Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Best "Refresh" or Upgrade for your Bike?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Best "Refresh" or Upgrade for your Bike?

Old 10-12-20, 09:12 AM
  #1  
Moisture
Drip, Drip.
Thread Starter
 
Moisture's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Southern Ontario
Posts: 1,573

Bikes: Trek Verve E bike, Felt Doctrine 4 XC, Opus Horizon Apex 1

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1031 Post(s)
Liked 187 Times in 159 Posts
Best "Refresh" or Upgrade for your Bike?

I'll start.

Original chain was very stretched out and worn out. Mix and match of several different (9 speed) chain types. Didn't feel too great. Friend replaced chain with an 8 speed. Was better, but never felt right. Ended up putting on a KMC 9 speed chain the other day; what a difference. the drivetrain feels brand new. Smooth, quiet, significantly better power transfer, much better shifting. It even goes around corners faster and smoother while pedaling. Very profound improvement.

Go!
Moisture is offline  
Likes For Moisture:
Old 10-12-20, 09:52 AM
  #2  
shelbyfv
Expired Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 10,099
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2996 Post(s)
Liked 3,853 Times in 1,978 Posts
Is it an upgrade when you put on the correct part? Not surprised it works better than before.
shelbyfv is offline  
Likes For shelbyfv:
Old 10-12-20, 09:54 AM
  #3  
veganbikes
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 10,229

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), R+M Supercharger2 Rohloff, Habanero Ti 26

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2990 Post(s)
Liked 2,212 Times in 1,463 Posts
The best way to improve a bike is with high quality cables, housing and brake pads and good stiff brake shoes. It is cheaper than say a new caliper or new levers or what have you but can make a world of performance difference. Of course as well replacing any worn items will be helpful so in your case new chain and cassette in the proper number will greatly improve shifting.
veganbikes is offline  
Likes For veganbikes:
Old 10-12-20, 10:05 AM
  #4  
DorkDisk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Kips Bay, NY
Posts: 2,092

Bikes: Ritchey Swiss Cross | Teesdale Kona Hot | Haro Extreme | Specialized Stumpjumper Comp | Cannondale F1000 | Shogun 1000 | Cannondale M500 | Norco Charger | Marin Muirwoods 29er | Shogun Kaze | Breezer Lightning

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 529 Post(s)
Liked 812 Times in 421 Posts
Well-built wheels
DorkDisk is offline  
Likes For DorkDisk:
Old 10-12-20, 10:14 AM
  #5  
msu2001la
Senior Member
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,080
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 978 Post(s)
Liked 971 Times in 554 Posts
New cables and bar tape are my favorite refresh.
msu2001la is offline  
Likes For msu2001la:
Old 10-12-20, 10:44 AM
  #6  
ofajen
Cheerfully low end
 
ofajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 1,551
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 491 Post(s)
Liked 788 Times in 502 Posts
I could be contrary and suggest conversion to SS. 😊

But seriously, tires.

Putting fast rolling tires (Compass, now RH, RTP) on my 26er MTB was quite a revelation. It meant that I could ride big comfy tires on crushed stone trails and gravel and only concede an average of about 1/2mph (or less) to the lighter Schwinn running 700x32.

Not sure how many wanna go there, but perhaps in second place Id put riding with Albatross-style touring bars. Maybe affected by riding SS since I spend so much time standing up on climbs and descents. But it is a surprisingly effective cockpit for a lot of riding, assuming you wrap and use the entire bar. No low crouch, but a lot of different sitting and standing postures with a bar that extends about 9 inches front to back and has a mildly curving forward section that can change height, width and angle for hand location. Worth considering if you ride straight bars and your hands hurt or if you have drops that never get touched.

Otto

Last edited by ofajen; 10-12-20 at 12:48 PM.
ofajen is offline  
Likes For ofajen:
Old 10-12-20, 11:18 AM
  #7  
tntyz
Senior Member
 
tntyz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Nabob, WI
Posts: 1,275

Bikes: 2018 Domane SL7

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 24 Posts
+1 for tires.
Recently replaced stock Bontrager R2 Hardcase Light with Continental GP 5000. Smoother ride, better handling - nice!
tntyz is offline  
Likes For tntyz:
Old 10-12-20, 11:34 AM
  #8  
genejockey 
Klaatu..Verata..Necktie?
 
genejockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 11,838

Bikes: Litespeed Ultimate, Ultegra; Canyon Endurace, 105; Battaglin MAX, Chorus; Bianchi 928 Veloce; Ritchey Road Logic, Dura Ace; Cannondale R500 RX100; Schwinn Circuit, Sante; Lotus Supreme, Dura Ace

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6553 Post(s)
Liked 6,899 Times in 3,534 Posts
I recently refreshed the Battaglin MAX I built up in 2007 from an early 90s frame. New bar with shorter reach and drop (not getting any younger nor more flexible), new 12-30 cassette and medium cage rear derailleur (still not getting any younger), new chain, touched up all the chipped paint, new old Look pedals, new cables and housing, new tires, and of course new white bar tape. Had my LBS align the rear hanger. Took it out on Friday and I'm in love again! Scored numerous PRs on segments I've ridden over 100 times. Totally worth the time and expense.
__________________
"Don't take life so serious-it ain't nohow permanent."

"Everybody's gotta be somewhere." - Eccles
genejockey is online now  
Old 10-12-20, 12:09 PM
  #9  
bargo68 
Dedicated Detritus Dodger
 
bargo68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Fairfax, California
Posts: 422

Bikes: Some mighty fine ones at that!

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 154 Post(s)
Liked 451 Times in 212 Posts
cheap: tires
spendy: wheelset and tires
bargo68 is offline  
Likes For bargo68:
Old 10-12-20, 12:29 PM
  #10  
twowheeldesign
Member
 
twowheeldesign's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 28

Bikes: Raleigh Tamland 2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Another vote for tires and also an appropriate seat for your butt/riding style.

I rode my old seat which didn't agree with my rear end for far too long. Getting a good, correct size seat made the subsequent rides feel like an entirely different bike!
twowheeldesign is offline  
Old 10-12-20, 12:42 PM
  #11  
burnthesheep
Newbie racer
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3,347

Bikes: Propel, red is faster

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1553 Post(s)
Liked 1,516 Times in 944 Posts
Ignoring "as it should be" repairs of broken things, or non-functional things:

-saddle: it probably came with the bike because it was the most generic and affordable shape for that bike the company could stick on there. Get one that your bum likes.

-bar tape: same as for saddle.....usually it is something fairly generic, not colorful or matchy, maybe not most comfort or features. Customize a touch (or a lot). Get more comfy.

-tires: new or old bike....if you've been on slow/tired/puncture prone tires.......get the good stuff......better ride, maybe faster too

I consider that the "refresh" stuff. Wheels? Meh. That's "upgrade".

I'm getting some bar tape today. I have cable housing and cables sitting ready for the other bike.

This is a bit silly..........but I replaced the plain metal colored brake "noodles" on my road race bike with black ones. Dunno. I needed them when I ran new cables anyway and it was the same price. Why not.
burnthesheep is offline  
Likes For burnthesheep:
Old 10-12-20, 08:16 PM
  #12  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 5,662
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5317 Post(s)
Liked 7,947 Times in 3,434 Posts
Bar tape. There's no cheaper way to make your bike look 23.8% better.
Koyote is offline  
Likes For Koyote:
Old 10-12-20, 11:03 PM
  #13  
Rolla
Former Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 2,572
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1156 Post(s)
Liked 2,841 Times in 1,253 Posts
I second veganbike's cable recommendation. Housing is about two dollars a foot and inner cables are four bucks each, so for less than $30, you get dramatically better shifting and braking. Invest in a good pair of housing cutters, and it will pay for itself.

And replace your chain a couple of times a year. I don't even check mine for wear; it's just a scheduled maintenance item.

Last edited by Rolla; 10-12-20 at 11:07 PM.
Rolla is offline  
Likes For Rolla:
Old 10-12-20, 11:43 PM
  #14  
Ironfish653
Dirty Heathen
 
Ironfish653's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: MC-778, 6250 fsw
Posts: 1,859

Bikes: 1997 Cannondale, 1976 Bridgestone, 1998 SoftRide, 1989 Klein

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 710 Post(s)
Liked 586 Times in 364 Posts
The easy money is on tires and brake pads. Both are easy to change, and you definitely notice.
Grips/Tape and saddle, too, although good saddles are not always inexpensive, and sometimes it takes a few tries to find the right one.

Changing the handlebars; wider, more sweep, flares, etc. can also make a huge difference, but its a bit more of an involved project.
Ironfish653 is offline  
Old 10-13-20, 12:15 AM
  #15  
SurferRosa
Seor Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 6,119

Bikes: Old school lightweights

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2565 Post(s)
Liked 3,542 Times in 1,885 Posts
Love a new chain.
SurferRosa is offline  
Likes For SurferRosa:
Old 10-13-20, 12:15 AM
  #16  
70sSanO
Senior Member
 
70sSanO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 5,222

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1717 Post(s)
Liked 1,796 Times in 1,114 Posts
Since my bikes are older, and 3 of the 4 were frame up builds, and have been upgraded over the years there are a number of choices.

Probably the best was an overall drivetrain change in going from a double crankset to a triple on my road bike and installing mtb derailleurs with a wider range freewheel.

It basically gave me the same as the double and added a climbing inner ring. I have since swapped out the wheelset with a cassette, but the foundation was already there.

John
70sSanO is offline  
Old 10-13-20, 03:57 AM
  #17  
Pop N Wood
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,163

Bikes: 1982 Bianchi Sport SX, Rayleigh Tamland 1, Rans V-Rex recumbent, Fuji MTB, 80's Cannondale MTB with BBSHD ebike motor

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 552 Post(s)
Liked 438 Times in 290 Posts
Personally I like going into my parts bin from time to time and randomly change parts on my bikes. Gives me quality time wrenching and lets me experience something new.

I need to start painting bikes next. Never been a big advocate of cosmetics, always focused more on how well things function. Keep thinking I should do a show build.
Pop N Wood is offline  
Likes For Pop N Wood:
Old 10-13-20, 05:25 AM
  #18  
Thomas15
I think I know nothing.
 
Thomas15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NE PA
Posts: 711
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 232 Post(s)
Liked 290 Times in 204 Posts
Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
I second veganbike's cable recommendation. Housing is about two dollars a foot and inner cables are four bucks each, so for less than $30, you get dramatically better shifting and braking. Invest in a good pair of housing cutters, and it will pay for itself.

And replace your chain a couple of times a year. I don't even check mine for wear; it's just a scheduled maintenance item.
And yet we have a recent thread here somewhere on this forum where posters batted around the virtue of replacing only the inner brake and shifter cables, retaining the outer housing to save big bux.
Thomas15 is offline  
Likes For Thomas15:
Old 10-13-20, 07:30 AM
  #19  
Phil_gretz
Zip tie Karen
 
Phil_gretz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Posts: 7,003

Bikes: '13 Motobecane Fantom29 HT, '16 Motobecane Turino Pro Disc, '16 Motobecane Gran Premio Elite, '18 Velobuild VB-R-022, '21 Tsunami SNM-100

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1459 Post(s)
Liked 1,534 Times in 802 Posts
The best upgrade that you can make for your bike is to give it to a stronger rider. The bike will experience immediate results.
Phil_gretz is offline  
Likes For Phil_gretz:
Old 10-13-20, 08:35 AM
  #20  
Bill in VA
Senior Member
 
Bill in VA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 720

Bikes: Current: 2016 Bianchi Volpe; 1973 Peugeot UO-8. Past: 1974 Fuji S-10-S with custom black Imron paint by Stinsman Racing of PA.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 210 Post(s)
Liked 198 Times in 136 Posts
Originally Posted by bargo68 View Post
cheap: tires
spendy: wheelset and tires
Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
The best upgrade that you can make for your bike is to give it to a stronger rider. The bike will experience immediate results.
Tires are the quickest and easiest. The change from the OEM Vittoria Randonneur 28mm tires, an incredibly numbing, sluggish tire that initally made me doubt my decision to buy the bike, to a set of 28mm Continental GP4000SII was an incredible upgrade. Successive upgrades to Rene Herse (then Compass) 28mm and then 32mm tires were each an upgrade, but in a much smaller increment.

Then the other biggest change for me (but much harder) was losing 35 pounds of road-hugging weight by diet and riding.
Bill in VA is offline  
Old 10-13-20, 06:25 PM
  #21  
Dirt Farmer
Senior Member
 
Dirt Farmer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Madison, Wi.
Posts: 1,181

Bikes: Jamis Quest Elite; Fuji Sagres; Trek Fuel EX 8

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 329 Post(s)
Liked 72 Times in 52 Posts
Wheelset and carbon bars, IMHO.
Dirt Farmer is offline  
Old 10-13-20, 07:11 PM
  #22  
shelbyfv
Expired Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 10,099
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2996 Post(s)
Liked 3,853 Times in 1,978 Posts
^^I think they are investigatingMore reports may speed things up.
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 10-14-20, 01:25 AM
  #23  
Germany_chris
Im a little Surly
 
Germany_chris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern Germany
Posts: 2,010

Bikes: Two Cross Checks and a Karate Monkey

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 515 Post(s)
Liked 919 Times in 479 Posts
Koolstops, leather tape/grips/saddles, supple tires
Germany_chris is offline  
Old 10-14-20, 04:38 AM
  #24  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 13,225

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 196 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4390 Post(s)
Liked 2,431 Times in 1,579 Posts
Tires make the biggest difference on my bikes, in speed, handling and comfort. Usually the first thing I change on any new-to-me bike.

Tubes also. Latex tubes are more comfy on rough chipseal. Dunno if they're faster, I'm not fast.

Bar wrap. As I get older I need thicker, cushy bar wrap. Sometimes I'll double wrap, with an old inner tube as the base wrap, and a better looking "cork" or other cushioned wrap over the inner tube.

Saddle. I have a box of saddles that seemed comfortable 25 lbs ago, but after losing weight I switched to narrower, less padded saddles. Subject to change at whim and gain/loss of weight.

Can't say I've noticed any differences in chains, assuming they're the correct size and not worn out. I've dabbled with all kinds of lubes too and didn't notice any difference in speed. So I go for whatever makes the least mess.
canklecat is offline  
Old 10-16-20, 09:38 AM
  #25  
The Chemist
Senior Member
 
The Chemist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Shanghai, China
Posts: 796

Bikes: 2011 Giant FCR3500 // 2008 Dahon Boardwalk

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Liked 282 Times in 144 Posts
My favourite upgrades that I've done:
1. Converted flat bar to drop bar, including brifters. More hand positions, more speed. Well worth the effort and cost.
2. Converted to a 1 x 9 (bike was originally a 3x9, then went to a 2x9, and finally decided I wanted to do away with the front derailleur entirely). Smoother and less mechanically complicated. Looks better too.
3. Specialized Armadillo tires. Very nearly puncture proof. Have had one flat tire in the 4+ years I've been running these tires.
The Chemist is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.