Advantages of Bikes Made to OrderWith the advent of the Internet, it is easier than ever to build a custom bike from readily-available components. In this way, you can build a bike with all of the features that you want, and none of the features that you will not use, which is more efficient.In addition, buying your bike in parts and putting it together gives you a better opportunity to start with the parts you want instead of upgrading later, essentially buying the parts twice. The careful shopper can watch for specials and get better components for substantially less money, as well.How to Get StartedThe first step in any build is to figure out what you are going to do with the bike.Do you want to bomb down gnarly mountain tracks or go to the corner market for milk? Do you prefer to take a leisurely ride down the local paved rail trail, or do you want to get on your jersey and chamois shorts and do your best Lance Armstrong impression through the Alps?The answer to these questions will determine what frame you should choose. The style and material are important considerations. For instance, steel frames are heavier, but have more vertical flex than aluminum, giving a softer ride. If weight savings is the primary consideration, carbon fiber frames cannot be beaten, but they are fragile compared to the alternatives.Decide whether you need a bike with suspension. For most riding, suspension is definitely a luxury you can do without, because it weighs a lot.Frame PreparationWhen you have purchased a frame, take it to a local bicycle repair shop, like Fort Myers Schwinn Cyclery, and have them perform frame preparation. This is work that is best left to professionals with the proper tools.The first thing your local bike shop will do is “face” the critical components. This is done by cutting and reaming the bearing surfaces in the bottom bracket, head tube, and crown. This assures that the paint is removed from these parts and that the sides of the bearings are perfectly squarely aligned with each other. Next, if you have purchased a steel frame, the insides of the tubes will need to be fogged with a rust preventative agent.If you are not completely sure what you are doing in installing the bike’s drivetrain, it is a good idea to have the shop install at least the crank bearings, crank, and front chainring(s).Finishing Your BuildWhen your frame is complete, you can begin the leisurely task of assembling your new bike as time and budget allow. You should always read reviews of the components you are considering before purchasing them, and search the Internet to see if others have had any conflicts between the various parts you are considering. Most of all, enjoy the journey, all of the knowledge you will gain, and the feeling of satisfaction when you finally wheel your bicycle out of the garage for its first ride.