Upgrading my Bike

tommy81 Posts: 10
edited June 2012 in Road beginners
I bought a Scott Speedster S30 2011 for £590 2 months ago to do a triathlon.
http://cycledo.com/speedster/260-scott- ... -bike.html
I'd never really ridden bikes before, but knew I'd get into it. Didn't realise how much though. I've increased my average speed by 4mph by getting fitter and just getting used to being on a bike. But apart from putting in the hard work are there any upgrades I could buy that will help. I'm starting to race fairly regularly, doing a triathlon a month, with either a 20k or 40k ride.
Wheels, tires? Will any of these make a noticable difference in my race times? And which components would you suggest if the answer's yes. I know it's hard to immpossible to quantify, but if you can say how much time, some new wheels for example, would save it would be interesting.
Thanks in advance.


  • singleton
    singleton Posts: 2,523
    You may have just opened a can of worms... :)

    Some one will tell you that new wheels are worth 2mph, someone else will say that tri-bars or some other upgrade is worth 30 seconds on 3km etc.......

    Lightweight tyres and tubes are probably a fairly cheap way to lose some weight.

    How's your wetsuit / running shoes? You may get a benefit by spending money on those as well?
  • tommy81
    tommy81 Posts: 10
    I have the Zone 3 Aspire wetsuit. Very happy with it. And just got some new running shoes. Just interested in the bike at the moment.
    Massive can of worms :)
    Was mainly wondering if there were any weak points on my bike I should upgrade that will increase my speed in a race. But interested in any general comments. Aero bars sound like a good idea at some point.
    I am totally new to biking so I won't be offended if anyone states the obvious.
  • Safcstuie
    Safcstuie Posts: 39
    Cheapest Upgrade, Clip on Bars, Saved me around 1:30 mins over the Club 10, and for £30,
    Forces you to make yourself aero and faster..
  • ianbar
    ianbar Posts: 1,354
    I'm pretty sure that the main upgrade would be wheels and tyres, both in weight and ride quality. i upgraded to mavic aksium wheels/tyres and felt it was very much worth it. your can always throw stupid money at the bike and upgrade everything! which is obviously stupid! but can be done. on a different note, do you use all your chainrings on your races? you could always remove the ones you don't use, bit extreme weight saving but every little helps!
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  • t4tomo
    t4tomo Posts: 2,643
    ianbar wrote:
    on a different note, do you use all your chainrings on your races? you could always remove the ones you don't use, bit extreme weight saving but every little helps!

    I'd recoomend taking out every other sprocket on the back too, needless weight to carry around
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  • alwaystoohot
    alwaystoohot Posts: 252
    In all fairness, is it worth upgrading a 590 quid bike? Surely its better to save up and buy a quality piece of kit?
    'I started with nothing and still have most of it left.'
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    In all fairness, is it worth upgrading a 590 quid bike? Surely its better to save up and buy a quality piece of kit?

    Potentially - if you get bolt on stuff that can transfer to another frameset later.

    Spreads the cost and gives you a better idea of what works and what does not.

    Also you have all the old stuff to sell (finance the upgrades) or keep for winter training.

    You do need a better bike eventually though if you are serious about the racing etc.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • edhornby
    edhornby Posts: 1,780
    stuie from durham is right - a set of clip ons are the best purchase in bang for buck, but you need to work on the position with them and also train using them because you still need to get the max power out when on the bars
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    I think a full bike upgrade makes sense, however... if you don't have 2K budget right now,

    Considering these days even 2K worth of bikes comes with crap wheels and most people upgrade their wheels immediately after buying a new bike, you might start by getting a new set of good quality wheels fitted with some light and fast tyres.
    For light wheel sets, the hand built route is the most convenient. 250 pounds will get you a significant improvement, while, barring mega offers, in the factory market with 250 pounds you don't buy much.
    A set with Velocity A 23 24/28 or even 20/24 if you are light can go easily down to 1550 grams and have excellent road behaviour, can be serviced, rebuilt etc. etc...
    Tyre-wise, I recommend Vittoria Open Corsa for shear speed and Continental GP 4000 for speed and durability
    left the forum March 2023
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    +1 on the tribars being the best bet for speed per pound spent.

    And after that I'd start saving for a new bike for next year maybe ?
  • xscreamsuk
    xscreamsuk Posts: 318
    Tri bars by far the best thing you could get for your use. Wheels, maybe, but once up to speed unless it's aero then your position on the bike makes the biggest difference hence the bars. Stick a nice set of tyres on for best, Pro race 3, etc.
  • alex1rob
    alex1rob Posts: 95
    As you are doing triathlons you should get tri bars no question. I don't do tri and only a few TT so I bought wheels for climbing.

    As regards to everything else, it's not needed unless you are noticing a problem. If in your races you are losing seconds trying to get the gear change due to sloppy shifts then maybe you would want to upgrade the shifters/mech. But if they are running fine there is no point.
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    I'd recommend ditching the swimming and running, wearing some proper cycling clothes and doing some proper cycling :wink:
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • Amoger
    Amoger Posts: 46
    +1 for Tri bars - just got some Profile Design Legacys, v good price (£35 at Rubble, bargain), not too fiddly to fit, thought I'd struggle getting used to them but wondering why all road bikes don't come with them fitted.
  • tommy81
    tommy81 Posts: 10
    Thanks for the advice. I've just bought myself a pair of aero bars. And I may buy a set of Vittoria Opens to put on just for race days.
    Apart from this, the general consensus seems to be, maybe buy some new wheels/tyres. But I guess there's only so far I can take my bike, and to really get a difference from equipment, I'd be better saving up and putting down 1.5-2k on a new bike next year, if I'm still as keen on racing as I am now.
    I really am a novice with proper cycling, so will a new bike in that price bracket really make that much of a difference? As in save me 90 seconds or more over a 20k course, or 3 minutes over 40k. Again, I know it's impossible, but just trying to quantify it a little.