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upgrades for racing?

Old 03-12-11, 01:51 PM
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upgrades for racing?

Hey everyone!
I'll keep it short and sweet - I have a Giant OCR-2 (Not my picture) that I'm itching to race this year and in college next year. The entire frame, fork included, is aluminum. The wheels are baseline, and the tires are likely seven years old (though they probably only have about 2000 miles, because the bike was my dad's and he upgraded two years later to a CAAD-R5000).

So far, I definitely need a new stem. The current one is a boat anchor, at least 3lbs. Also, it's quite a bit too long.

I've read that wheels and tires are the most valuable upgrades for the money. I've heard good and bad about upgrading for a carbon fork. Any opinions? And of course, I have a very tight budget, so any ideas how much I'd have to spend for a decently competitive rig?
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Old 03-12-11, 02:01 PM
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Don't upgrade anything if the bike fits. Spend the money on entry fees instead.
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Old 03-12-11, 02:48 PM
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A 3lb stem? Changing any parts to make the bike fit better is a good idea, so if the current one is too long, that sounds like a good change. You can probably save quite a bit of weight by changing to a carbon fork with carbon steerer. I've seen one picture of a steerer failing and I'm not even sure if it was carbon. Pretty much any reasonably nice bike uses a carbon fork, no matter the material of the frame.

Other than that, the consensus in most threads where this question is asked is to upgrade functionality (shifters, drive train).
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Old 03-12-11, 03:16 PM
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I'm sitting at around 15 points right now.
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Old 03-12-11, 04:09 PM
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seriously. Get the bike rideable (tires? cables? brake pads?) Race it now and worry about buying new stuff later. Upgrading parts is for people with money to spend, and absolutely not necessary to win races.
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Old 03-12-11, 04:12 PM
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I'd probably replace the tires for safety reasons and the stem if you need to fix your fit. Ride it a bunch and re-evaluate. I'd look for a used powertap before thinking about fork or wheels. Maybe not a fit for your budget, but really a great tool if you can swing it.
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Old 03-12-11, 06:53 PM
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I guess I knew what I had to do - ride more. Hey, i'll be stronger in the long run!
Like I said, definitely gonna change the stem. I might even get a fitting, considering the last person to ride the bike was a good 4-5" taller than me.

Thanks guys, time to hop on the trainer
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Old 03-14-11, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by kensuf
I'm sitting at around 15 points right now.
Nice. You should be in the 2's by the end of your first half.
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Old 03-14-11, 05:51 AM
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I'm holding out until the end of the season. There's a state TT championship on October 8th that I plan to win.
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Old 03-14-11, 06:17 AM
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Sandbagger.
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Old 03-16-11, 02:41 PM
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Being poor myself I will qoute my favorite qoute from eddy mercx " don't buy upgrades ride up grades"
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Old 03-16-11, 05:07 PM
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I would replace the tires and tubes just for safety's sake. That's it for now. Go ride it.
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Old 03-17-11, 08:32 AM
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The only upgrades most racers care about is their CAT. Ive seen 10 year old bikes running 9 speed 105 with Conti Gatorskin tires take hard Pro 1/2 races. I have also seen 10k dollar bikes DNF CAT 5 races......
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Old 03-17-11, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by wfrogge
The only upgrades most racers care about is their CAT. Ive seen 10 year old bikes running 9 speed 105 with Conti Gatorskin tires take hard Pro 1/2 races. I have also seen 10k dollar bikes DNF CAT 5 races......
+1 - just get it running without problems and race it. The rest will take care of itself.
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Old 03-17-11, 09:25 AM
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+whatever.

FYI 2k miles on tires is sometimes all it takes, depending on what tires they are, and seven years old makes it sound a little sketchy to me. I wouldn't tell you yes/no on the tires for sure without examining them but there's a pretty decent chance you need new tires.

... and good brake pads can't hurt.

You don't need the expensive stuff, in fact you probably don't want it as Cat 5's have a propensity to do stupid stuff in races and you might not know when + where 'not' to be yet.
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Old 03-17-11, 10:05 AM
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That actually looks like it would be a decent crit bike.

I would do: Tires, Tubes, Stem(for the sake of fit and that one looks a little goofy), remove reflector from rear wheel.

If budget allows: New bar tape, and add 2 carbon bottle cages just to give it a fresh look.
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Old 03-17-11, 10:52 AM
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I have a Giant OCR2 as a commuter bike. It's a slow handler but I could race it if I had to. I second changing the tires and tubes. If the rims will allow it, use 23mm tires. Mine came with 26's and they are dogs. I wouldn't touch the stem unless the fit is off.
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Old 03-18-11, 12:23 PM
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oh and take off the dork disk if it's still there. That sucker will really slow you down.
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Old 03-22-11, 01:29 AM
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stem, doesn't look conducive to racing/ sprinting.
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Old 03-27-11, 05:12 AM
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(Not his picture)

But yes, as a mediocre college road racer, I've had guys with bikes from the 80's pass me and do well in races. Totally more badass that way.
In the mountain season, I've passed guys riding Spec Epics and Fuels and Yetis on my SS steel hardtail commuter, so anything really works.

Spend your money on things that matter more. Like food. If you have some leftover, maybe buy a couple of textbooks or something.
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Old 03-27-11, 06:27 PM
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"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades -- Eddy Mercx"
-- Michael Scott
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