupt, and a pathological liar. and those may be his better qualities...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtox View Post
    42T...?

    sounds like your terrain is more mountainous than hilly...
    I'm not familiar with how easy that actually is to pedal and I could definitely be going overkill with it. You think I should just stick to 11/32? Other than weight and maybe not as smooth shifting, is there any other reason not to go with 11/42?

  7. #7
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    save your knees... get a compact. 11/32 should be fine.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the feedback so far, but does anyone notice any incompatibilities? That's what I'm mostly worried about.

    If I went with a normal range these are the parts I'd go with:
    Shimano 6800 Ultegra 11-Speed 11/32T Cassette - http://a.co/2li54lt
    Shimano 105 RD-5800 GS 11-Speed Rear Derailleur - http://a.co/cPJbuxJ

    Alternatively, does anyone think that it'd be work upgrading my existing Merax Finiss bike to an 11-speed for around <$500? (https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/w...t/N7N3F05RM49K)
    Last edited by Avvakening; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:26 PM.

  9. #9
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    Newbie Building Bike from Scratch - Check My List?

    I think you need to research a bit more. The cassette and derailleur that you have in your list are for mountain bikes. I don't Think they'll work with road shifters. Basically anything from shimano that is SLX, XT,XTR are for mountain bikes. For road you need to look for models like Tiagara, 105, Ultegra, Dura-Ace.
    Also, I believe most wheelsets should include skewers. And I don't think I saw a front derailleur in your list.
    As for upgrading your current bike, you are probably looking at replacing the drivetrain and a new rear wheel since the hub on your bike is probably not compatible with 11 speed cassette.
    I know you said you wanted to build your own bike, but what is the reason? If it's to save money, then I think you'll actually end up spending more by trying to piece together a bike. If it's for the experience or to learn, then you should do more research to figure out what you need.
    Have you checked out the offerings from bikesdirect.com? I think a lot of ppl on here don't like them much but their prices are pretty unbeatable for complete bikes. You'll be better off getting a bike from them then buying random frames off of amazon with unknown and potentially questionable quality. At least that's how I feel

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwu_1 View Post
    I think you need to research a bit more. The cassette and derailleur that you have in your list are for mountain bikes. I don't Think they'll work with road shifters. Basically anything from shimano that is SLX, XT,XTR are for mountain bikes. For road you need to look for models like Tiagara, 105, Ultegra, Dura-Ace.
    Also, I believe most wheelsets should include skewers. And I don't think I saw a front derailleur in your list.
    As for upgrading your current bike, you are probably looking at replacing the drivetrain and a new rear wheel since the hub on your bike is probably not compatible with 11 speed cassette.
    I know you said you wanted to build your own bike, but what is the reason? If it's to save money, then I think you'll actually end up spending more by trying to piece together a bike. If it's for the experience or to learn, then you should do more research to figure out what you need.
    Have you checked out the offerings from bikesdirect.com? I think a lot of ppl on here don't like them much but their prices are pretty unbeatable for complete bikes. You'll be better off getting a bike from them then buying random frames off of amazon with unknown and potentially questionable quality. At least that's how I feel
    I just want to build my own bike for the experience of doing it and the satisfaction of riding something I built myself. I agree with you on the frame being questionable quality, especially with only a two-year warranty. I'm honestly still looking for a good inexpensive frame.

    Yeah, I understand that the cassette and derailleur are meant for mountain bikes, but I wanted the extended range because I live in a pretty hilly area. I want the extended range mostly for getting home when I'm drained. I didn't think about the road bike hood shifters not working with the extended range derailleur though so I'll have to look into that at least. I'll see if I can test one out and then decide between 11/32T or 11/40+T assuming the road shifters work with more than 32T.

    I noticed that the wheels came with skewers a bit after my last reply.

    Yep, I missed the front derailleur. Also the tires.

  11. #11
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    Newbie Building Bike from Scratch - Check My List?

    I still strongly recommend you look elsewhere for your frame than amazon. It's one thing for them to say they offer warranty but it might be a whole other story if/when you actually need warranty service. If you are really set on a Chinese carbon frame, at least go check out the thread about Chinese carbon frames to pick a company that other forum members has experience with. Also, bikeisland.com is a related site to bikesdirect.com and you can get the motobecane frame there. Also check out Nashbar.com if you haven't already.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwu_1 View Post
    I still strongly recommend you look elsewhere for your frame than amazon. It's one thing for them to say they offer warranty but it might be a whole other story if/when you actually need warranty service. If you are really set on a Chinese carbon frame, at least go check out the thread about Chinese carbon frames to pick a company that other forum members has experience with. Also, bikeisland.com is a related site to bikesdirect.com and you can get the motobecane frame there. Also check out Nashbar.com if you haven't already.
    Honestly, the frame in the list is just a placeholder so that I can have a completely build list. I looked at the thread you told me about and the VB-R-022 on the first page of the thread actually looks pretty awesome and is at a great price (VeloBuild frames in general). I have some looking around to do for frames and your links helped a lot.
    Last edited by Avvakening; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:02 PM.

  13. #13
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    Wanting to have easy gears is fine, but you can't mix shimano mountain bike derailleurs and shifters.

    Many of us here are experienced with this sort of thing. I would strongly suggest you go with a Compact 50/34 front chainset and and 11-32 rear cassette (the ultegra rear derailleur supports this). That should be all the gears you need for 99.9% of the paved roads on the planet and most of the off-road stuff you might consider on a road bike.

    Let that be your starting point and go from there.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migen21 View Post
    Wanting to have easy gears is fine, but you can't mix shimano mountain bike derailleurs and shifters.

    Many of us here are experienced with this sort of thing. I would strongly suggest you go with a Compact 50/34 front chainset and and 11-32 rear cassette (the ultegra rear derailleur supports this). That should be all the gears you need for 99.9% of the paved roads on the planet and most of the off-road stuff you might consider on a road bike.

    Let that be your starting point and go from there.
    Are the larger crank cogs really that big of a deal? The compact is significantly more expensive.

    I did change to an 11/32T cassette and a Shimano 105 RD-5800 GS derailleur though.

  15. #15
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    you can run an xt 11speed cassette with the 5800 stuff.

  16. #16
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by factory feel View Post
    you can run an xt 11speed cassette with the 5800 stuff.
    With what derailleur? 11 speed mountain and 11 speed road aren't compatible. The OP will find it's impossible to use a 42 w/ road shifters.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avvakening View Post
    Are the larger crank cogs really that big of a deal? The compact is significantly more expensive.

    I did change to an 11/32T cassette and a Shimano 105 RD-5800 GS derailleur though.
    If you don't know the answer to that question, then you're not riding enough. Get the standard crank set if that is all you can afford right now and get out there and ride!
    Wake me up when it's alarm green.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tachycardic View Post
    If you don't know the answer to that question, then you're not riding enough. Get the standard crank set if that is all you can afford right now and get out there and ride!
    Looks like it'd just be 9% harder to pedal. That's also the main reason I went with a wider range cassette originally so that I could still have the easiest gears at their easiest if I needed them while also decreasing the necessary RPM while in max gear.
    Last edited by Avvakening; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:36 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    With what derailleur? 11 speed mountain and 11 speed road aren't compatible. The OP will find it's impossible to use a 42 w/ road shifters.
    I actually found a solution to that and may switch back to the mountain cassette and rear derailleur. There's this thing called the Jtek ShiftMate 8 that goes between the shifter and rear derailleur and makes everything compatible. Pretty expensive ($32), but for the extended range I think it's well-worth it. There are quite a bit of seriously steep hills in my city considering I live within the Appalachian Mountains. I'm not a very strong rider and 42T should allow me to get up anything instead of having to walk the bike.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    With what derailleur? 11 speed mountain and 11 speed road aren't compatible. The OP will find it's impossible to use a 42 w/ road shifters.
    I just put an 11 speed xt cassette on my road bike with a 5800 105 medium cage derailleur and a road link.

    Newbie Building Bike from Scratch - Check My List?-img_1884.jpg
    Last edited by factory feel; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:03 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by factory feel View Post
    I just put an 11 speed xt cassette on my road bike with a 5800 105 medium cage derailleur and a road link.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    A couple people complained of laggy shifting for the smaller chain rings. Does yours shift smoothly through all the gears and how many teeth are on your biggest ring?

  22. #22
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    it's an 11-40, shifts perfect in all gears.

    I wouldn't run anything that lagged.

  23. #23
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by factory feel View Post
    I just put an 11 speed xt cassette on my road bike with a 5800 105 medium cage derailleur and a road link.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm not going to add a 'hack' like that to a Shimano derailleur. It will change the clearance between the upper pulley and certain cogs and that will have an impact on shifting performance. It might be good enough for you, but I won't do that. It's really no different than reversing or installing an extra long b-tension screw. It takes the derailleur out of it's designed parameters and will not shift as well. Not to mention it's out of the chain wrap capacity range of the derailleur as well.
    Last edited by cxwrench; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:08 AM.
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  24. #24
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    42 T on a road bike??? Are you planning on pulling tree stumps???

    Seriously, just go BUY another bike. You obviously don't have a clue what you are doing, and all you will end up with is a very expensive compilation of parts thrown together on a frame that don't really work well, and in the end it will cost you MORE than just buying a complete bike.
    I'm upping my standards;
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    Having built a bike from the frame up myself, I can't say it's necessarily easy. Like the OP, I did it for the experience, and to save a few bucks...but, as a nonprofessional bike wrench, it took me me from December to August to acquire all the parts, then from August to September to actually get the thing assembled. Granted, I was looking strictly at the bottom dollar, and spent a TON of time trawling bike parts sites...and, I relied heavily on the LBS's to do more of the specialized work (fitting/cockpit, headset installation). All in all, I built up an aluminum framed bike with a complete 105 groupset for less than the price that the LBS quoted me for a 105 groupset alone.

    The benefits were, as a college student, I could buy it one piece at a time. I learned a TON about how bikes are put together...I'm now the defacto bike mechanic for friends and family.

    The biggest drawbacks were time and uncertainty. I can't say that I'd recommend building a bike from the frame up unless you're 100% dead set on doing things the hard way. What I learned is valuable, that's for sure, but in hindsight, I'd rather buy a lower-end bike up front and upgrade as things wear out or break. There's not a huge difference between my bike and my wife's CAAD8...hers was set up professionally and came with warranties and free maintenance from a local business. Mine was set up by a dude equipped with the internet, and only went to an LBS for a few rudimentary services, with no warranty implied.
    I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?

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