Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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)

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-12-11, 04:31 PM   #1
bike manhattan
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bike manhattan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Bikes:
Posts: 199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Crank and Chain Ring "Upgrade". Any Point?

So I realized that I have upgraded every single component on my original stock 2005 Langster outside of the headset and the Crank/Chain Ring. Some of these were do to parts breaking over time (bottom bracket, bent rim from a crash, etc.), and other for cosmetic reasons (silver seat post, more attractive stem). Each time I upgraded I generally sprung for higher quality components. Anyway, not trying to just toss my money away or anything but I was wondering if there is any real point in upgrading to a higher end crank or chain ring performance wise. I think whatever is on there now is pretty good but I have noticed that there are some mighty expensive cranks out there and am wondering what is to be gained outside of aesthetics from buying one of these. Cheers.
bike manhattan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-11, 04:47 PM   #2
yummygooey
i smell bacon
 
yummygooey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Bikes: Geekhouse Deerfield, GT Edge Ti, Spooky Skeletor, TET Track, Ritchey P-650b, Bridgestone MB-3
Posts: 5,574
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
You'll notice an upgraded crankset more than you noticed your seatpost.
yummygooey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-11, 04:55 PM   #3
Retem
Paste Taster
 
Retem's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Sacramento, CA
Bikes: , Jury Bike, Moto Outcast 29, Spicer standard track frame and spicer custom steel sprint frame.
Posts: 4,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
if you get the right gear it will be considerably lighter and stiffer and you will loose less power plus they look nicer
Retem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-11, 04:59 PM   #4
bike manhattan
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
bike manhattan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Bikes:
Posts: 199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by yummygooey View Post
You'll notice an upgraded crankset more than you noticed your seatpost.
The seat post was for aesthetic reasons. Wanted silver instead of black. I just got a cheap one that was silver...

How is the Sugino 75? Already got my gear ratio locked in at 17/48 after riding for years at 16/48. I like bigger ratios.
bike manhattan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-11, 05:04 PM   #5
carleton
Elitist
 
carleton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Bikes:
Posts: 13,368
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 170 Post(s)
It depends on how big and/or strong you are. If you are a relatively small guy then you may not stress/flex your cranks and chainring that much. But, a strong normal sized guy or a big guy in general will flex some stuff.

Also, some higher quality parts may not perform better. I mean, how much does a stem or seatpost perform? But, they may be lighter and/or resist wear, damage, or breakage more. Micro-adjust seatposts are awesome for getting the saddle angle just right. Keeps "the boys" happy.

But, if you aren't stressing your bike like doing full on accelerations or powering up hills, then you may not push your current gear past it's limits.

On the other hand, if it makes you happy and makes you love your bike a little more, then those are good reasons to buy stuff.

The top upgrades that people seem to notice the most involve where you contact the bike and where the bike contacts the road. Those being saddle, bars, bar tape, pedals/shoes, and tires. Spend a little extra to get some higher quality in those areas and you will improve your ride.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrob View Post
Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
carleton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-11, 05:32 PM   #6
yummygooey
i smell bacon
 
yummygooey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Bikes: Geekhouse Deerfield, GT Edge Ti, Spooky Skeletor, TET Track, Ritchey P-650b, Bridgestone MB-3
Posts: 5,574
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Compared to stock cranks, I noticed an increase in stiffness in both Omniums and Sugino 75s. Honestly, though, they are both overkill for me. They're nice to have, but I'm a 145 lb guy with no major hills to climb. I got both my Omniums and Suginos for really great deals, so even though I'm a financially unstable college student, I felt that I could justify them just for the amount of time I spend riding my bike(s). I like riding nicer cranks, I do feel a difference between nicer cranks and cheap cranks, and they seem to make riding more pleasurable.

That being said, I agree with carleton in the sense that I feel like the most important upgrades I've made to my bikes have been the saddles, pedals, and bars.
yummygooey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-11, 05:42 PM   #7
Squirrelli
GONE~
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 6,749
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with what have been said but I would also like to add a little something. If the stock chainring is relatively eccentric, and you get a lot of chain tension variation, then a new, higher quality chainring would definitely help with that.
Squirrelli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-11, 06:59 PM   #8
Ken Cox
King of the Hipsters
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bend, Oregon
Bikes: Realm Cycles Custom
Posts: 2,128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Upgrades generally represent incremental improvements rather than dramatic improvements.

If you had a time machine and could compare a stock factory complete bike to a completely upgraded bike, with just the original frame, you'd notice a significant improvement in riding pleasure, ease, and control.

However, at each step of the upgrades, you would notice only small and subtle improvements.

The most significant improvements come with wheels and tires and with cranksets; and, however, even these "signigicant" improvements do not match the money spent to acheive them.

A Sugino 75 crankset, which includes the gorgeous Sugino 75 chainring, costs $360.

Will you notice an improvement?

Yes.

A $360 improvement?

No.

Worth it?

Definitely.

Oh, and regarding "stifness:" your frame has so much flex the so-called stiffness of the crank has less meaning than does the crankset's roundness, trueness and proper bottom bracket system.
Ken Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-11, 07:08 PM   #9
Scrodzilla
There goes Tokyo
 
Scrodzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Bikes: EAI Bare Knuckle, 1975 Raleigh Pro Track
Posts: 25,336
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 222 Post(s)
__________________
Scrodzilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-11, 07:37 PM   #10
xkillemallx16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: im, hungary
Bikes:
Posts: 1,976
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
255 on bikeisland, that is + 35$ protype bb. but i agree with ken otherwise, the incremental improvement part.
xkillemallx16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-11, 09:34 AM   #11
Ken Cox
King of the Hipsters
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bend, Oregon
Bikes: Realm Cycles Custom
Posts: 2,128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Who pooped on whose party, and in what manner?
Ken Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-11, 09:44 AM   #12
Scrodzilla
There goes Tokyo
 
Scrodzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Bikes: EAI Bare Knuckle, 1975 Raleigh Pro Track
Posts: 25,336
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 222 Post(s)
Tongue-in-cheek. I was implying that logic rains on the parade of upgrading "just because".
__________________
Scrodzilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-11, 10:24 AM   #13
Ken Cox
King of the Hipsters
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bend, Oregon
Bikes: Realm Cycles Custom
Posts: 2,128
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Scrodzilla wrote, "logic rains on the parade of upgrading."

It costs a lot to upgrade, and, as Scrodzilla implies, it doesn't make much sense.

When one looks at the price of an entire brand new automobile, one has to wonder why simple bike parts cost so much.

Automobile manufacturers do NOT have the advantage of scale of production, since, in reality, bicycle parts manufacturers produce many more parts than do automobile manufacturers (more bikes in the world than cars).

I try to imagine an experiment where people ride two bikes: 1) a stock factory complete bike and 2) a thoroughly upgraded bike on the same frame.

If you could somehow keep the riders from looking at the bike, how much difference would they feel between the two bikes?

And, would different riders have a different experience, like, would long-time riders of fixed gear bikes feel more difference than new or uncommitted fixed gear riders.

After six years of study and saving up my money, I now have my dream bike.

Riding it seems almost a religious experience.

However, how much of the "religious experience" exists only in my mind?

If I could ride my original 2005 Bianchi Pista and my current Super Bike back to back, with out knowing which bike I rode, would I feel a real difference?

I THINK I'd notice a big difference.

However, I don't think the ride difference would match cost difference between the two bikes.

But then I find myself thinking about a bike as an art object.

When I got my Sugino 75 crank and chain ring, I just sat and looked at them for an hour.

The chain ring itself belongs in an art museum.

Or, consider watches.

Does a Rolex GMT Master II keep better time than a plastic department store digital watch?

No.

However, for some watch owners, the Rolex give more satisfaction; and, for others, the plastic department store digital watch gives more satisfaction.

For myself, I feel like I get a good return on money spent on wheels, tires, cranks, chain rings and cogs.

The rest of the bike doesn't seem to matter too much, as long as the bike fits.

And, all that said, I had a lot of fun on my amazingly cheap Bianchi Pista.
Ken Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-11, 10:33 AM   #14
vw addict
Senior Member
 
vw addict's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: East coast
Bikes: Specialized Tarmac Expert, Cannondale R700, Specialized Langster, Iron Horse Hollowpoint Team, Schwinn Homegrown
Posts: 2,671
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Cox View Post
The chain ring itself belongs in an art museum.
don't you think that is going a little far? It looks like a chain ring to me. A lot of things make sense to upgrade on a bike, but those things come with a price. Is the price "worth" the upgrade in performance? Probably not. Time spent strengthening your heart/lungs/legs will make your bike perform so much better, and its essentially free.
vw addict is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-11, 11:00 AM   #15
Scrodzilla
There goes Tokyo
 
Scrodzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Bikes: EAI Bare Knuckle, 1975 Raleigh Pro Track
Posts: 25,336
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 222 Post(s)
Ken - I never implied that upgrading doesn't make sense. There are plenty of situations where upgrading is perfectly necessary and/or justifiable. However, upgrading a component simply because it's the last stock part on your bike seems a little silly.

I'm with you in thinking that a lot of how our bikes feel to us is in our heads. When my bike is set up exactly how I want it - even when it comes down to aesthetics - it just "feels" better. If I rode it without ever seeing it or knowing what kind of components are actually on it, as you suggest, who knows?

Also, we're all partial to different things. When I look at and ride my Leader 722, I think "this bike is exactly how I want it and wouldn't change a thing". But, someone else viewing a picture of it - who has never ridden it - could easily say "you need a different stem" or "lose the risers and get some road drops". It's all subjective.
__________________

Last edited by Scrodzilla; 03-13-11 at 11:09 AM.
Scrodzilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-11, 12:01 PM   #16
avner
Fueled by Tigers Blood
 
avner's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Echo Park, California
Bikes:
Posts: 1,484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I gotta say, i notice a significant difference between my 725 and Jamis in terms of flex and power transfer. But I'm not a small guy, and at this point in the game I'd like to think my legs are decently strong too, other then the Rando feeling like I'm dragging a dead poodle the Sugino 75's feel much better (5mm shorter then my RPM Vero's) Spinning feels better, I can drop down further. I'm 6'2 and 210 on a bad day, around 190 on a good day. I can flex ****, and I climb a lot.
avner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-11, 01:10 PM   #17
yummygooey
i smell bacon
 
yummygooey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Bikes: Geekhouse Deerfield, GT Edge Ti, Spooky Skeletor, TET Track, Ritchey P-650b, Bridgestone MB-3
Posts: 5,574
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Cox View Post
When I got my Sugino 75 crank and chain ring, I just sat and looked at them for an hour.
Haha, I've done this before.
yummygooey is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:30 PM.