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A DIY complete: the best of both worlds?

30 09 2010

With the spec on complete bikes consistently getting better year after year, it’s often hard to justify spending the dollars on a custom build.

But what happens when the frame you really want is available in frame only?

Or maybe the aftermarket version of the frame on the complete is available in a bigger size…one more suited to your lanky body?

What to do?

If money’s tight you may go with the complete but feel you compromised in a way. Alternatively, if you decide money be damned, you’re going to build the bike you want from the ground up you may end up feeling like you overpaid for your bike. Another route is to transfer your old parts to the new frame but then you miss out on the pleasure of having new parts to go with your new frame.

Maybe there’s another way.

The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) complete

With the recent hype about the new 2011 bikes and parts, many people forget this is also the time that bike shops and mail order companies are marking down their “old” 2010 stock.

I’ve been thinking about getting an S&M 38 special or a Standard 125r for racing. If JensonUSA marks down some of their race cruiser completes down 40- 50% like they did last year…well, then my dream of getting a Cro-mo race complete suddenly looks within reach. I’ll just transfer the parts over to the new frame.  If I turn around and sell the frame from the complete it becomes even more affordable.

If a long, trails-oriented frame is in your sights, you’ve probably considered the Liquid Feedback frame. If you want a “complete” version though, you’ll have to take matters into your own hands.  Luckily, building your own complete Liquid 24 isn’t hard at all. In fact, CMC advises someone in this thread on a Pinkbike forum to do just that. He suggests picking up a marked down We the People Avenger and transferring the parts over to the Liquid…it’s all compatible and it’s hard to beat the parts that come standard on the 2010 Avenger.

CMC manual on Liquid 24

A DIY Liquid could get you manualling like CMC in no time

The Craigslist DIY Complete

If these tough economic times have hit you hard or you just like a really good deal you can take this same approach using Craigslist or eBay.

Check out what artist Chris Piascik did:

I hunted on Craigslist for a couple weeks and found a Haro cruiser and a Standard 125R cruiser frame. The Standard frame was fantastic (as all their bikes are) and the Haro was complete. I did the only reasonable thing I could think of—I bought both. I moved all of the Haro parts over to the Standard and then put the Haro frame back on Craigslist.

Of course, because Chris is an artist, he had the bike totally tricked out with some original art work.

Check out Chris’s flickr stream for more cool shots of his tricked out Standard 125r.

Will 2011 be the year of the DIY complete?

So what do you think?

Is this something you would try?

I’m certainly thinking about it.

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8 responses

30 09 2010
John

I think Dan’s has the Sunday Model C frame down to $199, considering doing the parts swap method with this frame myself.

30 09 2010
Steve

Just bought one from Dan’s and with the discount code. (google “danscomp code”) it came to less than $190 shipped.

I bought my first on the BMX Museum from a guy who had hardly touched it with chrome odyssey rims and gsport hubs for a song. If you look around you will find that some of the guys who bough them early on have found they don’t ride them and sell them cheap.

I buy cars the same way. Let someone else take the major depreciation hit.

2 10 2010
cruiserrevolution

A friend of mine is always showing up with bikes/parts that he scores deals on on BMX Museum…Sounds like I’m gonna have to start checking out their buy & sell area more.

2 10 2010
Steve

I love the museum. I have probably purchased ten bikes there over the last year or so. Just picked up an 86 Haro Sport today.
There is always a lot of cruiser stuff for sale both old and new school.
The guys are cool (mostly) and the prices are great (mostly)

1 10 2010
Sean

Definitely a good idea! I don’t have the cash to up and buy a new bike when I want, so ebay was the way to go. I found a Giant Method 24 with some upgrades and hardly ridden for $300. Then I sold parts from that, along with an old Wilkerson Airlines Riot frame to get my Liquid Feedback frame. Swapped the parts over and kept ebaying for more parts, and finally got a sweet ride together for about half of what it would cost to buy everything new. Took some time and work, but it was worth it.

1 10 2010
mattyjo

once in awhile you can find a real score on craiglist.

my buddy bought his racing cruiser off craigs for $250. it had profile cranks & stem, thomson seatpost, S&M bars and fork, and a chris king hubset. seller knew what they had- but just wanted it gone.

i think craigs is the way to go for these types of finds… the problem with ebay is that sometimes a good find will soon have many folks bidding it up- not what you want.

2 10 2010
Mike420lv

I am really wanting the liquid frame. The liquid frame with the avenger parts is a good idea. The avenger frame is too short for me so swapping frames would be ideal.

2 10 2010
Sean

I’m 6’2″ and I rode the Sunday Model C and it felt a little cramped. I have the 22.25″ liquid frame and it’s very nice. The Giant Method 24 is a ground magnet, picking up the front end was tough.

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