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Upgrades in order of value for money?

nolightnolight Posts: 261
edited November 2012 in Road general
How would you order these upgrades from best value-for-money to least in terms of performance?

- Al to Carbon frame
- Shimano 105 to higher groupset
- Normal shifter to Di2 shifter
- Normal pedals to Clipless pedals + shoes
- Better wheelset

Posts

  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
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  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    nolight wrote:
    How would you order these upgrades from best value-for-money to least in terms of performance?

    - Al to Carbon frame
    - Shimano 105 to higher groupset
    - Normal shifter to Di2 shifter
    - Normal pedals to Clipless pedals + shoes
    - Better wheelset

    -Depends on the individual frameset -> a bad carbon frame is worse than a good Alu frame
    -105 is generally considered to be the best price/performance ratio in the Shimano family.
    -You need to upgrade the entire groupset to Di2.. not just the shifters :lol:
    -Yes. Do it.
    -Yes. Do it. After getting clipless pedal though.. and providing your have a decent enough frameset to justify it. Don't put a £400 set of wheels on a Carerra TdF.
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    1. Pedals+shoes (an absolute must)
    2. Wheelset (although just tyres are huge if the ones you're running are chaff)
    3. Carbon Frame (depending on the frame as the best alu frames are better than cheap carbon)
    4. Groupset (would be higher up if starting with something worse than 105 which is absolutely fine)
    5. Di2 Groupset (completely unnecessary but nice)

    You're missing cockpit upgrades which I find bring quite good value for money.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 23,216
    Position/bike set up
    Contact Points (shoes, saddle,bar tape/grips)
    Tyres
    Gear/Brake cables
    Wheels
    (Suspension)
    Groupset
    Frame
    Fancy bits (bars, seatposts etc)
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • JoeblackJoeblack Posts: 829
    ddraver wrote:
    Position/bike set up
    Contact Points (shoes, saddle,bar tape/grips)
    Tyres
    Gear/Brake cables
    Wheels
    (Suspension)
    Groupset
    Frame
    Fancy bits (bars, seatposts etc)/

    I think a carbon post goes some way towards ensuring a comfortable ride and therefor due to the relative in-expense of carbon posts should be higher on your list.
    One plays football, tennis or golf, one does not play at cycling
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 23,216
    depends entirely on the post, carbon or alu... I'd also say that the saddle makes way more difference
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • ricky1980ricky1980 Posts: 891
    assuming you have a nice Aluminium frame and you are trying to achieve performance for least amount of money

    1) wheel & Tyres - £400 can save upto 500g
    2) seat posts and handle bars & stems - £200-300 can save upto 150-250g
    3) chainset - £300-400 saves 500g (I think this can be higher on the list)
    4) brakes and other bits within the group set...certainly don't bother with Di, Bradley Wiggins will tell you why.

    shoes and pedals are essential so not considered as upgrades. In terms of groupset...if you go from 105 to somehting like Dura Ace which will give you a huge saving in weight - about 600g but the cost is massive! so I would be inclined to change bits within the group set and the main weight comes from the chainset so i have put that on the list which you can upgrade to get a huge weight saving for relatively cheap prices. But going to ultegra is something i consider pointless as weight difference is less than 100g but price hike is HUGE! the last thing is consider frame change. it's not really an upgrade option such that why would you compromise on the frame initially anyway?

    Obviously sourcing second hand parts will yield much more economical solutions
    Road - Cannondale CAAD 8 - 7.8kg
    Road - Chinese Carbon Diablo - 6.4kg
  • Totally depends what you start with obviously but on a typical £800 roadbike I'd say:

    Tyres

    Wheels

    Forks

    Frame - if buying unbranded Chinese carbon or lightweight 7005

    Stem
    Bars
    Saddle
    Seatpost

    Frame
    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Boardman CX Team
    Trek 8000
    Sirrus framed 'special'

    Prev: Avanti Corsa, Routens, MBK TT, homemade TT bike, Trek 990, Vitus 979 x 2, Peugeot Roubaix & er..Raleigh Arena!
  • nolight wrote:
    How would you order these upgrades from best value-for-money to least in terms of performance?

    - Al to Carbon frame
    - Shimano 105 to higher groupset
    - Normal shifter to Di2 shifter
    - Normal pedals to Clipless pedals + shoes
    - Better wheelset

    - Carbon fibre frames can be slightly lighter, but it is slightly, and that goes for most bicycle parts made from carbon in comparison to most bicycle parts made from aluminium; both vary in weight; generally - but not always - in accordance with how much you are willing to lighten your wallet. The ride quality is often praised as superior but that has a lot to do with the frame build and not the material. The advantage of carbon fibre monocoque is that the frame can be optimised to suit the application; material can be removed from areas it is not needed and the shape and structure do not need to be determined by the properties of metal tubing.

    - Shimano 105 to higher groupset: A true marginal gain. Nicer shifting, slightly smoother performance (maybe), slightly lighter. Even the difference in weight between Sora and Dura Ace is nothing to write home about; if your frame and wheels are not light enough then upgrading your groupset for that reason is futile. Some professionals prefer cheaper metal to the carbon fibre equivalents (eg. derailleurs and pedals) because of better performance. The biggest upgrade you can make in this area is mechanical shifting to electronic shifting.

    'Normal' shifter to DI2 - Someone else has already said it.

    'Normal' pedal to clipless pedal: If by 'normal' you mean 'plain platform', then the difference is substantial as having your foot restrained allows much higher cadences and much better technique as you are not having to shift your foot throughout the stroke to keep it on the pedal. However, you get those benefits from clips and straps as well. Clipless pedals are superior to clips and straps only because a mechanical connection provides immediate and regularised engagement and disengagement where physical restraint does not; to get the most out of clips and straps you need to tighten (and therefore loosen) your straps and preferably use cycling shoes with old-style cleats. Other than that, clipless pedals give a lower 'stack height' and better cornering clearance, greater adjustability and are actually much cheaper since old style racing shoes aren't widely produced anymore.

    I should add also that I'm a devoted user of clips and straps (who would be happy to race anyone to defend their honour :lol:), and before I used cycling shoes (just a pair of Shimano SPD shoes that were given to me), I used trainers. The difference wasn't life changing, and isn't what some make it out to be.

    Better wheelset: this is probably the best 'bang for buck' (or whatever the English equivalent is) upgrade to your bike. Nice wheels will not make you go 10mph faster, but you will really feel the difference. Good wheels are also a good investment; high-quality hubs last for years if kept properly and can be relaced again and again.

    But as has been said, the best upgrades are to your fitness. You can always go faster; as long as you have a bike that fits you, anyway. (i.e. isn't a Brompton/child's bike/etc...)
  • ricky1980 wrote:
    assuming you have a nice Aluminium frame and you are trying to achieve performance for least amount of money

    1) wheel & Tyres - £400 can save upto 500g
    2) seat posts and handle bars & stems - £200-300 can save upto 150-250g
    3) chainset - £300-400 saves 500g (I think this can be higher on the list)
    4) brakes and other bits within the group set...certainly don't bother with Di, Bradley Wiggins will tell you why.

    shoes and pedals are essential so not considered as upgrades. In terms of groupset...if you go from 105 to somehting like Dura Ace which will give you a huge saving in weight - about 600g but the cost is massive! so I would be inclined to change bits within the group set and the main weight comes from the chainset so i have put that on the list which you can upgrade to get a huge weight saving for relatively cheap prices. But going to ultegra is something i consider pointless as weight difference is less than 100g but price hike is HUGE! the last thing is consider frame change. it's not really an upgrade option such that why would you compromise on the frame initially anyway?

    Obviously sourcing second hand parts will yield much more economical solutions

    So you're suggesting spending much more than the bike is worth? ;)
  • SproolSprool Posts: 1,022
    ShutUpLegs wrote:
    Heart
    Lungs
    Legs
    According to NHS reports, Heart upgrades will set you back on average £31,650. They're not readily available on the NHS unless it is truly life-threatening. I would suggest this is not a cost-effective option for most cyclists.
    Lung transplants in the US were quoted at $400,000. A little out of reach for the casual cyclist.
    I didn't bother looking up legs but I imagine the convalescence period for any of these would put most club cyclists off, and turn them back to Wiggle for bling therapy.
  • Best VFM upgrade for me is the £20 I have just spent on brake pads. I have a lot more confidence in them now so I should be faster on the downhills. 8)


    Swissstop green BTW
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • I've done far too much cycling using decrepit old brakes that moreorless did not work at all, and steel rims (not on the same bike) - ending up in several hedges, nearly crashing into a few vehicles and very nearly ending up under a speeding lorry. They were so bad that the 'cycling guru' in my life insisted on buying me a new pair (he witnessed the lorry incident). Those brakes are simple Tektros and they have stock pads, which have been on there some time now. I can go as fast as I like with complete confidence that I can also stop. Unless you are in the alps or have silly carbon wheels, you don't need expensive brake pads, and if your brakes don't work you are probably not maintaining or using them properly. ;)
  • lotus49lotus49 Posts: 763
    ShutUpLegs wrote:
    Heart
    Lungs
    Legs

    What he said.

    Also lose weight (assuming you have any to lose).
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Joeblack wrote:
    ddraver wrote:
    Position/bike set up
    Contact Points (shoes, saddle,bar tape/grips)
    Tyres
    Gear/Brake cables
    Wheels
    (Suspension)
    Groupset
    Frame
    Fancy bits (bars, seatposts etc)/

    I think a carbon post goes some way towards ensuring a comfortable ride and therefor due to the relative in-expense of carbon posts should be higher on your list.
    How does a carbon post make a more comfy ride?
  • SproolSprool Posts: 1,022
    depending on which salesman you speak to, carbon seatposts are supposed to give a bit more flex while soaking up more higher frequency vibrations......
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Di2 is actually a performance downgrade. It is an extremely expensive way to make your bike weigh more but it is great if you can't maintain your own gear indexing.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Rolf F wrote:
    Di2 is actually a performance downgrade. It is an extremely expensive way to make your bike weigh more but it is great if you can't maintain your own gear indexing.

    But who needs indexing anyway? ;)
  • ricky1980ricky1980 Posts: 891

    So you're suggesting spending much more than the bike is worth? ;)

    if you are thinking of upgrading i assume you want the most out of the upgrades rather than incremental changes. So ya i would be suggesting that. pay for a decent frame sell off your bits that you are upgrading and get the BiS - best in slot (some WoW talk there :O)

    alternative is not to splash out on the top model but the second from top. but definitely not worth going from 105 -> ultegra on any of the parts. Di will add weight.

    to be fair if you keep an eye on the second hand market, you can pickup Kysrium/Fulcrum 3 wheelsets for about £200 new tyres for another £50 for the pair. that is a straight away 500-600g saved. chainset is a bit tricky. but you will probably have something close to 8kg with a decent alu frame. Seatpost £30-50 another 100g off. handlebar is quite expensive even for second hand...so probably not worth the bothering.
    Road - Cannondale CAAD 8 - 7.8kg
    Road - Chinese Carbon Diablo - 6.4kg
  • ricky1980 wrote:
    (some WoW talk there :O)
    Oh dear. The brain's just gone off on a horrendous tangent involving the use of Strava as a DKPesque system for determining who's allowed upgrades. Thanks for that.
    Mangeur
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Sprool wrote:
    depending on which salesman you speak to, carbon seatposts are supposed to give a bit more flex while soaking up more higher frequency vibrations......
    Eh? Is that a serious comment?
    Carbon is very stiff thats the whole point of a carbon frame, so all the power goes through the cranks as the BB does not flex, so how is a carbon seat post going to flex?
    If you ride a carbon frame with deep section carbon rims on a rough road it it is the worst ride you will ever have and even your teeth will chatter. Compare this to a steel bike.
    Also what the hell are hight frequency vibrations and how would you know? lol Our roads are so bad you would never feel them.
  • SproolSprool Posts: 1,022
    oh yes its a serious comment, not my own view but a reflection of what various people claim to justify carbon parts, depending on the properties desired ;)
    Think of high frequency vibrations as what is coined 'road buzz' or similar that carbon forks are said to absorb. Potholes and bumps are much lower frequency of course.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 23,216
    Carbon is what ever you design it to be....it can be super stiff
    emx-71.jpg?w=480&h=360
    or super flexy...
    8ScalpelAlloy4_bbq.jpg
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • LegendLustLegendLust Posts: 1,022
    ddraver wrote:
    Carbon is what ever you design it to be....it can be super stiff
    emx-71.jpg?w=480&h=360
    or super flexy...
    8ScalpelAlloy4_bbq.jpg

    Exactly. Depends how you lay up the fibres
  • cheapest upgrade /weight saving i made was some planet x skewers over my dura ace , do the same job but look nicer and shaved nearly 100g off for £20 bargain.

    I have just put some mavic ksyrium elite on my bike in place of dura ace c50s and they are remarkable just been up the mountains in mallorca 1-2 gears higher and very stiff, great upgrade.

    Shoes and cleats a must

    I have Dura Ace Di2 which is nice but performace wise I think there are much cheaper options for upgrading and 105/ultgera is more than enough.

    Fizik saddle is a great upgrade if your bum likes it
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