Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

What to upgrade first on older road bike?

JooliusJoolius Posts: 27
edited June 2008 in Road beginners
I've got a nice steel frame Italian road bike at the moment. The frame is lovely, but the rest of the components aren't quite up to par with the rest of the bike. So I'm looking to make the bike quicker with minimal outlay.

I'll eventually get around to upgrading most of the bike, but here are weak spots that I think could be upgraded at the moment:

Wheels
Rigida DP18s aero-section rims / 32 hole / old sachs hubs with 7-speed shimano

fork
Tommasini 1" threaded chrome fork

Chainset
Campagnolo Avanti double

Tyres
Specialized Roubaix 700x23/25 slicks

The wheels appear to be super-sturdy, but I only weigh 10 stone so it may be overkill. I could upgrade the wheels to save some weight, but I think I might be able to save a similar amount of weight by swapping the fork with a carbon one. 99% of my miles are commuting miles in flat London, so I was considering swapping the chainset out for a lighter single-chainring crankset and taking off the front derailleur and left downtube shifter. I'm pretty happy with the tyres - 23c might be quicker, but the tyres I have now are super comfy.

Any advice?

Posts

  • Joolius, Mrs G had (still has actually) a steel Bianchi, we considered changing the fork to save weight, but the LBS recommended saving up to change the whole bike, as the frame was always going to be heavy, and with a threaded fork/headset, as well as the fork you'll need a new headset and stem, and there's limited choice of 1" forks. So in the end we changed the wheels, which then got transferred to her new bike when she got one (from the above mentioned LBS!)

    Most mags/forums recommend changing wheels as the most cost-effective option and I can't see a reason to disagree.
  • acorn_useracorn_user Posts: 1,137
    Joolius wrote:

    Wheels
    Rigida DP18s aero-section rims / 32 hole / old sachs hubs with 7-speed shimano

    DP18s are great rims. Even if you went to Open Pro rims, you would only save ~100g per wheel at the rim.

    fork
    Tommasini 1" threaded chrome fork
    Irio Tommasini knew what he was doing. Leave the fork well alone!

    Chainset
    Campagnolo Avanti double
    Avanti was the cheapest Campagnolo chainset at the time.

    Tyres
    Specialized Roubaix 700x23/25 slicks
    Sounds ok to me

    You bike sounds lovely. I would leave a lot of it alone. If you want to change anything, I would recommend you change the groupset in one fell swoop. Campagnolo Veloce would look great, as would 06 Centaur if you can find it. Shimano 105 would also look good, and would possibly enable you to keep the wheels, depending on what rear hub you have. Losing the single ring at the front is pointless. If you take off the mech, you will drop the chain. And steel forks rock.
  • JooliusJoolius Posts: 27
    Hmmm thanks for the advice Giant and Acorn.

    The frame probably isn't all that heavy (Columbus SL tubing) and it is far more comfortable than my previous bike - an alu frame/carbon fork combo.

    You're probably right about the fork - probably wouldn't save that much weight by switching to a carbon 1" fork since it would still need an alloy steerer tube so it will still have threads.

    I was considering changing the entire groupset, but I don't want to lose the downtube shifters and the weight savings from Shimano 600 to newer 105 probably wouldn't be that much. Especially since I already have modern 105 brakes.

    I think changing the entire wheelset to something modern maybe is the best way to go. Maybe I'll pick up a second-hand pair and use a spacer to retrofit the 7-speed block. Or perhaps a 8/9/10 speed cassette, new chain, and run my 7-spd shifters in friction mode.
Sign In or Register to comment.