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Options for a faster commute bike......... or a groupset change?

daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,649
edited 8 September in Commuting chat
Greetings,

I now have a pukka commute, just over 18 miles each way, not flat, but not horrendously hilly.

Alas I have to travel each way with my laptop, a few bits of clothing (polo shirt, undies etc) and also breakfast, lunch and snacks etc.

I have lockers at work, so keep trousers, shoes, spare clothes, toiletries all there which is useful.

I have a bit of a dodgy back, so a backpack is out of the question, so instead have fitted a lightish weight Roswheel rack to my alloy synapse with mudguards, and on that rack go two ortlieb panniers.
I did consider trying to cram everything into one, but I think if it did fit it would make the bike feel pretty odd.

As it stands, it's reasonably heavy as you might imagine, and having only carried out one full commute, and also not being that fit currently, it's looking like the best I can manage at the moment is around 15mph average, so around 1hr 12-15 or there abouts.

I do have a C2W option which would enable me to get something else, OR I could potentially look at changing the groupset.

It has SRAM Rival (Disc brakes), and whilst it has been setup pretty well, it is still not foolproof, both in terms of brake rub and gear changes are somewhat hit and miss shall we say.

As I rode my CR1 this evening with Ultegra 6800 (That I setup myself) I was reminded what it is to have a reliable groupset that changes beautifully at the back AND the front with no drama whatsoever.
On the Synapse I tend to avoid changes, especially at the front, which leaves me in sub optimal gears a lot of the time.

IF I (Or my LBS) can get hold of a shimano hydraulic groupset, I can likely get it on a voucher, and save X percent into the bargain.

What do people reckon - the bike itself is sound, so I think that makes the most sense.

Which groupset would you recommend - it doesn't need to be topline.
Tiagra, 105?

*Tiagra seem to be in stock around some sites, but only 10spd.
105 is not.
Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
Scott CR1 SL 12
Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
Scott Foil 18

Posts

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,731
    Morning Dan, firstly that's a good distanceto comutte to kudos on that. Personally I'd be getting your existing rival set up working properly, there's no reason why it shouldn't be a slick as shimano. If you still wanted to upgrade I'd Personally be looking at 105 although nothing wrong with ultegra. As you say availability is not the best atthe minute. I do 2 heavy comuttes on a Monday into work and Friday return by taking clean workwear in they bringing home on the last day, this way I reduce some of the weight for 3 days at least. I manage with a big carradice sqŕ saddlebag rather than panniers to cut weight done. Good luck and keep it up.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • super_davosuper_davo Posts: 663
    Agree with Oxoman. Shimano R7000 105 hydraullic is great but well set up Rival should be plenty good enough for commuting duties, and should not be hit or miss on shifts) With current price / availability of groupsets, a simple update a couple of years ago becomes very expensive - and that's all it really will be - Rival and 105 are supposedly the same level.

    In terms of what to take, also recommend bikepacking bags over panniers. Panniers are super stable and great if you need to take loads of stuff, but you won't. Having large carrying capacity means you naturally pack to the size of that capacity. Not only does that mean more weight, it means more weight on the back wheel - I used to go through rear wheel spokes and rims until I reformed my ways. The Carradice SQR one is great, but there is way more choice than that now - my commuter is rocking a £15 Planet X Podsacs one that is equally functional.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,649
    Thanks gents, yes I'm not sure what it is about this groupset and on this bike.
    Evans had a go at it (hahahahaha) and I've had a go at it, bearing in mind I'm no super mechanic, but i have built two bikes from scratch, and generally know my way around, and a local well reputed bike shop mechanic had it for a couple of days, and to be fair, he has got it the best it has ever been, but it still doesn't inspire confidence like the 6800 does :-(

    Was also thinking I could flog the groupset on ebay for a bit to offset the cost.

    I like the idea of bikepacking bags, but I don't think there would be one big enough for a fairly chunky 16"ish laptop - what I do with it is put it in a sleeve to try and protect it a bit from the vibrations, and then that slots into one pannier - I pop clothes for the day in there as well.
    The other pannier then takes my food effectively!

    I can see how I could use bikepacking bags for the food items, but I think the laptop is just too large - happy to be proved wrong though.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,731
    The caradice SQR pack I've got can fit trousers, 2 polo shirts plus laptop and lunch and quite a bit of other stuff as well q
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,968
    why not have a desktop at work and then you don't need to carry the laptop
  • PMarkPMark Posts: 85
    As has been said, you are probably better off trying to get your current bike working, than changing group set. I would start by changing all your gear cables/housing.

    I am looking at getting a hydraulic Shimano groupset for a gravel bike build (105 or GRX600) and have been struggling to find one for under £1000.

    Although personally if I was commuting that kind of distance regularly, I would look at an electric bike (or maybe upgrade your current one to electric).
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,649

    why not have a desktop at work and then you don't need to carry the laptop

    That would be the ideal, then I could travel very light, but my company is one of those who believes each person should only have one piece of hardware :#
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 16,842
    Primary question, do you need to take the laptop home?
    I am presuming part time wfh?
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,649
    edited 8 October
    pblakeney said:

    Primary question, do you need to take the laptop home?
    I am presuming part time wfh?

    Yep, sat using it right now on a conf call.
    However most of my work now is cloud based, where as 5ish years ago it was still dominated by local installs, so I don't think it would be as tricky to manage two devices as it used to be.

    I have friends in our service desk, so might see if I can bend some rules to sort something out.

    If I could do that, think I could manage just with one of those huge saddle bags, and a faster bike with no rack or panniers.
    I could take the racked bike in when I ran out of clean clothes in the office, and just take a new batch in.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 7,078
    daniel_b said:

    pblakeney said:

    Primary question, do you need to take the laptop home?
    I am presuming part time wfh?

    Yep, sat using it right now on a conf call.
    However most of my work now is cloud based, where as 5ish years ago it was still dominated by local installs, so I don't think it would be as tricky to manage two devices as it used to be.

    I have friends in our service desk, so might see if I can bend some rules to sort something out.

    If I could do that, think I could manage just with one of those huge saddle bags, and a faster bike with no rack or panniers.
    I could take the racked bike in when I ran out of clean clothes in the office, and just take a new batch in.
    Not much i can't do on my work laptop that I can't do on my personal laptop. As you say, everything is Office365, Sharepoint or other cloud based systems.
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame
    Tall....
    www.seewildlife.co.uk
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,649
    I've also just noticed I could get an Addict Gravel 30 on the scheme, as it sits at £2400, and could likely put some integrated bars on the quote as well whilst staying under the limit.



    It has mounts for mudguards, but no fitment for a rack - so the options would have to be sort something out at work with two machines, or go for one of those kickstarter carbon racks, I forget the name now, Tailfin that's it.
    I'm guessing that might be possible.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,964
    Lovely but where is it in stock?
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,649
    edited 14 October
    itboffin said:

    Lovely but where is it in stock?

    @itboffin nowhere currently has it, but Balfes bikes have a 56 due in July next year, and had a 54 due in May.
    I've paid a holding deposit on the 54 whilst I get my c2w voucher sorted out.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 4,137
    I’d persevere with your existing set up as there is no reason why it doesn’t work properly. If it’s set up correctly and not working correctly it means there is something broken/ bent component

    As for getting another bike or acquiring a new group set, good luck with that. I work in trade, a set of cable 105 shifters, £228 retail! Earliest availability April 22.

    Whatever new bikes/parts are coming in the quantities aren’t there to meet market demand which means manufacturers are charging a premium on both bikes and parts.

    Oh and if you think EBay is an option be careful as to what you’re buying, the amount of counterfeit parts out there is horrendous which is matched by their awful material and machining quality.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,649
    slowmart said:

    I’d persevere with your existing set up as there is no reason why it doesn’t work properly. If it’s set up correctly and not working correctly it means there is something broken/ bent component

    As for getting another bike or acquiring a new group set, good luck with that. I work in trade, a set of cable 105 shifters, £228 retail! Earliest availability April 22.

    Whatever new bikes/parts are coming in the quantities aren’t there to meet market demand which means manufacturers are charging a premium on both bikes and parts.

    Oh and if you think EBay is an option be careful as to what you’re buying, the amount of counterfeit parts out there is horrendous which is matched by their awful material and machining quality.

    I'll definitely persevere for the time being, the new bike won't be with me until the summer anyhow.

    A slight frustration I am finding is that the factory pdw guards are only really designed for 23mm tyres, so even the 25s I have fitted spray beyond the catch of the guards, and the roads where I ride can be pretty mucky.

    I suspect I will commute on it as is, maybe try and get the gears setup better in the meantime, and then sell it in the late summer.

    It has a ton of upgrades, wheels, carbon stem and bars etc.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,964
    daniel_b said:

    itboffin said:

    Lovely but where is it in stock?

    @itboffin nowhere currently has it, but Balfes bikes have a 56 due in July next year, and had a 54 due in May.
    I've paid a holding deposit on the 54 whilst I get my c2w voucher sorted out.
    With Balfes? i've never heard of them
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 16,842
    itboffin said:

    daniel_b said:

    itboffin said:

    Lovely but where is it in stock?

    @itboffin nowhere currently has it, but Balfes bikes have a 56 due in July next year, and had a 54 due in May.
    I've paid a holding deposit on the 54 whilst I get my c2w voucher sorted out.
    With Balfes? i've never heard of them
    There's a whole thread on them here somewhere.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,649
    edited 14 October
    itboffin said:

    daniel_b said:

    itboffin said:

    Lovely but where is it in stock?

    @itboffin nowhere currently has it, but Balfes bikes have a 56 due in July next year, and had a 54 due in May.
    I've paid a holding deposit on the 54 whilst I get my c2w voucher sorted out.
    With Balfes? i've never heard of them
    I hadn't either, a poster on here mentioned them, and seemed to think they were an up and coming company trying to move in on the territory that Evans have thrown away.

    Looking at their stores they seem to be exclusively London/Greater London based.

    My interactions with them so far have been fast, polite and they clearly know what they are talking about, so all looking very positive so far.
    They also very quickly got me prices for the two other items I wanted, which luckily falls £1.02 below the voucher limit!

    A quick look on their site shows they are recruiting for 18 separate roles currently, so looks like they are growing fast.

    I'm viewing an Addict RC30 on Saturday, and if it's a goer, I'll include the Creston IC SL handlebars on the C2W order, I said I'd let them know on Monday.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 7,078
    edited 14 October
    daniel_b said:

    itboffin said:

    daniel_b said:

    itboffin said:

    Lovely but where is it in stock?

    @itboffin nowhere currently has it, but Balfes bikes have a 56 due in July next year, and had a 54 due in May.
    I've paid a holding deposit on the 54 whilst I get my c2w voucher sorted out.
    With Balfes? i've never heard of them
    I hadn't either, a poster on here mentioned them, and seemed to think they were an up and coming company trying to move in on the territory that Evans have thrown away.

    Looking at their stores they seem to be exclusively London/Greater London based.

    My interactions with them so far have been fast, polite and they clearly know what they are talking about, so all looking very positive so far.
    They also very quickly got me prices for the two other items I wanted, which luckily falls £1.02 below the voucher limit!

    A quick look on their site shows they are recruiting for 18 separate roles currently, so looks like they are growing fast.

    I'm viewing an Addict RC30 on Saturday, and if it's a goer, I'll include the Creston IC SL handlebars on the C2W order, I said I'd let them know on Monday.
    Reigate is Surrey i'll have you know!

    I think they've grown by buying existing decent bike shops and keeping on a lot of the old staff.
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame
    Tall....
    www.seewildlife.co.uk
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,649
    edited 14 October
    :D Well it's pretty much Greater London :p

    That sounds like a good philosophy.

    *Just to add the Addict RC30 is not from them.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • NcovidiusNcovidius Posts: 138
    I know it’s stating the bleeding obvious, but you said your fitness isn’t great, so I’d say working on that would be your first port of call. Once your fitness level is better, then see what’s what.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,649
    edited 14 October
    Ncovidius said:

    I know it’s stating the bleeding obvious, but you said your fitness isn’t great, so I’d say working on that would be your first port of call. Once your fitness level is better, then see what’s what.

    I'm definitely working on that, the commutes are helping, plus structured turbo sessions, club rides, as well as eating more healthily and consequently losing weight.

    This bike isn't due for 7 months, and I won't have the guards for 8, so that's plenty of time to try and improve my fitness.

    Also been finding some yoga 3 times a week is really helping with aches and pains, as well as actual comfort when riding as well, I find it easier to spend a sustained about of time down in the drops, and tend to revert to the hoods now, where as before it was hoods and tops.

    Went in Monday and Wednesday this week, and no fatigue or slowness issues which is encouraging :)

    I also found an alternative route on the way out which is nicer, quieter roads, and slightly downhill as well, so a win win (There's a big uphill right near the start but that warms me up which is good) - ever so marginally longer, but a lack of traffic lights makes it a lot less stop start and much more enjoyable.

    Next week looks wet and windy, so might be a bit more of a challenge to motivate myself, but ideally I want to be going in twice or three times a week - not that anyone is forcing us, but I like the change of environment, the opportunity to get out on my bike twice in a day, and to see real people in person is still a novelty.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,964
    I’m interested to know how you find the shorter stem and longer reach when you view on Saturday. I’m running a 110 on my 54 CR1 and it’s perfect
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,649
    edited 15 October
    itboffin said:

    I’m interested to know how you find the shorter stem and longer reach when you view on Saturday. I’m running a 110 on my 54 CR1 and it’s perfect

    @itboffin I also ride the CR1 with it's 545 TT, and a 110mm stem, although my Ritchey Streem bars have a bit of a curve back on the tops, so maybe more effectively like a 105 stem.

    The Addict RC has a 550mm TT, and also comes with a 110mm stem, so reach for me, is likely to be 10mm more.

    However if I buy it, I'll buy some creston IC SL bars, but in a 400/100 flavour, although confusingly it is reported, due to the design of the bars, the actual reach to the hoods is 5mm more, so if I go that route the reach should be 5mm more than my CR1, but if I went for a 90 stem length it would be 5mm less - which I don't think I would need.

    Reach figures for the CR1 is 383, and for the Addict (both in 54) is 390.

    Are you considering an Addict RC then?
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
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