Advice and opinions needed, what price for a new full bike build?

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  • Advice and opinions needed, what price for a new full bike build?
  • si-wilson

    I am working with Chumba USA at the moment to see if we can offer full builds on our Chumba frames and am looking for your views.

    Is it something you would want from a 'boutique' brand, or do most of you buy the frames and move parts over?

    I do have a 'few' customers who have had full builds but most just buy the frame and perhaps seat post. The reason I ask is that I would need to commit to quite a few groupsets so I want to be sure there is a demand for it.

    What would be the price point’s people would be interested in? And realistically what kit levels for any given price points?

    The most helpful answers will get a set of Chumba ODI grips FOC ?

    Thanks for your help…


    use the hope specs as a guide – they are pretty UK specific and good vfm. The chumba frames look very nice and comparable price wise to an Orange 5 – so maybe a good starting point?

    SLX build
    XT Build
    X9 build

    Truvativ/Easton/RaceFace/Thomson/Syncros bars and stem are nice 🙂
    Hope bb and headset
    Maxxis Tyres

    Oh and RockShox as opposed to Fox!!

    b r

    Maybe look at how Orange do it, anything from straight frames through to a standard build and then performance builds – and ask your dealers for their thoughts?

    Premier Icon ton

    you need a test rider……….. 😉
    and thanks for the drop out. i owe you a pint.


    I think if you want to do this successfully you need to be able to get deals on groupsets etc, because most bikes offered as fullbuilds are normally cheaper than if a mere mortal bought the frame and all the bits and put them together. If its the same price as the average punter can do it just be trolling crc/wiggle etc for all the bits then I reckon most people would just do that.
    I discovered this when I wanted to build an on one 456 with lots of top spec parts, it worked out cheaper to by an orange p7 pro with full thomson upgrade kit (about 1500 in 2008 for 2008 model) and then buy the 456 frame- by about 500 quid!! Honest. Grips in black please…


    Got be choices for the end user but something like this

    Hope Head Set, Thomson Stem and Seat Post, Easton EA70 risers
    SLX Double and Bash with Shimano BB (plus alternative for non Shimano fans, Raceface equivalent)

    Brakes choice of Avid or Hope

    Choice of SLX/XT/X9 on the drive train then drivetrain for shifter, front and rear mech.

    Hope Hoops as wheels shod with High Rollers.

    Choice of Fox or RS on the forks.

    Choice of CCDB or RP23 on the shock

    Appreciate that having the choice of components won't help bulk buy and therefore the potential margin, but whenever I look at an off the shelf build it never matches what I want and then end up changing stuff and selling bits to get the spec I wanted, hence why I tend to buy frames and build them up. Got to cater for the Sram/Shimano fans and have a build for each camp IMHO.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Don't do it how Orange do it, most of their builds have at least one idiot component, and half the component decisions are sticker-oriented.

    Choice of Rockshox or Fox would be good, people can be very fork loyal.


    Si – I hate to point you at another bike company, but Competitive Cyclist in the USA won't be fighting for the same customer base. Have a look at their website and see how they have broken down target builds. It does go a lot further, but it is food for thought.


    damn double click


    I personally would never consider putting/buying a full groupset to go on a bike like a Chumba,it's a relatively expensive frame and most cyclists looking to spend that kind of money will have favourite parts that they like to put on their bikes,i like sram,raceface cranks,formula brakes etc,i like fox forks and hope hubs,i don't like……etc. I think it would be very hard for you to offer the kind of equipment that the people who fancy one of your frames would be after at prices that compete with CRC,wiggle etc. I can see how full slx or xt builds do appeal to some people,i think i just see the Chumba brand as a high end product and i personaly wouldn't put a full groupset on one,unless it was ridiculously cheap and i could sell the groupset on ebay for loads of profit and then put all the bits i like on the frame………..! 🙂


    Si – would you not be better surveying current owners directly (with some kind of potential prize for replying) and seeing what builds they have created then analyse if there is trend in what they've been kitted out with?


    What Chilli said.

    Even full XTR wasn't good enough for mine, went for more boutique stuff, Tune Prince/Princess, Formula R1, RF Next, DA cassette, etc,etc. Even specced a lighter set of Ti bottle cage bolts. That spec certainly wont please many people but for me is perfect.
    'Custom build' on the really nice stuff means a lot more than choice of SLX or XT with an upgrade to King hubs.
    Maybe do as Yeti do and offer a couple of full builds, XT/XTR groups, EA70/EC90 bits, etc but mostly stick to frame-only. Once you get passed a grand for a frame people can afford to get a bit fussy about the other bits.


    As said with a product like yours, people will already know how they want it specced.
    The likes of orange give some flexibility, as do wrench science an competitive cyclist then there's the full on custom build experience from universal cycles.
    To be honest I'd stick to frames, maybe a deal with forks, and different rear shocks, and a few branded bits and pieces, grips, saddles etc.
    If you decide to go down the full groupset route, i'd opt for say slx and xt/xtr and maybe x9/x0 builds and stick to them rather than giving too many options.
    Unless your able to give a significant discount over speccing a build via all the various online companies, i'd have to think twice, as it sounds like you'd be taking a sizeable financial gamble.
    Look at Santa cruz, they only offer limit builds but concentrate on there frames.

    Premier Icon Bregante

    as above, perhaps offer one "Base model" made up from good solid reliable componentry but nothing too extravagant – something along the lines of the SC Heckler "Mountain" builds – to a particular price point.
    IMO it is more likely to be people on the lower budgets who would prefer to buy complete bikes like this and then replace/upgrade parts as they wear out.



    Some good points well made, keep them coming.

    In particluar we are working towards an full SLX specced bike around the £1800-£2000 point and a more expensive X9/XT build around £2.5K rather than custom specced bikes.


    To be honest i'd stick to either sram or shimano groupsets and not mix/match. mix and match within the same company x9/x9 slx/xt etc but not x9/xt, but that's just my view.


    Sorry for the confusion, I
    meant xt or x9 🙂


    I had a feeling you did, but just making sure 😛

    Premier Icon TomB

    I'm not sure who the buyer will be who will find and decide to buy a Chumba, but then not have the savvy to source exactly the bits they want for their 'boutique' build, from the cheapest suppliers. Therefore, you'd have to be able to bring it in at less than the big mail order boys, reducing your margin. Will it be worth it?

    If you had a dealer network, I can see full bikes being more likely to appeal- folks more likely to fancy the bike in the window and buy it "today". However, I don't think I would have ordered my VF2 as a full bike, and I'm your archetypal 'budget' customer!

    Now where is it?!


    when we sell a frame we kind of tell folk the frame should be a third of the build cost. so a £500 hardtail frame would build up at around £1500. its always going to cost more to build up. could you spec a basic bike and put options on it like orange bikes do? dont chumba do that already??? nice bikes though.


    Hello Si,
    Although I would love to agree that XTR and Pimped builds are the way to go… I think that the bulk of any bike builders and sellers will sell the standard specs much more, and this will be the bread and butter of any business.
    As you have pointed out, you have built some bikes, but mostly small items. I think to appeal to more people, there has to be value builds available, especially with the quality shown in the deore, slx and XT levels of kit. To make the brand exotix, there can still be the pimped builds available, but for people on a budget, they will be happy with the quality frame and possibly wheels, with quite standard spec, especially if you bulk buy the groups and offer good value builds… This kit can then be upgraded and customisedwith time…

    Just me ranting on of course!

    imo i'd rather buy a rolling chasis rather than a whole bike.
    pace used to (or still do) this with their frame

    iirc you get frame, fork, headset, wheels and not much else.

    that way consumers get all the important bits which (you can market as) suit the frame best (and may therefore be able to buy in bulk) and the consumer gets to pick and choose th gears and contact points they like… there is far more variation in finishing kit/gears than there are forks, so you are more likely to offer what consumers want.

    fwiw i'd be offering RS forks, but if i were brave some manitous (like their minutes) or some of the new zocchis
    and also some decent hubs (hope etc) built on stans rims.
    can't see many people complaining about that.

    as this thread shows, we all have different ideas over kit – esp when it comes to gears and brakes – for eg i'd definitely NOT buy a bike with hope or avid brakes on (through personal preference)


    Premier Icon Shandy

    I am looking for a trail bike at the minute. I don't really have a budget but I am trying to be realistic and keeping an eye out for offers on frames, or frames and forks like you are doing at the minute. I have arrived at something like this.

    Frame & Headset 1100
    Fox Talas QR15 600
    Flows on Pro 2s 250
    SLX group incl. brakes 380 (cheapest XT is £500)
    Fizik Saddle £70
    Bars, Stem, Grips £120

    Totals roughly £2500, more like £2650 with XT. The value for money comes from choosing every part. I won't have to upgrade anything and I know that most of the stuff will hold its value pretty well if I want to sell it.

    The problem with selling groupsets is that there is always somebody else doing a deal on them, to clear stock or whatever

    The problem with bars and stems is that there are so many variations and preferences, that makes stock control a nightmare.

    It kind of works back to the status quo – a full bike with cheaper finishing kit at a good price, or something very bespoke that is nearly impossible for a retailer to stock. You could do a bit of both. Even if you point somebody elsewhere and save them a few quid on a groupset you are still shifting a frame, maybe some forks and a wheelset, but without the hassle and financial pressure of carrying a lot of stock.


    Again, thanks for all the feedback!

    Looks like we are going to offer 3 build types, one based around the excellent SLX groupo and the other 2 will be XT and X9. All with Thomson finishing kit and easton or Sunline bars.

    The biggest challenge has being able to secure Shimano parts CHEAPER than Merlin sell them for! You would think i would be able to buy full group sets at wholesale prices from the USA cheaper than what Merlin cycles sell them for!

    Really excited to be offering full builds with some really good savings, certainly cheaper than buying the parts yourselves!


    Agree with all the remarks about 'boutique buyers' wanting to spec every last item but there is a certain appeal for a buyer to get a v.good frame with an 'it just works' slx groupset.

    That way, when you get the upgrade urgings you have plenty of scope and also know that you won't 'run out of frame' for your upgrades – better to have a good frame with 'functional' kit than functional frame overblinged ??

    Personally I'd like the rolling chassis option as for me the biggest 'decider' is usually the wheel/fork/headset options…………

    Premier Icon chakaping

    I know most on here, me included, would prefer to use their own bits – but there are plenty of riders who like to buy a full bike.

    The SLX / XT / X9 options sound right, but maybe consider FSA/Truvativ headsets/bars/stems/seatposts for the cheaper builds. I see Thomson stuff as an unnecessary luxury.

    My other personal spec preferences: RockShox (Reba or Rev with Maxle) over Fox for up to 150mm, WTB saddles, Hope/Stans wheels, Wellgo pedals.

    Could you offer a choice of tyres?

    Premier Icon metalheart

    I'd agree that a 'low cost' SLX option and a 'sensible' XT option makes sense as thats where most people going for a full build would be aimed at I would have thought. An XTR one wouldn't because if you got that kind of wedge then you can afford to put exactly what you wont on it.

    Personally I think the Thomson thing is good as although its seen as high end in reality its similarly priced to RF Atlas AM.

    I'd go along with the Hope Hoops with Stans recommendation too. And High Rollers as they seem to be as consensus a tyre as is out there.

    Mind you I would say that now wouldn't I? :mrgreen:

    (EDIT: What about a choice/shopping list of components a bit like Cotic do? Or are you looking to ship complete built bikes from the US only?)


    To keep prices low i think it will be a no option build so i could keep an eye on stock levels and values.

    Something like the XCL frame, Fox Float fork, full SLX group set, Hope hoops, easton ea50 kit, maxxis tyres for £1900 ish. I think that represents great value for a top quality bike.

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