Would You Build a Bike From Scratch? (Poll)

My friend Tim over at An Old Guy on Two Wheels is getting close to finishing his latest project: He’s building a randonneuring bike from scratch. He had the frame custom built, and gathered together all the components for it. In recent days, he’s been apprising us of his progress. It looks like he’s going to take it out for a serious ride sooner rather than later.

Tim is an accomplished bike mechanic, and I wasn’t surprised when he first revealed his build-from-scratch plans. I, on the other hand, have often thought about refurbishing my old Raleigh 10-speed, just to do it — not that I would make it my regular ride, or anything. I just don’t have Tim’s know-how when it comes to working on bikes. (Although I’m getting better — been paying a lot of attention to online videos and some repair books I have around the house, and have done some bike repairs to the Allez that I wouldn’t have tried a year ago.)

Anyhow, I think it’s a cool idea, to either build a bike from scratch as Tim as done, or fix up an old beater into something rideable. Believe me, I’ll get around to it.

How about you? Have you ever considered building your own bike? How about taking an old bike and modifying it into something different? For example, turning a 10-speed into a fixie, or restoring a vintage bike to its original condition?

Weigh in on the following poll, if you will.

I’ll report the answers next week.


  1. says

    The two bikes that I currently have in my garage are both bikes that I have “built-up” using a combination of Craigslist and online parts. When Istarted with the first bike I didn’t know squat, but I had a friend build a VW from the ground up and he didn’t have any mechanical knowledge, so I figured I could do a bike.

    I was actually surprised at how painless the process was, which is not to say that there weren’t issue, but with help from the boys at Lake Travis Cyclry and lots of YouTube videos, I am happy to report that neither bike has killed me yet, and I now know way more about keeping my bike up and running smoothly. I learned a ton, you should definately mess with your old 10 speed, expect that you will really enjoy the experience.

  2. says

    I think I’ve mentioned a few times about the bikes I ride. My Raleigh I’ve done a few things to. I built a bike from just a frame for my sister (painted it and everything) and I have a new project I’m working on…a disc-braked ‘cross bike.

  3. says

    DEFINITELY do it…
    if ye runs into a bind getting things reset on her, ye can o course talk with Tim, but better yet is ter come down ter thee Yellow Bike Project… definitely have thee tools and knowhow to not just get er done, but ter make sure ye knows why ye be doin, what ye does…

  4. MattD says

    I’ve built a bike for myself frame-up (not a custom frame though). I also have modified several old bikes (in fact, I’m in the middle of modifying one now – almost done turning a late 80’s road bike into a pretty sweet single speed).

  5. pat says

    You should try it!!.I learned a lot via library books and
    youtube videos.
    Frankenbike in austin is a great place to buy parts incase you revamp your raleigh. There is one next weekend.

  6. Jeff A says

    Noob, this subject is what brought me to your blog. I started with a ’73 Raleigh, had to replace a rear derailleur, and learned how nice modern parts were. I read everything on Sheldon Brown’s site. Next thing you know, I’ve spread the frame, gone 9-speed on the back and was lacing my own wheels. I’v put a few seasons on it, and this year I bought a 2004 aluminum frame…then hung all the components on it from eBay. Still tweaking the second bike. It wasn’t that hard. Ok, the disclaimer is that I am an engineer and an aircraft mechanic, but I didn’t use any of that special knowledge. Just the knowledge to go poking around on line to find the answers.

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