Best Components for me?

ottawabike Posts: 3
edited April 2014 in Road buying advice
Hi all, first post here.

To provide some context, I commute about 7,000 km a year, 37 km return each day, often with some pleasure miles added on. Given our climate, I have an old mountain bike I use for about 1,500 km a year.

My question is, what groupset should I be using to maximize my value for money without compromising comfort on my normal commuter bike I ride the other 5,500km a year? I am presently riding a 2011 Trek 1.2 that came with mix of components (SRAM, Sora, Tiagra) 9 spd components. My shop has since generally speaking replaced with Tiagra as they've worn since that's what they have readily available.

The bike gets a fair bit of abuse since I ride it in most all weather except the salt in the dead of winter. I clean it periodically, but I'm more inclined to add more lube than to do a tear down cleaning as often as I should.

After several years of commuting, I've found that the cheapest tires (Bontrager T1s) have given me the most success to date, so I know that cheaper is actually often better. I'm hoping someone might be able to tell me that other cheap components (eg. the Tiagra chain/cassette) is also the best way for me to be going.

I should also note that I'm a bigger guy (220 lbs +/- depending on time of year) and tend to be hard on gear. I usually wear out a chain/cassette at least once a season, likely as a result of my hard riding and grit accumulation.

Thanks in advance.


  • JayKosta
    JayKosta Posts: 635
    For durability, and not concerned with a little extra weight, I'd stay with 9-speed components and the 'recreational' (non-racing) Shimano line such as Tiagra.
    My 'hunch' is that the Shimano 105 (and more expensive) line is progressively designed and built for lower weight intended for competition and more 'performance riding'.

    So, as long as the components function properly and weight isn't an issue, then the 'value' is at the lower end (but not bottom) of component groups.

    Jay Kosta
    Endwell NY USA
  • Barteos
    Barteos Posts: 657
    IMO, in a longer run, components worth investing in are hubs (preferably with cartridge bearings), headset and bottom bracket.
    Bar end shifters will also make a better investment than expensive non-servicable STIs that will fail sooner or later (just like my 105 5600s a while ago...)
    The other components don't really matter that much and can be cheap as chips.

  • andrewc3142
    andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    I like 105 - good compromise between quality and robustness.

    However, doubt it's worth the expense of upgrading from 9 speed.

    Provided they're compatible, no harm in mixing stuff in my view. Last night I ordered a new 9spd cassette and chain for my Dawes tourer. Would normally have gone for basic Shimano, but a certain large internet site has a massive discount on much better quality SRAM ones so went for these.

    I always upgrade brake pads, though. Swiss Stop green if they fit, Kool Stop salmon otherwise. Stock ones suck in the rain.
  • Appreciate all the great adivce, will keep an eye here in case others provide more.