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Build your own bicycle?

Old 11-19-19, 04:38 PM
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mdadams1
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Build your own bicycle?

Is there a forum on building your own bicycle?

Mike Adams
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Old 11-19-19, 04:48 PM
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If you mean building a frame see https://www.bikeforums.net/framebuilders/

other wise if you mean taking a bare frame and putting all the parts on it, this is will work
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Old 11-19-19, 05:26 PM
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Please, start out by defining what sort of bicycle you wish to build. A forum for road bikes is totally different than a forum for off road bikes. What do you want? You may know, but unless you share that information, we don't
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Old 11-19-19, 10:30 PM
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Though I haven't ventured into frame building myself, the frame builders forum is fascinating. I've built up all but one of my bikes from frames and parts. My bikes are nothing fancy, mostly built up from second hand stuff. But they are exactly what I want, and fit me like a glove.

If you want to ease into this, a good start is maintaining your existing bikes. Removing and replacing parts, adjusting, and upgrading things, is like building a bike, but on a smaller scale. Doing this work will get you familiar with resources on things like parts compatibility, tools, techniques, and so forth. Meanwhile, you can keep your eye out for a frame that's in the size and style that you prefer. I think that doing it without being in a hurry could save you money, because you can wait for bargains or take-offs.
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Old 11-20-19, 12:11 AM
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Hey, I know this may a little different than perhaps what you might have in mind, but it just highlights
one of many possibilities. GOOGLE April 1963 Popular Mechanics magazine (see pages 176-179 and 212)
---'BICYCLE BUILT FOR TWO'-----by Manly Banister, April 1963 POPULAR MECHANICS
It is a detailed explanation of a how to article for building a Tandem. He took the a 26" wheeled Boys
Bike and a 26" wheel Girls Bike and made a very nice Tandem. There are good details of how and
exactly where he cut the frames and exactly how he welded them together, with advice on how to advise
someone in welding it, if you're like most and would need to take the parts to someone who knows how to
weld. At any rate, this ancient how to article is worth seeing if only to see it and perhaps get ideas of your
own for a regular bicycle. There are also some tremendous custom-builds over there on the c.a.b.e. forums.
One of the most recent ones has fabulous creativity and out of this world fabrication and welding skills. The
example that I speak of is recent from 2019, where someone took a Women's fifties era ballon bike cruiser
frame and cut it and turned it into a men's bike, he also cut and grafted a small portion from an art-deco rear
book carrier and made it into a very stylish chainguard. You've got to see it to believe it.
Now, the reason that I mentioned welding and cutting-fabrication, is that my belief is that you have a much better
chance of building a quality bicycle, the first time out of the gate, if you try to stick with good old steel, maybe
even the unloved gas-pipe variety frames as donor raw materials. The reason I suggest that you consider using
and cutting up and or cobbling the older basic steel frames with slack geometry and long wheelbases, because
you almost are guaranteed in being able to build(construct) something that will handle and ride very well. You
might have a heavier frame than may not be in vogue today, but you'll learn and your finished product will likely be
excellent, safe and fun to ride. You've got huge numbers of various frames that you could play around with and
modify such as typical diamond frame, the step-through with straight bar like Raleigh womens/pre-1966 Schwinn Collegiate/Traveller etc,
the step-through with curved bar like 1966-1982 Collegiate/Suburban/Breeze, the cantilever frame beach cruiser shape,
the ancient twin straight bar men's cruiser frame, the Ladies mixte frame, and perhaps others.
Now, you're probably thinking why in the heck would I waste my time and money welding up heavy steel or
super weighty "gas-pipe" frames, or even consider using such old bike frames as raw materials to cut up and adapt...
Sure, you're not gonna end up with a 17 pound bicycle, but you'll likely end up with something that will ride nice.
.......You're saying to yourself, well, why not just go on craigs or facebook marketplace and just search for a
1984 Fuji or 1984 Panasonic 12 speed as even there most basic, entry level lightweights are superb bicycles
in most every respect. If you wanna ride UPRIGHT, just get northroads-cruiser bars from something like
a seventies Collegiate/Suburban/Breeze....and the brake levers and a cruiser type saddle seat. You'll have a
hard time beating the basic models from 1984 of Fuji & Panasonic. 1985, 1986,1987 the base models are
even better. Well, it may be fun for you to build your own... Remember that it will take a
tremendous effort to build a lightweight steel roadbike that will even come close to the economy base models
from the mid- nineteen eighties. I suspect that unless you have considerable experience in building frames
and bicycles, that you will be able to build something with more complex raw materials (aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber..) that will compare to
a $200 Wal-mart or Target bicycle. I cannot say exactly because I've never done it, but I would guess that you'd have
a much steeper learning curve if you have no prior experience with fabricating using those raw materials.
I would highly advise that if you wish to set out to build your own bicycle frame with anything other than steel,
you should forget doing so and just purchase a well-built, well engineered "high-tech" frame from someone
very experienced in constructing frames from complex raw materials.
Have fun and build what you like, but be realistic in that you gotta know your limitations......
You'll learn new things and you'll have a ball building your own bicycle. Keep things in
perspective. You wouldn't try to build a new experimental aircraft design if you weren't
already an experienced aerospace engineer with more than a fundamental grasp of
successful and unsuccessful designs, and the knowledge of how and why....
At least with a bicycle, you can go back to the drawing board. Test pilots
sometimes aren't able to eject and parachute safely.
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Old 11-20-19, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mdadams1 View Post
Is there a forum on building your own bicycle?

Mike Adams
If you are looking for help building a bike from an already built frame, I am always happy to help you can always PM me and let me know what you might be looking for and I can get you set up. I love doing it. If you are looking to start building bikes from tubes you might check out United Bicycle Institute or Yamaguchi.
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Old 11-21-19, 08:19 AM
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It would be nice if the OP clarified his intentions before any more advice is posted here. We are shooting in the dark at this point.
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Old 11-21-19, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by hillrider View Post
it would be nice if the op clarified his intentions before any more advice is posted here. We are shooting in the dark at this point.
+1
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Old 11-21-19, 05:16 PM
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For basic assembly, the Mechanics forum is fine.

For issues like fitting... there is the Fitting forum.

Ask questions like handlebar preference, etc, under the desired discipline.
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Old 11-23-19, 04:12 PM
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I was thinking more on the lines of folks sharing how they built their bicycle rather than buying commercially...Where they shopped for parts and the things to watch out for.

Mike Adams
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Old 11-23-19, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mdadams1 View Post
I was thinking more on the lines of folks sharing how they built their bicycle rather than buying commercially...Where they shopped for parts and the things to watch out for.

Mike Adams
No specific forum. Many people buy frames and select & install their own parts to suit them. If you want to, post your plans in the sub-forum for the type of bike..."Road", "Mtb" etc...
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