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Upgrade path, most effective performance upgrades

itsikhefezitsikhefez Posts: 13
edited June 2016 in Road buying advice
Hi all,

New to this forum and cycling in general.
My bicycle currently is a 2015 Kona Esatto D. (Full specs here: http://2015.konaworld.com/esatto_d.cfm)

The main purpose of the bicycle is commuting to work, 6.5km each direction. To work is mainly uphill, some parts steep, and return is mostly downhill, plateau.
For this purpose the bicycle is fine, but I enjoy endurance sports (I have ran 3 marathons previously) and can see myself going on long weekend rides.

All parts are currently stock, I am wondering what would be the best approach on upgrading the bicycle once at a time?
Shifters, upgrade derailleurs, wheelset, crank, lighter seatpost/handlebar?

Thanks in advance

Posts

  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    If you want to go on longer rides then go on longer rides, you don't need to upgrade first. Get some decent miles in whilst you ponder what to do next. The usual advice is increase your main ride by 10% but you might want to aim for a 20 mile ride and then work up from there. Make your mission more about achieving your goal and less about upgrading.
  • Jay_FormeJay_Forme Posts: 132
    'Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades' is the saying my wife keeps telling me.

    on the other hand id look at wheels/tyres first. the others unless broken wont be a huge difference, unless upgrading the complete groupset which you would be better off doing at once.

    that's just my opinion though and I could be wrong.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,767
    Upgrade the rider first...that's where the biggest gains are to be had...
  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 7,168
    smoother tarmac is the best way to upgrade a path.
  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 7,168
    tyres
  • itsikhefezitsikhefez Posts: 13
    Upgrading my cycling skills and actually going on longer rides are pretty obvious, I'm not sure I need this great forum for reaching that conclusion.
    As an enthusiast runner not until long ago, I am used to running 6-7 times a week and 100+ km/week so I hope you realize I am not afraid of working hard and sweating.

    I also don't understand some of these comments, its not like the bicycle in question is the Bianchi Specialissima, its a pretty basic entry-level road bike with lots of room for improvements.

    Atleast from some of the relevant comments until now it looks like focus should be around wheelset, thanks
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Unless you get lucky quality tyres are one of the most significant upgrades. They roll better and improve the bikes handling.

    Only upgrade the drive chain if you are sure it gives you anything extra and light weight parts are a good way generally to spend a lot for very little gain.
  • itsikhefezitsikhefez Posts: 13
    Kajjal wrote:
    Unless you get lucky quality tyres are one of the most significant upgrades. They roll better and improve the bikes handling.

    What do you mean by "get lucky"?
    Do you have any recommendations?
    In addition, would it make sense to upgrade the tires with the existing wheelset I have (Alex CXD7) ?

    Thanks in advance
  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 7,168
    itsikhefez wrote:
    Kajjal wrote:
    Unless you get lucky quality tyres are one of the most significant upgrades. They roll better and improve the bikes handling.

    What do you mean by "get lucky"?
    Do you have any recommendations?
    In addition, would it make sense to upgrade the tires with the existing wheelset I have (Alex CXD7) ?

    Thanks in advance

    Get lucky as in standard tyres supplied with the bike are usually the cheapest the manufacturer can source.
    Cont gp4000s, Vittoria open corsa or schwalbe ones.
    Unless the alex wheels are really bad start with the tyres. Have a search through previous posts for wheels but at the popular under £200 mark fulcrum 5 or fulcrum quattro's get a good rep.
  • itsikhefezitsikhefez Posts: 13
    Get lucky as in standard tyres supplied with the bike are usually the cheapest the manufacturer can source.
    Cont gp4000s, Vittoria open corsa or schwalbe ones.

    The tyres which came with the bike are Continental UltraSport II, which I assume are decent but probably not on par with the ones you listed. Thanks for the info, I will keep an eye out!
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,767
    itsikhefez wrote:
    Upgrading my cycling skills and actually going on longer rides are pretty obvious, I'm not sure I need this great forum for reaching that conclusion.
    As an enthusiast runner not until long ago, I am used to running 6-7 times a week and 100+ km/week so I hope you realize I am not afraid of working hard and sweating.

    I also don't understand some of these comments, its not like the bicycle in question is the Bianchi Specialissima, its a pretty basic entry-level road bike with lots of room for improvements.

    Atleast from some of the relevant comments until now it looks like focus should be around wheelset, thanks

    Apologies for not giving you the answers you wanted to hear. Skills and fitness are not the same thing though. Not even sure you have been clear on why you want to upgrade, and what is actually wrong with the stuff you are upgrading from, and what you are expecting from any of these so-called upgades?
  • itsikhefezitsikhefez Posts: 13
    Imposter wrote:
    itsikhefez wrote:
    Upgrading my cycling skills and actually going on longer rides are pretty obvious, I'm not sure I need this great forum for reaching that conclusion.
    As an enthusiast runner not until long ago, I am used to running 6-7 times a week and 100+ km/week so I hope you realize I am not afraid of working hard and sweating.

    I also don't understand some of these comments, its not like the bicycle in question is the Bianchi Specialissima, its a pretty basic entry-level road bike with lots of room for improvements.

    Atleast from some of the relevant comments until now it looks like focus should be around wheelset, thanks

    Apologies for not giving you the answers you wanted to hear. Skills and fitness are not the same thing though. Not even sure you have been clear on why you want to upgrade, and what is actually wrong with the stuff you are upgrading from, and what you are expecting from any of these so-called upgades?

    Those are fair points, and perhaps I do need to get more mileage to better pinpoint what I am expecting.
    A problem there though is that because I have never experienced higher quality (and more expensive?) gear, so I dont really know what gains and improvements are possible.
    So my expectation was to hear people who had similar entry-level bikes, which changes had the most impact and then I could decide if that upgrade is improving something that is currently issue for me or not.
    I hope that makes sense.

    To be a little more specific, my daily commute is 6.5km each direction, and the first one has a 120m climb over about 3km (so about a 4% grade?).
    Anything to improve that part of the ride would be great. I know my skills as a cyclist are critical here, probably more than any one or two changes in the bicycle.
    The bike has a compact double crank and I used to only be able to ride on the lowest gears, watching fellow riders swift past me. I recently improved a bit and am able to ride parts of the way not on the lowest settings, but still hoping that some tweaks can help me go faster on that uphill
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,767
    I'll go back to what I said before. The gains you are looking for will not come from upgrading the bike.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    I use 25mm 4 seasons tyres as they roll well but have good puncture protection. They are not cheap but as well as fitting decent pads and brakes they were the best upgrade. The rest of the bike is down to good setup / fit and keeping it well maintained. Changing the rear cassette to more suitable gear ratios can also be a good improvement for flat or hilly areas of the country just check your rear derailleur will take the cassette OK.
  • simon_mastersonsimon_masterson Posts: 2,740
    Pretty much anything on a bike that rotates can improve the bike by being of higher quality, but for stuff you'll notice, go with what contacts you, and what contacts the road. It won't make you very much faster, though.
  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 7,168
    Extend the ride home to 30km and add on 60km at the weekend. That will get you up the hill quicker.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Get a track pump so you know you're running at the correct pressure for your tyres.

    How flappy is your commute kit? That slows you down.

    Your commuting distance is very low so add on extra on the way home. Training will improve your rides more than a new transmission or whatever.
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,228
    more miles on the bike and a well maintained bike may well be the first step. honestly the biggest performance advantage I got was to do more miles more of the time, allowing for rest etc...

    if you want to splash the cash though, update those tyres to start off with. as Simon Masterson says, the contact points on the bike are the most important bits to get right.
  • meesterbondmeesterbond Posts: 1,240
    If it were me, I'd keep the Kona for commuting duties and wouldn't spend anything much on it (just replace stuff as it wears out) and then if you really take to it, save up for a Sunday best.
  • itsikhefezitsikhefez Posts: 13
    Firstly, thanks alot for the responses.
    My main take aways are
    1) not make any hasteful "upgrades" at the moment
    2) ride more .. I will try to get out earlier and increase my daily mileage
    3) I will replace my tires since I was thinking of reducing the 28 to 25 anyway .. so I will just go for something a bit better like the gp4000s2
  • itsikhefezitsikhefez Posts: 13
    If it were me, I'd keep the Kona for commuting duties and wouldn't spend anything much on it (just replace stuff as it wears out) and then if you really take to it, save up for a Sunday best.

    I was considering that myself, but I will add a bit of info to the equation.
    My employer gives a fitness benefit of 800 USD per year, which can be used for cycling (among other things).
    While I can use this money for other fitness related things (clothing, shoes), I could use it towards a new wheelset, groupset in 6 months.
    For 800USD I could upgrade to a nice wheelset, or ultegra for instance. But if I allocate this money to other things, I will have to spend rather alot more to get a nice Sunday best.
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 15,892
    Well if you have to spend $800 that is an entirely different matter. Assuming you are in USA you could probably get a set of Zondas and a 105 group set.
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