Help a Noob Build a Bike

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DSKla
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Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby DSKla » Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:01 pm

Or convince me to let a bike shop handle it.

My friend had a State 4130 fixed gear, and he managed to slightly bend one of the arms of the frame that attaches to the back wheel (I am a noob so I don't happen to know the technical name for it). So he decided to just upgrade to a geared bike and give me the entire State bike for free. I bought a new frame for 20% off during the current sale, and I want to know how difficult it will be for me to take all of the components off the old frame and install them on the new one.

What tools will I need?

Is there any part that requires too much skill for someone who has never built a bike? Some step that I should outsource to a bike shop?

I'm willing to purchase tools (if they aren't super expensive) and watch tons of youtube videos. I can also use my local bike shops tools for free if I know what I'm doing (no one is going to hover over me and walk me through it). I'd like to use this opportunity to learn as much as I can about bike repair and maintenance, but if it should be done by someone competent, I can just bring it to the shop and learn the repairs as they crop up. According to my friend, who knows his bikes and how to fix them, all of the components are in great shape. But he told me I should have a shop do it for the sake of convenience.

The other factor to consider is if I have a shop install everything and keep the receipt, I get a one year warranty on the frame. If i install it myself, I void the warranty.

Another set of questions is what to do with the old frame. The bend is very small, but it's on both the upper and lower part of the right side rear triangle, so it would definitely cause uneven wearing on the moving parts. For that reason, I'm hesitant to put it for sale on craigslist (even with pictures of the bend and a disclaimer). I can probably sell the fork, though. Is there anything that a slightly bent steel fixie frame is good for?

jacob
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby jacob » Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:21 pm

I'd suggest having the shop install the bottom bracket (press the cups) and the headset (ditto). You need special/expensive tools for that which you'd otherwise only need very rarely (if you build another bike). All the rest you can do with Park's medium toolset (about $300 IIRC), the Big Blue Book or youtube vids. These tools would also be approximately what you'd use to DIY a $100 tune-up.

I'd ask the shop about the frame. Since it's steel, there's hope.

DSKla
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby DSKla » Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:30 pm

Thanks. I also made a mistake, it's a five year warranty on the frame, not one year. The current frame is barely over a year old but has no warranty because my friend built the bike himself instead of having a pro shop do it.

$300 for a toolset is a lot more than I've paid for the entire bike. Is there a way cheaper set that would cover ~80% of basic maintenance, leaving only a few things for the shop? I'm thinking I'll have them build it, but do all the simpler repairs myself as they're needed, which hopefully isn't often on a steel fixie that never goes offroad.

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FBeyer
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby FBeyer » Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:39 pm

DSKla wrote:... Is there anything that a slightly bent steel fixie frame is good for?

Bike polo?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1oFyeGZadY

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FBeyer
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby FBeyer » Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:42 pm

DSKla wrote:...
$300 for a toolset is a lot more than I've paid for the entire bike...

Shortsighted view of expenditures.
1) Get it used.
2) How much could you potentially save in the toolset's entire lifetime by owning it rather than paying a mechanic to do things for you.
3) What is the resale price of the toolset? ie recoup costs when you don't want to own the set anymore.

If it costs you 250 to buy it used, and you can resell it for 220, you've spent 30 bucks total. Is that worth it then?

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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby jacob » Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:47 pm

You can get under $200 if you go with a store brand tool set. One reason I like Park (for noobs) is that they'll tell you exactly what tools (with catalog numbers) you need for a given job. Also, Park has resale value. If you go under $100, you probably won't have cone wrenches, third hand, wire-cutter, chain whip, etc.

If "simple repairs" is the end-goal all you need is a $12 multi-tool. To do "tune-ups", you need the $300 set. I assembled mine by buying tools used on eBay according to what I needed to solve a specific problem for a given bike I was fixing up. I ended up with a collection very much resembling the AK-2 set. Park makes most tools in three version: a cheap stamped metal, an enthusiast version (stamped metal with a sleeve), and a pro version. I went with pro versions. Didn't want to torture my grip with a stamped metal tools trying to break apart frozen bolts on 20 year old bikes.

Tools are expensive ... unless they come from Harbor Freight.

Warranty is one of those things. I started out by buying a new bike from a shop. After a year or so (5000 miles), the bottom bracket starting rocking (it was lose). I had the shop "fix it". They said it was a good thing I brought it in because eventually it would have been irrepairable. Today, I'd just tighten it myself. Already have the wrench. So in the current situation, I don't need the warranty (I can't really imagine anything that would break within 5 years) whereas in my noob condition it was crucial.

DSKla
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby DSKla » Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:10 pm

All fair points. The warranty is only for manufacturer's defects on the frame and fork. Everything else is on me. I will get the multitool for sure, and look into the toolkit. Another consideration I failed to mention with regards to tune-ups and repairs is that I can go through the university bike shop, and I get a free $75 voucher every quarter that can be used on labor, and 10% off all parts. Their deluxe tune-up, which includes everything except bearing rebuilds, costs $65. So if I want to be a lazy bastard, I can get a free deluxe tune-up once every three months, or use the voucher on labor costs for repairs.

Only downside is I would never learn about bike maintenance. But I plan to take their free bike maintenance courses next quarter.

Hell, I might even be able to buy a Park toolkit through them and get the parts discount.

Any recs for which multitool?

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Ego
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby Ego » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:31 pm

Which part of the original frame bent? Is it the rear dropout? If so you may be able to bend it back into shape. I have actually done something like this myself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br7CJrtrm6E

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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby jacob » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:36 pm

I have one of these. I like that it has a chain-breaker in it. Overall I don't think it matters that much. I don't recall haven't needed it for an actual trip.
http://www.nashbar.com/webapp/wcs/store ... 1___204835

DSKla
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby DSKla » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:56 pm

Ego, it isn't the droput, but the two arms that converge on the dropout. Both have a minor crease above the dropout, on the inside. I think the bike is rideable in the short term. Over time, I suspect it would wear things unevenly, and possibly deepen the crease.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby Gilberto de Piento » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:19 pm

I have to disagree about buying the $300 toolkit. If you just want to build/maintain this bike you can get away with a lot less.

The State 4130 bikes on their website are very simple. I agree with having a shop press the headset cups into place.

Otherwise, you need a set of hex wrenches (built into the multitool) to install the bars, stem, seatpost, and seat. The bike is brakeless so you don't have to worry about those. The bottom bracket will be threaded square taper which requires something like a park bbt22 ($20) and the right size ratchet to turn it. The crank arms will go on with a hex wrench but will require another tool if you want to remove them. The pedals go on with an open ended wrench if one will fit, otherwise you need a pedal wrench ($10). The wheels bolt on with an appropriate size open ended wrench. The chain installs/removes with the multitool if you get one with a chain tool built in (I like the crank brothers m19), otherwise you need a chain tool ($20).

You also need a pump, tire levers and a tube in case you get a flat.

If the bike really doesn't have brakes be really careful and consider adding at least a front brake.

Pics of the crease?

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Ego
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby Ego » Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:23 pm

DSKla wrote:Ego, it isn't the droput, but the two arms that converge on the dropout. Both have a minor crease above the dropout, on the inside. I think the bike is rideable in the short term. Over time, I suspect it would wear things unevenly, and possibly deepen the crease.


http://www.sheldonbrown.com/steel-frame-repair.html

Scroll down to the section "Deeply bent, crumpled or broken frame tubes".

You could reinforce the sections with pieces cut from an old handlebar and some hose clamps, assuming it is far enough above the drop outs to get purchase. Otherwise, it is a steel bike so it can be welded. If you know someone with a welder you might give it a try yourself. If not, Home Depot rents them for $28 a half day. It could be fun and you've got nothing to lose.

DSKla
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby DSKla » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:37 am

This frame seems nowhere near as bad as the cases on Sheldon Brown's article. The crease and the resulting angle are so small that I think any repair attempt would actually make it worse rather than better. I will try to get some pictures of it later. But I'm starting to think I could at least sell it. The only issue it will cause is that it may wear the rear tire unevenly with the slight inward angle. Maybe the chain too, I don't know. I'll ask the bike shop. They cobble together bikes from spare parts and rent them out, so they may even want to purchase it to turn it into a rental.

New frame is already on the way. This one is a 55, and I need a 59, so even if it is salvageable I prefer to sell it. Plus the new frames from State are double-butted steel with internal chain tensioners, whereas this one is not.

Gilberto, the bike already has both front and rear brakes, and a flip flop hub that allows you to ride fixie or freewheel. I plan to ride freewheel unless someone can convince me to do otherwise. And I do plan on getting flat tire repair gear.

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vexed87
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby vexed87 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:34 pm

Cheap tools can be false economy. For example, I picked up some terrible cone spanners on ebay which were soft steel, they deformed and gouged my brand new hub and were immediately useless. Park tool are reliable and usually made from hardened steel, also they rarely strip or round off bolts etc. Good tools will last for life and pay for themselves quickly if you service your own bikes often.

By building your own bike you'll boost your confidence in servicing and fixing almost any issue, I really recommend doing it. I'm part way through my first 100% home build too and it's very enjoyable.

I definitely echo Jacob in that getting the headset pressed at your local shop, however it's possible to DIY this with a threaded bar. No need for the pricy tools. Google it. There are others tools that can be DIYd or done without. Ones that spring to mind are the chain whip and truing stand. If you are using carbon components you can't skimp on a torque wrench though. You don't won't to crush your components! If your not doing a home build you can add to your collection over time, but skimping on certain tools will lead to lots of frustration or damaged components and cost more in time or parts in the long run. If you buy cheap you might buy twice!

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby Gilberto de Piento » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:47 am

I definitely echo Jacob in that getting the headset pressed at your local shop, however it's possible to DIY this with a threaded bar.


I've tried this. I used a 3/4" or so piece of threaded rod, nuts, and flat washers. With one frame/headset combination it was not possible to keep the rod perpendicular to the cup. The cup wouldn't press evenly but instead one side of the cup would go in the frame before the other. Once it gets crooked you have to get the cup out and try again. I never was able to make it work though it certainly can.

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vexed87
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby vexed87 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:50 pm

Yes, I imagine the larger the threads, the harder it will be to do. For the record, I would take this job to a mechanic if it meant having to buy the parts, but you may as well give it a go if you have the parts laying around.

enigmaT120
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby enigmaT120 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:02 pm

I snagged several different lengths and sizes of all thread from the scrap bins at work, to make bearing/race installers and removers. Good old inclined plane strikes again. I think that's what it is...

wheatstate
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby wheatstate » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:18 am

+1 to Gilberto de Piento analysis of the bikes being simple without derailleurs/brakes and not needing a full tool kit.
Get help with BB and headset, and then youtube or ask about:
Install Cranks.
Install Chain.
Install Stem.
Check Hubs.

If you want to give a go at fixing the original frame:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsU8IkkFaok
Video is: How To Make DIY Dropout Alignment Gauge Tools

My opinion is welding/repairing a bike frame is an intermediate to advanced level for a welder.
Tubing is thin, so you burn through quickly.
Joints are complex. Not a simple, straight butt, lap or angle joint.
I would pass on renting the HD welder. The bike and your skill set may vary. IDK.

DSKla
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby DSKla » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:41 pm

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I've decided to let the bike shop tackle it, and then take all of their bike repair workshops to learn how to maintain my bike. I'll be able to scope out their tools, which I can use for free, and decide which ones I want to purchase. The frame isn't nearly bad enough to need welding, it's a minor kink that is probably rideable, though may degrade over time. Since the frame is too small for me anyway, I am going to try to sell it to the bike shop. They patch together rental bikes out of spare parts.

DSKla
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby DSKla » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:40 pm

Major update in my bike saga. When the new frame arrived, I noticed a very small impact bend on the top of the front tube where the headset would go. Being a noob, I figured no biggie. It might not matter, and if it did, the mechanic could just bend it or sand it down or something. When I finally brought it in to have the components swapped, though, he took one look and said no way the headset is going in. Sent pics to State and they agreed, to the point that they are not even asking me to return the frame so they can fix it.

And apparently they are entirely out of the 4130 core line frames in my size. Not a single one to be had, which is terrible inventory if you ask me, but customer service was super kind and helpful. They offered me any color of the 6061 aluminum frame in my size, which meant I could choose between retina-burning chartreuse, and eye-melting hot pink. I decided a burnt retina is better than a melted eyeball and went with chartreuse.

But I can't help but want to do something with this steel frame I have. Any ideas how I could at least try to fix this? If i screw it up, it's no loss since I can't send it back or use it as is.

http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h59/kclayt2/IMG_0165_zpsszjtdzqy.jpg
http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h59/kclayt2/IMG_0166_zpsibwpguzr.jpg

Also open to suggestions on how to render the incoming frame anything other than chartreuse. Can i just sand it off, or will the bare aluminum corrode in wet conditionwithout clear coat? Brush paint it? Duct tape entire frame? Tar and feather it?

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vexed87
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby vexed87 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:32 am

If you somehow managed to force the bearings in, you're still going to have problems turning the steerer smoothly unless you can do a really good job of hammering it back into a shape... it's pretty much buggered though IMO. I hear of people keeping damaged frames for DIY tandem projects...

https://cdn.instructables.com/FWM/IC99/ ... MEDIUM.jpg

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby Gilberto de Piento » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:24 am

I think the frame is probably still usable. I can see a few approaches:
1. Press fit something (an old headset bearing?) down into the tube to hopefully force it back into shape. Or you could try something like a pipe expander, though this risks expanding it too far. The damage isn't that bad so doesn't have that far to go.
2. If the headtube extends far enough past the top tube, cut off the damaged section of headtube. Keeping the cut square with the tube may be a challenge. You could pay a framebuilder to do this.
3.Pay a framebuilder to cut off the old headtube and replace it.
4. Sell it as is.

I think the chartreuse color looks good. If you want to paint it you can clean it with a degreaser to remove any chemical residue, scuff it with a green dish pad or very fine sandpaper, and paint with spray paint. Expect the paint not to hold up very well compared to factory paint.

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Ego
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby Ego » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:51 am

+1 Gilberto
I would try the rounded end of a ball pein hammer.... carefully... or perhaps a pair of vice grips clamping down on something rounded to the correct circumference (on both sides)... but that's just me.

DSKla
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby DSKla » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:04 pm

What would I need to try cutting it? The bend is very shallow so that had occurred to me. Just need the right saw, and like you said, need to keep it square. But if I'm only a little off, maybe i could file it square. If it were pressed against a perfectly flat plate and just chopped, would that about do it?

Spray paint is the only non-option, as I live in an apartment and have no outside space to my name. Don't want to pay anyone to paint it, either.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Help a Noob Build a Bike

Postby Gilberto de Piento » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:45 pm

How far from the edge of the tube does the bend start? As in, how much material do you need to remove?

If you want to go the direction of removing material, I would probably take it to a shop and ask if it is realistic to have the material removed by reaming/facing the frame. This process is normally done to make sure the place where the headset bearings are installed is square and the proper size. In your case it would be done to remove the bent material.

You may have to try a few shops before you get one that will consider this idea. Bike shops usually want to sell you something new.

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/head-tube-reaming-and-facing


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