What to upgrade...

Cboglio
Cboglio Posts: 3
edited December 2018 in Road beginners
I'm getting back into road cycling after an 8 year break (3 kids later...lol). I'm currently riding the same bike I did 8 years ago - 2005 Litespeed Firenze (full Ultegra 9s). I absolutely love the ride feel of this bike. Ive ridden other carbon bikes before and personally they never came close to the feel of titanium.

However the big question: Buy new or upgrade existing...

1) brand new bike - CAAD12 Ultegra disc, Cannondale Synapse Carbon, Giant TCR, etc - budget $1,800

2) upgrade existing bike - New wheels, newer Ultegra/Dura Ace components, etc.


Essentially whats the best value for the money? The bike is 13 years old - nothing "wrong" with it. Frame is pristine, forks are good, components are smooth, wheels really need to be upgraded, but I have this lingering feeling that technology in manufacturing and components have changed so much from a decade ago that I can help wonder if it worth dumping more money into existing or buy brand new. I know the answer is highly subjective, but in general whats provides the best value.

Comments

  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    If it's so lovely why do anything?
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Rider upgrade provides the best value - which may or may not be what you want to hear, but there we are...
  • cooldad wrote:
    If it's so lovely why do anything?

    I have some money to spend and I think there are newer items that would make the bike better OR buy a new a bike.
  • But what do you want to upgrade for? To make it lighter, to make it faster? Without a reason then why upgrade if all works well and you're happy with it.
    Personally I wouldn't want to spend a lot of money on a 13 year old bike, will it take Dura Ace 11 speed for instance?

    I think first you need to know the reasons you want to upgrade and it can be as cheap or cheaper to buy a new bike once you start upgrading groupsets.
  • Matthewfalle
    Matthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    my n1 is 13 years old.

    well, the frames is. everything else has been upgraded to easton ec90slx forks, full sram red, zipp carbon stem, ec90 carbon bars, selle italia zero full carbon 85g saddle, ec90 seat post, deep rim carbon tubs, look carbon/ti pedals.....

    ali frame, 6.4 kilo all in a flipping gorgeous to boot.

    why keep the frame? becauee its bloody lovely. head turning, classic but modern, super light, you don't see any others and it rides flipping lovely.

    it makes me very happy.

    i have much more modern stuff for racing etc.

    no problem at all in upgrading your old frame if you like it that much.

    it will take 11 speed once you have changed the wheels - at the end of the day you really won't notice any difference between that and 10 speed.

    i'd throw a load of Force or Red on it (keep the american theme and its nicer the Shimano), seat post and stem and bars in the saddle, carbonzone/farsports deep rims......

    do it, do it, do it, do it now, do it now

    #doitnow
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • Pop some new tyres on and ride it.
  • Matthewfalle
    Matthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    Pop some new tyres on and ride it.

    new wheels and this and this.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • 964cup
    964cup Posts: 1,362
    Keep the frame. Nothing beats Ti. Wheels first - but wait until the Spring and go carbon tubeless. Then groupset - the extra ratios in 11s won't really make you faster, but more is more, right, and modern groupsets have aero routing for the gear cables (or don't have gear cables at all, woo). Then if you still have money to burn, get carbon bars & seatpost for even less road buzz.

    Or just replace the cables and tyres and enjoy the bike. Spend the money on a cycling holiday somewhere warm and not in the throes of slow-motion national suicide.
  • svetty
    svetty Posts: 1,904
    My opinion would be that it all depends what you want to improve. Faster up hill? more responsive handling? comfort? speed on the flat?

    If you get another bike more tailored to whichever of these applies you will still have the Litespeed to ride whenever the fancy takes you.
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • SJH76
    SJH76 Posts: 191
    I think a few people are missing the point. Not everyone looks at a specific performance target as the reason for wanting a new bike. IMO a new bike would help just keep the motivation to ride. After such a long time out of the saddle a nice new shiny bike is all the motivation you need to get out. Keep the old bike as a winter bike until the spring when the weather should improve and the days get longer again.
  • svetty
    svetty Posts: 1,904
    SJH76 wrote:
    I think a few people are missing the point. Not everyone looks at a specific performance target as the reason for wanting a new bike

    No, but the choice of which new bike to buy does depend on these factors.....
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • SJH76
    SJH76 Posts: 191
    Svetty wrote:
    SJH76 wrote:
    I think a few people are missing the point. Not everyone looks at a specific performance target as the reason for wanting a new bike

    No, but the choice of which new bike to buy does depend on these factors.....

    That wasn't asked in any way shape or form. OP asked about a new bike or keep old and upgrade. Didn't ask anyone's opinion on the type or purpose. A few bikes mentioned but all a more about budget than performance. You're just answering questions nobody asked.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Unless something on your bike isn't working don't bother upgrading it.

    I'd probably keep as is but get new winter clothes.
  • my n1 is 13 years old.

    well, the frames is. everything else has been upgraded to easton ec90slx forks, full sram red, zipp carbon stem, ec90 carbon bars, selle italia zero full carbon 85g saddle, ec90 seat post, deep rim carbon tubs, look carbon/ti pedals.....

    ali frame, 6.4 kilo all in a flipping gorgeous to boot.

    why keep the frame? becauee its bloody lovely. head turning, classic but modern, super light, you don't see any others and it rides flipping lovely.

    it makes me very happy.

    i have much more modern stuff for racing etc.

    no problem at all in upgrading your old frame if you like it that much.

    it will take 11 speed once you have changed the wheels - at the end of the day you really won't notice any difference between that and 10 speed.

    i'd throw a load of Force or Red on it (keep the american theme and its nicer the Shimano), seat post and stem and bars in the saddle, carbonzone/farsports deep rims......

    do it, do it, do it, do it now, do it now

    #doitnow

    +1 for Sram. I built up my best bike with Force 22 throughout, and have never so much as altered the indexing or replaced anything in the 3+ years I have had it (okay, it's a dry and sunny day bike so not had to put up with much).

    I think if you did upgrade groupset and stuck some new (carbon deep section) wheels on there, it would feel like a new bike anyway. New bar-tape, saddle (maybe), bottle cages. Lovely. And being a Titanium frame, it'll probably be unpainted, which means that it has probably kept it's looks, especially if you haven't ridden it in 8 years.
  • skooter
    skooter Posts: 264
    Keep the old bike for the winter months and buy a new bike for the summer months..
  • navrig2
    navrig2 Posts: 1,851
    Keep the bike and use the money for a cycle holiday somewhere really nice.
  • diamonddog
    diamonddog Posts: 3,426
    skooter wrote:
    Keep the old bike for the winter months and buy a new bike for the summer months..
    ^^This one
  • Matthewfalle
    Matthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    keep the bike and spend the money on drugs 'n' hos.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • froze
    froze Posts: 207
    cooldad wrote:
    If it's so lovely why do anything?

    I agree, why spend money if nothing is broken or worn out? Instead use that money to pay off a credit card! Serious about that too!!

    When something on your bike breaks or wears out then update the part you're replacing to the next level up, but don't go crazy because there is just a tiny bit of weight difference going from Ultegra to DA, personally I would just stay with Ultegra during a replacement, it's much more cost effective than DA with hardly nothing gained in performance. Keep in mind too that Ultegra (and 105) uses older DA technology, Shimano simply trickles it down as new DA stuff comes out, so buying this years Ultegra is like buying last years DA (in reality any upgrades that Shimano makes to DA they change the model series number, this means that the previous model number has been filtered down to Ultegra), so in reality if you buy Ultegra instead of DA you're still getting DA quality just from a previous generation, so save your money and stay with Ultegra for any replacements unless you have so much money that it's burning a hole in your pocket and nothing but the the top of line will do for you.

    I have a Lynskey titanium bike, it came with 105 components, just before I purchased it I swapped out the rear 105 derailleur for Ultegra, and swapped out the standard Shimano cables for DA cables (this made the operation of the 105 so smooth friends that test rode my bike swore they were using all Ultegra or DA components), because the price difference (they gave me credit for the new 105 vs the Ultegra which ended up costing me $32 more because they could resell the 105 as unused). I did make a couple of other changes from the stock bike at the time of purchase, I upgraded my fork from the standard Lynskey fork to Enve 2.0, and from a cheap FSA headset to a Cane Creek 110 that whole swap costed me only $249; that's why I did those swaps at purchase points because of swapping was a lot cheaper than replacing down the road after I had ridden the bike. But when something breaks on the components I'm staying with 105 except for the rear derailleur, the cost effectiveness of 105 and the durability of it can't be beat.

    When your current set of wheels wear out then consider to upgrade those to whatever you can comfortably afford, but do a lot of research before just jumping to ABC brand because someone told you those are the best, and wheels can cost a lot of money, and if you're not racing there is no need for some fancy ultralight carbon wheel that requires special brake pads, simply stay with an aluminium rim like what you now have and you'll save a ton of money and a huge headache, plus those fancy racing wheels don't like rough roads and can fail prematurely vs cheaper more robust aluminum wheels, you can get some decent wheelsets for under $500 for the set like these that got very high reviews: https://www.wiggle.com/pro-lite-braccia ... -wheelset/. If you do a lot of mountain climbing you may want a lighter wheelset then those I just showed, otherwise on flat and rolling hills type of riding those are excellent.

    Lighter tires can make an improvement on your current wheels but you also have to consider flat protection and tread life too, go to light and you'll get flats galore and have a 800 to 1,000 mile tire, so you need something that will last 4,000 miles or so and provide adequate flat protection during those miles. If your current tires don't have cracks in the tread or sidewalls from age, and they're not worn out, simply use those till they do wear out, just because they've been in storage doesn't mean they're necessarily bad, just look at the casing real well and look for cracks, fill them with air and look again. I have a set of tires I got on a bike that I bought used with only 5 miles on the bike that had been stored in an attic since it was new in 1984, I bought the bike in 2012, the original tire were still on the bike in brand new condition! No cracks ever formed on the tires, I rode the bike for about 40 miles before replacing them, why did I replace them if they were still new and very much rideable? Because the tires back in those days did not have the flat protection that modern tires have today, and modern tires are a bit lighter in general, tread compounds have vastly improved as well, plus I went to folding bead instead of a wire bead; but I kept the original tires which are now inside a wheel bag.

    Lighter tubes will help too since most standard tubes weigh around the 120 gram range, I would find some in the 75 gram range like the Michelin Aircomp Ultralight tubes (these are 70gms). Make sure you cover the tubes with talc or baby powder real well, I simply dump some in a gallon size plastic zip lock bag, drop a tube into the bag and shake, take the tube out and install, save the bag with the leftover talc for another tube later. The talc will make the tube/tire easier to install plus give it a wee bit less rolling resistance which you will never notice but it's there. Some people will recommend latex tubes but I've found these not to be worth the hassle nor the expense, they are more fragile than butyl tubes, shorter life expectancy, prone to ripping, not any more flat resistant than butyl despite what people will say, though they do ride a tad more comfortably which is noticeable, they also roll with less resistance but it's something no one would ever notice, but overall I found that they're not worth the money unless you're racing, in my opinion of course.
  • SJH76
    SJH76 Posts: 191
    froze wrote:
    cooldad wrote:
    If it's so lovely why do anything?

    I agree, why spend money......war & peace length reply.

    How often do people really replace things ONLY once they are worn out? I honestly can't think of many things except tyres or brake pads that I replace only because I need to. If you think otherwise you are not the average cyclist. Sometimes, just sometimes it's nice to have something shiny and new to reignite the spark of wanting to go out riding. A new bike or even new wheels can do that. We could all be sensible to the point of being so thrifty that the while countries economy collapses due to no one buying anything nice once in a while. Try living a little.
  • yiannism
    yiannism Posts: 345
    Get a new bike, not because you need it, but because will makes you to ride more. I used to have an alu Orbea, good bike, not problems at all, exept that i didnt like it without any real reason. I knew that i was going to replace it sooner or later.. I wasnt looking for any real gains i dont race, cycling is my psychic energizer. I bought a Bianchi Infinito CV, and i fell in love with it from the 1st ride. Suddenly the engineer inside me left. It wasnt just an other tool that i am using. It became my 3rd child. Even the days that i am so tired and i just want to skip a ride i dont do it. My baby is waiting for me, she needs my love. And thats cycling, not the segments or the KOM's, but the passion. A new bike will bring that to you, and the most important, will make you to smile. Thats exactly what happened to me, and it was really nice for once to abandon my rational self.
  • Why do you need to ‘upgrade’ it? As mentioned just buy some new tyres and ride it. Absolutely no reason to change to a newer group set. I have campag 9 speed record on my best bike and much prefer it to chorus 11 speed I have on another. Any reason to change the wheels? I’d keep it all period, and just give it a decent service- new cables and maybe new chain and cassette.

    That said, nothing wrong with getting a new bike if that’s what you want but I’d keep the other one ‘standard. Then you have the ideal number of bikes- n+1 :wink:
  • sam_anon
    sam_anon Posts: 153
    Cboglio wrote:
    I'm getting back into road cycling after an 8 year break (3 kids later...lol). I'm currently riding the same bike I did 8 years ago - 2005 Litespeed Firenze (full Ultegra 9s). I absolutely love the ride feel of this bike. Ive ridden other carbon bikes before and personally they never came close to the feel of titanium.

    However the big question: Buy new or upgrade existing...

    1) brand new bike - CAAD12 Ultegra disc, Cannondale Synapse Carbon, Giant TCR, etc - budget $1,800

    2) upgrade existing bike - New wheels, newer Ultegra/Dura Ace components, etc.


    Essentially whats the best value for the money? The bike is 13 years old - nothing "wrong" with it. Frame is pristine, forks are good, components are smooth, wheels really need to be upgraded, but I have this lingering feeling that technology in manufacturing and components have changed so much from a decade ago that I can help wonder if it worth dumping more money into existing or buy brand new. I know the answer is highly subjective, but in general whats provides the best value.

    Could you test ride some of the new bikes you mentioned to get your opinion on whether they offer any benefits over your current bike, and if so, where?

    Then you could investigate whether those benefits could be purchased for your bike, and at what cost?