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Old 11-22-09, 02:29 AM   #1
pwarsknightsp
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Upgrading an Old bike?

Hey, well earlier I had made a topic about whether or not I should purchase an Bianchi Brava 2004 model with 105 group set for $300. But after talking to a friend at work, he suggested buying an average used road bike and just upgrade it and restore it. So now I am wondering which would be the best route? Spending $300 or putting X''amount of money into a bike, restore it and repaint it? I wouldn't mind spending the $300 but if I could save some money, especially since the holidays are coming up, it would be allot nicer. Also if I do upgrade an old bike, I don't need the best components out there, but I rather have quality parts that would last.So which way is really worth it? Forgot to mention, the seller is holding the bike for me until monday, and we are both unavailable after 2pm tomorrow; so this is kinda of a "now or never" situation.

Thanks in advance

P.S. These are links to the picture of the Brava
http://images.craigslist.org/3ne3m63...084627129a.jpg
http://images.craigslist.org/3ka3p03...003d3d1463.jpg
http://images.craigslist.org/3n13k03...ec573614c2.jpg
http://images.craigslist.org/3m13oc3...ffe4c21456.jpg

Last edited by pwarsknightsp; 11-22-09 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 11-22-09, 04:54 AM   #2
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That bike looks pretty nice for 3 bills. What do you think you can pick up an older bike for? And what parts (how much money) would you spend on repairs/restoration/upgrades? If you're interested in going that route, it may be worth it for the experience, but I doubt you'll be money ahead of the Bianchi.
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Old 11-22-09, 06:54 AM   #3
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The Bianchi is a 'nice old road bike' as is. Price is not bad, not a steal (retail was $500-550 at most when new in '04), and it is well equipped as it stands.
Main concern here is how much mileage it has on it and whether wearable components were replaced. Chain life is ~3-5Kmiles, cassettes last about
2 chains, chain wheels about 3-4 chains and shifters, the real rub with Shimano, tend to fail erratically somewhere in the 8-12kmi range though some users
get more mileage. The primary concern is does the basic frame fit you, it can be a bit small but it can not be a bit large. Frame looks to be 53-55cm but
could be 56 so you would have to be in the 67"-70" size range for it to maybe fit (top of the head). If the bike has been a garage queen then concern
over shifter age is less than one that has 5000-10,000 miles on it. I agree with the other poster, it makes little sense to upgrade an older bike that has
well functioning componentry already. You won't save any money doing this and the hassle factor can be significant unless you have access to high grade
castoffs for cheap locally. Looks like you need pedals also. Tires wear out too, about like chains or faster.
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Old 11-22-09, 07:39 AM   #4
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If the Bianchi is in good condition and the components not badly worn, that's not a bad price for a 105 equipped bike.

Buying a much older bike and upgrading it can be a tremendous money pit even if the bike itself in nearly free. There is alway the question of parts compatibility such as rear dropout spacing and steerer diameter if the bike is old enough and buying individual components is much more expensive than buying a complete group on a bike. It can be done by knowledgeable buyers with patients and a good understanding of what they need but I don't recommend it for a new owner.
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Old 11-22-09, 07:42 AM   #5
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Having read you before, knowing the bike, the photos here now confirm its id. My evaluation remains unchanged. It's a fair price and a fairly good bike. I'm SO not the man to consult with regarding the painting of any bike, I just don't see it with that one unless I'm missing something and if the finish, the entire look it svatchy.
sch is spot on though I don't agree with his orig. price, it's splitting hairs on my part. I see no really good reason to up-grade. The frame is worthy but the bike doesn't need it. If the bike didn't function very well, it wouldn't be such a deal in the first place.
Consider all this : Brifters (br.lev.shfts) USED, not pristine either have been going for $75 to $175 per pair on e-bay for better than 3 years. Perf. level, makes little dif. Sora = 75(ussually more); ULT..more than 100. Where would you be going ? Wheels, used, not pristine = $100 to 130 shipped. A wrecked bike I bought for the 105 stuff cost me almost two shipped JUST to obtain shifters.. all else, 1 good wh., busted frame. I can see it no other way. You'll not easily find a brifter bike for less. Make sure it fits !!!!!
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Old 11-22-09, 07:46 AM   #6
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A Brava with 105 group is a good deal at this price. Used newer brifter bikes around here start at about $300, 105 would be higher. Building up a bike will cost you a lot more.
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Old 11-22-09, 09:14 AM   #7
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Thanks to everyone who replied, this forum is great! I'll make sure the bike fits for sure and if it does its coming home! I'll take some pictures of it if you guys wouldn't mind seeing it?

-Edit, the deal went as planned and I did checkout all the parts, and they are all indeed 105. I was also offered a free tune up as well. Great deal and thanks for everyone's advice.

Last edited by pwarsknightsp; 11-22-09 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 11-22-09, 11:48 AM   #8
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Rebuilding an old bike can be a very good idea...
I didn't hesitate to pay top dollar ($600) for a 35 year old Raleigh, and simply replaced the wheels, cranks, derailleurs, and brakes ($400).

A classic steel lugged Reynolds 531DB bike with all new components is a STEAL for a grand.

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Old 11-22-09, 11:56 AM   #9
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Rebuilding an old bike can be a very good idea...
I didn't hesitate to pay top dollar ($600) for a 35 year old Raleigh, and simply replaced the wheels, tires, cranks, derailleurs, and brakes ($400).

A classic steel lugged Reynolds 531DB bike with all new components is a STEAL for a grand.
You could've bought a modern road bike that is about 30 times faster for that price that have brifters and 9/10 gears. Upgrading components in the fashion you suggest is almost never economical for a pickup bike like that.
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Old 11-22-09, 11:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
If the Bianchi is in good condition and the components not badly worn, that's not a bad price for a 105 equipped bike.

Buying a much older bike and upgrading it can be a tremendous money pit even if the bike itself in nearly free. There is alway the question of parts compatibility such as rear dropout spacing and steerer diameter if the bike is old enough and buying individual components is much more expensive than buying a complete group on a bike. It can be done by knowledgeable buyers with patients and a good understanding of what they need but I don't recommend it for a new owner.
The biggest problem with buying a used bike, exactly like the one in the OP's pictures is the unknown condition of the drivetrain - unknown condition of the wheels - unknown condition of the STI shifters. Especially with the STI's that can easily turn that bike from a ok deal to a not a good deal very quickly. Assuming nothing else is even wrong with it. You can't tell **** from pictures and nobody on this forum can tell you unless they check that bike out themselves. Even then it's a crapshoot.
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Old 11-22-09, 12:48 PM   #11
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I'll take some better photos of the bike after I come back from work, around 11pm. The wheels itself seem pretty new, they still have those skinny rubber fibers coming out of it. I did try out the STI shifters during my test ride and they worked well, but I'm going to test it again as I ride to and from work. I do believe the STI shifters are in good condition, and the person I bought it from seemed trustworthy. The person by the way, has his living room filled with some really nice bikes, and tools to fix them. Apparently he works in a bike shop, as he told me. This added to my certainty of the bike, after all I'm still rather new to this. I'll post pictures when I get back and I hope I get some good feedback.
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Old 11-22-09, 01:03 PM   #12
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. I do believe the STI shifters are in good condition, and the person I bought it from seemed trustworthy
There's no way he knows, or you can know if those shifters are about to go.
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Old 11-22-09, 01:15 PM   #13
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If the Bianchi fits you well, buy it. You can always upgrade it in the future, one component at a time. bk
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Old 11-22-09, 01:24 PM   #14
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Looks like a fair deal for a bike like that. I just sold my Wife's 2002 Giant OCR 2 equipped with Tiagra, one step below that one this spring. Her bike was in similar condition with a couple of upgrades and not a good a frame design and it sold for $350. If this bike fits you well and you like it, $300 sounds fair.
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Old 11-22-09, 04:56 PM   #15
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You could've bought a modern road bike that is about 30 times faster for that price
...and about 30 times uglier. Tigwelded frames, billboard graphics, sloping top tubes... the fugly BMX look. Yuk. That old bike is very easy riding at only 23 pounds including the kickstand.

Quote:
that have brifters and 9/10 gears.
I actually like retro downtube friction shifting. It's simple, direct, lightweight, dead on reliable, and there's no long ugly cable housings strung all over the bike. And 8 gears with a 21/30/44 triple is plenty. 27-30-33-35-39-43-48-51-54-58-63-70-74-79-85-91-99 with no crosschaining.

[QUOTE**Upgrading components in the fashion you suggest is almost never economical for a pickup bike like that.[/QUOTE]

You'll never find a any new $1,000 road bike with a brazed lugged steel Carleton built Reynolds 531 double butted frame.
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Old 11-22-09, 05:02 PM   #16
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23 lbs lol :/
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Old 11-23-09, 12:16 AM   #17
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Lol, love the comments here. I feel like a sponge soaking up allot knowledge. Well the bike rides great and the shifters are working well too. I can't say much more since I'm still a novice. But I can say that I know with certainty I'll be reading this forum daily because it's a great place to expand my understanding of bicycling. Thanks everyone...
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Old 11-23-09, 12:25 AM   #18
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23 lbs lol :/
...but I only weigh 135...
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Old 11-29-09, 02:18 AM   #19
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the most value one gets from any bike is the rides.... regardless of whatever price the owner paid for it... There is no point spending so much on a bike if one just clocks a few kilometers a month!!!
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Old 11-29-09, 02:52 AM   #20
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I'm missing something.
My modern bike is a Surly Long haul Trucker.
Isn't it state of the art?
It has lots of gears and those funny shifters.
Bill
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Old 11-29-09, 06:28 AM   #21
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The real question here is one that only the OP can answer: "What kind of person are you?" Some people buy brand new Corvettes, some would rather resto-rod an old car. Either car would be cool to own in it's own way. Which is more like you?
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