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Bridgestone Project: The Budget

January 18, 2012

Yes, it’s true. Building a bicycle yourself can get expensive. Now, even though you’ve already come to terms with the fact that you aren’t saving money, this doesn’t mean you should proceed without a budget. In fact, the potential costs involved make budgeting all that much more necessary. After all, you don’t want to end up at the project’s end riding a 1984 mass produced economy bike that is more expensive than a custom built Boxer bicycle. Whether you love or hate these high end custom built bikes, you have to understand that ending up in this predicament would be just plain stupid. So, budget before you go on your shopping spree. Budgeting will tell you when it is OK to splurge and when it’s time to hit up Craigslist.

Trust me, it's going to go down quickly

I have given myself a $400 budget for this project.  For some, this may seem like a ridiculously high amount considering I bought the bike for $125 a few years ago.  It’s not.  I’ve already resigned to the fact that I will not be buying new 700c wheels (and therefore no fenders) for this project.  It will remain on my wishlist but probably stay there until I have a material failure with the current 27 inch wheel set.  This is what must be done to stay on budget.

 I’ve divided the project into three stages.  The first is currently being accomplished by the bike shop.  This stage includes a new bottom bracket and new crank set.  Parts plus installation took a $175 chunk out of my budget.

Trying to keep the pig green

The second stage involves altering the shifters and brakes.  Here I will be moving the down tube shifters to the bar ends.  I will also change the brake levers to an aero brakes and add interrupter levers by the stem of the handlebar.  I’m still undecided if I want to make a splurge here and use metallic brake and shifter cables from VeloOrange.  Nothing wrong with the standard black cables, but the silver highlight running along the top tube would be something.  We’ll see what the budget has to say about this.  Additionally, I would of course get new handlebar tape.  I’m thinking light blue or gray.  Thoughts?  I estimate this section will come in around $150.

Finally, the third stage is all about finding the best racks for the money.  The Bridgestone does not have any fork or seat stay braze-ons so I will need to shop carefully.  Most likely, I’ll just need some good clamps for this.  I’m fairly confident I can purchase a front and rear rack with the allocated funds but  doubt I can afford the bags too (when’s Christmas?).  I also plan on getting a new tire replacing the original gumwall front (and matching the rear) and would like new pedals with cages.  We’ll see what Craigslist has to offer before I have brake open the bank.  Fingers crossed…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nancy L. Seibel permalink
    January 19, 2012 8:43 pm

    Not crazy at all to spend this on a bike you like. I spent a similar amount getting an old Nishiki road bike fixed up for city commuting. These are tough choices to make. If you can afford it go for the VO cables. They’ll make you smile. Assuming you’ll be on the bike a lot, and have it a long time that smile will be worth it. Handlebar tape color: my own thought is a contrasting color is a nice way to go. But either choice is a good one. This is a fun project. Enjoy. Where do expect to tour?

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