Now that my cross bike build is finished, I took it out for the inaugural ride this morning! I wasn’t sure if it was going to be very comfortable or not, but it’s pretty good. I had to make some adjustments less than a mile into the ride (glad I brought tools with me), but overall it felt great right from the start. The biggest problem was that I didn’t bother getting the front derailleur dialed in, so I was stuck in the big ring. That wasn’t fun, and it’s going to have to be fixed asap because I really need the small ring for the hills here in San Diego. The bad part about that is that it will involve shortening the chain in order for it to work correctly and I really don’t feel like messing with that right now. I’ll do it next weekend.
The 29er wheels and tires that I used on this build make this bike feel really tall. I’m not totally sure that I like that feeling or not, as it kind of feels like riding a Penny Farthing or something. It’s a completely different feeling than my Specialized Allez road bike. The difference between the two is difficult to describe, but that road bike feels like a sports car, while this cross bike feels like a lifted truck. They really are different.
The only other issue is that the rear brakes are pretty much worthless due to the fact that I cut the cable too short during assembly. They will need to be dialed in a bit more.
Despite the minor issues, I’m really proud of what I accomplished! I never thought that I’d be able to build my own bike from scratch, so it makes me really happy that I was able to learn some new skills and put this bike together. Of course I blew my budget by a long shot (by $1300 to be exact), but I’m not discouraged. This bike is exactly what I wanted – and I learned some really good lessons that I can apply to my next build (whenever that may be). I’ve also got a lot of new bike building tools that would be a shame to never use ever again!
Parts list for this bike build:
Nashbar X Aluminum Cyclocross (Medium)
Cro-moly disc-compatible road
Cane Creek S-3 1 1/8″ Threadless
Nahsbar Carbon Oversize — 110mm
Nashbar Carbon – 31.8mm
Nashbar Deluxe 31.8mm
Nashbar Oversize – 40cm
Shimano 105 SM-FC5600
Shimano 105 FC5600 175mm
Shimano Dura Ace FD7803 31.8 clamp
Shimano Dura Ace 7800
Nashbar Quick Release
Avid BB7 Mechanical Disc
In conclusion, I would like to say this to anyone who is looking to build their own bike in order to save a little bit of money: don’t do it to save a buck! Do it for the love of the build instead. Buying all new parts and assembling them together is always going to cost more than buying a pre-built bike from a pro bike shop.