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I've been into cycling (almost) my whole life. I've been riding BMX for over 20 years and since 5-6 years I've been doing a lot of road cycling. I ride contests, crits, TT's,...

I've been looking to get a new road bike for some time now. I outlined some requirements that this bike should have. With that out of the way I started looking around for my options, there are a wide variety of bikes that handle my needs. But coming from BMX I am used to building my bikes from the ground up. Changing parts as they broke, building completely new setups,... The only complete setup I ever got was the bike that got me started.

Apart from price, what are the benefits of purchasing a complete bike from a respectable brand? Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 DI2 for example, this bike meets the requirements and falls neatly in my budget. If I would start building my bike it would end up parts wise like the Aeroad.

What not to take into consideration: I am technically able to build and maintain most bikes on my own. This should not be an issue.

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Warranty - buying one bike from one supplier means the whole thing is under warranty. New bike frames may have anything from one year to lifetime warranty, but often have a rider about "must be assembled by an authorised and qualified bike shop"

Integration - all the parts will physically fit into the frame quite well. Stuff like internally routed cabling simply works better when the parts are all specified on the one build.

Compatibility - Its not your problem to make sure that a front mech and a chainring set match up. A complete bike will work from new as it is supposed to with no fiddling and fettling.

Set price - a complete bike has a set cost. A build has an unknown end cost because you may not find the parts you need at a fair price. On the other side, the parts you need might be in your possession already so have zero net cost.

Timeliness - you want to ride your new bike, not spend time assembling and troubleshooting it.

Suggestion : Since you can afford a high-level bike like a canyon, and time is valuable, just buy it and ride it and spend the time on maintenance.

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    Warranty is a good add. The whole bike would have a warranty and the shop would take care of exchanges. In a parts build the individual parts may have a warranty, Shimano, for example has a 3 year warranty on all Dura-Ace and XTR components. But it would be up to the individual to manage it. – David D Apr 15 at 20:38
  • @DavidD Not sure about that specifically, but I know some suppliers limit their warranties in various ways - IE in the small print restrictions like "3 year warranty on groupset parts, excluding crash damage, must be installed by a qualified bike mechanic else 1 year on parts." Lawyers may have been there. – Criggie Apr 15 at 20:45
  • Pretty sure the bike shop won't warranty a crash. Here's the link to Shimano's warranty - it is a defect warranty not an end to end accident coverage warranty bike.shimano.com/en-US/information/warranty.html – David D Apr 15 at 20:55
  • Maybe missing the point here - to rephrase "One benefit of a complete brand bike is that warranties may be easier to get serviced than a self-built bike" – Criggie Apr 15 at 21:02
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Basic compatibility issues won't arise. You don't have to make sure the inner chainring won't hit the chainstay, for example.

There really isn't much other than that, but at the level of component you seem to be aiming for (DI2), any problem you find as you assemble parts is likely to be expensive to address.

(And yes, I realize you stated "Apart from price..." and even bolded it, but for anyone else who reads this: it's almost impossible to acquire your own set of separate parts to build an entire bicycle and beat the price you'd pay for an equivalent complete bike. Economies of scale usually make the complete bike a lot cheaper.)

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What I'm getting from your question is:

  • You have solid bicycle knowledge and skills
  • You have large budget
  • You enjoy spending time building bikes
  • You enjoy hunting down the right parts
  • You like trying out one part and then swapping it out for another to see how different things work
  • You value the experience and skills you will build as you go through the custom build process

Based on these assumptions for you there is no benefit in buying a complete bike. You place high value on the experience of building bikes so all the benefit is in the spending time researching, buying, assembling, riding/testing, trying new things process.

I miss the days when I was in your shoes :)

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