View Full Version : Switching out road bike frames - how easy/difficult/expensive?
09-22-2008, 11:02 PM
How big of a pain is it to transfer everything from a complete bike to another frame, assuming everything fits? How much would a shop be likely to charge for that kind of thing? I'm fairly mechanically adept, but I have no bike tools. Is it even worth my time/money?
09-22-2008, 11:11 PM
You can do 90% of it with a standard set of metric allen wrenches (if you can get your hands on a 5mm, you can do 80%). Leave the bottom bracket for the shop which should cost ~$20 to get moved over at a good shop. You will probably want to pick up new cables but could reuse the housing. If you're careful you can reuse the bar tape, but that's pretty cheap to replace. Pedals require a pedal wrench or a thin adjustable (monkey) wrench. The Park Tools web site has fairly detailed do it yourself instructions.
09-23-2008, 07:12 AM
If you leave the BB to the shop, it's fairly easy. Just unscrew and screw back in the way it was on the original frame. The derailleurs with have to be readjusted, but that's easy. If you're taking apart a frame that much you should know how to adjust everything anyway.
The best local bike shop -- very expensive triathlon place -- charged around $150 when all was said and done, including replacing all cables and brake pads -- to swap everything except the headset to a newer frame. This included about 90 minutes time fine-tuning the fit, and a no-cost swap for a different stem to fit better. I think it was their "full tuneup" price. Another good shop in a neighboring town quoted roughly the same -- it's a full tuneup, basically.
I have a bike stand and all tools at home (except a BB tool and torque wrench) and do most of my own bike repair and maintenance. But I chose to have the LBS handle so I could tap into their expertise on fit, so they'd get everything torqued right, and so I would have that extra feeling of confidence when tearing down the first high speed descent. Also, while I thought it would be straight switchover, it turned out I needed a new front derailleur due to different diameter down tubes, and they had it in stock so no time lost waiting for Bike Nashbar to deliver.
Oh yeah, the LBS also threw in two water bottles and a couple packets of GU. AND they gave me a nice Serotta loaner bike for the week they did the work. I returned the favor with some wine for the manager who did the fit and the mechanic who did the work. (Both euro-types, a sixpack for the shop rats was not their style.)
Bottom line: for me, the time/money tradeoff was a no-brainer, and I'm a cheap do-it-yourself ebay type by nature. The fit work was key -- that was the whole reason I swapped frames in the first place, and fine-tuning it made a good fit great.
YMMV. If you have the time and desire to learn, go for it; the Park Tools site is super. But for me it was not even a close call.
09-23-2008, 09:58 AM
most should fit. also the headset you need tools for.
things that might NOT fit?
seat post colar
stem (might need one for fit, but the old one should fit)
F der if the frame is a different thickness or cable pull
rest should all switch over just fine
09-23-2008, 11:51 AM
its just like playing with a meccano set except for the stuff that doesnt fit and usually something doesnt fit.Road bikes are probably the most likely to have the same parts ,full squish MTB the more likely to have something unusual
I have run into the same probs with a warranty frames where everything SHOULD fit cuz its supposed to be the same frame but what they send you might be a newer year and use a different seatpost or some other part
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