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  1. #1
    It'll be fine... Recess's Avatar
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    Upgrading from Tiagra/105 mix for better speed?

    Hey folks.

    I bought a Scott CR-1 Comp with a Tiagra chainset and 105 brakes/mech/cassette.

    Chainset is 52/39 and cassette is 11-25

    When I bought it, it was with the thought that I could get a good frame for the price, and upgrade out of the tiagra/105 mix when I had money. Well, I have some money - and am looking into the upgrades now. However, I don't seem to see anything that's worth upgrading to...

    I mean - Ultegra is the obvious choice, but it all seems to be still 52/39 and 11/25 for the mechanics. I know there are weight differences in the Ultegra parts - but to be honest, I need to worry about the extra 10lbs on me before looking at splurging on lighter parts on the bike.

    So my question is this - is there anything I can upgrade to that'll simply just make the bike go faster - without taking into consideration weight losses?

    (I'm working on the 10lb btw - but Christmas ain't helping!)

    Thanks in advance, and apologies if this is a dumb question.

    John
    Recess (aka John)
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    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
    Frank Sinatra

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't spend the money to up grade what you have. As you wear things out just replace them with Ultegra parts. If you want to get faster work on yourself more than the bike. Roger

  3. #3
    It'll be fine... Recess's Avatar
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    Great, that's what I'd thought. Thanks for the confirmation.

    No chocolate, no cheese, no beer. Hopefully that'll take care of the 'working on yourself' part... if I can manage it.

    Thanks again,

    John
    Recess (aka John)
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    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
    Frank Sinatra

  4. #4
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    I think that the way to get faster is to train for speed. Do intervals, Then work on the components. I see and hear a lot of customers ask the same question as you. Again, get a good training program that will emphasize an increase in your fitness level and the speed will come.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    It's the motor.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhenning View Post
    I wouldn't spend the money to up grade what you have. As you wear things out just replace them with Ultegra parts. If you want to get faster work on yourself more than the bike. Roger
    +1 to everything he said. The weight savings from upgrading to Ultegra or even Dura Ace will have minimal to no effect on your "speed" and will only serve to lighten your wallet. Upgrade components only as things wear out and work at upgrading you. That will pay far more dividends.

    Your current high gear is 127 gear-inches and will produce 38 mph at 100 rpm if you are strong enough. That's the sort of gear very good professional level sprinters use so you are in no way limited by your current gearing.

  7. #7
    It'll be fine... Recess's Avatar
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    Cool - I just remember the difference on an old bike when I jumped from a triple to a double - the speed difference was noticeable. I just wondered if there was a similar jump I'm missing out on.

    Good to know it's just down to training from now on. Been mixing intervals with pyramids and afternoons in the garage on a turbo in front of Spinerval DVD's - already knocked a couple of minutes off a 10 mile in just a few months of doing this - so it does show up just how effective doing more than just riding steady and hard on roads can be.

    Thanks everyone - have a great day.

    John
    Recess (aka John)
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    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
    Frank Sinatra

  8. #8
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    Working on yourself is always a way to go, like they said. The next thing is probably buying lighter wheels, as people will also tell you since rotating weight is more important than stationary weight.

    I don't follow this personally, since I prefer durability of wheels over low weight....but you probably will go faster with them.
    Cyclist, angler and aquarist

  9. #9
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    What wheel set do you have, I think you would go faster on at better wheel set if it still has some cheap stock ones. Anyway in the end it would be you that do the diffrence
    Last edited by Kriller; 12-13-09 at 09:08 AM.

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    My old ultegra parts were wearing to the point they were difficult to shift but i didn't know it till I demo'd a new trek with SL on it. I found out if your climbing and screw up a shift you lose momentum. Excel made a kit to upgrade to it for $600. I also put on a compact double but I realize now, buy new because used is someone elses worn stuff. Does your shifting hamper you ?

  11. #11
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    I doubt shifting on a new bike with Tiagra/105 hampers the OP.

    It warms my heart to see everyone being all reasonable in this thread, instead of pointing toward the holy grail of huge performance gains from slight differences in parts quality.

  12. #12
    Flying Under the Radar X-LinkedRider's Avatar
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    Well said Tim. There are not much "upgrades" do without the engine upgrade. My Allez is same setup 105/Tiagra, it's not worth doing anything to it now until my parts just wear. However, I would agree with Kriller in regards to a wheelset, and or tires. Those are probably the most important things on a bike in terms of going fast.

    Good luck with the No beer.
    12' SuperiorLite SL Pro w/ Sram Rival | 10' SuperiorLite SL Club w/ Sram Force | 06' Giant FCR (Dropbar) w/ Shimano 5700 | 10' GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc

  13. #13
    Bikaholic blamp28's Avatar
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    I'll have to agree with what many others have posted. My road bike was really only purchased as a way to augment my off road MTB training with rides nearer to my house with out the 30-45 mintue car ride to the nearest challenging trail. I bought at Giant OCR2 in 2002 which is an entry level road bike. It's really nothing fancy with full Tiagra asside from the 105 Rear Der I put on it myself. This bike has roughly 10000 miles on it now. I replaced the stock wheelset three years ago and the right or rear shifter this past season due to the original finally giving up at around 8000 miles.

    The most significant improvement in you performance will come with engine tune ups in the way of intervals and LSD (Long/Slower?Distance)rides. The Intervals will build cardio recovery and strength and the LSD will build endurance and are some of the best weight loss rides by the way. I am still a clyde rider but have lost considerably with these techniques. As far as hardware upgrades. The biggest bang for the buck is probably a good set of wheels. Lighter rims decrease rotational mass and allow you to accelerate quicker. Ultegra is certainly the sweet spot in the Shimano road palate and I would like to have either that group or SRAM Rival on my next road bike but I don't believe it will make me measurably faster.

    For now - ride - ride - ride and learn at least basic maintenance to keep your steed tuned well. It will give you many times what you put into it.

    As far as no beer, screw that! ride farther and still enjoy the beer!
    Last edited by blamp28; 12-13-09 at 10:07 AM. Reason: Forgot the beer comment.
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  14. #14
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recess View Post
    Hey folks.

    I bought a Scott CR-1 Comp with a Tiagra chainset and 105 brakes/mech/cassette.

    Chainset is 52/39 and cassette is 11-25

    When I bought it, it was with the thought that I could get a good frame for the price, and upgrade out of the tiagra/105 mix when I had money. Well, I have some money - and am looking into the upgrades now. However, I don't seem to see anything that's worth upgrading to...

    I mean - Ultegra is the obvious choice, but it all seems to be still 52/39 and 11/25 for the mechanics. I know there are weight differences in the Ultegra parts - but to be honest, I need to worry about the extra 10lbs on me before looking at splurging on lighter parts on the bike.

    So my question is this - is there anything I can upgrade to that'll simply just make the bike go faster - without taking into consideration weight losses?

    (I'm working on the 10lb btw - but Christmas ain't helping!)

    Thanks in advance, and apologies if this is a dumb question.

    John
    I'd suggest a professional fit by someone who has a good reputation in your area instead of upgrading your group - that will give little to no perfromance increase. A shop equipped with a computrainer/Retul will be very, very helpful.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    If there's one bolt-on upgrade that will definitely cause measurable speed gains, it's an aero bar. At cruising speeds on level ground, I typically get 1-2mph boost when I'm on the aero bar. There are many caveats, however: can't use them in mass-start races, they may be viewed as a below-the-belt way of getting faster since there's no training involved, and since they put your hands out of easy reach to your brake/shift levers, they're far from ideal for riding in traffic.

  16. #16
    DLM
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    +1 to most of what was said about not bothering to spend money on expensive parts. But one thing i would recommend is higher quality tires and brake pads. Good quality road tires with supple (high thread count) sidewalls do have lower rolling resistance than mid and low end tires. Unfortunately, puncture protection also increases rolling resistance. But there is still a measurable difference with better tires.

    Better brakes mean you can go faster/safer. With half way decent brakes like you have, better pads will have a bigger impact than changing calipers.

    Since tires and brake pads are rapidly wearing items anyway, it's what I always suggest to people for upgrades since you're not replacing something that still has potentially years of good life ahead of it.

  17. #17
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    If there's one bolt-on upgrade that will definitely cause measurable speed gains, it's an aero bar. At cruising speeds on level ground, I typically get 1-2mph boost when I'm on the aero bar. There are many caveats, however: can't use them in mass-start races, they may be viewed as a below-the-belt way of getting faster since there's no training involved, and since they put your hands out of easy reach to your brake/shift levers, they're far from ideal for riding in traffic.
    Typical road frame geometry do not lend themselves well to cilp-on aerobars.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    As on any vehicle the most important item for speed is the engine.

  19. #19
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    As on any vehicle the most important item for speed is the engine.
    Yeah the pros should just ride supercycles instead of those fancy carbon bikes.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Recess View Post
    Cool - I just remember the difference on an old bike when I jumped from a triple to a double - the speed difference was noticeable. I just wondered if there was a similar jump I'm missing out on.
    It wasn't the triple that made it slow.

    Anyway, talking about going faster is pretty meaningless without knowing how fast you are riding now (average speed, distance, terrain).

    As long as you are using decent equipent (and Tiagra/105 is decent), there isn't really any equipment/components you can buy that will increase your speed noticebly

    ===============

    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    If there's one bolt-on upgrade that will definitely cause measurable speed gains, it's an aero bar. At cruising speeds on level ground, I typically get 1-2mph boost when I'm on the aero bar.
    There is this (again, it's hard to attribute any real meaning without knowing the average speeds).

    One way you can get more speed without spending money is to use the drops more. Things that contribute to improving your aerodynamics significantly will yield the greatest benefit.

    ===============

    Quote Originally Posted by blamp28 View Post
    The biggest bang for the buck is probably a good set of wheels. Lighter rims decrease rotational mass and allow you to accelerate quicker.
    People keep saying this but I've seen nothing that indicates how much this has on speed.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 12-13-09 at 04:18 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Typical road frame geometry do not lend themselves well to cilp-on aerobars.
    I can imagine some bikes not dealing with them very well. Mine works great, I'd certainly take it any day over, say, a TTX or any of the QRoos I've ridden. I don't use the clip-ons very much, actually, but they can be nice for a long solo ride out on the windy Palouse highways around here.

  22. #22
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    Aero bars can add some speed, maybe 1 mph but they are not allowed in sanctioned road races and should not be used anytime when drafting or riding in a group. They are good in time trials though.
    Of course working on the engine is always best but it may also be possible to pick up some speed with good lightweight tires. Always fully inflate tires before each ride.

  23. #23
    Solo Rider, always DFL
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    I too am confused about how a triple made you slower...

    Need to disclose that I'm a massive triple chainring hag, whatever that might mean. I don't think mine makes me slower, and definitely is faster than walking if it's sufficiently uphill...
    "Having modest aspirations RULES." --patentcad
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  24. #24
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    The switch from the triple to the double may have mattered if the bike the triple was on weighed 30 pounds with poorly adjusted bearings and the double-equipped bike was 18 pounds and tuned properly but that about the only way the change could have contributed noticably to your speed.

    I concur with njkayaker's disbelief that lighter wheels (and/or tires) make you faster. They may accelerate a bit faster and the lower weight (on anything) can let you climb faster but, on reasonably level ground at nearly constant speed, they will have no benefit.

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    Your options:

    1) Buy lighter parts,
    2) lose weight or
    3) pedal faster.

    Options 2 and 3 are way cheaper!

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