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Race to Summer: Kick-Start Your Dream Road Build

Nothing beats building a road bike from a frame up — except getting a great deal on frames and components. With amazing discounts in the Race to Summer event, you can kick start your dream build today.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Bikes

Summer’s almost here, and with a full road riding season ahead of me, I’m ready to build a new road bike to enjoy all this good weather. For true cycling geeks, nothing beats the experience of building your own bike from the frame up. Not only do you get to pick every component, but it’s lots of fun, and it can teach you mechanical skills that you’ll use for the rest of your cycling career. 

The only downside is that sometimes it can be more expensive than just buying a complete bike. But if you hunt for deals, you’ll end up saving big. If you’re interested in building up a frame, or just looking for some upgrades, check out our Race to Summer event, which features plenty of discounted road frames, wheels, and components. I’m giving my own dream road bike build a kick start by putting together a sweet “rolling chassis.” Here's what I came up with.  

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2018 Trek Domane SL Disc Frameset - $1,217.99 $2,199.00

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The Trek Domane is one of our best-selling bikes, and for good reason. It’s one of the best endurance road bikes around. Designed with help from classics legend Fabian Cancellara, the 2018 Domane uses IsoSpeed Decouplers in the front and rear. These decouplers isolate the seat tube from the top tube and the steerer from the head tube using elastomers and bearings, allowing the seat tube and steerer to flex to absorb bumps and vibration. The end result is a frame that lets you explore rougher roads and ride longer with less fatigue. 

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Zipp 404 NSW Disc - $2,099.99 $3,100

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NSW stands for Nest Speed Weaponry. “The Nest” is the nickname for Zipp’s advanced development lab where it creates its most technologically advanced products, like the 404 NSW. These ultra-fast carbon wheels are tubeless compatible and have been shaped in the wind tunnel to reduce aerodynamic drag and side forces more than competing aero rims. They’ll give the Domane a nice boost in speed, especially when I’m riding alone on the windy plains

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Zipp Service Course SL 80 Handlebar - $49.99 $118.00

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To match my blingy Zipp wheels, I’m going for a Zipp cockpit as well. I like the Service Course SL-80 handlebars. The shallow, but not too shallow, 125mm drop feels great on my wrists and the drops are also angled outward by 4 degrees to further reduce wrist strain. With the Domane’s cushy IsoSpeed front end, I can save some money and go with aluminum bars instead of carbon too.   

Zipp Service Course Aluminum Stem - $39.99 $100.00

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Of course, Zipp bars need a matching Zipp stem. Stems are one place where I think the simplicity, stiffness, weight, and cost of aluminum make it superior to carbon. Zipp’s Service Course stems are lightweight and good-looking, and at only 40 dollars, they can’t be beat. 

Selle Italia Novus Boost Superflow Saddle - $119.99 $239.99

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With the Domane’s seat mast, there’s no need for a Zipp seatpost, but I’m going to top it off with a nice Selle Italia Novus Boost Superflow Saddle with titanium rails. Over the years, I’ve become a fan of shorter snub-nosed saddles with generous cutouts. For me, they’re more comfortable and they help prevent numbness. 

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Total cost: $3,527.95

My “rolling chassis” totals out at just over $3,500. The only thing I need is tires, bar tape, and, oh, a drivetrain. The drivetrain will be a pricey addition, but I’m considering SRAM Rival AXS, so even if I pay full retail, I only expect to drop around $1,500 total to finish building this bike. A dream road bike for about $5,000 is a pretty screaming deal. If I can’t wait for a drivetrain, I might just pull the drivetrain off my current road bike and call it a day. Either way, I’ve set myself up to hit the road with more money in my wallet! 

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