I have recently gotten back into biking, 3 months ago, after a 20 year break.
Its near impossible to get good/branded/new bikes in my country. So there are only two ways to get hands on good bikes:
1. Import which costs allot
2. Go to the second hand market and buy used bikes (usually imported as scrap and then restored)
So i went with option 2 and bought me a 1996 Cannondale M500 CAAD3
. It was the best bike in the shop and i didnt want to wait another week for the next lot. So i picked it up, ended up paying a premimum price of $225 after discount( he wanted $260). Road/Racers are hard to come by so even though i dont haveany trails or dirt tracks to ride, i had no choice but to go for the mountain bike. The good thing about it is, its a CAAD, very light and very fast for a MTB.
Initilally i found my self huffing and puffing at just 3kms but i am making progress and now do 20-40kms a day.
The bike has started giving me some issues mainly its chain skips when i try to accelrate hard or peddle hard in 2 of the gears. No skips if i accelarate steadily, without force.
I was advised that its a chain issue so i got that replaced (Shimano HG 9 speed). My cassette is 7 speed so removed three links. Since the chain skip (clunnk) has gotten slightly worse. now it happens in almost all gears.
Cycle repair shops are on the other corner of the city so my only option is to listen to the friend who advised on the chain since he is more up to date and maintains his own bike etc. He is advising me to replace the rar cassete as well. Which brings me to the second angle.
I started cycling with this casual (B group) and have been trying hard to join the A group, meaning slightly mre serious than casual. These guys have Carbon bikes BMC/Look/ road racers. Needless to say they ride fast and long. i join them for a shorter segment of the ride but by the end of my segment i am completely out of breath and full of guilt that maybe i am holding them back. So if i am to stick to this bike and fix it up i need to make it go faster as well.
Here are my options:
1. Spend money and fix up the CAAD3:
- make the replacement cassette 8/9 speed
- replace the shifters 8/9 speed
- get slicker road tires
2. Save up and buy the cheapest new Road Racer i can get hands on. (Cheapest because I love ths canondale and dont know much about other brands so one option is to carry a Cannondale Cad 8/9
back with me the next time i travel abroad. I say caad 8/9 bcause they are alloy and can be found with mid-range components for under $1,000...?? I am not convinced on the carbon bikes and dont think i will notice the difference for now. SO i cant justify spending $2000 on a bike
Even $1000 is allot of money for us here for a Bike.
What do you all recommend i should do?
I will try to add some pics of my existing bike as well so you all can advise.