Cape Town is a haven for cyclists. Scores of picturesque bike routes traversing mountains and ocean, many kilometres of safe cycle routes and a growing community of fellow enthusiasts can all be found here. But Cape Town is home to another interesting trend – building your own bicycle.
“The most convenient way to buy a new bike is to choose from the huge range of factory-built bikes offered by dozens of brands. These off-the-rack packages offer great value and prospective buyers can take the bike for a test-ride before making a decision,” writes Mike Winstrom at CyclingTips.
“However, the buyer doesn’t get much say in the selection of componentry or the colour of the bike, though it is possible to swap the saddle or fit a different-sized stem before the bike leaves the store. At the other end of the spectrum, custom builds allow buyers tailor the bike to suits their every need.”
There are many benefits to building your own bicycle – most importantly the lower cost and total customisation options. The most important items you’ll need are the frame and saddle, from there you can shop around for the various bicycle parts you’ll need. We’ve rounded up some tips to help you get started.
Finding a frame: The most important step in building a bicycle is finding a frame which fits you. The best thing to do would be to go to your nearest bicycle shop to get measured. There, you’ll be told which size frame will work for you.
Saddle up: A comfortable and fitted saddle is essential to have an enjoyable ride. It is a very personal decision so make sure to try before you buy.
Wheels: Finding wheels is not only essential, but fairly easy. Be sure to get the right type for the kind of ride you want. There are often some great bargains to be found.
Handlebars: Literally the piece to keep you going in the right direction, handlebars are your next stop. Make sure they are fitted at the right height to keep you from bending in an uncomfortable position.
And there you have the basics. There are a couple more bits and bobs you’ll need, but these can be found quickly and easily. You’ll be riding your own, custom bike in no time at all.