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When building a road bike, how much relative should frame, wheels, and groupset cost?

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When building a road bike, how much relative should frame, wheels, and groupset cost?

Old 10-02-19, 10:42 AM
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Smitty2k1
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When building a road bike, how much relative should frame, wheels, and groupset cost?

Let's say you're building up a new road bike (not used) with ~$1,500 budget, how would you split the cost? Obviously there are many "it depends" qualifiers, but for example I feel you shouldn't spend more money on wheels than you do on a frame. How does this seem for a reasonable breakdown?

Frame: $700
Wheels: $400
Groupset/components: $400

Discuss.
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Old 10-02-19, 10:53 AM
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eduskator
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Short answer is, it depends on what you want. What's the goal of this built?

1500$ won't get you really far, especially if you spend only 400$ on groupset AND all components. The components (excluding wheels) are usually equivalent to or more expensive than the frame itself.

I don't want to burst your bubble, but at that budget (and since money seems to be part of the equation) you should probably just buy a complete one full price or on sale. You'd get 2-3 times more ''bang for the buck''.
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Old 10-02-19, 10:56 AM
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Ok maybe $1500 wasn't great for this hypothetical situation, what if the budget is $2000?

You say it depends on the goal of the build... what depends? Is qualifying it as a 'road bike' as opposed to a 'gravel' or 'touring' bike not qualifier enough? I'm just interested in costs of parts relative to each other, not the overall budget.
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Old 10-02-19, 11:45 AM
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If you have an actual reason to build the bike up yourself, you can make those decisions for yourself. There's no generally "correct" answer.

Originally Posted by Smitty2k1 View Post
You say it depends on the goal of the build... what depends? Is qualifying it as a 'road bike' as opposed to a 'gravel' or 'touring' bike not qualifier enough?
If your goal is as vague as "I want a road bike", you'll get massively more bang for your buck just buying a road bike.

If you want us to help sort out your custom build, we'll need to know why you're doing a custom build, what you're trying to accomplish with it.
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Old 10-02-19, 11:49 AM
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Groupset and components are going to be your biggest cost.

You should be able to pick up a decent used aluminum frameset for around $400.
A basic wheelset will go for about $200, add another $100 for tires and tubes.
Bars, stem and post can be about $100-$150 for used, aluminum stuff.
Saddle, you want to get something decent. So, plan to spend $100-$150 there.
A groupset will probably cost you about $400.
Then figure pedals, cages... $200
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Old 10-02-19, 12:08 PM
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eduskator
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Originally Posted by Smitty2k1 View Post
Ok maybe $1500 wasn't great for this hypothetical situation, what if the budget is $2000?

You say it depends on the goal of the build... what depends? Is qualifying it as a 'road bike' as opposed to a 'gravel' or 'touring' bike not qualifier enough? I'm just interested in costs of parts relative to each other, not the overall budget.

No, not really. It's like saying you want a sport car without precising which kind. A Mazda Miata could be considered a sport car. What you call a ''road bike'' can cost you 500$ or even less brand new and can get as expensive as 15-20 grands. It depends on what kind of components you want to put on the bike you're building and this will make the ''percentage ratio'' of the 3 things identified above vary a lot.

If I can give an example, Giant's top of the line carbon fibre (Advanced SL) TCR frameset is 2300$ I believe (well, last time I checked). A set of CF rims can cost over 2000$. A good Groupset can also cost 2000$ if not more. Plus another few hundreds for the rest of the components of course.

It's hard to nail an exact % of $ you need to spend in these 3 areas with that level of detail.

Last edited by eduskator; 10-02-19 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 10-02-19, 12:44 PM
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I just built up a disc road bike and the cost was basically even thirds between the frame, groupset, and wheels/bars/stem/seat/pedals. Would have been willing to spend a lil more on the frame, but found a good deal. As mentioned, total cost depends on what frame/groupset/components you want.
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Old 10-02-19, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Smitty2k1 View Post
Ok maybe $1500 wasn't great for this hypothetical situation, what if the budget is $2000?
Buy a $2000 bike. Unless you have a lot of spare parts lying around or plan on sourcing lots of used and older stuff. Buying all new parts just to assemble them yourself is burning money.
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Old 10-02-19, 02:54 PM
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I don't believe that one goes out and decides to just put together a bike, unless one has a specific goal in mind. Since, in my experience, it is a lot less expensive to purchase a fully spec'd bike.

Most of my bike builds start off innocently enough...I find a bike frame that I really like for a price I could not resist. The build goes from there and usually take 4 to 6 months just hunting for parts at a price point that I like. I don't go for a specific budget ratio relative to the frame.
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Old 10-02-19, 03:23 PM
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If you do decide to build the bike , look into purchasing the frame, components etc on e bay or using the Facebook Buyers Forum. I used both and found some really good deals.
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Old 10-02-19, 03:27 PM
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Probably you're asking about the ratio of costs of building a bike, but your question is ringing differently in everyone's ears -- mine included.

My first reaction is why you'd build a bike using all new components on a budget of $1,500, but maybe that number is just a placeholder. Anyway, I agree with everyone who said you'd get a lot more value buying it already assembled.

Generally, building up a new bike, I'd say you'd spend something like 2:1:1 on frame: wheels: components, but that pretty loose.

If I were to build up a $1,500 bike, and you'll allow me to use non-new parts, here's how I'd attack it:

frameset: 300 for used Trek carbon or something similar
wheels: 500 for Zipps or similar
saddle, seatpost, bars, stem, etc: 200 good saddle, carbon seatpost, alloy
group: 500 for 10-speed

Here's where I think spending more money than the cheaper option really helps, roughly in order:

1. Tires
2. Wheels
3. I'm not sure what to put next

And here's where I'd save money:
1. Handlebars, stem
2. Frame
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Old 10-02-19, 03:33 PM
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I would have no problem going $500 each for frame, group, wheels and misc.

Maybe Surly crosscheck with used 105, $500 wheels and a nice cockpit.
Give or take some.

I try have everything match value/quality wise; best bang for the buck that sort of thing.

Or I would budget for a nice $1000+ frame, build it up, and upgrade slowly.
Don't skimp on the frame. That's where it all starts.
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Old 10-02-19, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Smitty2k1 View Post
Let's say you're building up a new road bike (not used) with ~$1,500 budget, how would you split the cost? Obviously there are many "it depends" qualifiers, but for example I feel you shouldn't spend more money on wheels than you do on a frame. How does this seem for a reasonable breakdown?

Frame: $700
Wheels: $400
Groupset/components: $400

Discuss.
$1500

Frameset- $450
Wheels- $300
Drivetrain, cockpit, and all else- $750

I would look at buying a discontinued frame off randombikeparts, or something like New Albion Privateer. There are lots of framesets in aluminum or steel for $450 or less.
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Old 10-02-19, 06:08 PM
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Unfortunately there is no real formula for this. The price ratios are dependent upon the initial cost of the frame or conversely the component package.
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