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  1. #1
    Senior Member ClydesMoose's Avatar
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    Going Cheap and Upgrading?

    I'm going to be Going Road in the next month or so, and I'm trying to figure out what I want.

    I think I have decided on a Felt F85 in red. However, I'm not so sure about the microshift shifters that come on it. I haven't read very many good reviews of them. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough, but eh.

    So, if I got that bike, would it make sense to swap the shifters, cassette and RD (I want the 11-32 10sp.) to Apex? Or, would I be better off finding something that came with Apex to begin with?

    Felt seems to have a good price point and mix of parts. (Plus, I really think its a pretty bike.) Anything else that I've been able to find has been up in the $15-1600 range.

    Is it possible to order a bike with the parts you want or are you stuck with stuff you don't want, to try to hock on Ebay? How likely are LBS going to be to give you value for "new" components?

  2. #2
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    If you want something in between the price of the F85 and the $15-1600 range, you might consider the Z85. It's got a mostly 105 group, including the brifters.
    Craig in Indy

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    I'm building my first road bike this month, and I went the "buy nice upfront" route. The lesson I learned from my mountain bike is that if you buy cheap stuff it'll eventually annoy you if you use it enough, and you'll want to upgrade. Ergo, "Buy nice, or buy twice". In the end I wish I had just gone with a straight Deore build upfront. Would have saved more money.

    Of course, the gamble there is "are you going to use it". The reason I went cheap upfront is because I wasn't sure if I was going to stick with cycling when I first started. So in my mind, it would have been a waste to go Deore at first, because I might have given up, and I would have spent all that money on expensive parts I wasn't going to use. But if you're going to use it, go for the gold! Or, at least... not crap.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ClydesMoose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    If you want something in between the price of the F85 and the $15-1600 range, you might consider the Z85. It's got a mostly 105 group, including the brifters.
    That's the other option, but I prefer the Apex shifting action to the 105, and I'd end up replacing it anyway.

  5. #5
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClydesMoose View Post
    ....... How likely are LBS going to be to give you value for "new" components?
    Figure 50% of WHOLESALE at best.

    Upgrading is a VERY expensive way to go, unless you are upgrading with older components (used or NOS); and you do your own work.
    Nigel
    Mechanical Design Engineer

  6. #6
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Don't change anything on the bike.

    Ride it ALL THE TIME, replacing trips in the car whenever you can.

    Then, by the time you break something, all the gas money you've saved will allow you replace the broken parts with whatever upgraded versions you want.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Talk to the bike shop about whether they can work with you on the shifters, ask them how much they'll give you for the ones that come on the bike.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  8. #8
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    Well, opinions are like a**holes, everybody has one and they usually stink, but my 2 cents on Microshift components are that they are just fine for the money. I wouldn't immediately discount a bike because of them, and I certainly wouldn't "lose" money on them by taking credit from the LBS. Ride them until they wear out, then swap them for the Campy stuff.

    As an aside: I am happy that there are companies like Microshift out there... competition is good for us consumers. It's awfully hard to justify $300, $400, or more expensive shift levers.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfwerx View Post
    ... my 2 cents on Microshift components are that they are just fine for the money. I wouldn't immediately discount a bike because of them, and I certainly wouldn't "lose" money on them by taking credit from the LBS. Ride them until they wear out, then swap them for the Campy stuff.
    I agree with this. We just built up a bike for Wfournier using microshift and with the exception of the two triggers taking some getting used to they actually perform a lot better than anyone gives them credit for. I think it's a case of a product getting a bad rep from people who haven't actually used the product but have heard about how it sux on the interwebz.

    Maybe send wfournier a pm and ask him his opinion about how they work.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ClydesMoose's Avatar
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    Fair enough. We have a new LBS opening on my side of town this weekend, and they're a Felt/Giant dealer. I plan to go to their grand opening to see if they'll have any cool deals. Hopefully they'll have an F85 for me to test ride.

    I just wish I could order a bike with the components I actually want.

    I really like the idea of the 11-32 cassette, I'm still Too Fat to Climb, and the extra gearing will be nice for me. However, to use that cassette, I'll need the Apex mid cage RD to replace the shimano 105 one that's standard.

    I'm unsure if the microshift shifters are compatible with the Apex RD that I want, so that means a shifter replacement. Plus, I have SRAM shifters on my MtB and I really like the action they have. Apex feels similar to that.

    Bah.
    Last edited by ClydesMoose; 11-01-11 at 06:21 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by paisan View Post
    I agree with this. We just built up a bike for Wfournier using microshift and with the exception of the two triggers taking some getting used to they actually perform a lot better than anyone gives them credit for. I think it's a case of a product getting a bad rep from people who haven't actually used the product but have heard about how it sux on the interwebz.

    Maybe send wfournier a pm and ask him his opinion about how they work.
    Just saw this, I'm perfectly happy with the Microshift stuff so far. I'm using the Centos stuff (levers and rear derailleur) and it really has worked great. I had initially gotten it with plans of picking up some 105 or ultegra levers down the road but at this point I see no need to. The Centos is one step up from wat it appears comes on the Felt, if you can get a test ride that would probably be the best way to see for yourself. When I was reading about Microshift it seemed the primary complaint was how long the lever throw was and that was mostly with the 8-9 speed shifters. My impression is this has been improved with the 10 speed stuff and it doesn't seem any longer than other shifters to me.

    Last weekend was my first "longer" ride on this bike and the thought that came mind was how much I was enjoying using these shifters. I want to build up a second bike for riding on gravel/dirt at some point and I plan to use Microshift on that too. I see no reason to spend more money when this works fine. FYI I payed just over $200 shipped brand new for the shifters and front and rear derailleur's (ended up not using the front because my frame plans changed so the clamp wouldn't fit and I found a braze on Ultegra for $15).

  12. #12
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    I know plenty of people who intentionally bought lesser expensive bikes with the plans to upgrade the components. I can't tell you of any of them who actually did the upgrades.

    Sure, we'd all love to have Red or Dura Ace or Super Record, but in all honesty, 105 does the job just fine. Plus, it's so expensive to upgrade compared to the price of buying a bike with better components, so it's rarely worth it.

    However, if you really want to upgrade, I'd go over to Bikes Direct and buy a bike with the groupset you want. You are paying less than you would be if you bought the groupset by itself, and you get a bonus frame, fork, handlebars, etc. Strip the good stuff off the Bikes Direct bike, put it on your main bike, then put your lesser components on the Bikes Direct bike and now you have a good bike with higher end components, and a bike to beat around on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClydesMoose View Post
    Fair enough. We have a new LBS opening on my side of town this weekend, and they're a Felt/Giant dealer. I plan to go to their grand opening to see if they'll have any cool deals. Hopefully they'll have an F85 for me to test ride.

    I just wish I could order a bike with the components I actually want.

    I really like the idea of the 11-32 cassette, I'm still Too Fat to Climb, and the extra gearing will be nice for me. However, to use that cassette, I'll need the Apex mid cage RD to replace the shimano 105 one that's standard.

    I'm unsure if the microshift shifters are compatible with the Apex RD that I want, so that means a shifter replacement. Plus, I have SRAM shifters on my MtB and I really like the action they have. Apex feels similar to that.

    Bah.
    If I'm reading your post correctly, the bike already comes with microshift brifters and a 105 derailler? If so then it will work with any other road and mtb derailler(including SRAM Apex) as long as it's not a shimano 10spd MTB derailler.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ClydesMoose's Avatar
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    Alright, so the shimano MTB RD is the odd mech out. Gotcha.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ClydesMoose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCosmo View Post
    Sure, we'd all love to have Red or Dura Ace or Super Record, but in all honesty, 105 does the job just fine. Plus, it's so expensive to upgrade compared to the price of buying a bike with better components, so it's rarely worth it.
    Well, I could go after the F75 with 105 brifters, derailleurs, etc. But its $400 more. I figure that it'd be cheaper to get the F85, and just swap out RD, brifters, and cassette and I end up with the components I want.

    If I had the $$ for a Red group, I'd probably be going CF and dropping a lot more cash.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClydesMoose View Post
    Alright, so the shimano MTB RD is the odd mech out. Gotcha.
    Only the 10spd mtb shimano stuff. 8/9 speed mtb deraillers work fine with road shifters.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClydesMoose View Post
    I really like the idea of the 11-32 cassette, I'm still Too Fat to Climb, and the extra gearing will be nice for me. However, to use that cassette, I'll need the Apex mid cage RD to replace the shimano 105 one that's standard.
    I had a pretty wide cassette like that, and liked it for about two days, until I started to hate and detest it. Sure, there are lots of different gearing combinations, but each one is pretty far from all of the rest of them. When my cadence or heart rate was a little high, I'd shift into the next gear, and then it would be drastically low ... the cassette rarely had the right gear. Have you used an 11-32 before?
    Don't believe everything you think.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ClydesMoose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Have you used an 11-32 before?
    I have not. I have a MtB right now with a 7sp 14-28, and a 24/32/42 triple on it. I'm concerned that I won't have enough range with the 50/34 and 11-25.

  19. #19
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClydesMoose View Post
    I have not. I have a MtB right now with a 7sp 14-28, and a 24/32/42 triple on it. I'm concerned that I won't have enough range with the 50/34 and 11-25.
    have you considered triple instead of compact double?

    As for upgrade.... you will spend more money to buy low and upgrade....than you will to bike a bike with the level of components you want.

    I like fiddling with bikes.... but even doing things like building a fixie for my son from his grandma's univega frame and recycled crank from my parts bin..... \end up costing as much as buying new....but the reward was a cool project with the kid..... moral is unless you recycle lots of parts you already have..... new is cheaper.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClydesMoose View Post
    I have not. I have a MtB right now with a 7sp 14-28, and a 24/32/42 triple on it. I'm concerned that I won't have enough range with the 50/34 and 11-25.
    Where are you planning on riding the road bike?
    Don't believe everything you think.

  21. #21
    Senior Member ClydesMoose's Avatar
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    I have it as a goal to ride the Red Rock loop and River Mountains Trail here in Vegas. Other than those, Mostly on the roads and such. I live in the western end of the valley, and if I go further west, its all up from here.

    And I have thought of a triple, but most everything comes with a compact double that I've looked at. I saw the SRAM stuff, and thought it'd be ideal.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    What are the Red Rock Loop and River Mountains Trail like? Are they paved? What kind of elevation gain are we talking about, and do you know how they're graded?

    I have a road bike with a standard double, eg a 53/39, and an 11-25 cassette. My last bike was much heavier, and had much lower gearing (I think I had a 34T chain ring and a 28T cog), so, LBS warned me that I might need to change some stuff on the new bike, but said they'd work with me if it came to that. Turned out there isn't a hill in Seattle I can't climb with the new bike, literally, as S-DOT publishes a list of the steepest roads around, topping out at 21 %, which was a *****. I found the gearing to be ok, especially when combined with a much better climbing bike. Probably some of this came down to the fact that I had a good climbing rig, so I spent a lot more time climbing all of a sudden, and got better at it. When I take the bike out to the mountains, I find they're usually more gently sloped than some of the hills in town, because the roads are longer.

    A 34 tooth chain ring with a 32 tooth cog is a very low gear! You know better than I do whether you need it, but you might be underestimating the difference between your mountain bike and a good road bike. Will the shop let you take theirs for a hilly test ride? ( My LBS is known for letting people do long test rides, borrow stuff for a weekend, etc, if they think they'll make a sale, and especially during the off season. )
    Don't believe everything you think.

  23. #23
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    FYI I'm running the Tiagra 12-30 with a compact crank on my bike, it gives me lower gearing than my old 12-25 with a triple.

  24. #24
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Just curious, why the need for a setup other than 105? I see many riders claiming to dislike the shifting etc.

    I find that as long as the system is somewhat decent, it doesn't affect my riding in any way. I did a timed event long ago with ultegra stuff. The next year I vowed to take an hour off my time on the 10,000 ft climb. My shifters broke about 3 weeks before the event. I was in a pinch and put Sora shifters and a rear derailleur on, that or miss the event I had planned for so long. Now everybody hates the thumb shifters blah blah blah. But they worked great and I took that hour off my time. I ended up keeping the shifters on my bike for over a year till I found a great sale on Dura Ace shifters. Now I have the Dura Ace and honestly, I can't say the bike handles any different, goes any faster or climbs any better.

    If your goal is to work up to climbing RedRock, I'd say at this moment you probably shouldn't be as picky as to what shifts this way and that way. It's all good stuff and it works. Not like you are going to miss a shift at the top of Mt Ventoux losing the TDF. Why not just buy the bike as equipped, use it till you wear the stuff out. I might think you'd even change your mind about blowing the money on a swap.


    Any decent quality is going to outperform any of us on these forums. I have 105 and Dura Ace. Both of which will easily out perform my abilities.

    I guess I am curious as to what one set will do for you that the 105 won't, they both shift gears well.

  25. #25
    Senior Member ClydesMoose's Avatar
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    I think the microshift will probably work fine, but I like SRAM's doubletap feature a lot. It feels like the thumb shifters I have on my MtB now.

    The reason I'd replace the 105 RD that comes on the F85 is that I want the Apex cassette that needs a mid cage RD. So replace those at the same time to get the low gearing that I think I'll need to go up into the mountains, and maybe wait a bit to replace the shifters if I end up hating the microshifts.

    Red Rock and River Mountains are paved trails. I'm not sure about the RM trail, but RR is 1650' of up in something like 6 miles, and then 1650' of down in the next 6. That sounds like a lot to me. RM is a 30mi trail that has a couple of decent climbs in it. I'm still a beginner in my head, and as this is my first road bike, I want to be sure that I'll be able to actually ride it and not get discouraged up a hill.

    I do appreciate the information and insights here I think the shifters comes down to familiarity and preference. I can't say that I won't be able to get along with the MS brifters because I have no experience with them. I've seen Sora in the stores, and that thumb button seems really awkward. I do need to get out and test ride some bikes, and hopefully I'll do that this weekend.
    Last edited by ClydesMoose; 11-01-11 at 12:05 PM.

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