New bike build advice please

Hi guys,

Looking to tap into the FOA brains trust to build a new roadie. My knowledge is very light on when it moves away from the majors and particularly with roadie frames. So please throw me some advice and ideas.

I love my current ride which is a Columbus tubed Concorde Aquila, with circa 1991 Campy running gear, but I am lucky enough to be heading OS next year for a cycling / sightseeing holiday and would like to climb a few large hills and do some long stretches. No better excuse to add a new bike to the herd and take it with me.

Total budget is a little light, $2.5-3k, but I am not afraid to build it myself and source the parts from all over the globe. Preference is steel, and something a little off the beaten track. Modern running gear, although I don’t think I am ready for disc’s on the roadie yet. I will need to be able to put quite a large pizza dish on the back for (hopefully) some epic climbing.

I would be very keen for a frame set locally made but don’t know whether it would be within my budget. Size wise, I am 6’4", so it will need to be in the LARGE range of sizing.

So if anyone has some ideas or advice, I would love to hear it.

Cheers, Stu.

If your current frame is a good fit, why not spruce it up with a modern 11 speed group and some fancy light wheels?
Something like a 6800 group and some Hed Belgiums would totally change the bike.

Other than that just keep your eyes open for something like a big Bundy or Gefsco, I’ve seen a few giraffe frames pop up on Facebook sale pages from time to time. Custom would be an option, but you wouldn’t get much (any?) change out of your total budget for frame/fork.

^ What heavymetal said. You can get 6800 pretty cheap. Get a compact crankset and an 11-32 cassette and you’re laughing.

yes, a custom steel frame from an australian builder won’t leave you any money to spec it up. maybe see what gear brisbane and Colossi can custom make for you? Otherwise start getting the parts, join all the buy & sell facebook groups and wait till something the right size shows up.

Good work gents, I’ve now set a course. I cannot give up on this excuse to get another bike, so a rebuild of the Concorde is out, although some TLC for the frame wouldn’t go astray. I think a strip and re-paint is in order.

I think a nice second hand Columbus or Reynolds tubed frame, with a 6800 groupset and some flash wheels. Noting, that i do not really know what “flash” wheels will be, so I will need more help once I have the frame and groupset.


I reckon if I was doing what you’re doing right now I’d grab a set of 6800 factory wheels and call it good. They’re light, strong, wide, and cheap. And matchy-match to the groupset.

Edit: and tubeless-ready.

Everyone I know who has these raves about them.
Get the best hubs your budget allows.

Got weird proprietary nipples tho, I do have a pair and they’re gud

Yeah, but what do you think of the wheels?

Can you push your budget up a bit and get a custom frame made locally? This might not be possible, but it may be worthwhile talking to a couple Aussie builders to find out pricing etc while you’re looking for a second hand frame. Road frame are generally the cheapest that builders make because they are fairly basic compared to a rando/touring frame (no bells and whistles, mounts etc).

Nothing wrong with building a second hand frame, but you might end up with something similar to your Concorde, and you’ve got the cons of buying second hand (might not be able to see the frame in the flesh, freight if bought overseas, etc). Plus you might wait a long time to find the second hand frame that you like (though a big wait might also be a con of going custom).

For big gears go Shimano rather than Campy, as a Campy cassette will go up to 29T max (although both Miche and Spécialités TA make campy compatible cassettes that go up to 30T). Having said that, I personally find that with a compact crankset and a 13-29 cassette you can climb a lot of things.

I second the Hed Belgiums rims, I’ve been riding them for a couple years now and they’re great. IIRC the Ardennes is the built-up version of the Belgiums if you want to buy off-the-shelf.

Re: custom.
You’re looking at $3k for a frame/fork from Gellie, can’t imagine any other established builders being much cheaper. Tarn at Primate has $1550 for a lugged frame (no fork) on his site, but I know he hasn’t updated his site in 3 or 4 years. You’d be looking at more like $2k sans fork.

It’s a good idea Seb, but not cheap at all.

get a sweet high end aluminium frame from the early 2000s with traditional geo and enjoy being the maddest dog around.

Only accepting input from you in meme form.

Would colossi be an option? not local, but custom and id say closer to fit your budget.

Also +1 on 6800 and belgiums/ardennes

You’re not even trying anymore, ey Jamesy?

it is embarrassing how long each meme takes me, despite their obvious sloppy charm.


that’s more like it.

do no frame builders work on the side making cheaper frames in aus?

there are a few people here working at bigger outfits that do some things on the side for fun/cheap.
Like waaaay cheaper than the prices listed above.

Blakey might know, but there’s not really any “big outfits” here.