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What upgrades would you give to this bike?

veterangazveterangaz Posts: 79
edited March 2014 in Road beginners
Hi all,

I am not actually new to cycling but quite new to decent bike cycling! I have had the below bike for 1 year now, I did own a carbon before this but that was 2nd hand and on its last legs so this is my first 1k+ bike. Just wondering what upgrades you would do to this if you had £500 spare? I will probably have to do the wheels anyway as one of the spokes has broken and I can't find a replacement that fits as they have been discontinued. However would there be anything else you would be tempted to upgrade?

I don't use this for commuting anymore, I have an old road bike to do that with, so I mainly use this for long rides around Hertfordshire and the odd sportive around the south. I do a lot of hill climbing so anything that helps with that would be good.

I didn't buy it through the company below, I got it through pedalon in their sale at the time but it was the same spec.

Before you say I should have just spent more on a better bike it wasn't an option! I still got this for £1200 and it was normally £1800 and a genuine reduction.

http://www.westbrookcycles.co.uk/cannon ... 12-p206336

Thanks

Posts

  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    I think the obvious answer is to upgrade the wheels.
    It may well be worthwhile spending the lot on the wheels rather than trying to spread it around. The exception being if there's something specific you're not happy with (saddle, bike computer, pump, bar tape, etc).
    I notice the cassette is a 11-32. This is ideal for big hills. I don't know what sort of terrain you normally ride - if it's very hilly the 11-32 may be perfect but if you do a lot of riding on flatter terrain you may find the gaps between gears a little too big. If you would like an option to ride with smaller gaps you could spend some of your cash on a second cassette like a 12-25 or 12-27 plus a chain whip and cassette locknut tool. Probably less than £75 total and you could then switch cassettes any time you want to suit the terrain. For example I have triple chainrings and 9 speed groupset and I use 12-27 most of the time as it gets me up the steep hills comfortably. However, I 've been known to change to a 12-23 when I'm doing a flat duathlon because it gives nice close gears and lets me get a cadence I want at the speed I want with very little compromise. The cassette is definitely not essential but nice to have if, for example, you do mostly flat rides but would be willing to spend 5 minutes switching the cassette when you're going for a big hilly one.
  • Ai_1 wrote:
    I think the obvious answer is to upgrade the wheels.
    It may well be worthwhile spending the lot on the wheels rather than trying to spread it around. The exception being if there's something specific you're not happy with (saddle, bike computer, pump, bar tape, etc).
    I notice the cassette is a 11-32. This is ideal for big hills. I don't know what sort of terrain you normally ride - if it's very hilly the 11-32 may be perfect but if you do a lot of riding on flatter terrain you may find the gaps between gears a little too big. If you would like an option to ride with smaller gaps you could spend some of your cash on a second cassette like a 12-25 or 12-27 plus a chain whip and cassette locknut tool. Probably less than £75 total and you could then switch cassettes any time you want to suit the terrain. For example I have triple chainrings and 9 speed groupset and I use 12-27 most of the time as it gets me up the steep hills comfortably. However, I 've been known to change to a 12-23 when I'm doing a flat duathlon because it gives nice close gears and lets me get a cadence I want at the speed I want with very little compromise. The cassette is definitely not essential but nice to have if, for example, you do mostly flat rides but would be willing to spend 5 minutes switching the cassette when you're going for a big hilly one.

    That is great advice thank you, will look in to a different cassette like you say, I already have the chain whip, one of my Ebay purchases. I do a lot of hills however will be good to have the other one for the flatter journeys when I just go out for a 2 hour dash or a sprint triathlon. Certainly looking to replace the wheels but so much choice and I love a bargain. Happy to spend £400 but would like to do that on a pair usually worth £600 for example.
  • That cassette might come in handy if you plan to enter the Fred Whitton, or any other unhinged mountainous events. A 12-25 or 12-28 would be an instant upgrade. What sort of hills do you ride up at the moment, and in what gears?

    Other than that, if I were spending that money, I'd look at a pair of handbuilt wheels to my specs, and get some kit with the change.
  • Hi, I am not sure what the difference is between what I have and a 12-25 and 12-28 as this is new to me, just numbers! But I guess some are more suited to flats or hills etc from what I have read on here. My thoughts on a hill could be far different to more experienced cyclists but I look to do sportives like the Wiggle dartmore demon, so say a 1400 meter climb that is about 20% I think. Closer to where I live it is more 10% climbs. I wouldn't know where to start with hand built wheels but am looking at:-

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/shim ... wgod1jUAnA

    Or maybe shimano option of:-

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/campagnolo-zond ... -wheelset/

    Or again Shimano option of:-

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/pro-lite-bracci ... -wheelset/
  • 12-25 with either a compact (as you have) or a standard double (usually 39/53 these days) is one of the most common configurations you'll find on a road bike, with a cassette going down to 28 an easier option. If you're doing long climbs at that gradient and want a gear you can spin in the saddle, compact with a 28 is the choice of many. I'm based in Hitchin myself, and would have no use for gearing that low for the hills nearby.

    As for handbuilt wheels, you'd do best to ask a wheelbuilder what they'd recommend for someone your weight and your fitness who rides in your area on your bike...
  • ianbarianbar Posts: 1,352
    getting new wheels and tyres are a great upgrade, will make a massive difference
    enigma esprit
    cannondale caad8 tiagra 2012
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