Question on upgrades
Will upgrading my RD from Tiagra to Ultegra w/o changing my Sora shifters make a difference in shifting? Same with the FD?
Not so much, no. But I don't think it will hurt. So if you eventually get Ultegra shifters, it'll be good.
I have Tiagra fd and rd, I can pick up a tiagra crank for $40.00 on ebay, and a bottom bracket for like $20.00. The install would cost me another $20.00. Would it be a good investment to swap the FSA Vero crank that came with the bike for the tiagra hoolowtech II with external BB?
Buy yourself a Park BBT-9, a tube of grease, and do the install yourself...
That said, I don't think you'll notice any difference between the cranks. Unless the FSA Vero is a complete hunk of junk? I upgraded my old bike from a Tiagra crank+BB to an Ultegra SL crank+BB and couldn't tell the difference in the way the bike pedaled and shifted. I did, however, notice two things when off the bike: 1) the Tiagra crank seemed to scratch more easily than the Ultegra SL crank and 2) the chain rings on the Ultegra SL crank seemed to wear more quickly than the Tiagra chain rings.
I did once put on Sora shifters and a rear derailleur onto my Ultegra equipped roadie. In a pinch before an organized ride and my Ultegra shifters pooped out on me. The Sora shifter and rear der were flawless for a year. I only replaced them after keeping an eye on some better components. Keeping them finely tuned makes a difference. I had a bud with Ultegra that worked like junk while my Sora was great.
But my crank, I did notice a big difference. The stock Bontrager BB was notehign but a problem, and noisey clicking and ticking even after a new cartridge. I found an outboard bearing Ultegra crank online for $149. Huge difference in smoothness and stiffness. Not in speed but the bike is smooth. But the Bonti was junk after 15,000 miles.
Look up Wheelandsprocket online store on ebay. They usaully have a bunch of cranksets at good prices. I've seen 105 for $50 but the old cart setups (not outboard).
BTW, the $150 I paid for the Ultegra inlcuded the BB too! At a shop, I'd pay $200 and maybe another $60 for the BB. Plus W&S have a link where you can ask tech questions about the purchase.
Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 02-07-09 at 03:36 PM.
I saw a Tiagra Hollowtech II setup for $39.99 52/39 170mm. The only difference between my CAAD9-7 and a CAAD9-6 would be the sora shifters. I can get the BB for $25 and have it swapped for $18.00. So basically $83.00 for what I think would probably be a decent upgrade.