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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:52 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:24 pm
Posts: 162
Location: Bristol, UK
Rightio, pretty much as per the title: how do you get started on an idea or overall philosophy for a bike?

I've just purchased a '94 Pine Mountain in quite good nick, but wanted to gradually change bits and bobs. Gear-wise, I wasn't happy with the brakes and shifters, so that side of things I'm quite clear on what I want to do, but aesthetically I'm scratching my head as to where to go. Do you guys and girls (assuming you're not just trying to go original spec with everything) look for a piece - a stem, some bars, a seat, some hubs - that will help inform the rest of your decisions as you go, or do you go magpie and be more ad hoc about the process?

I'd be really interested and grateful to read how you go about it.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:58 pm 
BoTY Winner
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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:36 am
Posts: 6351
Location: West Berkshire
I would use original spec as a start point to get an idea of the 'level' of componentry. I don't see the point of fitting xtr/boutique parts to a frame that would have originally been specced with 'lower' end stuff.

I'd also look at what else was around during the time-period of the bike and if the manufacturer of the bike had there own parts; like fitting Orange bars/stem to an Orange. Or, if it's a UK bike, then UK kit could go well, similarly with US bikes/parts.

But, also what you think will look/work well for the build, depending on what you want to do with it.

There are loads of builds members have done, so why not have a browse through the various sections and see what you can find :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:12 am 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:24 pm
Posts: 162
Location: Bristol, UK
Thanks wadsy, I was starting to come to terms with the shame of a totally unanswered thread.

I was thinking that if I had something rare or special that I'd try and go as original as possible, but with something a bit more common I'd allow myself a bit more fun, whilst still keeping it period-correct. Just been a bit wowed at seeing some of the builds on here and their 'coherence' for want of a better word.

P.S - Loving the Beez Neez!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:33 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 2922
Location: Dorset
I always ask myself what I want the bike to look/ride and feel like. Its all too easy to build a project the way you think people would build.

I try not to look at the builds on here, they only make me feel 'ordinary' :oops:

And ride whatever you build, ride it as much as possible 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:26 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 6852
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
widowmaker wrote:
I always ask myself what I want the bike to look/ride and feel like. Its all too easy to build a project the way you think people would build.

I try not to look at the builds on here, they only make me feel 'ordinary' :oops:

And ride whatever you build, ride it as much as possible 8)


Pretty much this.

I don't build anything to original spec, I just don't see the point, as unless the frame is unique or very rare then all you are doing is reproducing a production bike of which there are already thousands of examples.

I always build from a bare frame and I usually start with the wheels, or at the very least get the frame on some wheels and then start trying different parts or colour combinations. My latest build is a 94 DeKerf Mountain. I had no idea what I wanted to do with it, but after a few experiments with wheels , stems and bars, I settled on an all black theme, as the frame is a darker shade of green. I think the bike's come out well and it rides like a dream.

If you can get an idea in your head of what the final outcome will be, be that upgraded but age related, or updated and with some or all modern running gear, then you can start to think about what parts will do the job, and don't be afraid to modernise, I have frames made in the early 90's wearing SRAM X0 / X9 2x10 running gear, and they ride fantastically.

Have fun with your build.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:35 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:55 am
Posts: 2922
Location: Dorset
I get the wheels and the frame in my head first, build it and then leave it in my dining room, so when I am eating my dinner I look at it and then it all falls into place :)

I sometimes get overwhelmed by having too many parts to choose from too :oops: :facepalm:


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:21 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:09 am
Posts: 9399
Location: Devon
Build it with what I have, change when it's had some miles.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:45 am 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:24 pm
Posts: 162
Location: Bristol, UK
It's certainly overwhelming, but it's a nice problem that there's so much cool stuff out there. It's a testament to good engineering that all this 20-30 year old kit is still chugging along, a lot of it in really good nick too.

I don't think I'll ever be inclined to get a whole stable together (famous last words?), so ride-ability is always going to be most important.

Thanks for all the advice above. I'll post some photos once I start getting somewhere.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:52 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
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Location: Nth Somerset, UK
MonkeyPuzzle wrote:
I don't think I'll ever be inclined to get a whole stable together

You cannot resist the dark side... it is your destiny.

Come back in twelve months and look at that post. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:37 pm 
Retrobike Sponsor
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 2192
Location: Suffolk
I start with what do I want the bike for. For me the next build is for long distance XC rides so it has to be fit for that purpose. I have all the kit on another bike but the frame is slightly to short on the top tube so that frame will be sold and the new frame will get all the tasty bits.

Build a bike for a purpose what ever that is. A garage queen, shopping bike, tarty bike whatever really but have a goal.


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