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Upgrade or buy new?

stevenminneystevenminney Posts: 19
edited February 2014 in Road beginners
Hello,

Started commuting by cycle this year, and so I bought this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281222899494? ... 41&afsrc=1

2008 Specialized Allez with 52 cm
52cm Aluminium frame / Carbon forks
Cane creek headset
truvativ replacement triple crank 48/38/28 with 175mm arms
Tiagra rear derailleur
Solid Mavic MA2 wheels in good condition
New triple front derailleur
New cables
New tyres
New FSA stem
New shimano 7 x 3 shifters
New grips and bar ends
New pedals
New brake shoes front and rear

It's serving its purpose, but it's not great. The chain failed after day 4, the gear changes have becoming increasingly sticky, and I want drops handle bars.

Would you bother upgrading this, learning as you go along. Is it a good starting point? Are any of the parts actually any good?
Or sell and buy a new one? e.g: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/felt-z95-sora-wiggle-exclusive/

I don't have the cash up front, so the debate is to upgrade parts when I can, or get finance.

Posts

  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    To get to drop bars the expensive bit to change is the shifters ...

    but if you're willing to buy second hand then you can do this for minimal price - eg I sold some Sora 8x3 shifters on here a few weeks ago - iirc they were about £30-£40 ...

    If the frame is the right size for you then it is worth thinking about upgrading - but don't forget the reach will increase when you put drops on... but none of the rest looks "exciting" ... it's more a case of functionality rather than high end kit ..

    Looking at the tech issues:
    chain failure - it happens, they're consumable and cheap.
    gear changes sticky - can be a number of things, likely to be the cable - again cheap probably nothing that a good clean and replacement cable couldn't fix - although it might just be the shifters themselves - hopefully just a good clean out.

    I have an Allez too - although it does have drop bars! I tried to sell it, but nobody wanted it and it's now worth more to me as a bike than as cash ... so I've kept it :)
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    If you want a road bike, upgrading a bike like this is never ideal but especially in this case where there's not much value in the existing bike parts anyway. The cost of a worthwhile upgrade will probably be enough to buy a better cheap complete road bike.
    Also, you'll need to see if the geometry would be anywhere near correct when converted. It's likely that when you change flat bars to drop bars on the same bike it will become too long for you.
  • This is very helpful, thanks.

    70/30 in favor of buying new right now.
  • It will be a hassle. If you got a really good deal on the shifters, bars and stem, it would represent decent value for money; possibly better than the loss you'd sustain if you sold it, and probably better than the bike you'd get for the same money new. It really depends on what you had in mind to buy on finance, and whether the bike as it is is a good fit.
  • Look around for deals to be had, loads of places offering 0% finance. ;) Keep allez as winter bike and get cheap parts along the way.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    Its a no brainer................ New bike on finance ;-)
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,678
    I would get some affordable shifters and return it to drop bars.

    Depending on your patience, why not learn how to fix it as you go along? Sounds like a few things need remedying so plenty of opportunity to learn.

    Then when it's running buttery smooth, you can treat yourself to a brand new one as a present!
  • coriordan wrote:
    I would get some affordable shifters and return it to drop bars.

    Depending on your patience, why not learn how to fix it as you go along? Sounds like a few things need remedying so plenty of opportunity to learn.

    Then when it's running buttery smooth, you can treat yourself to a brand new one as a present!


    My 30th is fast approaching :idea:

    If I am to upgrade, I'll need....?
    Drop bars
    Bar tape
    Shifters.
    Anything else?

    Any special tools for this operation?

    Also, anyone selling parts, PM me.
  • Maybe a new stem, as there will be adifference in reach. Also new Gear and brake cables (inners and outers)
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    coriordan wrote:
    I would get some affordable shifters and return it to drop bars.

    Depending on your patience, why not learn how to fix it as you go along? Sounds like a few things need remedying so plenty of opportunity to learn.

    Then when it's running buttery smooth, you can treat yourself to a brand new one as a present!


    My 30th is fast approaching :idea:

    If I am to upgrade, I'll need....?
    Drop bars
    Bar tape
    Shifters.
    Anything else?

    Any special tools for this operation?

    Also, anyone selling parts, PM me.
    I'd suggest trying to decide if the reach will be suitable for you with drop bars before you proceed.
    This will tell you the length stem you need. If you need shallow drop bars and a very short stem to bring the hoods close enough for you to get a comfortable position then you should probably not convert. Otherwise go for it.
    Figuring this out may be easier said than done unless you're familiar with the position you should be in on the bike. If you know someone with a drop bar bike who doesn't mind you taking some measurements of the cockpit this would probably help you get to grip with the relative positions of the various components. The rule of thumb is that the top of the handlebars are between your eyes and the front axle when you've got your hands on the hoods. Typical road stem lengths range from about 80mm to 130mm with 100mm or 110mm being most common.
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    I see from the original ebay ad that bar ends are fitted. If you're comfortable riding on those, then the reach with drops will be fine, if somewhat lower. Some "compact" bars like Ritchey WCS will be fine, assuming the stem will take the bar diameter, and it looks likes it's oversize.

    You can replace the cassette with an 8 speed one easily enough while you're upgrading. So, bars, tape, STI's, gear and brake cables, cassette and maybe rear mech (not an expert on whether the tiagra will do 8 as well as 7). Actually not too expensive - likely to be new tape and cables, probably cassette too, otherwise s/h will do. And maybe pedals if you're still using the flats, switching to "clipless" - SPD's for commuting with matching shoes.

    Really depends if you want to maintain your bikes (like changing cables), and therefore want to get the necessary tools, or not. I know people will say side-cutters are fine, but frankly I wouldn't try cutting cables without proper cable cutters, although outers can be "cut" with a dremel. Otherwise its a set of Allen keys (I don't think anything you'll be using will have Torx screws in)
  • rafletcher wrote:
    I see from the original ebay ad that bar ends are fitted. If you're comfortable riding on those, then the reach with drops will be fine, if somewhat lower. Some "compact" bars like Ritchey WCS will be fine, assuming the stem will take the bar diameter, and it looks likes it's oversize.

    You can replace the cassette with an 8 speed one easily enough while you're upgrading. So, bars, tape, STI's, gear and brake cables, cassette and maybe rear mech (not an expert on whether the tiagra will do 8 as well as 7). Actually not too expensive - likely to be new tape and cables, probably cassette too, otherwise s/h will do. And maybe pedals if you're still using the flats, switching to "clipless" - SPD's for commuting with matching shoes.

    Really depends if you want to maintain your bikes (like changing cables), and therefore want to get the necessary tools, or not. I know people will say side-cutters are fine, but frankly I wouldn't try cutting cables without proper cable cutters, although outers can be "cut" with a dremel. Otherwise its a set of Allen keys (I don't think anything you'll be using will have Torx screws in)

    Nice one bud :mrgreen:
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    Steve, if I was in your position I would firstly get transmission sorted, so the bike is running smoothly. You can see demos of how to re-index gears on YouTube. If still problems take to LBS to fix. If you're mainly using it for commuting and not that far, do you really need drop bars on that bike? You will be on the hoods most of the time anyway, so not much more aero-dynamic position, and it may be more of a stretch.

    If you are still really keen, you could then treat yourself to a new drop-bar bike that fits, when you can afford it, rather than burden yourself with finance, unless you can get interest free deal with bike at a good price.
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