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Best Bang for the buck?

Old 08-29-18, 10:37 AM
  #1  
ssmorol
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Best Bang for the buck?

Looking at upgrading to a newer used bike...I currently have an old cannondale with rsx components. Should I be looking at something with ultegra or 105 components? Find something with better wheels or just upgrade the wheels on my bike?
Just trying to get an idea of what I can get the most bang for the buck on upgrades as my budget is small...thanks
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Old 08-29-18, 10:45 AM
  #2  
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In my world best bang for the buck are lighter wheels and supple tires. Of course that is a determinate that everything else is in order.
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Old 08-30-18, 05:52 PM
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How badly does your trusty old C-dale need to be upgraded ? Without more info, it's hard to tell if some upgrades are the way to go, or if they'd just be the proverbial "good money after bad", making another bike entirely the way to go.
If you're hunting another (used) bike, I'd start by regularly checking your local Craigslist. My last two bikes came that way, and I'm pretty happy. I'm also seeing lots of interesting deals on ebay, though you obviously have to be extra careful, and keep your fingers crossed.
Have your hubs been rebuilt in this century? How about the shifter cables and housings?
If you're considering some new wheels, take a look at bicyclewheelwarehouse, particularly the closeouts. They at least use DT and Sapim spokes, lots of other economy-priced wheels use generic junk spokes, that you pay for later..
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Old 08-30-18, 06:11 PM
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Jim from Boston
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Best Bang for the Buck
Originally Posted by ssmorol View Post
Looking at upgrading to a newer used bike...I currently have an old cannondale with rsx components. Should I be looking at something with ultegra or 105 components? Find something with better wheels or just upgrade the wheels on my bike?

Just trying to get an idea of what I can get the most bang for the buck on upgrades as my budget is small...thanks
Just today I posted to this thread on the Commuting Forum,Buyer's Remorse on new Giant Gravel bike"
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Buyers remorse” is a buzzword for me on several popcorn threads debating the value of expensive bikes.

I can’t comment on the technical (or financial) aspects of your purchase…In retrospect:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I have posted,I hate to shop, but I much prefer to buy something important for myself rather than by someone else. Furthermore if I really needed/wanted it I would not expect my yearning to disappear.

My shopping strategy for something important is to look at the high end (expensive) models first, just to know what’s available and then whittle downwards to find what’s acceptable, the so-called sweet spot of price/value.

I’ve participated in several popcorn threads on BF about the value of “expensive” bikes (I have one), and my last word is "At least I have no buyer's remorse about what I may be missing."
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Old 08-30-18, 06:13 PM
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To answer part of your question, IMO the best bang for the buck in components is probably newer 105. I have newer 105, Newer SRAM Red and older Dura Ace. The best shifting is the 105. The SRAM Red are quite good but the 105 is newer and better and at much less money.
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Old 08-30-18, 06:34 PM
  #6  
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IMO Best Bang for the Buck would be to buy a last-year's model bike on sale. I got one for 40% off in January. For some reason, people in my area don't think bikes depreciate. Go figure. Your area may be different.

A nice used Aluminum alloy bike with 105 drivetrain is probably your cost-benefit leader though.
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Old 08-30-18, 06:46 PM
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Figure $1000 for wheels, tires, a new 105 groupset .... stuff like bar tap ... is your bike worth that to you? Do you really think it would gain that much?

I am with @Brocephus ... why upgrade the C'dale? What's it lacking? A serious remake might be half the price of a totally new and much better ride .... or you could poach parts off EBay and make it a 10-speed giant-killer on the cheap.

As for RSX, check out this thread--https://forums.roadbikereview.com/components-wrenching/history-shimano-rsx-components-210389.html

If you have a good 8-speed bike now .... You could upgrade it to Hollowtech II and 4700 easily. Throw on a CF fork if it doesn't have one. Or you could just have a good 8-speed bike and buy something newer, lighter ... maybe rides better, maybe not.

Does the RXS stuff no longer work? For $250 throw some Vuelta wheels on there, $75 for lightweight high-thread-count tires .... and it will still be basically the same bike ... unless the bike just plain sucks ... but I would think that would be a nice frame to keep and work with. Since it has 130-mm dropouts you can run any road running gear from the last 30 years. Cannondale didn't make a lot of crap frames, as I recall.
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Old 09-01-18, 08:20 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by trojanhorse View Post
imo best bang for the buck would be to buy a last-year's model bike on sale. I got one for 40% off in january. For some reason, people in my area don't think bikes depreciate. Go figure. Your area may be different.

A nice used aluminum alloy bike with 105 drivetrain is probably your cost-benefit leader though.
+1
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Old 09-02-18, 08:01 AM
  #9  
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I think that best "bang for the buck" is a question that only you can answer.

Shimano makes so many different component groups that I can't keep track of them all anymore. They all do the same things and they all, even the cheapest Tourney ones, do the job. The more expensive ones are just a little crisper operating and look a little bit nicer. As you go up the price brackets the functional improvement tends to progress at a gradual steady rate. Prices, however, jump up geometrically. Most riders are looking for the optimum place where the price line and performance line cross and everybody draws that graph differently.

If you have an unlimited budget and are only satisfied by the absolute best, all you have to do is ask. If you only have $60.00 to spend, the cheapest Walmart offering might benefit your lifestyle immensely. Either might well be the best bang for the buck for a particular buyer.
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Old 09-02-18, 08:33 AM
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Depends on what kinda bang your looking for. You usually get what you pay for. And If buying used there could be hidden surprises. The only bike I bought used cracked for no reason. Kinda ruined me on used bikes but you could get an amazing deal. Make sure to get the type and fit right before thinking about price.

Last edited by bikingtotown; 09-02-18 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 09-02-18, 08:33 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by ssmorol View Post
Looking at upgrading to a newer used bike...I currently have an old cannondale with rsx components. Should I be looking at something with ultegra or 105 components? Find something with better wheels or just upgrade the wheels on my bike?
Just trying to get an idea of what I can get the most bang for the buck on upgrades as my budget is small...thanks
I have to question "Find something with better wheels" on Craigs List or garage sales, as incompatible with "best bang for the buck". I think that the nice bikes that were hidden in someone's garage for a decade are going to have stock wheels, which may be an upgrade from your bike but generally are wheels you upgrade from, not to. A more top shelf bike may come stock with a great wheel-set but that isn't the bang-for-a-buck category. Especially after the flippers have scavenged them.

So my inclination, bearing in mind that I am NOT a big fan of watching CL for a used bike, is if you want better wheels then look for a good price for a new retail wheelset. Like the Vuelta brand @Maelochs mentioned up-thread. I've got one of their budget level sets (at about half the cost he mentioned) and it's an awesome improvement. There are other brands.

For a retail bike, the "upgrade" over an entry level is 105. A bike with Ultegra is going to cost more, a lot more. For a used bike, if it's truly a great value and you're quick enough to recognize it and snap it up, it might have anything from Tiagra to Ultegra.
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Old 09-02-18, 09:01 AM
  #12  
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I have and currently ride an older Canondale with 7 speed rsx drive train caad 3 frame. I haven’t ridden any newer bikes so I have no basis for comparison. 15 years ago ( the bike is a 96 model) I replaced the front fork with carbon and the wheels with Bontrager select. At the time I felt the upgrades were worthwhile. I am one of those guys that tends to hang onto his toys forever so I usually don’t consider a change easily. I still enjoy riding it as it seems quick and responsive but this is in comparison to my other bikes, which all weigh north of 25 lbs. I doubt I will ever do anything further to it but maintence. I am not a very fast or efficient rider and really wouldn’t get much use out of more gears, as I many times I shift my 9 speed bikes a couple of gears at time. To sum it up I guess it depends on what your goals are, if you are younger and are desiring more speed and performance then certainly a newer bike might be in order. If you are like me and just like to ride for the joy of the ride you may not gain to much. Anyway good luck with whatever you choose to do.
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Old 09-02-18, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bikingtotown View Post
Depends on what kinda bang your looking for. You usually get what you pay for. And If buying used there could be hidden surprises. The only bike I bought used cracked for no reason. Kinda ruined me on used bikes but you could get an amazing deal. Make sure to get the type and fit right before thinking about price.
What do you mean by cracked? Was it carbon or something?
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Old 09-02-18, 10:28 AM
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Shimano 105 5800 11-Speed Groupset | Chain Reaction Cycles
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Old 09-02-18, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ssmorol View Post
What do you mean by cracked? Was it carbon or something?
it was aluminum, in the back by cassette. Lucky it was only about 350 dollar bike and I wasn't on it when it cracked.
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Old 09-03-18, 06:07 AM
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Fuji bikes seem to give you the most bang for your buck.
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Old 09-03-18, 07:26 AM
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If you decide on upgrading components....

Not sure if new components is your best upgrade but I just took my LOOK KG281 frame out of mothballs and built it up.
Since I have 2 other bikes with Dura Ace components and I am going to use the LOOK sparingly, I decided to try the Tiagra groupset which is a step down from 105.
I paid under $300 for a complete groupset including chain. I put the components on myself and didn't have to tweak anything - it shifts perfectly.
If you don't mind having a 10 speed, I think the value can't be beat. I understand now why the big manufacturers are offering Tiagra equipped models.
Over the years I have ridden 105, Ultegra, and Dura Ace components. If I'm on a strict budget in the future, I wouldn't hesitate to go with Tiagra.
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