The Chainlink

I'm curious. What are the now multi thousand-members of the chainlink riding.
Afterall, this is a website specifically for bicyclists, so to even bother logging-on, you may pay more attention to your bike than the rest.
So when it comes to what is between your legs, are you buying whatever comes stock on the racks of the LBS, or, are you personally, or with the help of your LBS building a bike to your own preferences for durability, weight, style, whatever? This also leads into the branch of custom made frames, but for obvious reasons I will lump this with custom built bikes.
feel free to indulge on any details or insights.

I prefer custom myself. Part by part is the fun of it all... and the only thing to keep me occupied through the winter.

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I go with buying used on craigslist and picking and choosing parts as they need replacing. It's get me bikes built up that would otherwise be way out of my price range tailored to me for way less than I could find at a shop.
Most of my bikes have been more or less off-the-shelf, with some part additions/substitutions, but my new everyday bike is one I built up from a new frameset as an all-rounder.

David
The first bike I ever bought as an adult was a very inexpensive, directly "off the floor" bike. Easiest sale of the year for that LBS; I literally walked in, paused for a second, and pointed. How much is that one? haha. It was the wrong size, the wrong style (BMX). I didn't care. That bike introduced me to "cycling" as enjoyable recreation and dependable, efficient city transportation.
Since then, I have never bought another "stock" bike. After the first was stolen, I taught myself bicycle mechanics by resurrecting a bike with an undamaged frame left in the trash. Not much else was useable, so I had a lot to learn... Now I can't imagine getting a fully assembled bike unless it was from a custom frame builder. There are plenty of acceptable such bikes at the LBS, I just enjoy the assembling and unique, specific functionality doing such is able to provide me. Sometimes I think it would be fun to work in a LBS for one full season---just to meet those who DO buy the nicer stock bikes. Basically everyone I know rides a mismatch of parts. Even if their bike wasn't assembled by them, it was culled from various models and swap-outs and arrived to them through the used market. So it was not the manufacturers' spec.
I believe in repairing and maintaining 'orphaned' bicycles; those that are tossed away or their owners decide they don't want to invest the time to repair/ maintain. Of the 4 I currently have, one was $7 on ebay, the 2nd was found severely corroded with 3 others at a dumpster [which were stripped for parts then sent for scrap], 3rd was $20 on craiglist, and the 4th a slightly bent [but not cracked] frame still ride-able as a "bar/ errand" bike. Along the way there have been 1-2 parts bikes less than $20.

I just keep a parts box, minimum annual maintenance, and keep at least 2 bikes rideable at all times for commuting and/ or short trips and/ or when the 1 car is being used by my wife. then again I am only a commuter [< 10 mile distances in the city] - I do understand the difference between salvaged bikes and quality components ... my home budget prefers that I remain cheap.

probably $150 spent total over the past 13 years
I'm helping a friend do some customization. The white Trek missing rear wheel & seat was purchased for $25. The green child's Gary Fisher was donated by West Town Bikes. The end goal is a serious cargo hauler inspired by the Xtracycle.


Here's the first test ride to check frame geometry before completion.

I'm really digging that!

Was the front frame lengthened at the front of the down tube and, I assume, the back of the top tube?

Todd Allen said:
I'm helping a friend do some customization. The white Trek missing rear wheel & seat was purchased for $25. The green child's Gary Fisher was donated by West Town Bikes. The end goal is a serious cargo hauler inspired by the Xtracycle.


Here's the first test ride to check frame geometry before completion.

curious, that trek looks like a GT based on the 'triple triangle'. any thoughts?
thats a nice build you have there. I would definitely put a tally in the customization column.
I ride stock frames with all non-stock/used parts. I pretty much refuse to buy a complete brand new bike because of cost and part selection, and because I like to tinker. For example, I don't know of any bike shops that sell flat bar single speeds with steel fenders and 'cross tires for under 150 bucks.
Yeah, the Trek is a GT. I'm building it with T.C. O'Rourke and the unusual frame appealed to him for it's likely added stiffness. Unfortunately once we had the two frames in hand and decided how we wanted to proceed we ended up removing the entire rear triangle of the Trek. And removing the overlapped chain stays connecting to the top tube slightly increased our work.

But the end result is quite stiff and strong. The little Gary Fisher is a stout frame and it has been beefed up further with the added tubing to create the rear rack. Most of the cargo weight will be carried by the rear frame. T.C. does delivery work and expects to regularly be carrying 250+ lbs of cargo on it (plus pulling a cargo trailer). I had an Xtracycle that did ok with 200 lb loads but did flex some and I think with continuous hard use like that something would eventually break.

nik was here said:
curious, that trek looks like a GT based on the 'triple triangle'. any thoughts?
thats a nice build you have there. I would definitely put a tally in the customization column.
We left the front triangle of the Trek unmodified, but entirely removed the rear triangle (which got used in the cargo rack). On the Gary Fisher we cut off the head tube and welded it on near the top of the Trek's seat tube. Then we added one tube between the two bottom brackets. We also cut off the top of the seat tube and cut the crank off the chainring. We retained the chainring as it was a simple and cheap way to get a good chain line.

notoriousDUG said:
I'm really digging that!

Was the front frame lengthened at the front of the down tube and, I assume, the back of the top tube?
I just realized now why you asked about the front triangle being modified. What you see in the photo is just some paint that has been removed.

The mystery of that is we are going to be welding on some tabs there for battery mounts. The bike when it is finished will have an electric rear hub motor.


notoriousDUG said:
I'm really digging that!

Was the front frame lengthened at the front of the down tube and, I assume, the back of the top tube?
Slight clarification: the adult bike (front) is a 22" GT "Talera" circa 1992, *not* a Trek brand.

The kids bike is a Gary Fisher "Short Cut". We needed a high quality steel frame, 20" wheel size, with 135 mm drop out spacing and a derailleur hanger. I traded a case of PBR for it (thanks, Alex!)


Todd Allen said:
We left the front triangle of the Trek unmodified,

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