Why are bikes so expensive? One thing I often heard while sitting with bikers, newbies, and even advanced bikers.
Everyone is worried about the increasing rates of cycles. Building Your Own Mountain Bike can help you save bucks if you are also concerned.
Is bike building only important to save money, or are there other reasons too? Well, when I started riding 20 years back, the very first time I tried to build a bike was for learning purposes.
I was so in love with the gears and kits of mountain bikes. Besides, one more of my aims was to upgrade the bag and make my MTB better and faster than before.
I am saying this just to give you an idea that you should be well aware of your needs and expectations from Building Your Own Mountain Bike.
Once you are clear about it, here is a complete guide to help you building a mountain bike from scratch or custom mountain bike upgradation.
Building Your Own Mountain Bike: Instructions
Before you start the whole procedure, here are some instructions for you so you don’t end up ruining the experiment.
- You cannot be a good mountain biker without understanding bike gears and components. This means you should go with creating a bike.
- Not every one of you is a mechanical engineer or metals expert; hence choose gears wisely and do proper research before selecting a bar grip to a seat post clamp.
- Take help from an expert (a manual, a video, or a person) at every operation step.
- You are advised not to craft the frame and components independently if you are a first-time mountain bike builder.
Mountain Bike Parts List/Bike Build Checklist
Now, check the parts which you will need while Building Your Own Mountain Bike from scratch:
|No.||Components||Things to Consider|
|1.||Frame||Frame material will matter to determine the weight of your mountain bike. You can find frame materials such as aluminum, steel, carbon, or a combination. Take care of the brake system while selecting the frame.|
|2.||Stem||A stem is used to attach the handlebar to the headset. Stem angle and stem length should be considered during the selection.|
|3.||Handlebar||The handlebar will be flat or in a rise bar shape. Take the size, material, and rise-ability into account during selection.|
|4.||Brakes||Select brakes that work on trails, DH, FR, AM, and all terrains.|
|5.||Seatpost||Select a type from standard or dropper and materials which are lightweight.|
|6.||Saddle||A comfy seat will play a role in your MTB riding satisfaction. Make sure to choose it wisely. It should be adjustable.|
|7.||Chains||You should buy branded chains; otherwise, it can technically be a wrong purchase.|
|8.||Pedals||Go with clipless pedals. However, it depends on the riding terrain too.|
|9.||Derailleur||You need front and rear derailleurs. These will help change the gear using a mechanism.|
|10.||Wheel Set||The wheelset is a steel round frame with a hub and an axle. The size depends on your height, but 26 inches suits most people.|
|11.||Tires||Tires come in different diameters and widths. A mountain bike tire is rough and tough. Here is my complete guide on mountain bike tires.|
|12.||Wheel axle||You will need a secure attachment system to keep the tires and wheels secure on the fork. Thru axles are considered standard.|
|13.||Forks||You can choose forks by considering downhill, freeride, all-mountain, and cross-country.|
|14.||Shocks||Monoshocks offer better and yet more precise damping.|
|15.||Chainrings||Chainrings come in sets of 1, 2, or 3 and are used for maneuverability. However, they might also add to the weight of your bike.|
|16.||Bottom bracket||Bottom brackets should be compatible with the frame; check the compatibility as a must.|
|17.||Cassette||While selecting, check the number of teeth closed from the largest to smallest cogs.|
|18.||Cables & housings||Necessary to have non-hydraulic brakes and shifters.|
|19.||Handlebar grips||Handlebar grips are made of foam and rubber, and selecting them depends on your comfort.|
|20.||Brake pads||The quality of brake pads determines the intensity of pressure on the rotor.|
The list is enormous. This is because you are building your own mountain bike from scratch.
It could be due to anything, such as you wanted to save bucks investing in a new bike or simply looking to pursue your hobby to the next level, such as being a pro at creating new bikes.
How to Build a Mountain Bike?
Here, I will not tell you the step-by-step guide to create a bike for nuts and nails.
Here, I will tell you how to determine the height of the handlebars, which MTB geometries you should choose, quick release, etc.
- Handlebar sweep and stem rise will play a keen role in pleasant bike riding. For this, either try using your current bike handle specs or take some test rides with already-built bikes to find the best handlebar sweep and height.
- Frames are available in different materials with different qualities and features. A hardtail frame is perfect for you here because it might be a bit hefty, but it is best to ride all trails. Besides, you can ditch the weight by adding more amount and selecting something in aluminum.
- You must have derailleur hangers on the rear side of your bike to prevent the frame from damage while riding on jagged surfaces. As this will be a part of the frame and its compatibility with frames matters a lot.
- Understand the difference between wheelsets and tires. The wheelset is the frame where hubs, spokes, and rims are present. The tire is the rubber part. The width or thickness of the wheelset should be hefty to support the wear-and-tear-proof MTB tire.
- Although thru axles aren’t any more talk of the town, I would suggest that you insert one into your bike for improved stability, safety, and smooth maneuvering. However, you can also use the latest quick release, as these can be handled more manageably.
- Mostly ignored but shouldn’t be, the headset will allow you to adjust the handlebar height according to the rider’s need, making your bike usable for kids and adults alike.
- Forks are the main component; you need one at the rear and one at the front to ride through rough terrain and hit jumps. For cross country, I would recommend less beefy forks.
- Suspensions are as crucial as the forks; these will help you stop and run your bike immediately without hindrances increasing maneuverability and safety during rides.
- Choosing stems based on your building your own mountain bike in types such as XC, trail, or downhill. The stem length and component differ with each mountain bike type.
- Lastly, do not go with individual components but groupsets, especially when you are building your bike from scratch for the first time.
Upgrade Your Bike
Instead of building your own mountain bike from scratch, you can also upgrade some parts of your current mountain bike for an uplifting experience.
For example, instead of adding an entirely new frame, you can use the part from time to time for upgradation, one at a time to learn better.
Back in my twenties, when I ruined my entire bike while trying to rebuild it, it cost me many burdens emotionally and monetarily. So, a friend advised me to upgrade things one by one.
- Get new handlebars that are adjustable for smoother rides.
Here is my guide on handlebars to help you with that.
- Increase your bike’s speed by upgrading to a new pair of tires.
- You can also make your bike friendly to move on the roads as well as terrains.
The guide is here to help you ride your mountain bike on roads without undermining the maneuverability on the cliffs.
- If you don’t want to do cliff riding anymore and need speedy road rash rides, you can change your mountain bike tires to road bikes instead of buying a new one or building your own mountain bike.
How will you do that? My guide to putting road tires on the mountain bike will help you in this regard. Besides, you can convert your MTB into a brand-new road bike and vice versa without building a new one.
- You can also go with minimal changes, like changing the chain of your mountain bike to improve its speed.
Here is a guide it might be helpful for you in this regard. Click on why my bike chain slips when I pedal hard.
Before the discussion ends, I would like to discuss one last query regarding the price comparison of building your own mountain bike, upgrading your MTB, and why brand-new mountain bikes are so expensive.
Is Building Your Own Mountain Bike Cheaper?
There are pros and cons to each option you choose, from building a bike from scratch to upgrading it or buying a new one.
According to my experience, building a mountain bike from scratch is not cheap. Even a single “Fork” can cost you “$800.”
You can go with super-cheap parts to diminish the cost, but at the same time, if you buy a factory-made bike with the same cheaper features, you can save bucks here too.
A good MTB with all the latest gear either you build or buy is going to cost you through the roof, which means too high.
However, if you have the budget and are building your own mountain bike just for some customizable features, I would say that you buy one from a brand with a good reputation. Later, you can customize the features accordingly.
I support this because factory bikes are built and created by professionals who know about bikes more than anyone of us and spend their entire life engineering new features. We will not be able to match the quality of their incorporation.
However, if you are doing it for learning purposes, you should definitely go for building a bike. Even if you get failed at first, that’ll be the most integral part of your learning. However, do not go with expensive gear, and think wisely.
I will conclude today’s discussion with the message that building your own mountain bike is not impossible. The chances of success and failure are 50-50.
Take the decision wisely and do make a budget beforehand. Discuss everything with experts, for instance, the bike gear seller, about your needs so they can help you make a better decision.