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  1. #1
    TheKing
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    Question Bike Build

    Looking for some advice on my first DIY road bike build. I have owned several road bikes over the last 20 years. Rather than just buy a new one off the bike shop floor I have decided to custom build and put my money on the parts that matter to me. I am not a racer so I see no value in electronic shifting. Disk brakes add complexity & weight with no value add for the type of riding I do. That being said, I want a carbon frame, Chris King ceramic bearings for hubs and bottom bracket. Campy Record or Shimano Ultegra shifters. So to get started I need to decide on the frame. Any advice on where to buy and what to look for would appreciated. The type of bottom bracket will be important in order to be able to match Chris King BB and related crank.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKing View Post
    Looking for some advice on my first DIY road bike build. I have owned several road bikes over the last 20 years. Rather than just buy a new one off the bike shop floor I have decided to custom build and put my money on the parts that matter to me. I am not a racer so I see no value in electronic shifting. Disk brakes add complexity & weight with no value add for the type of riding I do. That being said, I want a carbon frame, Chris King ceramic bearings for hubs and bottom bracket. Campy Record or Shimano Ultegra shifters. So to get started I need to decide on the frame. Any advice on where to buy and what to look for would appreciated. The type of bottom bracket will be important in order to be able to match Chris King BB and related crank.
    No advice on the frame but will comment on your other choices. Ceramic bearings in bicycle applications are a complete and total waste of money. Some would even suggest that they are worse than steel bearings due to the much higher risk of bearing breakage. Curious as to why you might see Campy Record and Shimano Ultegra as equivalent level groups. Neither their price nor the ride experience would suggest equivalence. Many find Ultegra to be all the performance that they need, so this is not a dig against that group. But you would have to search high and low to find anyone who would suggest that Ultegra performance/quality is comparable to Campy Record.

  3. #3
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKing View Post
    [FONT=Helvetica] I am not a racer so I see no value in electronic shifting.
    Electronic shifting isn't just for "racers". There's plenty of value for everyone.

    Any advice on where to buy and what to look for would appreciated.
    Nope. There's a bazillion types and styles of frames. You haven't given any info on what time of riding you do, your flexibility, or what you're looking for in a frame other than it being carbon.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Ceramic bearings in bicycle applications are a complete and total waste of money. Some would even suggest that they are worse than steel bearings due to the much higher risk of bearing breakage.
    Complete waste of money. I'd take the money wasted on ceramic bearings and apply it to electronic shifting any day of the week.
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    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKing View Post
    Looking for some advice on my first DIY road bike build. I have owned several road bikes over the last 20 years. Rather than just buy a new one off the bike shop floor I have decided to custom build and put my money on the parts that matter to me. I am not a racer so I see no value in electronic shifting. Disk brakes add complexity & weight with no value add for the type of riding I do. That being said, I want a carbon frame, Chris King ceramic bearings for hubs and bottom bracket. Campy Record or Shimano Ultegra shifters. So to get started I need to decide on the frame. Any advice on where to buy and what to look for would appreciated. The type of bottom bracket will be important in order to be able to match Chris King BB and related crank.
    Talk about things that are a waste of money for 'your type of riding'...and comparing Record to Ultegra? Since when is Di2 'race only'? You definitely have some odd ideas about bikes and components.
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    It is for the king!
    I would go Di2 before anything else, just is easier to maintain over the life of the bike.
    I would require threaded BB & favor rim brakes.
    A nice supple ride would be good with near road race geometry frame.
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    What's your budget for the build and what type of riding do you want to do with this?
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    TheKing
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    My budget is $3,500. This bike is for touring style rides of 40 to 50 miles. I ride an average of 5,000 miles per year in hilly PA. I am 6' and weigh 180. I am hard on chains and cassettes. More of a masher than spinner. I have owned both Shimano Ultegra and Campy Record. I did not intend to compare them as equals but both are options for my build. I shift multiple gears at a time. The small incremental shifts are not a benefit to me. I like the idea of eliminating cables but still not sure if electronic shifting is less maintenance and worth the cost. Feedback on ceramic bearings is good info. Prior reading did suggest they are more beneficial in high speed applications versus bikes. The benefits I see in ceramic is less corrosion due to moisture. I have to replace the BB bearings on my Trek Madone every 8k miles due to corrosion. Tests also show a power savings of 10 to 12 watts with ceramic.
    Last edited by TheKing; 01-10-2019 at 05:38 PM.

  8. #8
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    I'd go Ultegra Di2 w/ the medium cage derailleur and an 11/34 cassette. Use whichever chainring combo you're comfortable with. I'd say either compact (50/34) or mid compact (52/36). Di2 is pretty well proven at this point and someone that shifts like you do it should work fine. I'd also recommend replacing your chain at intervals of less than 2000miles so the rest of the drivetrain lasts reasonably long. I would definitely NOT recommend Campy electronic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKing View Post
    I have to replace the BB bearings on my Trek Madone every 8k miles due to corrosion. Tests also show a power savings of 10 to 12 watts with ceramic.
    First, there is something seriously wrong if you have to replace a BB every 8K miles due to corrosion.

    Second, those wattage claims are a version of "business physics." Created in the marketing department with absolutely no relationship to what happens in the real world.

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    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKing View Post
    Tests also show a power savings of 10 to 12 watts with ceramic.
    Huh? What tests?
    The variance from the best ceramic BB vs the worst steel BB is 0.29w to 2.13w. That's right... the "worse" steel BB has merely 2.13w drag.
    In fact, there are steel BB's that perform better than some ceramic.


    Average frictional losses for the 35 bottom brackets tested by friction facts range from 0.29w to 2.13w: average frictional losses for the 35 bottom brackets tested by friction facts range from 0.29w to 2.13w

    Don't drink the ceramic kool-aid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Huh? What tests?
    The variance from the best ceramic BB vs the worst steel BB is 0.29w to 2.13w. That's right... the "worse" steel BB has merely 2.13w drag.
    In fact, there are steel BB's that perform better than some ceramic.


    Average frictional losses for the 35 bottom brackets tested by friction facts range from 0.29w to 2.13w: average frictional losses for the 35 bottom brackets tested by friction facts range from 0.29w to 2.13w

    Don't drink the ceramic kool-aid.
    ^^^This.^^^ And even if you did somehow gain 10-12W with ceramic bearings, there is no way you could feel the difference in the real world. So I agree with the others here that ceramic bearings are a total waste.

    IMO, if you are building a bike from scratch, I would concentrate on getting the right frame. Do you research on frames, specifically geometry on each. Remember, it's a lot easier to correct a mistake in chosen components than a frame. Are you looking for a frame with a more relaxed upright endurance geometry or a more aggressive race geometry? Specifically, you should look at STACK and REACH specs. More stack and less reach makes a frame more upright. More reach and less stack makes a frame more racey. Read reviews and do your homework.

    I agree to look for a frame with a threaded BB which is more user serviceable. And if you are a masher who goes through chains and cassettes like water, keep in mind that some higher end groupos have Ti cassette cogs which will wear out much more quickly. Steel chain vs. Ti cassette - who do you think will win? I don't know about Campy Record, but I know Shimano Dura-Ace has Ti cogs. My gut would be to go with Ultegra. I have bikes with both Ultegra 6800 and 105 5800 and they both shift flawlessly. The only difference was the initial cost and a few grams.

    I have no experience with e-shifting, but people I've known who have it love it. Come to think of it, I was never a fan of disc brakes until I bought a bike with them and now I really appreciate the better modulation.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

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  12. #12
    TheKing
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    Thanks for all this info. It is exactly what I need to help make the right decisions for my new build. I agree that BB bearings failing at 8k miles is not normal and was surprised when local mechanic said he was surprised they lasted that long as he threw the crapy bearing up on the counter. This incident is what sparked my idea to build a bike with the best bearings and components that affect power resistance. I never replaced BB bearings in my bikes 15 years ago and now they are failing prematurely. It may be that high quality steel bearings will be the right choice. I am sure there are similar debates when it comes to tire size and rolling resistance. I have always used 700x23 and find it hard to believe that a bigger heavier tire like 700x25 is better, yet I see new bikes in the shop coming with 25's on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    First, there is something seriously wrong if you have to replace a BB every 8K miles due to corrosion.

    Second, those wattage claims are a version of "business physics." Created in the marketing department with absolutely no relationship to what happens in the real world.
    IIRC, those numbers come from CeramicSpeed's marketing....and derive from replacing every bearing in your bike with their ceramic ones, and using their own miracle chain lubricant distilled from unicorn horn and kitten tears. And ofc a controlled environment at a 40km/hr racing pace....where 12W of savings basically amounts to error noise. Which...becomes more "reasonable" and less marketing-ese once you under stand you gain "12W" by spending $1500 on replacing RD pulleys, BB bearings, probably hub bearings, and also using $30/fl ounce chainlube....and 12W saved is in the context of 600W of resistance.


    Grant you, it isn't less pointless.
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    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKing View Post
    I am sure there are similar debates when it comes to tire size and rolling resistance
    I have always used 700x23 and find it hard to believe that a bigger heavier tire like 700x25 is better, yet I see new bikes in the shop coming with 25's on.
    .
    Because rolling resistance is not about weight.
    Plus wider tires are more aerodynamic. And aerodynamics trumps weight.
    Plus plus wider tires are more comfortable and handle better. Who doesn't want a faster tire that handles better ANY is more comfortable?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKing View Post
    Thanks for all this info. It is exactly what I need to help make the right decisions for my new build. I agree that BB bearings failing at 8k miles is not normal and was surprised when local mechanic said he was surprised they lasted that long as he threw the crapy bearing up on the counter. This incident is what sparked my idea to build a bike with the best bearings and components that affect power resistance. I never replaced BB bearings in my bikes 15 years ago and now they are failing prematurely. It may be that high quality steel bearings will be the right choice. I am sure there are similar debates when it comes to tire size and rolling resistance. I have always used 700x23 and find it hard to believe that a bigger heavier tire like 700x25 is better, yet I see new bikes in the shop coming with 25's on.
    May I ask what brand of bearings these are that are trashed at 8K miles? It does seem premature, but if you are indeed a monster on the pedals, that could make a difference. However, in the grand scheme of things, BB's are fairly cheap. Press fit BB's have some issues in general, so that is why I recommend a frame with a threaded BB - much easier to pop out and pop in if/when you do have a problem.

    700x23 vs. 700x25 tires: Here again "bigger and heavier" is minuscule. How much weight do you think you add with a 700x25 tire? I have ridden 700x23, 700x25 and 700x28. I cannot feel that one of these is any slower or faster than the other. The only thing I can feel is that the wider tires have a nicer ride as you can use lower pressure. Some riders claim narrower tires with higher pressures are faster, but what is most probably happening is that there is a sensation of going faster because the ride is more jarring. I switched both my road bikes to 700x28 tires and will never go back.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



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    TheKing
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    The bearings were replaced by my local shop so I am no sure on exact brand. My assumption they were Shimano or supplied by Trek. The bike is a Trek Madone 5.2 with Ultegra. I have seen posts from other Trek Madone owners reporting similar issues. Here is one: "The bottom bracket is the biggest weakness of the bike. My bearings lasted about 500-600 miles and you have to overhaul the BB about every one to two months or after riding in the rain. In fact, I won't even ride it when the roads are wet due to having to O/H the BB. A new Trek bearing set with a dust seal got about 800+ miles if overhauled at about 400 miles. Now the frame cups have worn to the point where I now need special Trek oversized brackets." This is the reason I want to DIY and build with quality parts. Never again will I buy a Trek. They are improving business margins but building crap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKing View Post
    The bearings were replaced by my local shop so I am no sure on exact brand. My assumption they were Shimano or supplied by Trek. The bike is a Trek Madone 5.2 with Ultegra. I have seen posts from other Trek Madone owners reporting similar issues. Here is one: "The bottom bracket is the biggest weakness of the bike. My bearings lasted about 500-600 miles and you have to overhaul the BB about every one to two months or after riding in the rain. In fact, I won't even ride it when the roads are wet due to having to O/H the BB. A new Trek bearing set with a dust seal got about 800+ miles if overhauled at about 400 miles. Now the frame cups have worn to the point where I now need special Trek oversized brackets." This is the reason I want to DIY and build with quality parts. Never again will I buy a Trek. They are improving business margins but building crap.
    The BB is not Shimano on this bike as Shimano doesn't make an oversized BB. If you have a Shimano crankset, then there is an adaptor for it.

    To be fair, Trek is only one player in the press fit BB debacle. In the quest to make a BB feel "stiffer", bike makers have gone to oversized press fit BBs. Trek, Cannondale, specialized and Giant have all gone to this design. In order to use a Shimano crankset, they use an adaptor made by Praxis or Wheels Manufacturing. I have a 2014 Cannondale Synapse with BB30. I am one of the lucky ones who has had the bike for 8500 miles with no BB problems. Many people have creaking with these.

    As I said before, you will serve yourself best to look for a frame with a threaded BB interface. That way, you can use a standard Shimano BB. And if/when it does go south, it's cheap and easy to replace yourself.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  18. #18
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    I think for your budget you should go Ultegra or 105 throughout the bike. Are you buying new wheels as well? I stopped racing years ago but love the SRAM e-tap system on my bike.
    Anyways, the fun part of buying a frame, any bikes you like the look of that can start our minds working?

  19. #19
    TheKing
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    So far I have decided on the following for my build; Threaded BB with steel bearings, Ultegra DI2, standard non disk brakes. Now I am ready to go shopping for a frame. I have owned several bikes and the Specialized Roubaix has been my favorite. I also have a liking for the looks of Wilier frames. I am 6', 180 lbs and a senior (66) rider doing 5k miles per year riding a 13-15mph avg. I am a masher and do put stress on a frame when climbing. Any suggestions would be appreciated including where to shop and what to avoid.

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    I think the single biggest issue to deal with is a frame with a BSA bottom bracket. I'm assuming you want a carbon frame and a lot (or most) of the recent (past 5 years ?) use press fit. You can adapt those as needed.

    One place to look is R&A Cycles in Brooklyn. They have a lot of new-old-stock from a lot of manufacturers, though finding a particular size is sometimes an issue.

    https://www.racycles.com/outlet/road...-frameset-1552


    Also Competitive Cyclist

    https://www.competitivecyclist.com/


    And Adreneline

    https://www.adrenalinebikes.com/stor...ategoryID=2121

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKing View Post
    I am sure there are similar debates when it comes to tire size and rolling resistance. I have always used 700x23 and find it hard to believe that a bigger heavier tire like 700x25 is better, yet I see new bikes in the shop coming with 25's on.
    Hard to believe? Are you allergic to all the data that has been published on this topic? The engineering concepts are simple: power losses from tires come from two phenomena. Hysteresis losses (flexing of the casing and tread) and suspension losses (bouncing bike due to road roughness). Hysteresis losses drop and suspension losses rise with higher pressures. Wider tires with supple casings have been shown over and over to be faster on real roads than narrower tires pumped to higher pressures. Leonard Zinn published the most recent data in Velo News late last year, but Bicycle Quarterly showed this many years ago.

    It's one thing to ask for understanding but something elase again to make statements that are clearly in contradiction of the facts.

  22. #22
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    Di2 is very nice, but with a $3500 budget, I would go Mechanical Ultegra and use the money saved to pick some good wheels and spend more on the frame. At 180lbs and doing lots of climbing, a set of DA C24s might be a nice choice for wheels. With those wheels and an Ultegra Mechanical Group you're at about $1700 spent and have $1800 left for the frame, bars, saddle, peddles etc which isn't chump change but it's not going give you room to be extravagant.
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  23. #23
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    Yea, with that budget, it's either wheels and good stuff or Di2.
    If you do a lot of hills wheels/stuff would be better, if you run the flats Di2 is nice.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKing View Post
    Looking for some advice on my first DIY road bike build. I have owned several road bikes over the last 20 years. Rather than just buy a new one off the bike shop floor I have decided to custom build and put my money on the parts that matter to me. I am not a racer so I see no value in electronic shifting. Disk brakes add complexity & weight with no value add for the type of riding I do. That being said, I want a carbon frame, Chris King ceramic bearings for hubs and bottom bracket. Campy Record or Shimano Ultegra shifters. So to get started I need to decide on the frame. Any advice on where to buy and what to look for would appreciated. The type of bottom bracket will be important in order to be able to match Chris King BB and related crank.
    Steel bearings>ceramic bearings
    di2 is amazing
    King is also amazing, but if you're on a budget DT 350 and a Cane Creek 40 will be functionally identical and you'll have $$$ to spend elsewhere.

    All that said, you're asking the wrong questions for frame recommendations. What would be more helpful is:

    What terrain do you want to ride on? Road only, or gravel?
    How versatile do you want your bike to be? Purpose built for a specific experience, or capable of doing multiple things?
    What is the ride experience you are looking for? Do you ride for fun on the weekends, or do more utitilarian riding like commuting or camping?
    Will you ever pin a number on and race? What kind?
    Will you ride in the rain? Will you do group rides in the rain?
    What type of handling do you prefer?
    How flexible are you/how aggressive do you want the positioning of the bike to be?

    The answer to those questions will get you moving in the right direction.

  25. #25
    TheKing
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    Has anyone had experience with the knock off frames coming out of China? Example:
    https://www.dhgate.com/product/2016-...01:r1854794309

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