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Do I upgrade my first road bike?

Old 04-03-12, 12:47 AM
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Do I upgrade my first road bike?

I have a Giant Avail 2, my first road bike and rode A LOT. Long distance rides, charity rides and now training for the second 2-day ride Vancouver to Seattle and a Granfondo later this year. I am training hard, keep track with notebook and see improvement in speed and time! Thinking if I should upgrade to a new road bike? The one I have I bought in 2010, still pretty new,
Would another bike make me go faster easier, I do a lot of climbing and am not sure if the components on my road bike make a difference to other ones? Mine has a Shimano Tiagra 9-speed with triple crankset. Is there anything else that is better? Upgrade components instead of getting another bike?
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Old 04-03-12, 01:36 AM
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You are hooked and ready for N+1!!!! Depending on what you want to upgrade, it's usually cheaper to buy a new bike. The 2010 is still pretty new :-) What is your budget? I wonder what the wheels weigh on that thing. You might notice improvement accelerating and going uphill with lighter wheels. Upgrading your derailleurs isn't going to help you go faster. You can change the gear selection with a different cassette. That may not make you faster unless you need a lower/higher gear. Are you willing to purchase a bike online and assemble it? You can get brand name components on a no name frame. What is your budget?
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Old 04-03-12, 09:05 AM
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in my opinion, your speed is your speed regardless of the bike. regardless, when in doubt, always buy a new bike! :-)
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Old 04-03-12, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by a1penguin
You are hooked and ready for N+1!!!! Depending on what you want to upgrade, it's usually cheaper to buy a new bike. The 2010 is still pretty new :-) What is your budget? I wonder what the wheels weigh on that thing. You might notice improvement accelerating and going uphill with lighter wheels. Upgrading your derailleurs isn't going to help you go faster. You can change the gear selection with a different cassette. That may not make you faster unless you need a lower/higher gear. Are you willing to purchase a bike online and assemble it? You can get brand name components on a no name frame. What is your budget?
I have Bontrager Race tires, no idea how heavy they are compared to other kinds. I have to take the bike in for service and maybe will ask what they could do/replace. Yes, am pretty hooked and that's why I feel to upgrade from entry level bike to somewhat more serious. No I cannot assemble myself
My budget, I don't know. I could spend like $500 something to upgrade, or put it towards a new bike and dig in my savings account LOL!
I started with Shimano mtb clip less shoes, maybe time to change to roadbike shoes? Dunno if I need to.
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Old 04-03-12, 09:28 AM
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Just do it!

My worst nightmere is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "How sensible dad was." I'm not going to let that happen.

Don't expect a new bike to suddenly make you a lot faster, but a new bike is ALWAYS more fun to own and ride. The only downside is you'll have to change your screen name to "morefungirl".
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Old 04-03-12, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
in my opinion, your speed is your speed regardless of the bike. regardless, when in doubt, always buy a new bike! :-)
I agree, particularly at that level of bike. Yes, there are plenty of more expensive bikes out there, but the increases in quality you get from spending more won't translate into faster speeds or easier riding to the extent that upgrading from a $500 bike would have. There are definitely benefits to more expensive bikes, but most of them are in other areas - smoother shifting, better parts tolerances, a little bit of weight shaved here or there.

But it's fun to get a new bike, and if you really want to, then go for it. If you want to spend a little less money, though, and still have it be immediately noticable while riding, try new wheels.
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Old 04-03-12, 10:03 AM
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9 'speeds' is just how many sprockets you have, the size of them is a tooth count.

Assess which ones you use, and are they just right, need a lower low,and so forth.

you can change the tooth count of chainrings too, without replacing the whole crankset.
learn what gear ratio combination you use most,
get the tooth count, of the cog and chainring that is selected ,
not just the 123 on the indicator window.
then you can decide whether 1 tooth more or less will matter.
you may be able to change the 3rd ring, to a smaller one , and gain a lower ratio.

BTW, light tires that puncture more easily, will be slower,
if you include time spent mending punctures.

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-04-12 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 04-03-12, 11:51 AM
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THe only thing that will make any noticable difference is the wheels and tires. Specifically the tires. Get some nice, supple, lightweight racing tires and keep riding. CHanging cranks and brakes and shifters will make zero improvement.

Perhaps switching to a double crankset and front derailleur might make front shifting a tiny bit quicker.

Also make sure your bike is 100% perfectly maintained - if your hubs can be rebuilt then do it. Make sure your chain is clean and properly lubricated. Replace cables, brake pads, handlebar tape if they are starting to look or feel at all worn - this will make the bike ride like new. Also make sure you have a good floor pump and make sure the tires are at or close to the max pressure before riding.

Also, nice clipless pedals and rigid soled cycling shoes, although their actual benifit to power or speed is arguable, are preferred by most cyclists.
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Old 04-03-12, 12:02 PM
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Sell the Avail one and buy a new road bike with much better features!


Get the Quest! It's simply the Best!

www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/road/quest/12_quest.html


You're welcome!

Last edited by SlimRider; 04-04-12 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 04-03-12, 12:47 PM
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Of the crankset options, a triple is the best option for climbing. And with most, you'll be in the 30's before spinning out the top gear.
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Old 04-03-12, 12:57 PM
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I'd say check to see if the gearing is what you want in the rear, if not change it to better spacing. I'm partial to triples, so I'd say keep that. If you want better wheels, go for that. Better wheels can mean many things. More aero, lighter, stronger, prettier, louder. It's all about what you want.
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Old 04-03-12, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by fungirl
I have a Giant Avail 2, my first road bike and rode A LOT. Long distance rides, charity rides and now training for the second 2-day ride Vancouver to Seattle and a Granfondo later this year. I am training hard, keep track with notebook and see improvement in speed and time! Thinking if I should upgrade to a new road bike? The one I have I bought in 2010, still pretty new,
Would another bike make me go faster easier, I do a lot of climbing and am not sure if the components on my road bike make a difference to other ones? Mine has a Shimano Tiagra 9-speed with triple crankset. Is there anything else that is better? Upgrade components instead of getting another bike?
I can't seem to find a description of your bike.

It seems to be a missing model between the 1 and the 3!

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...er/3881/36263/
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...ck/3881/36265/

Anyway, it appears that the bike you have is a good one. You aren't likely to find that replacing it is going to be a big change.

If your position on the bike is fairly upright and/or you mostly use the ride on the hoods (the brakes) rather than on the drops, then dropping your handlebar or using the drops more would be the most effective way of being faster (and it's cheap/free to do).
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Old 04-03-12, 05:34 PM
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[QUOTE=njkayaker;14053431]I can't seem to find a description of your bike.

It is a Giant Avail 2 from the Canadian site. I remember that it's not showing on U.S. website.
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Old 04-03-12, 05:51 PM
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Its sooooooooooo difficult so please any advice is helpful; at the bike store there is one, last model Cannondale CAAD 9 4 road bike compact SRAM Rival derailleurs for $ 1599.00 CAD (was $2199).mhandmade in U.S. Only this size available (my size). Totally different than my Giant Avail and I had to put my tune-up on hold so I can decide. Sigh! It's a nice bike, matte black, with Vittoria Zaffiro pro slick tires (dunno much about these). What do you think?
https://www.cannondale.com/can/2010-caad9-4

Last edited by fungirl; 04-03-12 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 04-03-12, 07:16 PM
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N+1 is fun, and there's no way to talk someone out of spending their money if they've got their heart set on it , but I don't think there's anything about the Giant that's holding you back.

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-ca/....2/5406/37760/
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Old 04-03-12, 08:12 PM
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You will not have any noticable performance upgrade by buying a new bike. Not more than purchasing new tires will give you.

Edit: Also, since 2009 or 2010, all Cannondale frames have been made in Asia. They may still be asembled in the US, but 'Handmade in USA' is misleading if they still claim that.

Last edited by LarDasse74; 04-03-12 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 04-03-12, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by LarDasse74
You will not have any noticable performance upgrade by buying a new bike. Not more than purchasing new tires will give you.

Edit: Also, since 2009 or 2010, all Cannondale frames have been made in Asia. They may still be asembled in the US, but 'Handmade in USA' is misleading if they still claim that.
I don't expect to go faster than I do on my Giant Avail, I thought a more expensive bike make it easier to go faster and easier to climb hills. I know its only my legs that will do the job. it's more the idea that after two years on the bike, I find myself having so much fun that I register for more races. Taking it a step up from a beginner. Getting serious. The Avail is still a nice bike and its difficult if I should wait and just tune-up/upgrade the bike I have, etc.
BTW, on the frame it says "Handmade in USA"
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Last edited by fungirl; 04-03-12 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 04-03-12, 10:29 PM
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You are over thinking this matter. If you like the Cannondale...GO FOR IT, already! You cannot go wrong with that bike! It really doesn't matter what the rationalizations could be, what matters most is that you really love the bike and that you will ride.
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Old 04-04-12, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Just do it!

My worst nightmere is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "How sensible dad was." I'm not going to let that happen.
i've got maybe a decade or two left, so i'm snapping up everything in sight!

edit: and ya, buy the bike.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 04-04-12 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 04-04-12, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by fungirl
Its sooooooooooo difficult so please any advice is helpful; at the bike store there is one, last model Cannondale CAAD 9 4 road bike compact SRAM Rival derailleurs for $ 1599.00 CAD (was $2199).mhandmade in U.S. Only this size available (my size). Totally different than my Giant Avail and I had to put my tune-up on hold so I can decide. Sigh! It's a nice bike, matte black, with Vittoria Zaffiro pro slick tires (dunno much about these). What do you think?
https://www.cannondale.com/can/2010-caad9-4
Digging into you savings for a new bike.... hmmmm. Why not save up and go for carbon? Now THAT will be a different ride! I think the $500 will get you a nice set of wheels. As for the triple vs compact double, the low end gearing is identical. You'll get different set of gears but the highest and lowest available gearing won't be much different. I have a 52/42/30, 12/25 and the close spacing of the gears in the range I most often use suits me well. CAAD 9 made in US? I might believe assembled, but the frames was most likely made in Taiwan from what I've read here.

Test ride a Supersix and you'll want to save up for one of those!
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Old 04-04-12, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by fungirl


I don't expect to go faster than I do on my Giant Avail, I thought a more expensive bike make it easier to go faster and easier to climb hills. I know its only my legs that will do the job. it's more the idea that after two years on the bike, I find myself having so much fun that I register for more races. Taking it a step up from a beginner. Getting serious. The Avail is still a nice bike and its difficult if I should wait and just tune-up/upgrade the bike I have, etc.
BTW, on the frame it says "Handmade in USA"
IT is a great bike either way - even the Taiwanese Cannondales are beautiful machines. The link you posted was to a 2010, so maybe that was the last year they were American made. Makes little difference to the quality of the bike, though. And most of the staff at the PA Cannondale factory have already been laid off.

Wheels and tires are the only part of a bike that will give you any performance upgrade. The stock wheels on the Cannondale are not that big a jump up fromt he stock wheels on the Giant. I would suggest getting new lighter rims hand built onto some nice Shimano Ultegra hubs with double butted spokes and put some good quality tires on it, ansd save these as 'race day' wheels. For the utmost in performance, go with tubular tires and rims. A peformance race-day wheelset can be saved and put on whatever bike you buy in the future, as long as it has Shimano or Sram components (it is more tricky to adapt Campagnolo parts for use with Shimano/Sram compatible wheels).

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Old 04-04-12, 12:46 PM
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You getting a woman's specific frame type, fungirl? [if female]
men's frames will stretch you out more as the ratio of seat-tube to top tube length,
is different, longer TT, as the sizes change..

GeorginaTerry is currently getting Waterford to be the frame supplier, Now.
So, is Wisconsin made, and of light weight steel.
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Old 04-04-12, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
You getting a woman's specific frame type, fungirl? [if female]
men's frames will stretch you out more as the ratio of seat-tube to top tube length,
is different, longer TT, as the sizes change..

GeorginaTerry is currently getting Waterford to be the frame supplier, Now.
So, is Wisconsin made, and of light weight steel.
I don't think the Cannondale is a women's specific frame like my Giant Avail is. I actually think to let go of it, and keep riding on the Giant which I know it's comfortable. The Cannondale is a nice bike but maybe I better get some extra's on my Giant Avail.
But I might take it for a spin this Friday....I'll let you know....

Last edited by fungirl; 04-04-12 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 04-04-12, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by a1penguin
Digging into you savings for a new bike.... hmmmm. Why not save up and go for carbon? Now THAT will be a different ride! I think the $500 will get you a nice set of wheels. As for the triple vs compact double, the low end gearing is identical. You'll get different set of gears but the highest and lowest available gearing won't be much different. I have a 52/42/30, 12/25 and the close spacing of the gears in the range I most often use suits me well. CAAD 9 made in US? I might believe assembled, but the frames was most likely made in Taiwan from what I've read here.

Test ride a Supersix and you'll want to save up for one of those!
Or what about a 2011 Trek Madone full-carbon 3.1WSD for $ 1699? That sounds like a better deal if I really want to upgrade to something better. Its a $ 100 more than the Cannondale I had my eyes on. With Bontrager wheels (if that is better because I was reading a lot about upgrading wheels set).
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Old 04-04-12, 10:25 PM
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The Supersix comes in a WSD model! The 3.1 would be a nice bike. You would be trading some 105 components for carbon frame. It has a 105 rear derailleur and tiagra other. "They say" that the crankset is important component, but us girls don't generate the same power as the boys do. Ride them all. If one of them really calls out to you, consider purchasing that bike. Otherwise, keep what you have and upgrade your wheels :-) If you buy a new bike, but like your old one better, you'll be disappointed and won't ride your new bike. That's my $0.02 worth. Not worth much, but more for you to consider, fungirl.
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