Example Bike Build Spreadsheet

If you want to build a light weight bike on a budget, you have to keep track of every part to figure out upgrading which parts saves you the most weight for the least money. You should budget $10 for a cheap kitchen gram scale to verify weights as well.

I’ve done most of the hard work for you, and modified and simplified one of my personal spreadsheets for your use. Attached is a spreadsheet with two examples. One is an example build on a $1,500 $1,400 budget that weighs 16 lbs with pedals and cages. The other is is an example of a sub-UCI build for less than $2,000 $1,900.

Many of these weights are list weights and unverified. A couple are best estimates for a size medium with a wheelset suitable for a fit medium size rider. These are just an example, using new and readily available parts. You can do much better if you get deals on used or clearance parts.

These builds do not use any Chinese carbon in any structural applications, only for the bottle cages. Chinese carbon is a contentious subject, and I won’t speak for or against it here, except that you should avoid falsely branded counterfeits at all cost.

The carbon components used in these builds comes from Nashbar, because quality control is ensured by an American company, and they are backed by an American company through Nashbar’s “Forever Guarantee” which is almost better than a life-time warranty.

At the bottom is a comparison to some off-the-shelf bikes. They are just for reference, no comparisons about the ride quality and so on are being made or implied. It is just a straight price and weight comparison for reference only.

Again, these are just example builds, there’s a blank template on the third page for your use.


Edit: Given the heavy reliance on Nashbar and eBay in the example builds, I figured I should plug Ebates. It’s free, and if you sign up for Ebates you can get 3.5% cash back on Nashbar/Performance Bike purchases, 4% off Backcountry/Competitive Cyclist, 1-5% off eBay (rates fluctuate, but at least 1% on sporting goods), 1% off of some of the UK based shops, as well as a a $10 bonus after spending $25 at any of those places. In my experience this is cumulative with coupons, sales and eBay bucks, and they send you a check in the mail or via paypal. That’s about $50 off the example sub-UCI build, and about $25 off the 16 lb $1,500 build making it $1,400.

Click for Ebates referral link. (Yes, I get a referral bonus, yes, it also saves you money)



2 thoughts on “Example Bike Build Spreadsheet

  1. n/a June 6, 2016 / 3:19 pm

    Have you tried using formulas? Having the table calculate grams / $1 for you. Sometimes it surprises you (extra light tubes, foam grips) with what is the best upgrade

    Here’s a screenshot of mine


  2. 2lo8 June 7, 2016 / 9:51 am

    $/g is useful if you’re planning upgrades.

    It’s considerably less useful if you’re building from the frame up, and just planning a build. Part of the complication comes in the way of calculating price when you are starting with nothing. How do you calculate $/g when you have no base line? When you haven’t bought anything, and you’re calculating alternatives, you’re calculating based on the marginal cost.

    weight reduction / marginal cost
    ( weight1 – weight2 )/( price2 – price1 )

    Marginal cost brings in a subjective calculation. If you keep your old parts, then you may place the base price at $0. On this blog for the purposes of comparison, I place OEM level parts at a value of $0. If you’re willing to sell your old parts, you have to estimate how much that reduces the marginal cost. If you have no parts, the base price is what you would have paid.

    There’s also the consideration of nomenclature. $/g is the standard format for weight weenies. I, like you, prefer g/$ because it’s more applicable when you expect high returns on every upgrade, but give I both in reviews on this blog.

    I already advocate light tubes on this blog, and the example builds. Note that the Forte/Nashbar tubes at 63g avg. weight I like are lighter and cheaper than the 85g latex tubes on your spreadsheet. (As far as contact points go, these should almost always be based on comfort over weight)

    But to answer your question more directly, yes I did have columns for calculating weight g/$ for alternative parts, but I removed them because it clutters up the spreadsheet, and can be confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking at. It also requires a listing of alternative parts, and gives confusing results for blank entries. Example, the entries on your screenshot for the wheels and tube alternatives.

    Logical operators can help reduce confusion, but spreadsheet syntax is not completely standardized. For example Excel uses commas to separate arguments, Open Office uses semi-colons.


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