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.
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.