Whether you’re inclined to build your own bike from scratch or need to replace a bike that has a damaged frame but is, otherwise, in good working order, you may want to consider purchasing either a frame or frame set (frame and forks). Most of the major manufacturers and some smaller, independent bike builders will have a certain amount of frames/framesets for most cycling disciplines.
Road frames in aluminium, carbon fibre, steel or titanium are available, although the colour range may be limited. Some manufacturers will sell frames only with forks as an option. It is common to purchase an aluminium or steel frame and fit a pair of carbon forks. As a rule, carbon frames are matched with carbon forks. With the development of disk brakes for cross, gravel and road cycling, frames are built accordingly and ensuring your new frame is disk compatible or built for rim brakes is essential.
Buying a new frame or frameset and building a bike to your specification ensures your bike is as individual as you are. But be aware, it is not always the most cost efficient way of getting a high spec bike, and the work involved can be quite intricate for those unfamiliar with bike maintenance.
More recently frames for mountain biking have become more common. This enables suspension preferences for off-road riding to be more personal. Mountain bike frames don’t usually come with forks so it is very important to ensure compatibility with the frame in question. Some MTB frames are not suited to forks with long travel and the head tube may be tapered and fork steerer straight (this can also be the case with road frames and forks too).
Obviously many bike retailers have dedicated workshops with trained bike technicians who are more than capable of building your dream bike from frame and parts, but is always a good idea to discuss your build before purchasing frame and parts, to ensure compatibility and so preventing frustrations further down the line.
If you intend on moving parts from an old bike to a new frame the issue with compatibility becomes even more evident as frame design and technology continues to change and develop at an alarming rate with headset, bottom bracket and brake fittings being the most common area for issues.