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  1. #1
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    Can someone help me upgrade my bike?

    Hey, all!

    I'm in need of some help upgrading certain aspects of my bike, and I'm hoping you all can point me in the right direction. I'm looking to change the pedals on my bike, the tires, the seat, and also to add some fenders and a rack. The problem is that I have no idea how to determine what will fit my bike. (For reference, this is my bike: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...ruselite#specs) I need help answering the following questions:

    1. Are bike pedals universal? I.e., will any set of pedals work well (or fit) any bike? I'm looking for something I can use with any shoes (e.g., maybe the Ergon pedals).

    2. How do I know what tires will fit my bike? I can always go with the same tire size if necessary, but I'd like to explore tires of different widths. I think. How does tire width affect the ride?

    3. Probably a very stupid question, but how do I know a good seat when I see one? Is there sizing/materials I should check for? I hear Brooks saddles are great, but I wouldn't even know where to start researching the different brands and what their pros/cons are. My bike seat is pretty darn hard, and is causing some numbness. I'm not looking for some silly squishy seat, but something better.

    4. If I buy fenders for the bike, does that affect the size of tires I can use?

    5. Racks are so confusing to me. Are the sizes universal? What are things to look for in a good rack?

    Sorry if this information is posted elsewhere. I've tried some googling and can't really find much basic information. I would greatly appreciate any help/guidance you all can offer!

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    The video shows your bike with fenders and a rack. Ask your dealer about them.

    Pedals for any shoe: These attach to most pedal.

    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...alf-clips.html
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  3. #3
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brightscreamer View Post

    1. Are bike pedals universal? I.e., will any set of pedals work well (or fit) any bike? I'm looking for something I can use with any shoes (e.g., maybe the Ergon pedals).
    Pedals aren't universal, but they're divided into two very different groups. The Specialized will be in the main group, using 1/2" spindles. The other group, 9/16" spindles, is only used for steel (ashtabula, or one-piece) cranks. Think old 50s cruisers. If you go to a bike shop and ask for pedals, you'll get the right ones.

    2. How do I know what tires will fit my bike? I can always go with the same tire size if necessary, but I'd like to explore tires of different widths. I think. How does tire width affect the ride?
    As with most things bicycle-related, Sheldon Brown wrote a good article on tire sizes. Near the bottom is a chart you might find useful. Bottom line: you can find the tire's bead seat diameter on the sidewall. You can't change that but within a certain range you can change the width of tire you're using.

    3. My bike seat is pretty darn hard, and is causing some numbness. I'm not looking for some silly squishy seat, but something better.
    Being a recumbent rider, I can't help you there -- not even gonna try.

    4. If I buy fenders for the bike, does that affect the size of tires I can use?
    It might, if you have space issues between tire and fender. Fenders may require skinnier tires.

    5. Racks are so confusing to me. Are the sizes universal? What are things to look for in a good rack?
    I think there are racks meant for mountain, and others for road. They vary not only in height but in width. Otherwise, most can be adapted, assuming the frame isn't some weird design.

  4. #4
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    Pedals aren't universal, but they're divided into two very different groups. The Specialized will be in the main group, using 1/2" spindles. The other group, 9/16" spindles, is only used for steel (ashtabula, or one-piece) cranks. Think old 50s cruisers. If you go to a bike shop and ask for pedals, you'll get the right ones.
    Actually, you got those backwards. 1/2" for ashtabula, 9/16" for everything else. So, the OP should probably get 9/16, but I agree, just asking for pedals in a bike shop would lead to the right spindle size.

    A couple of other comments:

    For tire width. You can always go narrower (assuming you don't go too narrow for the specific rim, see the Sheldon Brown site mentioned earlier for ranges of tire widths appropriate for each rim width). To go wider, you also need to look at the places on the bike where the tires are closest to the frame and see if there is any extra room. Because larger tires are lower pressure, you will usually get a softer ride with larger tires, and more road feel/crisper handling and lower rolling resistance with narrower. This is impacted by the specific tire as well. How much wider/narrower you have to go in order to actually notice a difference is personal... I have read about some (usually racer/performance oriented) that claim that they must ride (for example) 22mm tires because 23mm tires feel so sluggish... I personally use wider tires on my hybrid and touring bikes (all I own) and don't notice a big difference with small changes. Even with that, I rarely wear out a tire, because I like trying new choices.

    As far as saddles... it seems that you have searched the forums here, but look closer, and you will find that these are the part of a bike that is virtually impossible to predict for someone else. A saddle that works perfectly for one person can cause extreme pain for another. In general though, I think you will find that softness is not nearly as important as fit. There are people that claim that the saddles they find that are the most comfortable are the hard ones. Saddle positioning can also be a factor. Tilting the nose down slightly may correct the problem of numbness. I am a fan of Brooks, but in general, I think that the rider needs some time to acclimate to any saddle... For example, I am somewhat convinced that when people talk about breaking in a Brooks they are slightly wrong, I think it is the rider that gets broken in (at least at some level), My proof is that I have never had a saddle that didn't cause at least minor discomfort early in the season, you just need to know what level of discomfort will lead to a good mid to late season feeling. By the way, I have found for my upright riding comfort bike, the best saddle is the cheap one at *Mart that is the width I like.

    As far as other components, a good relationship with a good local bike shop can't be beat. They will make sure that you get what you need. You don't have to use the shop that sells the brand you have... just find the place with the best service.
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  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Taking it to the bike shop, all will be resolved .. in Person.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Taking it to the bike shop, all will be resolved .. in Person.
    Understood, but that will likely prove to be much more expensive than if I were to do it myself. :/

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone! I have a lot more reading to do.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Bike Shops are Min Wage Jobs.

    dont be cheap, it's not like its that much more , Our LBS, here,

    as often as Not, installs the rack you buy with it's purchase.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-23-13 at 10:17 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Bike Shops are Min Wage Jobs.
    I'm not sure what you mean to tell me by that. Can you clarify the relevance of your comment to my post? Not being a jerk...I really don't understand. :/

  9. #9
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brightscreamer View Post
    1. Are bike pedals universal? I.e., will any set of pedals work well (or fit) any bike? I'm looking for something I can use with any shoes (e.g., maybe the Ergon pedals).
    Pretty much any 9/16" spindle pedals will work on that bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by brightscreamer View Post
    2. How do I know what tires will fit my bike? I can always go with the same tire size if necessary, but I'd like to explore tires of different widths. I think. How does tire width affect the ride?
    I've had a couple older Sirrus(Sirruses,Sirri?) and they fit Planet Bike Hybrid fenders(would guess yours would too). You can fit up to 38mm slicks under those. Wider tires will make the ride smoother,but they can also slow you down if you get heavy/treaded ones. Vittoria Randonneur Hyper and Schwalbe Marathon Supreme are examples of tires that come in wide sizes,but still reasonably light.

    Quote Originally Posted by brightscreamer View Post
    3. Probably a very stupid question, but how do I know a good seat when I see one? Is there sizing/materials I should check for? I hear Brooks saddles are great, but I wouldn't even know where to start researching the different brands and what their pros/cons are. My bike seat is pretty darn hard, and is causing some numbness. I'm not looking for some silly squishy seat, but something better.
    Saddles are a personal choice. I hated the saddle that came on my Safari. Sold it to a friend who loved it. It really depends on how you're built and how you ride. Most Specialized shops have a guide you can sit on to at least determine how wide of a saddle you should use. Also,some saddle brands have guarantees that allow you to exchange a saddle if you don't like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by brightscreamer View Post
    4. If I buy fenders for the bike, does that affect the size of tires I can use?
    Yes. Fenders take up additional room between the frame stays and fork legs.

    Quote Originally Posted by brightscreamer View Post
    5. Racks are so confusing to me. Are the sizes universal? What are things to look for in a good rack?
    Racks really aren't universal because frames come in many styles and sizes. Best to take the bike to a shop and hold the rack over the bike to test fit. As for what to look for,just get something solid. The rack should have a max load weight listed on it;a rack that can only handle 10lbs isn't very good,one that can handle 50+ is.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    As Bill Clinton was quoted "it's the economy, stupid" ..


    you want to live in a town with no shops, but wall*mart?

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Was there anything you liked about this bike when you bought it?
    1. Pin platform pedals such as the Wellgo B065 will work with any soft soled shoe.
    2. Thinner tires are somewhat livelier, but the tires that came with your bike are a good width for protection from potholes, frost cracks, etc..
    3. A bike shop that sells Specialized may have the red and white loaner saddles for you to borrow and take home to try out. Bear in mind that no saddle is going to be immediately perfect if you haven't been doing much riding yet. (You don't say how long you've had this bike.)
    4. Buy fenders that fit your existing tires and they'll be fine for narrower ones. If you manage to squeeze on a bigger pair, you might be able to go with wider tires, but from the photo in the link you posted, you probably can't go much bigger than 32c.
    5. Most racks come with hardware that allows for adjustment, but a bike shop can advise you further on this.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    As Bill Clinton was quoted "it's the economy, stupid" ..


    you want to live in a town with no shops, but wall*mart?
    Actually, no. I hate WalMart. I already bought two bikes, front lights for both, rear lights for both, a bike pump, a bike computer, a multi-tool, and a rack for my car from the bike shop. I love to support them, but I'm not in as good a financial position now, so I'm looking to save money.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Good Luck then ..

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhodabike View Post
    Was there anything you liked about this bike when you bought it?
    Yes, of course. The only things I'm looking to change because I dislike them are the pedals and the seat. This after having the bike for two years. The tire change is because my tires are wearing down, and I'd like to know what my options are. The fenders and rack I've wanted for a while, but can now justify because I will be commuting on my bike.

    Thanks for the continued help, all.

  15. #15
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Many bike shops are very competitive for things like fenders and racks..... Ask yours' what the largest fender that will fit your bike, and ask price too. Then, buy the largest tires that will fit between your stays while working with that fender. Sirrus is kind of limited on tire width, so you shouldn't have too much trouble.

    What area are you in -

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  16. #16
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Also, start individual posts, with questons like "what is the largest tire I can fit on my bike?" "What are the largest fenders I can fit on my bike?" etc.....

    You will get lots of ideas...............

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  17. #17
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    I just bought a cheap set of tires, on sale for ten apiece online. Think the brand was Kendra? The reviews looks OK.. and for ten bucks I figured it wasn't much of a risk.

  18. #18
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katsrevenge View Post
    I just bought a cheap set of tires, on sale for ten apiece online. Think the brand was Kendra? The reviews looks OK.. and for ten bucks I figured it wasn't much of a risk.
    Kenda.
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  19. #19
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    Derp.

    These ones. But.... they were 10 bucks last night. Sale isn't as nice today!

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