First Time Bike Building Advice PSA

You’re a bike tinker. You might not be a Real Mechanic, but people know you like bikes and can poke at them with a blunt stick. People might ask you for advice sometime, about how to build up a bike from a bare frame?

Before you answer, you might want to ask a few questions first:

  • Are you doing this for fun, or do you feel obligated in some way? (e.g., saving money, proving manliness)
  • Are you at all mechanically inclined? Do you enjoy solving problems?
  • Is there a local shop you trust for final adjustments? Are you humble enough to take the half-built bike to them and say “I got in over my head?”
  • If something goes wrong will you blame me for this advice?
Maybe they can all be summed up in the question, Do you enjoy buying new tools?or “Why wouldn’t you just pay someone else to build the bike for you?”

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UI/UX Designer, bike nerd, artist.

4 thoughts on “First Time Bike Building Advice PSA”

  1. “Would You Settle For Love” Joe Ely. Love of the bike is self-propelled , self-empowerment, a long way from that first tool in “2001” .A bike is a valuable tool that requires a few .

  2. I used to do all my own wrenching. I’ve even built a few wheels. My reasons were:

    1. It’s useful to know this stuff especially when thing go wrong in the field.
    2. Manliness

    Once I got over number two I started having all my work done by the friendly mechanics at my LBS, formerly Kenwood now One on One. I figure I’m doing my part to keep America’s economy great.

    I have more than a few tools but about the only one I use regularly is a multi-tool.

    1. I had the same epiphany with cars about 10 years ago. There is no shame in employing a professional. Acknowledging that someone else has specialized knowledge and practice that you don’t have… is manly.
      I was at the bike shop getting something done, and the mechanic asked if I thought something was a good idea. I said, “I don’t know. You’re the professional.” He stopped and said, “Thank you. Thank you for thinking that.”

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