Start With A Frame – How To DIY Build Your Own Unique Bike On A Limited Budget

DIY Bike Recycle Make Over Sustainable

Preloved items hold their own piece of magic and are amazing for the environment. This is true for bikes as well. And, if you are dreaming to cycle your way into the next year, but you don’t have the budget to buy a new bike, second hand bikes are the way to go!  

Whether you’re looking to grab a bargain second-hand bike from a bike shop, an online auction site such as eBay or a classifieds site such as Gumtree or Craigslist, and more recently Facebook Marketplace, make sure you read our advice first. Scared you might not know how to customize, repair and refurbish a used bike? Here is how to DIY up-cycle a second-hand bike in an unique and sustainable way! 

Buy a Second Hand Bike

We get it: Buying a brand new bike might not always be within budget. If you have been thinking about purchasing one, but don’t want to break the bank, you should consider a used bike.  

Autumn is a great time to look for a used bike: As companies roll out the next year’s models, more cyclists will be looking to part ways with their old ride. This is especially true for pros, brand ambassadors, and amateur teams, all of whom can regularly get or offer steep (or full) discounts on recent-but-used bikes as they move into a new season or year. Local bike shops or brands are also looking to refresh both their stock and demo fleets with the newest the market has to offer around this time. 

Check your local bike shops, or search cycling forums and sites like eBay and Craigslist for specific options in your size. You can also check Facebook Marketplace, or look for local Facebook groups that are specifically for selling bike gear.  

Many bike shops have some of the most experienced bike mechanics in the industry. Consulting with these professionals allows you to acquire the knowledge needed to make informed decisions on what type of bike and features is the right fit for your lifestyle. Cycling is one of the best forms of exercise, therefore it is important to purchase one that suits you. It is estimated that riding a bike can lower early death by 30%, and heart disease by 40%. 

Now that you have the bike...customize it to your liking!

After you bought your second hand bike, you need to make sure it’s safe for the road and looks the way you want it to. While it’s not always as easy as buying a brand new bike, refurbishing a second hand bike allows you to have complete creative control. If you want to spend your money on a particular component and save somewhere else, you can. When you pick the parts, the cranks will be the right length, the bars will be the perfect shape, the saddle will be comfortable, and every little piece will be just how you want it to be. There’s no waste or excess. Just pure component joy. So what’s stopping you? 

Customized bikes are extremely unique, as they are crafted just for you. You can choose anything from the kind of frame, seat, color, and handlebars. You can choose from a custom road bike, custom single speed bike, or a custom beach cruiser bike, the choice is yours! By crafting your own bike from scratch you will be sure to stand out from the rest of the pack, with your comfort and well-being in mind. 

Creating a custom bike is an art form, and should not be taken for granted.

More than anything, the technical challenge of building up a frame stops many cyclists from attempting their own builds. Buying a complete is easier. But building a bike is really not that hard! It just takes patience, perseverance, and the right tools. We live in an age of information, and there’s no reason that any buyer with just a sliver of mechanical aptitude shouldn’t be able to figure out how to put together a bike. 

Embrace the challenge! 

Plan ahead, make a list, and stay organized. But above all, approach the process of building a bike from the frame up with the right mindset. You’re likely to encounter some challenges along the way. It will be worth it when you’re done. 

In the end, you’ll have a greater understanding of and appreciation for how bikes actually work. Most significantly, this project can deepen the connection you have with your machine. Building a bike up is an accomplishment. 

If you’re curious about how to design a bike up from a frame, there’s no better time to start than now! Our “Make Over & Bike DIY” Program will guide and inspiryou to DIY up-cycle a second-hand bike in a unique and sustainable way. It is a part of our “Unicorn” series brought to life to unleash your creativity. Click here to learn more!

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