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Old 05-11-08, 02:51 PM   #1
ummbnb
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Upgrading components - How much should I expect to spend?

I test rode over a dozen bikes over the course of several weeks last summer in an effort to get back on a road bike after a 7 year absence. The bike I settled on was by far the most comfortable but it came with Tiagra components - a K2 T9. I decided to go with it because nothing else I rode came even close to this bike comfort wise. I had a budget sufficient for a much "better" bike but comfort ruled - and I don't regret my choice from that perspective. I figured I could upgrade components later if necessary.

I've now logged around 500 miles on it and for the most part they've been fine. I've just started riding longer distances in preparation for ragbrai this summer and they are starting to slip. Yesterday, on a short 25m ride it was bad. I adjusted the rear deraileur and today on a 60 mile it was better but I still got a little slipping. I've read a lot about Tiagra components and overall they are not rated well and several reviewers report serious issues with them as the miles rack up. I'm thinking it may be wise to go ahead and upgrade before doing ragbrai (480-ish miles in 7 days).

I have toyed with just buying a "better" bike but I really love the fit and feel of this bike so that doesn't seem necessary. I was thinking of upgrading to 105's.

I have no clue on how much I should expect to spend or what questions I should be asking.

Any help/suggestions are much appreciated!
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Old 05-11-08, 03:25 PM   #2
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I have been considering building up an older frame I have for my dad for fathers day and have been pricing decent road groups. It seems to me that shimano 105 groups of the newest variety can be found for about 480 with brifters, shifters, cranks, bottom bracket, chain etc brand new, and there are several up on ebay used at the moment. That would be my call for upgrades, though there are many options available.
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Old 05-11-08, 03:26 PM   #3
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Tiagra is a 9-speed group, while 105 is 10-speed. So right off hand, you'll need new brifters, chain, cassette and rear-derailleur. You should be able to keep the current crankset, front-deraillleur, wheels, and pedals. So you don't need the entire 105 group; you should be able to do some mix-and-matching.

Brifters aren't cheap; a quick Google search showed them going for about $250. Cassette's and rear-derailleur's aren't the cheapest things around either. Add in the labor cost of having your shop install all this stuff -- I'd be surprised if you get out of it for less then $500 or so.

That said... A friend of mine has logged about a dozen centuries on her Sora-equipped bike (one level below Tiagra), and countless other miles. 500 miles on a group is nothing. What do you mean when you say it is "slipping"?
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Old 05-11-08, 03:27 PM   #4
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The slipping has nothing to do with the component group. I race a disposable Tiagra 9 speed bike for crits, runs smooth as butter. Go back and work on your adjustment technique.
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Old 05-11-08, 03:43 PM   #5
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Thanks - its good to know others are getting good wear out of their Tiagra groups. Everything I read on them prior to purchasing this bike basically said they're crap and I should get rid of them at the first sign of trouble. Very glad I asked here first!!

I definitely could use some work on my adjustment skils, all of which come from reading things on-line. For a see-it-and-do -t learner, reading things on line isn't always helpful, although its better than nothing. I'm taking a bike maintenance class at an LBS in a few weeks so that should be helpful.

When I say slipping I mean it feels as if something jumps as I'm pedaling. It happens mostly after powering up a hill, although not typically during.
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Old 05-11-08, 03:53 PM   #6
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The slipping has nothing to do with the component group. I race a disposable Tiagra 9 speed bike for crits, runs smooth as butter. Go back and work on your adjustment technique.
Or take it to the LBS for a tune up.

Might be something as simple as a few adjustments or a bad chain link.
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Old 05-11-08, 04:29 PM   #7
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When I say slipping I mean it feels as if something jumps as I'm pedaling. It happens mostly after powering up a hill, although not typically during.
Turn the barrel adjuster located at the rear derailleur 1/2 turn CCW. My bet is that'll fix it.
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Old 05-11-08, 05:22 PM   #8
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Or take it to the LBS for a tune up.
Well why didn't I suggest that? No disrespect, mate, but that's the easy solution. I reckon the OP came here because he didn't want to stroke a check, hence the forum title "Bike Mechanics". Ride on. My .02 is the barrel adjuster will tweak the fix since nothing else has changed. Mileage is pretty low for chain wear.
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Old 05-11-08, 07:27 PM   #9
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At 500 miles you are likely seeing some common cable streach as the new cables/guides have broken in. This is why most shops give a free 30 day tune up to check that and other components to see if they need adjustment after a break in period. Does the shop you bought at offer that? Like mentioned a 1/2 CCW turn on the barrel adjuster at the rear d will likely cure your immediate issues.

btw I have 15,000 on Tiagra 9 speed components and they still function fine. Always meant to upgrade to 105 but have just never needed to do it.
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Old 05-11-08, 08:12 PM   #10
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At 500 miles you are likely seeing some common cable streach as the new cables/guides have broken in. This is why most shops give a free 30 day tune up to check that and other components to see if they need adjustment after a break in period. Does the shop you bought at offer that? Like mentioned a 1/2 CCW turn on the barrel adjuster at the rear d will likely cure your immediate issues.

btw I have 15,000 on Tiagra 9 speed components and they still function fine. Always meant to upgrade to 105 but have just never needed to do it.

Thanks so much! I did the freebie tune up this winter after about 200 miles.
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Old 05-11-08, 10:58 PM   #11
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New cables and housings are in order and if that is not the problem you are going to put them on anyway when you upgrade. Then do your der. adjustments.
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Old 05-12-08, 08:01 AM   #12
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Great resource for avoiding paying someone else to fix/adjust your bike: http://parktool.com/
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