My First $18 Budget Road Bike Build
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  1. #1
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    Post My First $18 Budget Road Bike Build

    Hi, my name is Zac and this is my first road bike. I'm 15 years old and got this bike by buying my two friends dinner at a fast food restaurant just the other day, which ended up costing me $18. It's a Vintage Nishiki bike with a 5 spd Suntour vx, and I plan to make it into my commute bike and also and occasional fun race bike.

    I'm trying to keep my upgades for this project under $100 excluding paint costs, and am debating whether to put on my spare shimano acera 7/8 spd derailleur which would cost more for the other parts (Cassette, chain, shifter) or my friends 7 speed which would be almost free (I'll find out tomorrow exactly what it is). I'm planning to get a new seat, groupset, pedals, etc. While also restoring and making the bike beautiful. It would be great to have any suggestions from you guys, as I'm a newb to both this forum and bike building. I'll follow up tomorrow with my color scheme, some of the parts im getting, and what groupset my friends bike has. Thanks!
    IMG_20160723_161000601.jpg

  2. #2
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    Right now the handlebars are just the stock riser/cruiser handlebars twisted horizontally, I kind of like how it looks, although it's not very aerodynamic...

    I'd also like to say: This is a budget build, or it is at the moment. The $100 budget is only for essentials to make the bike more functional and to look presentable, I'm not looking to upgrade to some 11 speed-ultra light- super expensive derailleur.

    More pics coming tomorrow, thanks!
    7954d2f4-b4cf-4cb0-a84e-b3156ead44de.jpg

  3. #3
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    I like your style (getting the bike by buying fast food for friends).

    The bike looks pretty rusty. Has it lived outside?

    What condition are the wheel bearings, bottom bracket bearings, and headset bearings in.

    Are the wheels safe (all of the spokes intact, hub flanges not cracked, etc..)

    These are the kinds of things that will eat up your budget pretty fast.

    How are your wrenching skills? Will you be doing the work yourself? Do you have (access to) the tools you need?

  4. #4
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    I'll admit the bike is pretty rusty, but not in critical areas for the most part...
    When I bought it, I found it on the side of his shed, outside, while it was pouring rain. By this I think we can assume it's been abused.

    The wheels are a little bit of a concern to me, bc the spokes in the rear wheel are rusted pretty good, i've tested the bike and rode it pretty fast and the spokes show no sign of giving out. Even if they are holding up, I think I'd better replace these relatively soon. Other than the rust on the spokes, the wheels are in good condition with no cracks or loose components.

    I have some experience with repairing lawn mowers and fixing things, i've also been doing my share of research and think that I have enough tools to get by. One thing i'm concerned about is how i'm going to get the cassette off, I dont own a whip so maybe ill get my local shop to do it...

    Thanks! I appreciate the quick response, I'm really curious to see what people will think of what im trying to do.

  5. #5
    Cranky Old Bastard
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    It is not worth the money to try to upgrade an old bike like that. Just clean it up, (learn how to) tune it up and ride it.

    Check out this thread: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/com...le-355690.html
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

  6. #6
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    I can see what you mean Randy, but again, I'm making this bike to be fun and cheap. I don't really mind that it will take a bit of work and that it won't really have much value of upgradeability in the future. All I want from this bike is something I can get around on without having to use those twisting shifters on the stem and will also keep up with my friends more expensive road bikes. I also want to learn the engineering and skill part of building bikes as you said.

    Although it isn't the best idea, I think Ill go against the better opinion and just have fun "Wasting" money
    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Cool Man! Have fun with it. Fixing it up, and riding it!

  8. #8
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    Stick to your budget. I have something similar that is way out of hand.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pip89289 View Post
    Although it isn't the best idea, I think Ill go against the better opinion and just have fun "Wasting" money
    Thanks!
    Go for it, the learning experience of fixing and tuning up the bike will almost be as enjoyable as riding it. Have fun!

  10. #10
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    So today was a big day. I semi-sanded the frame for painting and ended up removing all the components (Well, my friend did most of to the removal) and removed lots of rust while polishing with some steel wool.

    I've decided to go the 8 speed shimano acera route and I can't figure out if the cassette will fit my hub... Do any of you know if a shimano cassette will fit? We think the bike is a 1979 Nishiki, but if you need the product name of the rim, I can get that for you tomorrow.

    Tomorrow I'm gonna finish sanding the frame and start the painting process (Sky blue and white) I'm also going to repack the bearings with 30 year old grease...

    The reason this disassembly took me all day was bc we couldn't get the crank arms off. Like Migen said, I don't think I have the tools to get this project done. But after one of my friends banged on it with a hammer for 20 minutes with no mercy, he was able to get the arms off with only a few minor dents.
    Thanks for all your help!
    9950f30c-9e93-4aba-8c50-deaf1d71cbed.jpg
    Last edited by pip89289; 07-24-2016 at 08:06 PM.

  11. #11
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    Some close-up pictures of the components would make it easier for the members here to help you.

    I'm not experienced with rebuilding old bikes like this, but there are a lot of folks here who are and can give you good advice.

    Why does that picture look like it was taken at the bottom of a swimming pool? LOL...

  12. #12
    Cranky Old Bastard
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    Quote Originally Posted by pip89289 View Post
    I've decided to go the 8 speed shimano acera route and I can't figure out if the cassette will fit my hub... Do any of you know if a shimano cassette will fit?
    Sorry, but no. You've got a 5-speed freewheel (not a freehub). Freewheel or Cassette?

    You've hit the first big stumbling block to upgrading an old bike: to use a cassette you'll need to replace the hub. Instead of getting a new hub laced to old spokes and rim you should just buy a new wheel. If you're buying new wheels you should get 700c instead of the 27" that you've got now, but then you'll need long-reach brakes.

    You should consider buying that 7-speed bike from your friend. It is likely newer and should be much easier to upgrade.

    Edit: And some more info...7-speed were the first cassettes and the hub will only take 7 speeds. The freehub was lengthened for 8 speeds and will take an 8, 9 or 10.
    Last edited by Randy99CL; 07-24-2016 at 09:06 PM.
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

  13. #13
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    How could you go wrong with an $18 bike purchase? If nothing else, you will learn bike repair and restoration! Though keep in mind that any upgrade you do will cost well more than the original purchase price. Regardless, it will be a fun project for sure, but not a cost effective one.
    "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



  14. #14
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    My kind of guy. When I was that age I cleaned up a half dozen or so old bikes like this. I found several in the trash. Picked up one of my favorites for $5 at a garage sale. Just taking it apart and cleaning it up was fun for me. I gave a couple away to neighbor kids. Sold some at garage sales and have ridden several for a while. I am 61 years old now and a bit pickier about the quality of the bikes I fool with. But, old habits die hard. I saw two mountain bikes in a trash pile and threw them in the back of my truck. I am going to combine into one and use it for riding to the grocery store. Have fun with it.
    Hold your line and keep on pedaling

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the help everyone. By now It's a definitive yes to take the cassette, derailleur, and shifter off of my friends old bike (it's actually only a 6 spd) The only reason is to have 1 more gear and also to not have those inaccurate lever shifters on the bike now. By doing this i'll be saving myself 30 bucks and if the cassette doesnt fit, I've found a 40 dollar wheel thats the same size and meant for 6-8 gear cassettes.

    also, Ill get more closeup shots today while we sand and paint.
    Thanks!

    p.s. the 6 speed shifter is a "Td one" fyi

  16. #16
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    Good luck, and have fun. One thing you said gave me pause, and prompts a reminder about getting and using the proper tools.

    The reason this disassembly took me all day was bc we couldn't get the crank arms off. Like Migen said, I don't think I have the tools to get this project done. But after one of my friends banged on it with a hammer for 20 minutes with no mercy, he was able to get the arms off with only a few minor dents.
    I was so sorry to read this. That's not how it's supposed to be done. There's a good chance that your friend did massive damage to the bottom bracket bearings with all of that pounding. It may continue to work well enough for you, but you should take this as a lesson in working on bikes. You may be pounding or pulling on a part that looks plenty robust enough to handle those forces, but you could be transferring forces to other parts that are much more susceptible to damage. They make tools (e.g., crank pullers) specially to avoid that kind of problem.

    You may learn a lot by reading some of the articles about bike repair and restoration by the late Sheldon Brown. They're enjoyable, too.
    Harris Cyclery-West Newton, Massachusetts Bicycle Shop
    I applaud your willingness to wade in and learn. But please don't hit your bike with a hammer unless you really know what you're doing. ;-)
    "None of us knows for sure what's out there; that's why we keep looking. Keep your faith; travel hopefully. The universe will surprise you, constantly." The 13th Doctor.

  17. #17
    Cranky Old Bastard
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    As others have said, this is a great way to learn about bikes and repairing/maintaining them.
    The best way is to get a few cheap bikes and use the best parts to make one good one.
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pip89289 View Post
    So today was a big day. I semi-sanded the frame for painting and ended up removing all the components (Well, my friend did most of to the removal) and removed lots of rust while polishing with some steel wool.

    I've decided to go the 8 speed shimano acera route and I can't figure out if the cassette will fit my hub... Do any of you know if a shimano cassette will fit? We think the bike is a 1979 Nishiki, but if you need the product name of the rim, I can get that for you tomorrow.

    Tomorrow I'm gonna finish sanding the frame and start the painting process (Sky blue and white) I'm also going to repack the bearings with 30 year old grease...

    The reason this disassembly took me all day was bc we couldn't get the crank arms off. Like Migen said, I don't think I have the tools to get this project done. But after one of my friends banged on it with a hammer for 20 minutes with no mercy, he was able to get the arms off with only a few minor dents.
    Thanks for all your help!
    9950f30c-9e93-4aba-8c50-deaf1d71cbed.jpg
    The six & seven speed are all freewheels, I.e. They screw onto a thread. The eight speed Acera and up groupo's are cassette body. You would also need to spread the rear end to make a 8 speed fit there ( 130mm opposed to a 126mm). This is all doable and a fun project but will cost more than a $100 dollar. Below is a bike that I built up from my parts bin. The frame was a 1961 Raleigh Gran Sport, with 2003 9 speed Campy and SRAM components


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  19. #19
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    So, today I'll be going over the parts that i've chosen for this build and also explain how we're painting the frame.

    First, the painting. The plan here was to have half the frame be a baby blue color and have a clear line where the blue ended and have a raw steel with some old paint still attached also start at the line. I'm not doing a very good job of explaining this, but If you look at the frame picture, you can see the part that's masked of is where the raw steel color is gonna be.
    I realize my masking job isnt the best but it works. Quick question, Once the base coat drys, would you guys recommend wet sanding with like 1000 grit sandpaper and then apply the clearcoat? Or just not sand the basecoat at all and just buff the clearcoat when dry?

    Parts:
    New brake and shift cables $10
    Brake pads $6
    Handlebar wrap $10
    6-8 spd rear freehub wheel $40
    Selle italia q-bik saddle $16
    6 speed "TD one" shifter set with "Twisty" shifter $5

    Grand total: $87, does not include shipping and handling
    If you have any reccomendations for parts, please tell me. I realize some of these parts are extremely cheap (Wheel) but all I need is for the cassette to attach and for the wheel to coast.
    Thanks!

    edit: Also, I made sure that there werent to many leaves or things that could get into the paint while it was drying, at the moment, nothing has ruined the paint.

    Also, I have a spare chain and will be reusing the stock brakes, to save money
    ]IMG_20160725_191520003.jpgIMG_20160725_191632700.jpg
    Last edited by pip89289; 07-25-2016 at 05:27 PM.

  20. #20
    cs1
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    I'm really liking this. I can't wait to see the finished product. In 20 years you'll be telling new members about this one.
    1995 Waterford 1200
    1999 Waterford RSE-11
    Plus a host of old bikes too many to list.

  21. #21
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    Very well done. I wish my 14 year old showed a fraction of the interest you have...

    One piece of advice, I'd invest in a trigger shifter for your Acera. £14 here, I don't know US prices. It works much better, and is MUCH easier to adjust and maintain, than a twisty.

  22. #22
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    So it's been a few years and I stumbled across this thread that I made when I was younger. I feel really guilty for not keeping everyone posted and I wanted to thank everyone for helping me back in the day. I'm 18 now and have a few updates on the bike. I had repainted it baby blue and HATED the color, quickly changing it to a gunmetal grey. I never spent more than $50 on parts for the bike and loved it to death. Unfortunately I crashed it one day and never fully repaired it. I forgot about the bike and rode my mtb for a while until my dad finally made me get rid of the trashed road bike. I'm road biking now on a kestrel with a 105 groupset. I know buying an expensive bike to solve my problems isn't then ending to a budget build that anyone wants to hear. Fortunately I'm leaving for college in Indiana soon so the expensive bike is getting sold to build another cheap one without having to worry about it getting stolen.
    p.s. I expect life to be exactly like the movie "Breaking Away" in Indiana

  23. #23
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    What can I say, life happens. Part of the fun of an inexpensive bike is when you crash it, you don't cry too much.

    Why not keep the Kestrel for when you graduate and don't have to worry about theft? Or just get a really good lock?
    "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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