Choosing the right kind of bike to build

A fixie or a single speed might not suit you... Once you have rightly decided on building your bicycle, you have to decide on the type of bike for you. You will have to approach this with some resilience and tenacity, given the amount of information you will have to absorb and analyse: Key areas to focus on include:

  1. Bike types such as mountain bikes, road bikes, racing bikes town bikes, hybrids, cruisers, roadsters, low-slung cruisers, BMX to name a few
  2. Frame size, which also confusingly perhaps, depends on the type of bicycle you choose to build
  3. Gearing and if so, how many gears is appropriate
  4. Fixed gear or single speed bicycles, if you are after minimalism (and some style I suppose)

An easy way to find out what best suits you, is to go to a good INDEPENDENT bicycle shop and discuss your requirements with an APPROACHABLE adviser. If you are lucky, you will walk away with a good idea of the right bike type, bike size, and associated specifications such as gears, shock absorbers and so on.

Try a few bicycle shops - it must be a recruitment policy of most established bicycle shops in London to employ rude, swaggering irritable art and drama college rejects, so dont blame yourself if you feel confused. I also hope this tutorial will demystify some of the confusion.

Finally, while you can, in theory, build any bike, the ease of the project will be directly proportional to the abundance of the parts required to build the bike. Obvious you might say, but it is surprising how many part build projects go on to languish in sheds and rooms due to lack of parts.