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Value of Upgrades

Old 06-27-06, 08:34 AM
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Dominae
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Value of Upgrades

I have a Cannondale R300 which I have been happy with thus far. It is equipped with Shimano RSX. However, after having read this forum and seeing the general consensus that RSX is fairly heavy and low quality, I am wondering about the value in upgrading the bike with new components such as 105 or Ultegra? Do you feel that this would be a waste of money and I would be beter off putting that money to a new bike? I'm on a fairly short leash, and its not likely that I would get the go ahead to spend big money on a new bike anytime soon.

I guess the bottom line question is whether the frame is worth the upgraded components?


Thanks for your input.

Last edited by Dominae; 06-27-06 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 06-27-06, 09:17 AM
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I think you are getting the wrong impression from the forum. Most entry-level components from Shimano are exceedingly good; I have used them for daily commuting in all weathers. More expensive, higher grade ones are lighter, better sealed, have a nicer finish and higher tolerance bearings but they wont make you go any faster.
When a component is worn out is is sometimes good to upgrade the level, I would do this for the bottom bracket cartridge unit. The UN72 does last longer than lower end units.
RSX is perfectly good for pretty much any type of riding so dont lose any sleep or feel under-dressed.
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Old 06-27-06, 10:05 AM
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I agree with MichaelW. Shimano's entry stuff is plenty good. If you feel yourself needing more and/or are really having fun with cycling and wanting to stay with it, you'd definitely find it more worth your money to save up for a new bike.
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Old 06-27-06, 10:22 AM
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I agree, upgrade parts as they wear out, nothing wrong with RSX. Measure the chain for stretch, replace when a 12 inch interval measures 12 1/16". 105 components would be good replacements for the RSX stuff. Shifters, chain, and cassette when they are worn out. Keep in mind that the shifters and chain need to be compatible with the number of cogs on the cassette.

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Old 06-27-06, 10:55 AM
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Thanks for your replies! The bike rides fine and I seem to be able to hang with the riders on the better bikes. I come from a running background, and those guys are not really gear conscious. You can show up with ratty old shorts and beat up running shoes and if you can run with the big dogs, then you are treated as an equal. In my limited exposure to the cycling world, I see a lot of status conscious riders who tend to turn up there noses at the people on lower end stuff. To tell you the truth, its a little off-putting, but for every snob there seems to be an equal or greater number of good guys in the sport too.

I think I will just upgrade on an as needed basis, when parts wear out, or I can find a good deal on individual parts.

Is the frame itself (Cannondale CAD3) worth upgrading or when I get to that point of needing replacement parts should I just replace the whole bike?
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Old 06-27-06, 11:04 AM
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RSX is bomb-proof. It may be a little heavier but it will last many, many, many miles with a little cleaning and maintenance. As others have said, just upgrade when they wear out.
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Old 06-27-06, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by jvinch
Thanks for your replies! The bike rides fine and I seem to be able to hang with the riders on the better bikes. I come from a running background, and those guys are not really gear conscious. You can show up with ratty old shorts and beat up running shoes and if you can run with the big dogs, then you are treated as an equal. In my limited exposure to the cycling world, I see a lot of status conscious riders who tend to turn up there noses at the people on lower end stuff. To tell you the truth, its a little off-putting, but for every snob there seems to be an equal or greater number of good guys in the sport too.
Illegitimi non carborundum! Don't let it get to you. The more I ride my bike, the more I realize that it's the rider, not the bike. Hey, everybody loves a shiny new bike, but what matters is its engine.


Originally Posted by jvinch

I think I will just upgrade on an as needed basis, when parts wear out, or I can find a good deal on individual parts.

Is the frame itself (Cannondale CAD3) worth upgrading or when I get to that point of needing replacement parts should I just replace the whole bike?
Nothing wrong with buying a nice new bike and keeping this one for rainy rides/commuting/errands/etc. That's what I did. (I should warn you that this can lead to a 3d bike, then a 4th, then a garage full of bikes!)
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Old 06-27-06, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
Illegitimi non carborundum! Don't let it get to you. The more I ride my bike, the more I realize that it's the rider, not the bike. Hey, everybody loves a shiny new bike, but what matters is its engine.
I find that the more I use any piece of sports equipment, the better it gets. Skis, bikes, tennis raquet.

As far as the upgrade-piecemeal vs. upgrade-to-new bike choice is concerned I've always found that upgrading piecemeal is the expensive way to go. Ride your existing bike until you've either really outgrown it, it has become unmaintainable, or you've won the lottery. I'm sure there's a certain pleasure in keeping up with the big dogs on a lower status bike!
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Old 06-27-06, 02:37 PM
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For what it's worth, my wife's RSX-equipped 54cm Cannondale 2.8 Criterium was a bit lighter than the 48cm 105-equipped Gunnar Roadie I just sold... according to my bathroom scale. I was going to steal the 105 stuff off the Gunnar and put it on her R500, but her RSX stuff works fine and is in pristine condition, so I left it as-is.

RSX is pretty LOW down on the totem pole, but I think it's all right.
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Old 06-27-06, 04:16 PM
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And even though others didn't answer it directly, there is nothing wrong with your frame (CAD3). There are frames that might be better for racing, but if you like the bike, it is definitely worth replacing and/or upgrading parts as they wear out.

If you do get the bug to upgrade to full Ultegra or something, it would probably be a good idea to just upgrade the bike. Not that your bike wouldn't be sweet with Ultegra, it is just that with what you pay retail for a whole group, you can pretty much buy a new bike.

But, if you get to that point and after some test rides find you prefer your CAD3, then by all means upgrade it!
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