I regularly scout the Facebook classifieds and keep an eye on my local gumtree, they are usually great places to pick up a bicycle bargain. I’m a big fan of recycling (no pun intended) bicycles but that’s a tune for another blog post.
Facebook marketplace dished up an cracker for me, a 2006 Kona dew for a great price. As soon as I saw it the call was in to the seller to arrange collection, a quick flip project for me to turn some beer/bike money over.
Bike collected and in my possession it was onto Instagram to drum up some interest, I’d much rather sell to someone I know. A single shot of it in the stand was enough to get a response within 20 minutes! I found a buyer!
It didn’t stop there though…… the new buyer had some big ideas and dreamed of a custom build. Now if theres one thing I love is putting together a bike that no one else has. Custom builds are my thing, and on a budget that makes sense. This was like music to my ears.
A bit of joint research and plans for a drop bar gravel build were born, but on a budget! Although as it turned out it was a bit of a shopping list (mainly because the new owner is a designer, and he had som fairly specific ideas!) so it was straight on the internet to find the best parts for the best money.
Heres what we came up with:
- handlebars – flared gravel alloy drops from Ebay – £20
- stem – brand x road stem from wiggle – £12.99
- bar tape – lifeline bar tape from wiggle – £12.99
- drop bar shifters – second hand Shimano 105 5800 10spd – £35
- saddle – second hand fabric scoop with titanium rails from Ebay – £25
- seatpost – carbon 27.2mm from Ebay – £17
- mini v brakes – TRP CX9 from Ebay – £50
- rear mech – 105 5800 10spd from Halfords – £25
- wide range cassette – Deore cshg500 11-42t £35
- chain – 10spd shimano £15
- narrow wide chainring – eBay oval £10
- wheels – merlin cycles pro build Alex cx28 on chosen hubs £182
- tyres and tubes – Hutchinson Touareg 700x40c – £60 pair
- pedals – eBay flat pedals £15
- all cables – jobsworth cable sets from Planet X £12
All in that comes to £527. Essentially the only parts retained were the frame/forks, headset, cranks, and bottom bracket. All were perfectly serviceable and would really start to bump the cost of the project up if replaced.
The above would give an almost completely mechanically brand new bike that would ride like new and last for many years to come. It’s also a fully custom machine with some very nice components, there won’t be another around! and that means something.
Anyway, heres a gallery of what I put together for the new owner!
As you can see a stunning little bike! no big money spent but the perfect bike for ripping about the New Forest. The owner added the restrap frame bag as a nice little finishing touch. The bike weighs in at just over 10kg with pedals, and when you take into account that the P2 forks weight is circa 1050g, thats a very reasonable price for a 10kg bike. Most 10kg gravel bikes are £2k+. If you wanted to get the bike well under 10kg, you could shave off 600g by fitting a carbon fork for around £75 from Ebay/Aliexpress . To push it further a lightweight crankset and bottom bracket (£75 from Ebay/Aliexpress) to save a further 250g, and carbon handlebars (£50 Ebay/Aliexpress) to save another 100g, and finally a tubeless setup (£30 valves and tape) to shave a further 100g per wheel. Its possible to shave the bike to sub 9kg for another £230 total, but then where do you stop! although sub 9kg gravel bikes start to get silly money…… so maybe the comparison of £800 vs £4k+ starts to get quite attractive……..
So how did it ride? Konas are known for their agile yet planted handling, and because frame, fork, and wheel size remained the same it didn’t change. It was great to ride, the flared drop bars gave stable handling and the cross top brake levers made for comfortable control when resting on the tops. A great introduction to gravel cycling.
A build I’m proud of and enjoyed putting together with the new owner.
The question is though…. what are you going build? I’ve got at least two more projects coming through….