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  1. #26
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Then there is the classic Eddy Merckx quote "Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades"

    Of course I don't live by it, I'm always on the look out for cool cycling stuff.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by szewczykm View Post
    I should add that I'm VERY aware that the engine is a problem. But if there's something that may help me go a few miles further or make the time on the bike more comfortable, then I'm interested.
    Your post while i was typing my previous reply.... If you haven't done it yet, a bike fit from someone who knows what they're doing is the best bet of making time on the bike more comfortable. A bike fit would have the infamous butt-o-meter session and they should give suggestions as to what saddle to start with based on the butt-o-meter result.
    After that is trial and error with minor adjustments: if the saddle is a problem your butt will let you know in due time and then the trial and error process begins.
    The saddle i read in the forum was loved by many did not make friends with my butt and viceversa. Some people go through half a dozen saddles before finding the right one, some other are lucky and get it on the first or second shot. Biggest YMMV in bike riding in my experience.

  3. #28
    Senior Member szewczykm's Avatar
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    OK, I just googled "compare shimano tiagra and 105" and I ended up finding these articles:

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/39...a-derailleurs/ (Good)
    http://www.bikecyclingreviews.com/105_or_Tiagra.html (better)
    http://www.epinions.com/content_957259908?sb=1 (best - Compares all of the Shimano systems)

    These articles helped me understand the product lines and differences. I wouldn't change anything out, but now when looking at other bikes I understand that Bike X might be a little more expensive than Bike Y if X has the 105 and Y has the Tiagra - and why that should or should not matter to me.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    Of course with Ultegra I get 10 speed which I don't believe is available in Tiagra or 105. I also added some bling to my bike just because... my cassette is the Sram XX 36t - a work of art.
    Out of curiosity, what RD did you do to use a cassette that big?

  5. #30
    Senior Member szewczykm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acquaspin View Post
    Your post while i was typing my previous reply.... If you haven't done it yet, a bike fit from someone who knows what they're doing is the best bet of making time on the bike more comfortable. A bike fit would have the infamous butt-o-meter session and they should give suggestions as to what saddle to start with based on the butt-o-meter result.
    After that is trial and error with minor adjustments: if the saddle is a problem your butt will let you know in due time and then the trial and error process begins.
    The saddle i read in the forum was loved by many did not make friends with my butt and viceversa. Some people go through half a dozen saddles before finding the right one, some other are lucky and get it on the first or second shot. Biggest YMMV in bike riding in my experience.
    Yep! I spent the money and spent a few hours at the LBS going through the fitting and all of the computer measurements and experienced eyeballing. I agree, it was worth every penny.

    Although, he said that he wouldn't have put me on the frame that I have, that I was too crunched up. He did a bunch of things to compensate for it and it made a big improvement. I should actually go back and ask what frame he would have put me on and if that will make any difference now that we've tweaked my bike out.

  6. #31
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by szewczykm View Post
    So, I completely understand I could take a poop and lose 100 grams of weight. When I find out that all something gets me is less weight I tune that out. But if a component is stronger and will last me longer or will make my ride smoother somehow, I'm interested.
    There are two problems with this idea. First, you're thinking about things in isolation. Suppose you remove 100 grams from a seatpost, 200 by changing to a different crank set, 100 with a saddle, 100 more with a different cassette, 80 on skewers, and 800 on wheels. Now we're talking about three pounds. Nobody "shaves" 40 grams from one part and expects it to mean they'll finally manage to climb some mountain that's turned them away every time until now, it's part of a bigger strategy.

    Second, how much your poop weighs has little bearing on your bike. Imagine you're out enjoying a good ride, and there's a hill coming up, so you stop to take a poop. Hopefully there's a bathroom for you to use! What happens at the second hill? I've heard other people say "I can just leave my water bottles at home to save weight," well, water is kind of nice to have when you're exerting yourself in the sun. If a light weight bike doesn't appeal to you, that's fine and good.

    Quote Originally Posted by szewczykm View Post
    If I broke or bent a tiagra crank, and the 105 is $100 more, I might spend the $100 if it's a stronger crank. If it's just as strong but lighter, then I wouldn't.
    I can't compare those two, but I've had a few FSA cranks, and I have a pair of Ultegra ones (6700 on one bike, 6500 on another) now. The Ultegra cranks shift much, much better than the FSA ones. Also, chains last me much longer, but I don't think it's the cranks alone. They're also stiffer and I believe they weigh less.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  7. #32
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by szewczykm View Post
    I should add that I'm VERY aware that the engine is a problem.
    nothing some new wheels and a powermeter cant fix. If you have the money spend it help someones economy.

    As someone mentioned do it for aesthetics as well, a good looking bike will beg you to ride it, a comfortable good looking bike will beg you to ride it more and longer. The byproduct of this is a svelter you and improved engine.

  8. #33
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by szewczykm View Post
    I probably approached this wrong.
    I think the way you posed the question looked to those here like the typical "I just bought a new bike and want to start changing everything" question heard so often which is why this headed that way.

    In simplest terms, the lower level components are made from cheaper materials to less exacting tolerences. They tend to be heavier and less smooth in operation. They also tend to wear a bit faster as they are used on bikes that tend not to be ridden much.

    As you move up, materials, tolerances and finished improve. Components get lighter and smoother. They also tend to last a bit longer. They are put on bikes that are expected to be ridden.

    When you near the top of the heap, materials get exotic, tolerances precise and finish is awesome. Components near the lightest and smoothest they can be. This comes at somewhat of a tradeoff of durability.

    Most people feel the middle of a manufacturers' line gives the best mix of price, weight, functionality and durability for the average rider. For Shimano road groups, 105 is often looked at as the sweet spot. Moving above that level results in diminishing returns.

    In your case, I would not think upgrading would be of great benefit at this time. Keep working on the engine and decide on a long term plan. Either look to upgrade to a better bike and keep your current bike as a backup/bad weather/etc. bike (N+1) or plan to upgrade components as they wear out and eventually bring your bike up to the level you want.
    Last edited by CACycling; 07-02-12 at 02:47 PM.

  9. #34
    Senior Member szewczykm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ C View Post
    nothing some new wheels and a powermeter cant fix. If you have the money spend it help someones economy.

    As someone mentioned do it for aesthetics as well, a good looking bike will beg you to ride it, a comfortable good looking bike will beg you to ride it more and longer. The byproduct of this is a svelter you and improved engine.
    OK, my bike has:
    rims Mavic CXP22
    hubs Formula sealed Cartridge Bearing 24/28h
    spokes SAPIM Race, 14/15g

    What positive changes can be made to those? How would it change my ride?

  10. #35
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    In the end Its all about the pedals turn the crank that pulls the chain
    and turns the back wheel.

    and it all works to do that ..
    maybe a silent pawl scheme like Chris King makes , His US made hubs,
    will let you sneak up on 'the Perps', [Cops on Bikes stuff]
    that would quiet down the freewheel/coasting part of the ride..

    Well another wheel set with the load shared by many more spokes
    Is a concession, that the rider is not a welterweight..

    say a 32, 36 combination.. [but I note the 24/28 combination is fashionable these days . many bikes come that way..]



    I'm just a tourist - commuter type.. got a lot of trouble free
    touring miles, carrying sufficient gear to go (slowly with many distractions)
    from Feb to Nov,SW Ireland to NE Scotland .. and several summers , before then ,
    by building a 48, 40 wheel set to go to the other extreme..
    'belt and braces' as they say..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-02-12 at 03:56 PM.

  11. #36
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakichan View Post
    out of curiosity, what rd did you do to use a cassette that big?
    XT... Its Ultegra front but MTB components in back... I need all the help I can get climbing...

    That said I can climb just about anything with the current set up...
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  12. #37
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Upgrades: if weight is your issue...lose 5 lbs. Makes no sense to pay good money for lighter components when you weigh too much to begin with...

    If you are looking for performance and durability... now that can be helped. Again I already said higher end components perform better. In order to check it out go to the bike shop and test ride a bike with Ultegra or Dura Ace shifters. Not certain I would worry about upgrading from Tiagra to 105 but at some point you might want to go up to Ultegra. Clean smooth shifting adds in performance on the bike.

    I also believe in a good custom set of wheels. I can't tell you how much difference it feels than stock wheels. See if you can find a bike shop that will loan you some good wheels. You have to check it out to see the difference.

    I went from a 20 year old Specialized Expedition to a Lemond Zurich with full Ultegra. I immediately felt the difference. The bike was lighter, more responsive, shifted beautifully, went faster and I could ride harder and farther. It made me wnat to ride more. My new bike is so much more than that. Recently I purchased a new mountain bike. I have already switched out the crank, wheels, brakes and fork. Bike performed well before but now so much better.

    But I have a friend who rides old cheap bikes. I can't even come close to her performance (when she ride with me its a "social" ride for her). She blows me away... that because her engine is as fit as it comes and good or bad bike, she can ride. People like me need some help but frankly, if I lost 10 lbs I probably would not need the Sram XX 36t in rear. But I will keep it because of the "bling" factor which after all is important as well.
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  13. #38
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    and it all works to do that ..
    maybe a silent pawl scheme like Chris King makes , His US made hubs,
    will let you sneak up on 'the Perps', [Cops on Bikes stuff]
    that would quiet down the freewheel/coasting part of the ride..

    ..

    What is the point of quiet CK hubs? I love the noise mine make... tells people to get out of my way!!! (just kidding but I do like the noise).
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  14. #39
    Senior Member tony_merlino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    Maybe it is time to get a used bike and start fixing it up.
    Now you're talking! WARNING: tinkering with bikes is highly addictive...
    L'asino di Buridano...

  15. #40
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    What is the point of quiet CK hubs? I love the noise mine make... tells people to get out of my way!!! (just kidding but I do like the noise).
    If i ever have wheels built i want the loudest coasting hubs i can get.
    1. it will let people know i am coming
    2. it will force me not to coast.

  16. #41
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    What is the point of quiet CK hubs? I love the noise mine make... tells people to get out of my way!!! (just kidding but I do like the noise).
    Quote Originally Posted by CJ C View Post
    If i ever have wheels built i want the loudest coasting hubs i can get.
    1. it will let people know i am coming
    2. it will force me not to coast.
    "Loud hubs save lives."

    When I test rode a Cervelo for the first time, I thought it was a fantastic bike, but its one downside was that it screamed like a banshee if you stopped pedaling. That was at a bike shop to pass some time while they fixed my Novara; a year or more later, I had a Cervelo, and the noisy freehub grew on me pretty quickly. It turned into an alarm that told me I should be pedaling. When I had to take a MUP, it alerted people to my presence, I'd never have to actually say anything and they'd move out of my way. Eventually, it just felt right.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  17. #42
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    Again, you have a solid bike. Get a few hundred miles or even a 1000 miles on it and then think about upgrading. Or upgrade (I say change versus upgrade really) when things need to be done for proper bike fit. For example, if you are snapping spokes, get the wheel rebuilt with heavier duty spokes.

    Just how I see it.

    As for shedding grams, it is pointless when the best way is to shed weight on your body (I am in that boat). I would rather have a bike with parts that will hold me while I ride and shed pounds versus shedding grams off of bike parts.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    XT... Its Ultegra front but MTB components in back... I need all the help I can get climbing...

    That said I can climb just about anything with the current set up...
    I thought I read that current Ultegra 10speed shifters are not compatible with Shimano MTB RDs - that you needed to find a 9spd XT RD to make things work. True?

  19. #44
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    two different concepts How does it work and should I upgrade.

    My 2 cents

    As is true in most cases, you get what you pay for. In general the more expensive components give you a combination of better build quality, closer tolerances, longer life, better function and lighter weight. Style is also a factor. And so is technology, most new technology is brought in at the highest component group level and slowly it triclkles down to the lower component groups.

    There is of course a point where you have to make a decision if the saving 10 grams is worth say a hundred bucks to you. This is the situation you get at the top end of a line as an example ultegra vs Durace. And this decision is often based soley on looks/weight as at the high end you need to be a professional to feel the differeneces.

    In the shimano road bike line 105 is considered by many people a really good value point between cost and overall quality/functionality.


    you can pick up a lot about componentes by hanging in some of the other sub-forums.

    On upgrades: Upgrades are expensive and a complete change over of a drive trains is much more expensive they you would guess as ab example. There are two reasons to upgrade: NEED when something is broken or doesnt work for you and Want you simply want something different.

    My personal example years ago before I got back into doing most of my own work, I had a bike shop upgrade my road bike from double to triple. I feel I needed this as I needed help on hills. The upgrade worked flawlessly, and hill felt smaller, but as it swapped out matching ultregra 600 tricolor for a mix of rx100 and Tiagra parts, I was never really happy with the aesthetics.

    So a couple of years ago I upgrade to 9sp ultegra triple. This was more of a want....I wanted sti shifters, I wanted the look of closely matched ultegra parts (not perfect as it was mix of new/used but close). I wanted Ultegra not 105 as I don't want to ever blame gear for my engine problems (a quirk but it is mine ) and I like how the ultegra looked (just like I don't like the carbon look...especially in cranks). So didn't need to upgrade but was very happy afterwards.

    So my best suggestion is update if a) something is not working or b) if you have a specific want to upgrade...no one else has to agree but you.
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  20. #45
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    "Loud hubs save lives."

    When I test rode a Cervelo for the first time, I thought it was a fantastic bike, but its one downside was that it screamed like a banshee if you stopped pedaling. That was at a bike shop to pass some time while they fixed my Novara; a year or more later, I had a Cervelo, and the noisy freehub grew on me pretty quickly. It turned into an alarm that told me I should be pedaling. When I had to take a MUP, it alerted people to my presence, I'd never have to actually say anything and they'd move out of my way. Eventually, it just felt right.
    Know what you mean. My MTB has a really loud freehub and people do hear me coming on shared paths, I just have to stop pedalling a short time and they get out of the way. The cross bike runs almost silently, it's not unheard of for me to freewheel past people and them to have had no idea I was even there.

    Sometimes I think of swapping out my rear wheel for one with a louder freehub, but then figure it would be cheaper to get a bell.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by szewczykm View Post
    I probably approached this wrong. I'm curious about my bike and what makes it tick. I want to know about gear sets, and types of brakes, and why one thing might be better than another. Not because I feel the need to swap everything out, but because I really like to know this stuff. *snip*
    So if that is the kind of info you want to know (and yet it still appears there are some who havent read this post), try your best to ask specifics about things you hear other people say, and those of us here who probaly know more then we should, can try to help you out, and explain it in a way that is more understandable to you.

    Generally speaking, as you get into the higher level bits, you see more exotic materials. Carbon Fiber, Titanium, Ceramic Bearings, etc. How the mterials are used dictate whether they are lighter, or stronger, or functional. For example, you could make a pedal out of titanium that is significantly lighter then aluminum and steel, with equal durability. Or you could make it twice as durable for the same weight. Functionally speaking, in most cases a carbon fiber component will often weigh as much or more then an equivalent aluminum or stainless part. The primary difference is that the carbon part can be tuned where as the metals can not. For example, aluminum and stainless may cause a "buzz". Carbon, while not being lighter, does have the ability to have the weave, the layup, and the resin augmented to adjust the flex, and the resonance of the part to help improve dampening. So better materials does always mean lighter, and it doesnt always mean stronger. Thats were asking specific questions comes into play.

    In terms of the different groupos, functionally they are all going to operate about the same. What you will often times see if a much better quality in the manufacturing techniques used. So where something in Sora or Tiagra might be a stamped piece of stainless, the 105 or Ultegra part will be machined aluminum or stainless piece. The benefits in the better machining of components leads to better tolerances, and that means the systems themselves can be more precise, and tighter. Which will lead to crisper, smoother, and more accurate operation.

    Often times in the higher end components, you will see much better engineering, and more development time spend on the design. Most of the lower end components (even 105) are designed for mass production. Where the higher level bits will sacrifice some of the production benefits for a stronger more suitable design. A good example of this is my Ultegra level SPD pedals. Yes they are lighter, and i font feel they are any stronger, but what they are is much better engineered. The shaft design places the bearings directly under the pedal base, and provides less chance for debris intrusion, better handling of load forces, and thus and better longevity.

    Also each manufacture is differnt in how they do things as well. SRAM for example shares almost complete engineering parity between Apex, Rival, and Force. The internals of the shifters, and the materials of the body are identical. However Apex is all aluminum, Rival is carbon brake levers with aluminum shift paddles, and Force is carbon brake levers with magnesium shift paddles. The crank sets differ from Apex being solid aluminum pieces, Rival being hollow, and Force being carbon, however they all share the same chainrings. The read derailleurs are identical in engineering as well. However the Apex is all metal, the Rival adds some plastic parts, and lighter weight aluminum bits for weight savings, while Force has some magnesium components, and the carbon cage from RED. Between all of the base SRAM lines, i wouldnt have any problem swapping out levers or front and rear derailleurs between the group sets. The difference in weight is minimal, and the functionality is the same. One place where i wouldnt though, is the cranks. The Apex cranks feel heavy, the Rival cranks are good and perform well, and the Force cranks feel very solid indeed, and offer a more connected feel with less vibration transfer.
    However, you move up to RED and its almost completely different engineering from the top down, and a completely different animal.

    Same is true of Shimano in the same way that Dura Ace is its own animal, but the trickle down effect is pretty strong. Although Shimano component quality and engineering changes more significantly as you go down the line from Ultegra to Sora. Though i wont bore you with the details like i did with SRAM.

    FOr Campy, no idea...never ridden their stuff, never been interested in their product line.


    And of course the final problem with higher end stuff...opinions. And as ive sure you have seen with this thread, they are all over the map in terms of where people sit on higher end gear. Some people even going as far as to put "higher end" in quotes in the same way they would thumb their nose at a guy in a $250k Ferrari on the freeway.

    But, as i said in my previous post, it all comes down to what you get out of riding, and what you expect from riding. Sure, i would like SRAM Force parts on my bike instead of the Rival stuff i have. But at the end of the day the difference between them for how i ride would be negligible. Hell, if i had to switch down to Apex shifters, aside from the levers being colder, i doubt i would notice any difference in performance, likewise if i went up to Force levers. Because those few grams of difference mean little. But what i do know, is that i prefer the snappier more direct feeling of shifting in the SRAM components over the 105, which has nothing to do with weight, but functionality. But speaking of weight, i do ride on lighter weight wheels, and i do notice a significant difference from my old stocker CXP22 rims. Not only in bearing performance of the axels, but in the snap of acceleration, and the quality of ride. So while a couple grams in a derailleur might not amount to any benefit in the real world, a several gram reduction in the amount of unsprung rotating mass at the outer edge the wheel, that i dont have to push around, can make a significant difference in the way you ride, and the effort you have to give.
    So as you go down this road of discovery and education of how you ride, what you expect when you ride, and learn what parts of your bike DONT work for you, you can begin to arm yourself with knowledge to point yourself in the direction that finds the niche that DOES suit your riding style.

    Sorry that was so long, but i hope you learn something, and i hope it makes you ask more questions along the way.

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