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Upgrading you bike - What to expect?

kellianokelliano Posts: 72
edited October 2015 in Road buying advice
After getting into this road cycling lark from beginning of the year, I'm looking to upgrade my entry level Boardman, which will be demoted to winter bike going forward.

I have a shortlist that will no doubt grow between now and the new year, however I'm wondering what should I expect from an upgrade. Will ride be easier, will I feel benefit of upgrade when on rides etc.

As say, entry level Boardman just that, broad spec as follows:

Lightweight alloy, triple butted

Carbon blades, alloy steerer

Shimano Claris 16 speed

Tektro R315 Dual Pivot

FSA Tempo Compact

Mavic CXP22

Say I was to upgrade to a Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 SL what should I expect in terms of performance etc. What's the difference between a 16 speed to a 22 speed bar the obvious, will I feel noticeable difference both top end and bottom end, or is it just in between. Cassette changes, what's all this then?

Boardman has been great, it's got me hooked, but guess question is, is a step up in kit noticeable on usual weekend ride. (50km-150km, 500m-2500m of climbing)


  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    It will feel faster and a bit more twitchy I would say.

    As to the gears - well it just gives you more options. So work out what your lowest gear is now - and make sure that the canyon at least has that - and it may even be able to give you even lower should you need it.

    The ride never gets easier - you just go slightly faster.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    The bike will be noticeably lighter so it will feel a bit livelier. The carbon frame might tame the road buzz a bit better than the alu one. 11 speed gearing will give you closer ratios, but not neccessarily a higher / lower gear; that depends on chainrings and cassette.

    After the initial excitement I doubt it will make you any faster. Structured training on the Boardman would do that

    For me the biggest benefit of getting a carbon bike was that the alu one could keep the mudguards on, so I just take out the bike that the weather requires. TBH I enjoy riding them both just the same.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 12,015
    A new bike will feel awesome - until you get used to it. After that, it will feel just like any other...
  • rumbatazrumbataz Posts: 796
    Just been through an upgrade of a four year old first bike. It was an okayish hybrid that I had. Now I've got a road bike (it's my first road bike) so a big learning curve to go through, especially pedal-wise - be aware that you may not get any pedals with it and if you do, they'll be basic nylon ones probably, and ones that you may want to change fairly quickly.

    New things that came about for me with the purchase of a better bike: I now pay more attention to cycle clothing, accessories and bike maintenance. I have a cupboard full of mini-packets of Haribo to attest to this!

    You'll generally take more care of it and use proper stuff on it. It'll feel lighter. It's definitely a lot quicker. I'm finding the ride is a lot smoother and the brakes are phenomenal.

    Gear changes are a little smoother. As someone said previously, it'll be more twitchy. You'll find it uncomfortable to begin with but you'll soon get used to it.

    I'm finding the ride is a lot easier too - in terms of moving and accelerating. I don't feel I'm putting in as much effort compared to my old bike.

    The old bike weighed 13.8KG with all accessories fitted to it. The new bike weighs 9.8KG, so a fair few KG of less weight to shunt around which does make a big difference on shorter stop-start rides.

    Plus, as you're not getting rid of the old bike then you've got a great Winter bike all ready to ride!

    So that's just what I'm going through at the moment in terms of a first-bike upgrade in the last few weeks.
  • Do you know how many teeth your largest rear sprocket has? My understanding is that claris can be up to 32T. That Canyon, I think has 28 in its 11 speed ultegra version. Combined with a 52/36 chainring, whereas yours (I assume) has 50/34.

    I did have 105 10 speed 12-27 and I've just "upgraded" to 11-32 10 speed via an MTB cassette and a med cage derailleur, because hills are hard and I am too fat :D

    I think you'll find a noticeable difference between the top end, when you go 52/11. I'd imagine that will be quite hard to pedal. I'm not sure what you're going to at the opposite end with 36/28 or whatever it is on the Canyon, but you might find it a bit harder than you're used to.

    HOWEVER, the canyon is also no doubt quite a lot lighter than your Boardman, with better wheels... so you may well find it easier/no discernible difference in terms of effort. It'll certainly feel a lot nicer to ride, I'd bet.

    FWIW, I think I worked it out that 28 to a 32T at the back makes it something like 14% easier to pedal... or something. I definitely made it up some hills I'd have had very little chance of getting up before I made the change.

    The two bikes will be worlds apart, so I wouldn't worry too much and just enjoy it ;)
  • alex222alex222 Posts: 598
    I made a similar upgrade, in fact to pretty much the same bike.
    I have found the Canyon more comfortable, less road buzz gets through. Whether that is the frame, the seatpost, 25mm tires, or a combination of all the above I couldn't say.
    Initially the more aggressive set up caused some neck pain on longer rides, but that is no longer an issue.
    3kg saving in weight means it feels more sprightly, and quicker to accelerate. I am sure it is quicker up the hills, probably not by that much but it certainly feels faster.
    Keeping the old bike for winter and commuting duties means that I still love my best bike bike whenever I jump on it.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    The bit about the difference disappearing after a few rides is spot on.

    To begin with you really notice it. Then maybe three rides in and that's all you can remember.

    I really love the first couple of rides on the summer bike after a winter on the heavier hack bike.
    (although when I ride that - I'm thinking thats normal too)
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,426
    A new bike will feel awesome - until you get used to it. After that, it will feel just like any other...
  • dwanesdwanes Posts: 954
    The moral to this story is buy the bike you like the look of most.
  • A new bike will feel awesome - until you get used to it. After that, it will feel just like any other...

    Very much so! The first couple of rides you'll be like "woo - this is awesome", then it becomes entirely normal.

    I experience this to an extent when I switch between my summer (RS80) and winter (RS10) wheels. The RS10 are much heavier so the first time out it feels like I'm riding through mud, then after that it's just normal. Same in spring when I go back to my good wheels the first ride out is always amazing, after that it's just standard.
  • The moral to this story is buy the bike you like the look of most.

    +1. People often scoff at that recommendation but IMO it's the most important one. If you think your bike looks totally awesome, you're going to want to ride it and ride it hard and fast, which means in turn *you* get fast.

    While I don't subscribe to the idea that it's all about the engine, the bike doesn't matter at all, it does matter, but the fact that the local bike shop owner can blast by me on his MTB on the local sportive while I'm giving it all on my carbon road bike says something...
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,810
    Initially expect a lot of "oohs" and "aahs" and "that's shiny" from your riding mates and then expect to be told why you should not have that particular make because:

    "you're supporting Armstrong" (Trekkies)
    "the bottom bracket is notorious for failing"
    "they use Tektro brakes instead of Shimano"
    "they spend too much on marketing so they save money on the bike"
    "it's a gay colour"

    and so on. Ignore them, they are just jealous but make sure, when your bike is dirty and fully run in and a buddie appears on a shiny new model, to remind him that he shouldn't have bought that make because.....
  • ajkerr73ajkerr73 Posts: 318
    From this seasons experience, you'll sit on your new bike and possibly be a little bit disappointing.

    You'll then ride it for a few weeks and become used to it.

    For some reason, you'll then go back for a ride on your old bike. This is when you'll notice the difference.
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