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  1. #1
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    Upgrading drivetrain

    Bought my first "real bike" - a 2016 escape 3. I plan on looking at road bikes sometime next summer, so intended to do some tinkering with this one to learn about the hardware. Make my mistakes on the cheap stuff I guess?

    A project I'd like to do is to upgrade the tourney drivetrain to a deore (or equivalent?) set, but given the 7 speed rear and lack of disc mounts, I'd be looking at v-brake sets. Not looking to buy a new bike, I'd rather use this one as a project/learning bike and commuter for the future.

    Being newbie to non-huffy bikes, this is my learning project) I'm not completely clear on which groupset or components I'd be needing for the conversion. Most of the sets I'm seeing include disc brake hardware rather than the v-brakes and I'm not sure what components from the larger sets I actually need for this bike (3x10 vs 2x10, hubs? Etc)

    My rides are 5-25 miles on pavement of varying quality or light packed dirt in park paths. Using the stock wheels and tires (700c 32). Sometimes I pull a dog trailer with 70lbs worth of dog in it so I'm sure that will affect the set I'd be looking at.

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
    Optically Corrected KLiNCK's Avatar
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    You are going to spend a lot of money (on a brand new bike!?!) with minimal returns. I'd "tinker" with your current bike and learn how to maintain it so that it is running perfectly... derailleurs shifting smoothly, brakes set-up the way you like them, drivetrain lubed and running silently. You can do all this without upgrading your current bike. Save your money for next year and put it towards your N+1!
    If you'd like to improve the performance of the Escape 3 (which is a nice bike!), I'd look at maybe getting sportier tires and better brake pads. "Better bang for the buck".
    Just my 2 cents...
    "Succeeding....despite best intentions"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad953 View Post
    Bought my first "real bike" - a 2016 escape 3. I plan on looking at road bikes sometime next summer, so intended to do some tinkering with this one to learn about the hardware. Make my mistakes on the cheap stuff I guess?

    A project I'd like to do is to upgrade the tourney drivetrain to a deore (or equivalent?) set, but given the 7 speed rear and lack of disc mounts, I'd be looking at v-brake sets. Not looking to buy a new bike, I'd rather use this one as a project/learning bike and commuter for the future.

    Being newbie to non-huffy bikes, this is my learning project) I'm not completely clear on which groupset or components I'd be needing for the conversion. Most of the sets I'm seeing include disc brake hardware rather than the v-brakes and I'm not sure what components from the larger sets I actually need for this bike (3x10 vs 2x10, hubs? Etc)

    My rides are 5-25 miles on pavement of varying quality or light packed dirt in park paths. Using the stock wheels and tires (700c 32). Sometimes I pull a dog trailer with 70lbs worth of dog in it so I'm sure that will affect the set I'd be looking at.

    Thanks for any advice!
    Agree with Colonel Klink above, if you want a project bike, you can easily find very cheap components and frames on the used market to learn with.

    If you have a community bike co-op like these in Portland

    Portland?s Bike Co-operatives | Neighborhood Notes

    you can borrow their tools for free and pick up inexpensive components to learn with.

  4. #4
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    I agree with "Klink" too. There is nothing wrong with the Tourney derailleur if you keep it tuned up. Same with brakes. Getting good at tuning the barrel adjuster and balancing the brakes is more than learning how to do it. It takes practice and experience and that's what this bike can provide.

  5. #5
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    are you looking to just tinker with your bike or are looking to actually increase performance? If you want it to perform better I'd looking into better brake pads, lighter wheelset, and if nothing else better tires. Rotational weight will be far more noticeable than adding more gears.

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    I suppose both? Mainly educational, I'd like to do the upgrade myself much like it's enjoyable to do (some kinds of) repairs myself on the car. I know the Escape frame was paired with the deore set on the 0 variant in the past so I assumed it wasn't "too much" poured into that level of hardware for the frame. I'm not particularly concerned with the cost accounting at the moment, as I'm just trying to figure out what components I'd actually need for the bike. I plan on keeping this bike as the dog-hauler and around-town indefinitely, so I don't really see anything lost in even a marginal upgrade considering my goal is just to learn about the hardware and who doesn't like tinkering with cool gadgets? I'll probably add a road bike next summer for more distance and speed, but I enjoy these kinds of projects and it's a great way to hands-on learn this stuff.

    I'll start looking into the pads, thats certainly easy enough. Is there a crowd favorite in tires or pads? My wife swapped out her Sedona tires for some 700c and they're Kenda Kwest brand so the LBS carries at least that line, and they're slicker than the ones on the escape. When you guys are saying "sportier" tires do you mean just slicker in general? Will smoother tires affect pulling the 100 lbs of dog + trailer significantly?

  7. #7
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad953 View Post
    I suppose both? Mainly educational, I'd like to do the upgrade myself much like it's enjoyable to do (some kinds of) repairs myself on the car. I know the Escape frame was paired with the deore set on the 0 variant in the past so I assumed it wasn't "too much" poured into that level of hardware for the frame. I'm not particularly concerned with the cost accounting at the moment, as I'm just trying to figure out what components I'd actually need for the bike. I plan on keeping this bike as the dog-hauler and around-town indefinitely, so I don't really see anything lost in even a marginal upgrade considering my goal is just to learn about the hardware and who doesn't like tinkering with cool gadgets? I'll probably add a road bike next summer for more distance and speed, but I enjoy these kinds of projects and it's a great way to hands-on learn this stuff.

    I'll start looking into the pads, thats certainly easy enough. Is there a crowd favorite in tires or pads? My wife swapped out her Sedona tires for some 700c and they're Kenda Kwest brand so the LBS carries at least that line, and they're slicker than the ones on the escape. When you guys are saying "sportier" tires do you mean just slicker in general? Will smoother tires affect pulling the 100 lbs of dog + trailer significantly?
    Probably not. And I wouldn't necessarily run out and buy Kenda Kwest tires as an "upgrade" over the stock tires on your Escape. Last year, I bought a Giant branded mountain bike tire for my son. When installing it, I looked closely at the sidewall and it was a Kenda.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong, per se, with upgrading a bike you already like. The problem is, you are talking about upgrading from entry level 7 speed Tourney to enthusiast or mountain bike grade 10 speed, which means switching out shifters, derailleurs, and back wheel. And you still have entry level frame, cranks, front wheel, and V brakes. The question is, does this make sense in a bike that retails for $360? Don't get me wrong. I have spent hundreds in upgrading and overhauling bikes, but it was usually a bike that had sentimental value rather than something I just bought. Might it not make sense to just sell your Escape 3 and look for a deal on a new, or slightly used model a little higher up the food chain, if upgrading is your inclination?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Other than tires, other "upgrades" will have a low return vs $ invested. (Kool Stop brake pads IF you feel your braking is too weak)
    I think a more useful approach would be to invest in decent tools.
    First, tools to service the hubs. Cone wrenches, Free Wheel remover, grease & bearing balls.
    Most factory hubs tend to have minimal grease and that would be a good place to start.

  10. #10
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    since your headed towards a road bike, buy a vintage steel road bike and work on that. depending on location you should be able to find a non collector grade bike in decent condition for 50 to $150. the ones with 27" tires are fine, there are 4 or 5 good tires that fit and it and make good riders.

  11. #11
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    This seems like an appropriate thread for my question (apologies to OP if not).

    I have a decent hybrid bike (Misceo 2.0, alum. frame, 29'er) with a basic Altus/Acera drive train. I'd like to upgrade my group set - what's better? Older LX group (sub $100.00) or a newer, modern group such as Deore?

  12. #12
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Upgrading drive train parts on a brand new bike is a little odd, unless you got a killer deal on the bike or group set. I understand wanting to mess with and improve it though.

    Tourney is a great value and I'd personally be happy with it on a bike I wasn't keeping for the long haul, except ... I don't really like the 7-speed freewheel and the wheels they come on, and Tourney is a little fussier keep adjusted. Maybe that's just me. I'd be tempted to start with the wheel, an upgrade with a freehub, select an 8 or 9 speed at the low end and an inexpensive shifter. It wouldn't cost all that much.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Falls under the category of Fixing what is Not Broken .. Do the math, and just replacing the whole bike may be not much more..

  14. #14
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Falls under the category of Fixing what is Not Broken .. Do the math, and just replacing the whole bike may be not much more..
    I agree.

    I'd suggest selling the bike you currently have and just buying one with the components you want already on it. A lot less futzin' 'round and everything will be compatible.
    Correct: I like brand X more than brand Y.
    Uncorrect: i like brand x more then brand y

  15. #15
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    From experience, I'd say don't do it. I bought a Giant Escape in may 2014 and I had the same thoughts as you, I would upgrade it and play. I ended up changing out the entire drivetrain. I kept it to 9 sp. but I bought used parts and new old stock parts. I spent around $400 on parts for a bike that I paid around $500 for (I bought an Escape 1).

    I knew from the get go that it was a losing proposition, but for me, it was fun to do and play. It was my first bike in 20 years. Anyway, that project just got me started and I wanted more....so I bought a new frame and set off to build it up. I'm on my second drive train on that bike now. I started with a 10sp and now I'm onto 11 sp. And then I got another bike. So now I have 4 of them, LOL....it's n+1 and it can get expensive fast. For me, it was about learning and playing. If that's your goal, then great, do it! If your goal is simply to learn about wrenching, take yours apart and put it back together. It achieves the same thing with no cost.

    Or, you could just ride yours for a year and then decide what you want to do. That's the smart choice but don't take that advice from me, I don't always make the smart choice. I always just jump in head first.

  16. #16
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    I have tourney RD, brifters and 7 speed freewheel on my inexpensive hybrid and find it shifts very smoothly, quickly and quietly if adjusted just right. I really don't see how upgrading there would be worth it. If anything I'd replace the inexpensive barely adequate FD (at least on mine). It's shimano but has to be there lowest quality FD. I've been enjoying taking stuff apart and putting it back together too. I must have the best maintained big box bike in the country but I enjoy fiddling with it and making it as good as it can be. Agree on upgrading the brake pads but past that I don't plan on putting any money into my intro bike. My next bike will have better hardware, wheels, frame etc. etc. but for now I'm having a blast riding my cheap bike all over the place and that's what it's all about for me.

  17. #17
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    I have a 1995 Giant Rincon mountain bike that I inherited from a neighbor. It originally had the following:

    42/34/24 170mm crankset
    SRAM 3x7 Gripshifters
    14/28 7-speed freewheel
    Traditional cantilever brakes (which has the crosslink wire)
    Single walled rims
    26” x 1.95 knobby tires
    Rigid steel frame/fork

    Most everyone claimed that it wasn’t worth upgrading (at least not in any moderately expensive way). But I liked the geometry of the frame and the bike came into my possession in a manner that has endeared itself to me. So I opted to make upgrades a little at a time until I felt like I had something that was more fitting of how fast I’d become.

    Several hundred dollars later, it had the following:

    48/36/24 170mm crankset
    Shimano 3x8 Revo shifters
    Shimano HG31 11-34 8-speed cassette
    Acera V-Brakes and V-Brake levers
    Double-walled Rhyno Lite/M530 Deore wheelset
    26” x 2.0 Bontrager street tires (rated 60 to 80 PSI)

    Was it worth it to me? You betcha! (And absolutely no regrets even years later.) It does everything I need it to do and it does it well via a frame that fits me like a glove and one whose appearance I really like. While it weighs 32.6 pounds with the kickstand that I added, I don’t think twice about taking it on my 125 mile rides and it now has 3,174 miles on its odometer. It’s max descent speed thus far is 47.7 MPH and it’s stable and smooth.

    My point here is; it’s YOU that has to decide whether it’s worth sinking the money into. For me, every upgrade made it a better bike, which in turn made it all the more enjoyable to ride and it also made the next upgrade all the more exciting to look forward to. Sometimes it pays to upgrade a bike that others typically wouldn’t, as you’ll gain something from the experience that can’t be obtained from purchasing a ready-made better bike; like a genuine sense of achievement and personal satisfaction.

    I hope you find this helpful.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Delmarva's Avatar
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    IF your goal is to learn how things fit together, work and are adjusted you can learn all that without wasting money on new parts. Just get your tools out, and strip the parts. Then disassemble, clean, relube, reassemble, reattach and adjust. If it all works you will have learned a lot and not spent a dime. If it doesn't work you have some more learning ahead.

    An upgrade should result in the bike doing something better. Your plan won't do that.
    Last edited by Delmarva; 08-17-15 at 06:56 PM.

  19. #19
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    He'll have to spend a fair amount on bike tools (more than a dime LOL) but I always consider tools to be an investment.

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