WHY WOULD YOU BUILD YOURSELF A BIKE FROM SCRATCH?

Words and pictures: Neehan Rashid

 Cycling is an addiction and for those of us who call ourselves cycling enthusiasts, sometimes we can just be too picky. Maybe you’ve experienced this. You buy a new complete bike and all you can see are the changes you want to make to it. You have a bin full of unused parts, and a bank account bled dry from upgrades. If you are a teenager like me, you don’t have enough money to begin with and a complete bike that meets your expectations is just too expensive and rare.

Currently in Bangladesh, there is a lot to choose from when it comes to bikes. We have the option of buying imported bikes like Giant or Trek and on the other end of the spectrum we have the locally manufactured Veloce and Seventy-One. However, no matter where the bike is made or what brand it is, we as humans and cyclists are never satisfied with what we get. Maybe the gears don’t shift as smoothly as you want them to, or the brakes are just not doing justice to your whole setup. There is always that one thing which would bother you and would make you go hunting for another bike or upgrade. If you are looking for a new bike for any of the following reasons and I was successful in reading your mind, allow me to introduce you to the art of building your own bike and everything you need to know.

The process itself carries a set of emotions. One minute you are jumping in excitement because your new parts are here and the next minute you are frustrated because you don’t know how to put them on. But at the end of the day the experience is worth the extra elbow grease. I guarantee.

 

“There’s no waste or excess. You are paying for what you need and it’s just pure component joy and if you ask “where can I find these parts?” the answer would be everywhere.”

 

Building a bike, means starting from the bare frame. You could purchase a frame which can be found online and in stores like “Bicycleshop BD” or another option would be building one yourself like I did. The next step would be to pick and choose your components in order to assemble your new bike into the perfect machine, built just for you. Building a bike up from a bare frame can be one of the most rewarding things a cycling enthusiast can experience. It allows you to have complete creative control over your bike. If you don’t like the gears, shifters, brakes, the wheels, or anything else, it doesn’t matter, because you will have the full power to choose what you want. When you pick the parts, the cranks will be the right length, the wheels will be the right type for your riding style, and every little piece will be just how you want it to be. There’s no waste or excess. You are paying for what you need and it’s just pure component joy and if you ask “where can I find these parts?” the answer would be everywhere. Shops like “Cyclelife -Exclusive”, “Bicycleshop BD” and many Facebook online stores like “Bikeshop BD” sell all the parts you need for your future build, so you have nothing to worry about.

Sometimes building a bike from bare frame can be more expensive compared to complete bikes. However, what one must know is that the total price of your build depends on the brands you are buying components from and the type of bike you are building. If you are assembling a bike just for normal city riding, the usage of components like Shifters, Crankset, Cassettes and derailleurs from a brand like Shimano is common and cheap. On the other hand, if you are building a hardtail meant for tackling rough terrain and heavy usage, using components from SRAM or TRUVATIV is recommended alongside good forks like ROCKSHOX or FOX. However, the prices of those components are higher since their quality and durability is much better comparatively. Hence, at the end of the day you get what you pay for.

One major thing that stops many cyclists from attempting their own build is usually the hardship involved with assembling a bike from scratch. But building a bike is really not that hard! It just requires a lot of patience and perseverance. We live in an era where with the help of YouTube we can figure out how to put a bike together in a matter of few minutes. There are countless Vloggers and channels like “GMBN”, “GCN” and “Seth’s Bike Hacks” who record and stream the complete process of assembling their own bike, so that you can watch along and learn. If the whole assembly process seems confusing or really time consuming, you can always make a professional carry out the build.

The main reason why I suggest building your own bike is because it helps grow your knowledge and bring you a greater understanding and appreciation of how bikes actually work. Most significantly, it can deepen the connection you have with your bike. This is why cycling enthusiasts should build their own bike at some point in their life. One more thing, always have a nice excuse for buying more parts because once you get involved there is no turning back. Consider this to be a small heads up.