looking to do my first build - help/advice

about 18 months ago I got my first fixed gear bike, which I got a store to build (Gear in West End, Brisbane). Since then i have done a bit of riding but I was living in Brisbane and didn’t have a daily ride and Brisbane drivers gave me plenty of bad expericnes/lack of bike lanes/other excuses. Anyway long story short, I have moved to Melbourne (St. Kilda) and I love it. I have been using the bike way more than the car.

There is nothing wrong with my current bike, but I’d really like to build a secondary bike myself. I guess for the experience and to get more comfortable with the mechanics and knowing my bike and things that could go wrong/how to fix them etc instead of relying on a shop.

I don’t have a set budget but I want to build a quality bike and make it look nice, too, I guess.
I also want to keep it as low cost as possible.

Does anyone have some recommendations on where I should start?

EDIT: sorry if this is the wrong place or an all too common thread or anything. spent a few hours on google and the closest help i got outside of sheldon brown was a horrid youtube video

you just saved yourself from quite the hazing, my friend. but may i suggest that you make liberal use of the search function here at FOA.

Modern or retro steel?
What do you own now did you get a colossi

Have moved this to the Help/Advice section as well.

How about doing some upgrades yourself, rather than building a complete bike? That way you can learn one job at a time, build up a collection of tools and keep the cash outlay manageable.

Building a “good bike” from the ground up can get expensive quite easily.

Whats your budget?

Yeah I made sure to add that disclaimer!
Like I said I really did try and look for myself but I couldn’t really find anything as helpful as my own thread could be. Haha.

I’m not really sure about retro/modern. I guess I have no preferences
Essentially my bike is a Focale 44 Noble Build.
Changed out the saddle and bars and pedals. Had the frame repainted. As I said I’m pretty much a total newb.
Nothing else has really been changed because nothing has broken.

I think this is a good idea, actually.
What kind of upgrades should I consider? The only thing my bike really needs is a light system for night riding. I guess I could do that myself instead of having a shop do it, but it’s not really mechanical.

As I said I want to keep my build costs low. But I really didnt think about upgrades/mods to learn.

If its going ok why a new bike?
Have you considered racing if so you could get a cx bike a track bike or a roadie.

I guess I’d build something a little different to a daily ride. I’m not sure exactly what.
And like I said it was to kind of learn more about the mechanics and what not. But then someone suggest just doing work on my own bike which will do a lot of the same thing with a lot less cost and somehow my brain skipped that idea.

Yeah spend the money on tools
A work stand on eBay about $120
Crank puller
15mm wheel and crank spanner
Good Allen key set, the kinchrome one is good as it has 5.5 and 7mm.
A bottom bracket tool
These should sort you out pull it all down clean re grease re build.

Are you wanting to build a bike to for the satisfaction/challenge of building something or because you you want a unique bike?

If it is the first of these, I would first invest in a workstand and a set of quality tools (probably ParkTools or Pedros would be my recommendation) - something like this: Park Tool Co. » AK-37 : Advanced Mechanic Tool Kit : Tool Kits or this: PEDRO’S NA | Innovative Bicycle Maintenance | Master Tool Kit 3.0 (both will set you back a few hundred alone).

And as Dayne just wrote. What are you wanting to use it for? Obviously a track bike or singlespeed is a good place to start because of their mechanical simplicity but you say you already have a fixed gear, so you probably don’t need another right? So do you want to hit Beach Road with the Mamils? Get some tats and hit the boards? Grow a beard and head for the hills? Or a moustache and ride to the cafe? So my advice is: go away, work out what you plan to use it for and then you’ll get a far clearer idea of the costs and what will be involved with a bike build and whether you think you’ll be up for the task.

If you want to build a bike because you what a bike that is higher spec’d than a lot of off the shelf bikes I might suggest that once you factor in all the costs associated with workshop tools, and not to mention small parts, it is definately not a cheap way to go about building a bike. For sure buy parts online but I’d recommend using a local workshop not averse to installing OEM parts purchased (they’ll who charge accordingly). I know that Cyclic in Flemington advertise this type of build, so too do a good number of the other small bike workshops across the city.

So yeah. Awesome that you want to build a custom spec’d bike but have a good sleuth around the traps for what you plan to build. Know this. Building a bike is generally not a cheap enterprise . So if you want bang for buck, buy last year’s model upper-mid range bike to your liking when its on sale, or go fishing with a scree of eBay saved searches and wait patiently for a bargain to pop up, as they do every few months. If you wanna have fun, spend far too much time looking at bike components and have the excitement of received little packages from across the globe for the next 6 months odd, go build a bike.

NB Compatibily! Always make sure that you buy parts that are compatible size! Fractions of millimetres do matter.

This is a great home workstand. I’ve used one of these for the past few years. A good piece of kit, especially for the price. Better than the cheap ParkTools one IMO.

UNION Alloy Workstand BT999 - Torpedo7

  1. Drop coin on the tools
  2. Buy a shitty cheap second hand bike on ebay
  3. Take it entirely apart
  4. (optional) repaint
  5. Rebuild
  6. Repeat 3 - 5 until satisfied

Those last few posts really gave me stuff to think about.
I guess the reason I want to build a bike is to have something unique. Something that I made. So I guess it is really a mix between the two sides you gave. Specs aren’t really a big deal to me as long as it looks nice and rides nice.

I think what I should do is start buying some tools and start modifying/doing upgrades to my current bike and then slowly learning and going after a dream build. I guess I’d like the satisfaction of building something. I’ve never really done that before and it’s something I really wanna do.

I really like this idea actually. I think you may have solved my needs.
Wouldn’t mind refurbishing old bikes / converting to single speed etc. Then again I’m sure millions of people are doing this to turn a buck; haha.

As for Tools, I guess I need a stand and one of those sets? I’m leaning towards the Park Tools set.
Is there anything I will be missing if I buy that and a work stand?

If you buy a set, depending on which one, you’ll likely have more tools than you’ll need. If you’re on a budget, you can pass on the stand, though it does make life easier if you’re working on bikes day in day out.

In addition, I would get
Chain lube
Calipers - if your working with a lot of different bikes

I would say not to pass on a stand. I still don’t have one and I get real frustrated everytime I dismantle/regrease/rebuild. Though, I am surviving. Just.

I’ve been working without a stand for a year now and hate it, almost every bike has a scratch from where I’ve dropped it. Tools wise, I ride down to the local LBS and buy whatever tool whenever I need it. Normally what you need will be less than $20 and I’ve only bought 3-4 bike specific tools so far, the rest of the stuff should be a given for any tool box.

No stand can be annoying, but I just stick a saddle on and hook it over the clothes line.
Far from perfect, but gets me by in a house with very limited space

This. Good place to learn the basics, rewarding, and not a big deal when you break shit

You are a god.