To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade....

Crouching Peeky
Crouching Peeky Posts: 90
edited November 2013 in Road general
I have a Trek 1.5 2013 model which I've had for approaching 18 months now. I have a few hundred quid available to upgrade some of the components, but being a bit of a newbie I don't know whether this is just wasting money or not so thought I'd seek the advice of the wise old sages or Bike Radar.
For those not familiar with the Trek, it's an aluminium frame with Tiagra groupset. I have the triple. Only upgrade I have made so far is the tyres to GP 4 seasons.
90% of my riding is commuting (15 miles each way), but I do get out for the longer weekend ride occasionally. I don't have enough to get myself a new bike but would spending the cash on components be noticeable or just a waste?

Thanks in advance.


  • Wheels. These will make the biggest difference to your bike by some margin. I replaced the stock wheels from my Trek 2.1 (I expect your 1.5 will have similar wheels) with RS80's and the difference was large.

    However I would suggest you spend no less than about £300 on wheels (you can get RS80's for about that) for the difference to be noticable. I would also suggest getting some GP4000S tyres as these are better than the GP 4 Seasons, at least for non-winter conditions.

    Edit: I would also suggest some clipless pedals if you haven't already.
  • Ah yes, I forgot to mention the pedals, I went with the 105 SPD-SL's
  • You stand to gain very little by upgrading most parts. A new set of wheels would be a worthy investment. If you aren't happy with your saddle, you could replace that. A bike fit would make sense; by having one you might find yourself in want of a new stem or bars. Other than that, if you're looking to spend, I'd recommend kit and shoes. I haven't included consumables because you'll need to replace them sooner or later, but a better quality cassette may give improved shifting.
  • I changed from a Tiagra cassette to Ultegra. A bit lighter but no noticeable difference in shifting.
  • Sell the Trek, add the "couple of hundred quid" and get a good second hand carbon bike with Ultegra or better still Chorus....they come up all the time for around £750... :D
  • cmhill79
    cmhill79 Posts: 138
    For commuting and the odd weekend ride I think an Aluminium frame with Tiagra will suffice. I did over 10,000 miles on my Aluminium bike with Tiagra groupset before a serious upgrade to a full carbon frame with dura ace groupset (the wife had a weaker moment). Sure the carbon frame and higher spec groupset, wheels etc has made a genuine difference but I don't think you'd notice much difference(or justify the cost) given the riding you are doing.

    If however you wanted to take your riding to a new level then yes spending extra cash on things like wheels and possibly a carbon frame will make a BIG difference. It did in my case anyway.
  • Quite, for weekend rides of 100km or so then the Trek 1.5 is ideal. The only really weak point of the package is the wheels, but the wheels on with some decent tyres and it will feel like a new bike.
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    Winter is here, I wouldn't bother with new wheels unless you want something better suited to the weather. (Really like my Hope Pro + Open Pro rim wheels)

    Otherwise don't bother, I wouldn't expect performance gains but DO upgrade anything that could make the ride comfier or more enjoyable. I found a carbon seatpost a revelation on my Allu Allez, then seat or bars (I prefer wing shaped for example).