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Build Your Own Mountain Bike DVD

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BuildYourBicycle have released a DVD aimed at the growing number of people who choose to specify and build their own bicycle, rather than entrust the job to a bike shop. With 70-minutes of detailed instructions and diagrams, the DVD promises to talk you through the whole process, from choosing the components and buying the right tools, to carrying out the build.Each task in the process is given an “allen key” rating, much like the Parks manuals for cars, so that you know what you’re biting off before you start. The video format offers a big advantage over traditional books and pictures in that you can actually see the job being done before you attempt it yourself.

The DVD can be bought from the company website and will be delivered to the UK, Europe or the US in the correct format and without import taxes.

There is some ongoing  debate about this DVD, see more below…

Understandably the DVD causes some concerns to bike shops and there is already some lively discussion on the company’s facebook page. Comments from the owner, Alun Evans, such as “For every one ‘good’ bike shop, there are ten ‘bad’ ones”, and “many of the bad ones try to pull the wool over the customer’s eyes insisting on outrageous labour charges for simple tasks” are probably going to serve to increase the debate on this topic.

For people who decide to watch the DVD and build their own bike, there are a few hurdles you will have to overcome. The best way to do any job is with the right tools and a work stand, these are an expensive, although worthwhile, addition to your home workshop. Most bike shops will also make sure that your frame is properly faced and prepared before building it, something that requires specialised tools to do properly.  Additionally things like how tight to do up each bolt and the best cable routing take a bit of practice to get right and can be expensive if done wrong.

Some bike shops will build your bike for free, and offer a decent discount on frame and parts if you buy from them. Other perks, like a discount for future purchases, free servicing and free demo bikes may be offered by some shops. It is customer service like that which will ultimately keep customers going to the bike shops to get their work done.

The other side of the coin is that, ultimately knowing how to do most jobs on your bicycle yourself is going to be a good thing. It gives you a better chance of being able to carry out a repair out on the trails and some jobs are so quick it is hardly worth visiting your bike shop for. Whether building an entire bicycle is the best way to start is up for discussion but if any BikeRumor viewers decide to give this a go then please drop us a line and let us know how you got on!

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13 years ago

A good bike shop would probably be happy to have you watch them build your bike, DIY QC if you like. Good service makes it unnecessary to pay the money for the tools. Surprising (shocking?) that consumers express happiness with less than 10% of shops. Total DIY build takes a bit of practice and having the right tools makes everything easier. Tools like torque wrenches are essential. Learning to tinker with a bike with the help of this DVD would be a good way to ease into the full build.

13 years ago

Sorry, I was a professional wrench for 10 years before I considered myself an “expert,” and it was another two years after that that I stopped looking to my mentor for answers and started figuring things out for myself. There are more compatibility issues to consider in assembling a bike than an automobile, and arguably more skills to do it properly. I try not to take things like this personally, but to insinuate that a 70 minute DVD can teach a novice to do properly what it took me half my life to learn is an insult. What’s more insulting is to state explicitly that the knowledge and skill I’ve acquired should be given away. I wouldn’t bother printing a resume for a shop that offered a frame-up build for free. I’m all for empowering the consumer to tackle routine maintenance; it’s part of being a responsible rider, and I’ve put together curriculum for and taught classes (for free) at every shop in which I’ve worked. Choosing parts and assembling a bike is another matter altogether. Go talk to your local IBD. If they offer to build a bike for free, they don’t value skill and knowledge in their mechanics, and you can take your business elsewhere. If they’re condescending, take your business elsewhere. If they ask pointed questions about your riding style where you’ll be riding, how you like your bike to fit, and the process takes a significant amount of time, you’ve found a decent shop. Listen to what they have to say, ride your beautiful new bike, ask questions when you have problems (because you will), and you’ll end up with knowledge AND a relationship you can count on when you get in over your head (because you will).

Alun BYB
13 years ago

Hi there,

There are definitely loads of really excellent bike shops around. Chuck sounds like a great mechanic who knows his things inside out – I’m really impressed by the free maintenance classes! The really passionate and high quality mechanics are the ones, like Chuck, who read sites like bikerumor.com and post comments; who are passionate about building, repairing and riding bikes.

I agree entirely that learning bicycle maintenance is an important part of becoming a responsible rider. Building your own bike from scratch is the natural extension to that. You get the freedom to choose exactly what parts you want and buy them from where you want. Most importantly you get that unique satisfaction of having “done it yourself”.

The DVD is not designed to replace decades of experience, it’s not designed to put experienced guys like Chuck out of business, and it’s not a formal training course that gives you a maintenance qualification. Its just a straight-up, no-nonsense video guide to building your bike, designed to put budding home mechanics on the right track. Judging from the feedback we’ve had from our customers so far, I think we’re on the right track too!

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