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Old 10-18-13, 08:05 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
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First comes fit. Make sure things fit, so the frame, stem, bars, seatpost (for saddle setback), saddle.

After that I'd recommend getting good wheels for your purposes, i.e. that you'll use regularly.

In terms of upgrading if you're replacing anything other than fit-related stuff or wheels generally speaking I'd get a bike. Buying cranks or derailleurs or shifters costs a lot and has very little return.

There are "situations" where things can work out but the above is a good general approach. If you can get the group for next to nothing (say you buy a SRAM Force bike, sell off the frame, fork, wheels, cockpit/fit stuff, and you end up paying $50 for the Force group) that would be worth it, but it would take a long time etc etc. I had a similar situation - I wanted a frame that was not available for a bit. Therefore I lined up some prospective buyers and bought a complete bike. I sold the pedals and seat post to two different people, then sold the rest of the build kit to someone who was looking at replacing most of the drivetrain (they had a worn drivetrain - chain, cassette, chainrings - and they also wanted to replace the wheels). Everyone got stuff at well below retail and even wholesale. I paid, net net, I think $100 for my frame/fork/headset. It took a month or so to get all that done and I drew on literally hundreds of contacts to sell off the parts. I also spent 8-10 hours disassembling the stuff, installing it on the other bike (which had to be disassembled), and doing some fit stuff.
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson
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