Custom Builds Don’t Equal Big Money

A custom built bike means different things to different people, but more often than not it tends to invoke thoughts of trying to convince the bank manager (and/or other half) to release the funds to finance such a project.

We want to change that perception and bring real-world bikes to real-world people. Bikes that are built to be used hard, and to be enjoyed at any price point. Bikes built for the purpose of the owner.

Awesome bikes don’t have to cost the earth, and whether it’s an £800 build or an £8,000 build, the level of attention our customers receive is exactly the same and just as exciting for everyone involved.


Take this Cinelli Experience we have here. This bike was actually built for our very own @bikeshopnat – or Nat as a lot of you know her.

Even when we build our own bikes we have set criteria, and usually high on the list is building to a realistic budget as we love to show people what can be done with your hard earned cash if you want to think outside the box.

The purpose of this build was to get something to replicate the position of her lightweight carbon race machine that can be used as a winter bike, and then on to crit racing next season.

Given that winter bikes have a pretty hard life, and that crit racing almost always involves a crash or two, the component choice had to be smart and affordable.

We started with Cinelli’s brilliant Experience frameset. This may be just an “alloy” frame, but with Columbus tubing, a carbon fork, and impeccable finish, it’s pretty hard to argue with the £450 price tag for 2016. Alloy frames are not dead, and this 1250gr (in a size small) beauty proves it!

Nat is a die-hard Campag rider so Veloce was the smart choice. It’s inexpensive, works faultlessly, and matches the Italian style of the Cinelli perfectly.

Wheels are always a tough choice and can easily make or break a budget when going down the custom build route. We are huge fans of Hunt Bike Wheels at Joyride so went with a set of their amazing 4Season Aeros. These are lighter, stiffer and and roll better than anything else on the market at this price point. We think they keep the classy look of the build in check, and when paired with some Challenge gumwall tyres, you simply can’t go wrong.

They’re the key components of a build. Bars, stems, etc can add a little or a lot, but when working to small budgets Deda components fit the bill nicely and are hard to go past.

So what does it all actually cost? As you see it here, the total build would set you back about £1,200. That would include all consultations and bike fit too. If you’re not in to Campag, a Shimano 105 build would be about the same, or stretch the budget to £2k and you’re in the ball park of Ultegra and carbon wheels…try and find that with an off the peg from your generic bike brands.

OK, so we know that’s not the cheapest bike in the world, but when you consider everything that you get there’s not much out there that can compete, especially when you consider that this bike has a real weight of just 7.79kg!

You’ll be seeing a lot more of this bike over the coming year as Nat puts it through its paces, but if any of this has got you interested in a custom build of your own, then we are always more than happy to help. It’s what we do best, so we can guide you through all the possible combinations to suit any budget.


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