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Old 10-17-2010, 01:34 PM
Motorbike Wanabe Motorbike Wanabe is offline
Motorized Bicycle Elite Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lakeland, FL
Posts: 189
Default Re: The costs of building from a free frame

Originally Posted by bairdco View Post
if you've read any of my other posts, you'll know i have a real hatred for china-made, junk bikes. on this forum you'll see hundreds of posts about the quality of a cranbrook. one of the most common is the exploding rear hub. so there goes your $65 for a rear wheel from husky.

frame breakage is a problem, too. luckily, you have a $5 one...

now, didja get the upgraded bike that has front brakes? no? well, after you cooked the coaster brake, you're probably gonna want them. depending on what set-up you want, it can be 20 bucks or 200 bucks.

i could go on.

my hatred for the cheap china bike is pretty obvious. i do realize that for some people, like the tinkerer, or the guy who wants to build one just to get away from his wife and spend some time in the garage, maybe take a little ride once a month, then the Huffy's the bike for you.

it's also a great bike for people who have short attention spans and jump from one fad to the next. you can just dump it on craigslist for a couple hundred after you grow bored of it and recoup your money.

but if you're looking for a reliable means of transportation, something safe, and something that can last for years with only minor repairs, you need to spend a lot more.

i think cheap china bikes are the main thing that holds this "hobby" back. when the majority of bikes that the average person sees is an oily, smoking mess with bent wheels and half-assed repairs, they're just gonna keep thinking how stupid we are for making death-trap toy motorcycles.
Hi Bairdco,

I've checked out your bikes and they're awesome. Wouldn't fault you at all for any of them.

I would say though, the "oily, smoking mess with bent wheels and half-XXXXed repairs" is actually a question of the final builder's devotion to the finished product, most likely not the best indicator of the original bike's manufacturer.

I would LOVE to find an early Hiawatha or Colson to do something with. That would be an awesome ride for me. But, if we're talking simply assembling a bike with an engine on it, in my mind, the platform isn't as important as the build. After all, no matter where the bike was built, we're all putting a chinese heart in it.

I've had several hobbies (some may say that I'm that person that floats from hobby to hobby) and like R/C airplanes, guns, cars and almost anything else, there will be a few constants.

1). Someone will always have an opinion of which is BEST (Smith & Wesson, O.S. Engines, DA or DL, Ford or Chevy).

2). There will be those items that will always be looked down upon by others (High-Point pistols, OS LA engines, Wal Mart bikes).

3). everyone's experience is different. The best way to find out for yourself is by yourself. Sure, you can observe other's experience and listen to their recommendations but, like JBCruisin said, some folks' bikes constantly break down, even the high dollar ones. Many a fine-oiled machine has turned to rust, thanks to a man with a tool and a little knowledge.

I've got about the average cost in the Andian and I'm happy with it. Just looking at different ways to go with my next build and wondering if anyone else has come to the same crossroads as I have pertaining to old frame foundation or Wally World off-the-shelf, one-stop shopping. Maybe I'll commit to purchasing a bike and just see for myself. I'll be making some changes but maybe I'll let nature take it's course on those "weak" parts and document the ride. Kind of like a long-term test drive. OF course, I don't care to wind up along the road in a puddle of previously me, so catching a problem before it's a problem would be key.
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