In order of importance from siggie:
Originally Posted by Hambone wrote a while ago
1. wheels (upgrade before you get your bike. If the shop won't work with you find another shop.)
2. tires (gotta take high max psi)
3. pedals (if you ride light (another of my diatribes) your pedals take serious abuse -- splurge for good ones.)
4. seat (especially on compact frames)
(probably in that order....
* Good gel bibs do soooo much to take pressure off the parts that contact the seat...
* A good seat is invaluable. It helps keep the tingley dingley from getting too bad. I have a Specialized with the Minkoff Wedge. I like it a lot. Others like other designs.
* Wheels -- I am down to from about 350 pounds. When I started riding my 36 spoke Mavic Open Pro Rims on Ultegra hubs -- they were perfectly round. Almost 2,000 miles and about 75 pounds later, they are still true. Excel in Colorado built my wheels. My understanding is that who builds your wheels can be as important as whet they are built with/from. Either way, the higher the spoke count the stronger the wheel.
* I shredded a cheap pair of pedals. Lets be honest, none of those spindles are made to hold up 300+ pounds. Get a decent pair, pay attention to them...
* Tires. If I knew then.... I built my road bike with a nice pair of Continental tires. They were rated for 120psi. I ran them bald faster than I thought they should have gone. So I switched to "commuter tires" but they had a lower psi. Big mistake. Tried several different tires. None of them as good as the Conti's. I have a new pair on order now!
Look to spend $250-$400 on wheels that you won't have to worry about. Still cheaper than massive dental work.
Seat - The Brooks are highly recommended but take a while to break in. Also, if you're going to go with a Brooks you really need to get padded shorts or bibs. ~$100
Gloves are tough - a few lbs' have plenty of gloves that are really expensive. I've gotten a few pairs from Performancebike or Nashbar and they shred by the end of the season. I'd say keep trying pairs on sale till you find ones you like, I'm finding I really like the Cannondales. Between $20-$40.
For a seatpost I'd recommend Thompson
. Really, really strong and a seatpost up the arse is as much fun as massive dental work without the Novocaine.
Now you got the safety stuff out of the way you're left with about $300. If you really want to skimp you can get go to your lbs and get:
- cheap top mount shifters
- front and rear deraileurs from the used bin
- used brake calipers
- brake & deraileur cables and housing
- used crank set (I'd go with a triple and check out a fitting site for the right length, when I went up to 175 I felt a HUGE difference (I'm 6-1") from the 170s - I'd never go back) and
- have them install a sealed bottom bracket so you can have them worry about the right spacing based on the cranks
- ($10 shifters, $40 deraileurs, $25 for brakes, $25 brakes and housing, $25 for bb, $25 labor, $25 crank set, $20 for gently used chainrings laying around (or could spend $60 for new ones there, get steel they're much stronger (I've bent the aluminum ones))).
($20) and chain
($10 - 6/7/8 are all the same size and are thicker than 9 and 10 speed (which I tend to snap).
Total on the 'group' - $215.
Another option is to buy a 'group' which will be all those things together and better shifters that will probably start around $400.
Lastly the fork, headset
($40ish), and handlebars. Some people love carbon and some people you wouldn't pay enough to put it on - you can read the threads for yourself to decide. Maybe $100 though probably could go cheaper especially if your lbs has one laying around used. Use a fitting site to get the right width for your handlebars - that will make a huge difference. You can go drops
, or treking or touring
(which I have and love - $25). If you do the treking bars treat yourself to some grips
(3 pairs for the trekking bars) and THEN wrap grip tape
over the top ($20).
So, my estimate there is $1100. You might be able to find a used bike on CL and strip the deraileurs and brake calipers off along with the cranks and chainrings so there's a little wiggle room but that should get you started.