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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Most cost-effective upgrade?

    So I just started racing and am looking to upgrade my bike (am also working my a$$ off to upgrade my fitness, but that's for a different discussion). Unfortunately I'm a student with no income at the moment and so my options are somewhat limited. I'm currently riding a Motobecane Le Champion frame with the components of a Trek Pilot 2.1 - long story. The wheels are the basic Bontrager Race Lights, and the drive train is Shimano 105 triple with Bontrager cranks. My thought is that upgrading the wheelset or drivetrain would have the greatest impact on performance, but I wanted to ask the advice of the more experienced. I've been looking at Neuvation R28 wheels but am certainly open to suggestions. My budget is around $400-500 max, but the greatest improvement at the lowest cost is what I'm going for.

  2. #2
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    It's really handy to have a spare set of wheels. (most notably for the wheel pit) So I would put any money you plan to spend on a nice set of wheels.

  3. #3
    Giving you the business. Cypress's Avatar
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    Have someone fit you on the bike. Then buy some supplements from HERE.

    Sounds like your bike will be fine.
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  4. #4
    Slow'n'Aero DrWJODonnell's Avatar
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    Spend a few hundred bucks on a power meter (The IBike has decent reviews) and use that to supplement your training. Everyone will agree that training is more important than any component, and a power meter will be great to have.

    Outside of that, a spare set of wheels is nice.

  5. #5
    Long-time Curmudgeon DrPete's Avatar
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    +1 on the power meter.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  6. #6
    Blast from the Past Voodoo76's Avatar
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    +1 on wheels, you need at least 2 sets. Beyond that my recomendation is always to spend money on more entry fees and travel to races outside your immediate area. Race often.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtmandsager
    So I just started racing and am looking to upgrade my bike (am also working my a$$ off to upgrade my fitness, but that's for a different discussion). Unfortunately I'm a student with no income at the moment and so my options are somewhat limited. I'm currently riding a Motobecane Le Champion frame with the components of a Trek Pilot 2.1 - long story. The wheels are the basic Bontrager Race Lights, and the drive train is Shimano 105 triple with Bontrager cranks. My thought is that upgrading the wheelset or drivetrain would have the greatest impact on performance, but I wanted to ask the advice of the more experienced. I've been looking at Neuvation R28 wheels but am certainly open to suggestions. My budget is around $400-500 max, but the greatest improvement at the lowest cost is what I'm going for.
    starving students might be better off spending extra money on a well balanced diet.

  8. #8
    NorCal Climbing Freak
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    I'd echo what other people are saying, and suggest either going down the power meter route. Or at least something related to training.

    To be honest, the engine is a more important component than wheels or drive train. That said, then, I'd recommend putting the money towards something that will improve your training. But, if you have to get something, and it's not coaching / power, then wheels would be a decent choice.

  9. #9
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    My advice would be just to save the money until you know exactly what you want/need. No reason to upgrade just to upgrade if you really dont have the means.

    just use the money for races and good food and save the rest.

  10. #10
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Like a few before have said, money is for race entries, travel, hotels, etc. Kind of silly to spend what little you have on equipment or meters and then sit home on the weekend.

  11. #11
    Will race for points dl613's Avatar
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    an extra set of wheels helps and they don't have to be extra light/aero or anything, just extra. If you're smart with your training a pen and paper will help you improve although not as much as a meter but that's a luxury item right now and of course, race! If you have a club around join that too, you'll get good advice and a lot of those guys will probably be upgrading equipment so you can have first dibs on their hand me downs.

    Good luck.
    Best finish this season-2nd with a prime $$$

    worst: DNF-flatted on crit

  12. #12
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    Hmmm. Race lites are what, a little above 1900 grams? There are budget wheelsets out there in the 1500-1600 range. So you could go that route. I wouldn't advise on changing any of your drivetrain out. It's not worth it. 105 is perfectly fine for racing.

    Power meters are fine, but the Ibike is like $400 and it's kind of a you get what you pay for thing. You'll eventually want to upgrade to powertap or something similar. Also if you don't have someone to show you how to reap the most benefits out of a power meter then it's kind of a waste.

    I'd say sit down and figure out what races you want to do this year, add up all the entry fees and then see where you are. I'm sure your bike is fine. It's probably decently light anyway.

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