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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-15-07, 10:15 AM   #1
dmg
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Advice - what high-end parts are worth it?

I know there was a thread about this a while ago, but can't find it.

So, I got hit by a car this weekend, and my bike was wrecked. I'm now in the position of having insurance funds to build a new bike, which is new to me in that I've been bottom-feeding used parts for as long as I've been riding.

My question: what parts are worth upgrading from mid-level to high-end? Cranks? Headset? Bottom bracket? Stem? I'm not looking for flashiness nor wanting to pay out the butt to shave off an ounce or two... looking more for things that will be more durable / better performing / made in the first world. Thoughts?
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Old 01-15-07, 10:31 AM   #2
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i have had a bunch of different bikes and have no problem with non "top end" parts.

i think the wheels are most worthy, because constant retruing of wheels can be annoying
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Old 01-15-07, 10:46 AM   #3
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I would go for rims!
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Old 01-15-07, 10:57 AM   #4
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Personally, I'd go wheels, feet, drivetrain, cockpit, seat. In that order of priority.
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Old 01-15-07, 11:07 AM   #5
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I probably should have mentioned that the wheels, seatpost and bars were the only things to emerge from the crash in useable shape...
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Old 01-15-07, 11:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeroplane
Personally, I'd go wheels, feet, drivetrain, cockpit, seat. In that order of priority.
Feet as in pedals, or cranks? Or shoes?
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Old 01-15-07, 11:31 AM   #7
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what did you have before?

my order would be
1. frame
2. wheels
3. contacts (saddle/bars/pedals)
4. crank
5. headset/BB
6. everything else

I'd still replace your bars even if they look like they came out unharmed.
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Old 01-15-07, 01:10 PM   #8
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I'm definitely replacing everything that was damaged. I'm just wondering if there's anything to be gained beyond style points for going for, say, a Chris King headset over a FSA or a Phil BB over a decent-quality shimano.
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Old 01-15-07, 01:25 PM   #9
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dmg,

Hope you are okay.

I was run over on Sept.28th 2006, so I know where you are right now. Insurance companies don't write cheques quickly, so my advice to you is to either take your time and do your homework, or do what I did...wait for a complete used bike in good condition. A complete bike is cheaper than a scratch-build, and you can sell or trade the parts you don't want or need. There is an awesome deal on a few NOS GT GTB x Dura Ace Gruppo on Ebay for around $1000. I would go for something like that.

Good luck, and be patient.

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Old 01-15-07, 02:05 PM   #10
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Thanks - I'm actually pretty good... I went over the hood and only managed to mangle my shoulder. Nothing broken, and I have an appointment with an orthopedist this week. Could've been much worse. Plus the guy had insurance, and I have a witness.
Buying a complete bike is a good idea that I hadn't thought of. I'll keep that in mind, thanks!
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Old 01-15-07, 02:08 PM   #11
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phil wood, sugino, chris king, thompson, selle italia, all durable and smooth
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Old 01-15-07, 02:12 PM   #12
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saddle! not necissarily all $$$ = better, but to a certain extent it's true. beyond that i'd say a good headset is very important, maybe a carbon fork if you do a lot of street riding (if it's not, say, a nice keirin frame that comes with a sweet fork already)
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Old 01-15-07, 02:12 PM   #13
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For regular city riding and commute, are higher end track cranks really more noticable than more entry level ones (like a Sugino RD vs. 75) ? From what I understand, the stiffness is what counts and the more you weigh, the more you'll notice a difference. So for say a 165lb person such as myself is it worth it to spend 200 on a BB+Sug75 or 100 on a BB+SugRD?
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Old 01-15-07, 02:35 PM   #14
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Cranks are way subjective, I would say the deciding factor would be whether your frame is stiff enough to justify a better crank. Otherwise you're buying a really stiff lever to attach to a really floppy fulcrum.

YMMV; I personally can't tell the difference between "good" cranks and any regular junk, and I weigh 210 or so.
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Old 01-15-07, 03:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andre nickatina
For regular city riding and commute, are higher end track cranks really more noticable than more entry level ones (like a Sugino RD vs. 75) ? From what I understand, the stiffness is what counts and the more you weigh, the more you'll notice a difference. So for say a 165lb person such as myself is it worth it to spend 200 on a BB+Sug75 or 100 on a BB+SugRD?
That sounds like a pretty made up reason to justify buying expensive cranks. A $10 shimano double crank off any old bike will work just fine. For commuting and riding around the city, you don't need fancy cranks. Maybe if you're racing.

The only place I really wouldn't skimp is on the rear hub. Everything else is gravy.
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Old 01-15-07, 05:07 PM   #16
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if you got hit by a car enough to warrant replacing a new frame, how did the wheels survive? i got smashed from behind once and the rear wheel was beyond taco.

if you liked yer seat before look for the same.
replace the bars. period.
need new stem? thomson.
i personally would vote for a king headset not because the headset necessarily would be the first thing on my list of stuff to want to change in a regular sitch, but if you need new, king is the way to go because it will out last you and the bike's next 4 owners. or yer next 4 bikes. ymwnv.
def shoot for a carbon fork.
and i agree with looking for stiff cranks. i'm 165 and i CAN tell the difference. but i stand to sprint a lot and am used to stiff cranks being on my mtn bikes.

glad yer ok. best of luck. post pics.
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Old 01-15-07, 06:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
That sounds like a pretty made up reason to justify buying expensive cranks. A $10 shimano double crank off any old bike will work just fine. For commuting and riding around the city, you don't need fancy cranks. Maybe if you're racing.

The only place I really wouldn't skimp is on the rear hub. Everything else is gravy.
I mean, it's just what I've heard mentioned around this forum, though I wasn't asking about 10 dollar old school cranks and I don't agree with that notion as when my friend upgraded the stock cranks on his old Schwinn road conversion to SugRD's, there was definitely a difference from that, but that's a given when you're dealing with upgrading 25-30 year old equipment on a bike that wasn't exactly high end to begin with.
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Old 01-15-07, 07:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iridetitus
if you got hit by a car enough to warrant replacing a new frame, how did the wheels survive? i got smashed from behind once and the rear wheel was beyond taco.
Dude coming towards me took a left turn maybe 5 ft. in front of me - I hit his side with the front wheel, fork and crank and went over the hood. Back wheel never got touched. The front is out of true but otherwise seems okay - I'm replacing the rim, but it doesn't show any obvious damage. Deep Vs are tougher than people give them credit for, I guess. As far as the frame, the fork is all mangled, the frame is crooked and the tubes have buckled, and the shop I got my estimate at said not to even bother getting it fixed; I would have to replace the steer, top and drop tubes to make it rideable, so I might as well get a new frame.
Sadly, none of this translates well to pictures.
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Old 01-15-07, 07:58 PM   #19
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ck headsets are guaranteed for 10 years..
a phil bb can be rebuilt and respaced as required for a lifetime.. it can accomodate almost any threading and shell width ever made..
they are definitely a bit heavier than the lightest comparable parts
but they both have legendarily long service intervals and good resale values.. they're made in america too

if you're thinking for the long term, they could prove to be a good investment and may even save you money



Quote:
Originally Posted by dmg
I'm definitely replacing everything that was damaged. I'm just wondering if there's anything to be gained beyond style points for going for, say, a Chris King headset over a FSA or a Phil BB over a decent-quality shimano.
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Old 01-15-07, 08:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipper
There is an awesome deal on a few NOS GT GTB x Dura Ace Gruppo on Ebay for around $1000. I would go for something like that.

Good luck, and be patient.

~'Dipper
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Old 01-15-07, 08:20 PM   #21
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I am a heavyweight manimal and break alot of cheaper parts but am satisfied with a few "lower end" components

formula hubsa are sweet - wienmann rims and sun rims are surprisingly pretty tough too - rpm bottom brackets are nice - fmf bmx cranks arms - wellgo pedals I like em but I prefer mks
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Old 01-15-07, 09:13 PM   #22
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dmg - what kind of bike do you ride? did you ride the stairway to hell alleycat? i'm just trying to figure out if i know who you are or not...

that said, a high end (or rather, good quality) headset is worth it. cartridge bearings make maintenence easy. i've got a dura ace on one bike and a cane creek s2 on the other. the da one is amazingly smooth, but the cane creek is pretty nice as well. that said, you can get a really nice headset for say, 60 dollars rather the 120 for a chris king.

i've never seen the need for a phil bb. get a un73 and it'll be more than good enough.

stiff cranks are worth the upgrade though.

a nice quality stem, such as a salsa, is a good investment just because they are very stiff and you don't feel flex as much. of course, it'll only work as well as your bars so a stiff stem with flexy bars won't do any good.

it's sort of a pretentious thing to say, but after riding nice parts, you don't want to go back. some parts you won't necessarily notice, but if you go from a decent ride to a great ride, you're not going to be able to go back. yeah, cheaper stuff functions and works and is rideable, but nice stuff is expensive for a reason. it's just a matter of whether or not you need that advantage provided by nice parts.
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Old 01-15-07, 10:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve K
dmg - what kind of bike do you ride? did you ride the stairway to hell alleycat? i'm just trying to figure out if i know who you are or not...
I was at a bunch of alleycats (rub-a-dub, ace of spades and misfits were the last three I did; won the Rallycat for the fixed category, couldn't make Stairway), used to ride a green surly with black deep Vs until I got my purple panasonic, which was what I wrecked. Occasionally volunteer at Free Ride...

Thanks for the advice and well-wishes, all - hopefully everything will go smoothly with the insurance and healing, and I'll be back on the roads soon.
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Old 01-16-07, 08:06 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmg
Feet as in pedals, or cranks? Or shoes?
Pedals and shoes. If you can go clipless, I recommend it, it is the tit of balls. If not, a nice pedal-strap-clip-shoe setup is the best alternative.
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Old 01-16-07, 09:28 AM   #25
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As yet another Pittsburgher who knows both of you, I agree with Steve. People can go on and on about how lower end parts work just as well as the high end, but once you go upspec its hard to go back down. Some value the subtle differences of the high end, some don't.

I also would have some concern about reusing any parts from the bike that was smashed. A frame taking the sort of abuse is bound to overstress wheels.

Off the top of my head, some generalized high end perks: Rounder chainrings/cogs with more precise tooth profiles. Tighter manufacturing tolerances all around. Lighter AND stronger than comparable use low end stuff.

There is of course a price/performance ceiling... But I doubt you've got your eyes on Mavic disc tubulars or anything.

And thanks for coming to the Misfits race. I have a bunch of t-shirts left over from that race.
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