Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - Recreational/Commuting/Racing Upgrades
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04-09-11, 05:59 PM
This is my first post, but here it goes. Recently invested in a Scattante X-330; it's going to be my main mode of transportation for the next couple of years. At present, I'm only riding it for school and recreation, but I'd like to move it toward a more race-worthy state (and make it a more enjoyable commuter). As far as overall quality of ride is concerned, where would you recommend I start upgrading? The only difficulty I've had with the bike to date is a certain flightiness in the front derailleur. Sometimes shifting to the larger gear is a real trial.
Lend me your wisdom, bike forums.
Dial in the contact points first. Saddle, pedals, bars and stem are my usual starting point for getting a bike the way I like and then I move on to tires, bar tape and gearing. Then I buy another bike.......
04-09-11, 07:16 PM
That is not at all the response I was expecting, but it makes good sense. As far as kicking around on the internet for different parts/brands to narrow my search, are there some good sites with varied selections?
04-10-11, 09:46 AM
Hi Jrclayto welcome to the forums. are you new to cycling or just 'cross style bikes? I have to say for a Novice to 'cross that bike as it sits is much better than we had back in the early '90s when most of us cobbled together a cross bike from a old road bike.
as for the FD issue those newer narrow derailleurs can be finicky. did you assemble the bike or did the shop do it? it might be worth your time and effort to have a shop check it.
other than maybe a 700x25 road tire, like a Pannaracer Pasela, I would not change much unless it breaks then upgrade. being a novice to 'cross if someone said "OH that crank is junk and you need this $$$$$$ crank" it is possible other than you wallet being thinner you would not notice a difference.
that looks like a great bike just ride and practice your dismounts, mounts and carry style, and most importantly enjoy riding!
04-10-11, 10:43 AM
- Always change the stock pads for Kool Stops (Pinks if you ride in the wet)
- Always fit hand cut a straddle and fork mounted hanger to your front brake unless your brakes are astonishingly good (see the Canti FAQ sticky.) Or switch the front canti for a v-brake and travel agent (see the FAQ again.) Don't ride a bike in traffic until you can make the back wheel lift off the ground when you brake! (Or do ride it if it is almost there, but keep on tweaking.)
Re. fitting 25mm tyres: not a good idea as often as people think imo -
Wider tires roll faster than narrower ones: Riders have argued for years that narrower tires – especially on the road – roll faster and are more efficient than wider ones when in fact, the opposite is true. According to Wheel Energy, the key to reducing rolling resistance is minimizing the energy lost to casing deformation, not minimizing how much tread is in contact with the ground. All other factors being equal, wider casings exhibit less 'bulge' as a percentage of their cross-section and also have a shorter section of deflected sidewall.
23s and 25s are still useful on racing bikes for the slight aero advantage at very high power output, but on a commuter you'll actually go faster with the right 28-40mm tyres - and get more grip and be less vulnerable to pot holes, and even be able to do some trail riding. The main source of 35mm and wider fast tyres is the Schwalbe Evolution series. The Dureme is good for road and light trails.
I agree with Scrub's list, except that I'd move tyres to the top. I happen to like a rather shallow tread for the dry gravelly terrain I ride on, with large side-knobs to get through patches of deep mud. The right tyres at the right pressure can make a huge difference to grip, steering and efficiency. I think it's worth experimenting with a few different types to find what's right for you.
I'd second the suggestion of taking it to a shop to get the front derailler checked out - it can make a huge difference having someone who knows what they're doing fix it.
04-21-11, 10:45 AM
Yep, assuming that you have your fit dialed in, tires go to the top of the list for ride quality.
A nice 28 at lower pressure will make a huge difference. I ride 25's but I tend to spend a lot of time trying to hang with roadies on my cx bikes. I would prefer to run 28s if I was not trying to do so many fast group rides on them.
That said, as far as ergonomics on the contact ponts are concerned, saddles (including how they are set up) and bars make a huge difference.
I cannot believe the difference in comfort I have found since switching to a compact handlebar (running FSA wing pros) from my Ritchey WCS ergo bars. Like HEAVEN for my wrists and I actually look forward to riding in the drops now.
04-21-11, 10:59 AM
I test rode that bike last week at Performance. It's pretty nice. I wound up ordering a Kona Jake instead, at a great price, but the Scattante felt good. The one I tested also had problems getting into the big ring. I didn't bother having them adjust it, as I was pretty much sold on the Jake.
I agree with the people who say tires. Actually, getting that derailleur adjusted would be first, then tires. I ordered a set of Vittoria Randonneurs in 32 for my new bike. The bike is at FedEx waiting for me to pick it up, and I haven't received the tires, so I can't really tell whether or not this was a good choice yet.
You might also want a rack for commuting. Unless you're ok with a messenger bag or backpack. Maybe fenders, depending on the weather where you live.
04-21-11, 10:28 PM
Thanks so much everyone. To answer the big question: I'm not new to bikes, having owned several road and mountain bikes previously. This is my first cross bike, and this year will be the first time that a bike will be my sole mode of transportation.
waynesworld, I'm currently debating whether or not to add a rack; I have a large, waterproof messenger bag that seems to suit my current purposes. However, North Carolina summers get hot, and I might decide to get that weight off my back. I also looked at the Jake, alas... it was a bit outta my price range. Also, it would be share a name with the bike you rode on a daily basis.
Bottom line: tires will be the next upgrade I go for. The techs at Performance couldn't do anything for the derailleur. I'm keeping it cleaned and lubed and it has been doing alright, but I'm a little miffed that my "lifetime free adjustment" deal didn't really work out so well. One question about the tires, specifically sawtooth's comment-- why is it important/practical/efficient that I run a set of 28s at lower pressure? Is it just for comfort? Finally, a total rookie question. My current tires are 32s. How do I figure out how narrow/wide a tire my wheel can handle? Thanks for the many responses!
04-22-11, 05:41 AM
I got a very good deal, or I wouldn't have gotten the Jake either. And it's last year's model, which is great, as I prefer it to this year's. I haven't put a rack on it yet, but I plan to. Not sure which one yet.
I'm not sure about your first tire question, since I'm not really sure if he meant to run them below their max pressure rating, or that 28s will typically have a lower max pressure rating than a more narrow tire, or what. As far as how big a tire your bike can handle, you can find the most narrow spot front and rear and measure it, or eyeball it compared to your current tires. Tire manufacturers don't always make their tires at the stated width, however. So, a 32 of a certain tire by one manufacturer might not be the same as another 32. Height might matter too, if it looks like you're getting close to anything in that way.
My Jake came with 35 Conti Speed Kings. They actually feel pretty nice, but I'm still switching for road tires. I tried to get 35s, but the place I ordered from called saying they were out of them, so I got 32s.
04-22-11, 09:44 AM
One question about the tires, specifically sawtooth's comment-- why is it important/practical/efficient that I run a set of 28s at lower pressure? Is it just for comfort? Finally, a total rookie question. My current tires are 32s.
Hi, my comment was not so much recommending the 28 per se, just that a 28 will allow you to run a lower pressure than a 25 or 23. I did not know you are currently running 32's. As you probalby know, the larger the tire, the lower the pressure you can run...and that leads to more comfort without decreasing your speed up to a given point (which I do not have the mathmatical capacity to calculate). 32s are great....if you already run 32s and they are fast enough for you...AND you are running them at appropriately low pressures (probalby 75 to 85psi depending on your weight), you will probably not get more comfort out of a tire swap. Obvisouly, some tire models are more compliant than others. Armadillos are notoriously rough, for instance.
04-22-11, 02:35 PM
why is it important/practical/efficient that I run a set of 28s at lower pressure? Is it just for comfort? Finally, a total rookie question. My current tires are 32s.
Forget it. He was telling you that running 28s is better than running something like 25s, but only if you run them at a lower pressure than the 25s. If you have good 32mm road tyres then you're ahead of the game.
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