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Upgrade 2014 Trek 1.1 Groupset?

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Upgrade 2014 Trek 1.1 Groupset?

Old 02-29-16, 08:40 PM
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enyalius
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Upgrade 2014 Trek 1.1 Groupset?

Greetings!

I've been riding for around 2 years now and am pushing 30 years of age. My first and current road bike is the 2014 Trek 1.1, and, overall, I've been fairly happy with it. I spent some money on 2014 Reynolds Attack carbon wheels (got them relatively cheap at my local shop in the summer of 2015) and I changed out the saddle, but that's about it so far in terms of upgrades.

I'm at the point, though, where I think that the Shimano Claris groupset may be holding me back (I'm open to those who would disagree). An eight speed cassette doesn't seem like enough gears, though, when I'm riding with friends that have far niceer bikes than mine (one even has the brand new Venge). I'm average height and around 200 lbs, so I know that I can ALWAYS lose more weight off me than my bike, and I'm working on that, but I was wondering if any of you would suggest upgrading my current Claris groupset to a Shimano 105 or something else? Looks like I can get the full 105 groupset for under $400 off Merlin, which I feel would be a decent deal (but, then, what do I know?).

I really am still fairly new to all of this, I've only put a little over 3,000 miles on the 1.1 since I got it in March of 2014 according to Strava, but I'd like to get more into it and be able to better keep up with my friends. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I live in the midwest, so suggestions on cranks (guessing compact), cassettes and other such specs would also be appreciated! My buddy is rolling a 28/11 on his 11 speed cassette and a 36/52 on his crank (172.5mm) on his new Venge, so I was thinking about using that as a base for my potential 105 setup.

Thanks in advance
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Old 02-29-16, 09:05 PM
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105 sounds good to me. If you are going to ride a lot then do it you will not regret it.
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Old 02-29-16, 09:13 PM
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Well the 105 groupset will definitely be an upgrade, but I really doubt it will make any difference when it comes to keeping up with your friends. If the money is not an issue and you want some bling then by all means go for it, but if what you really want is to be faster then I'm afraid training a lot is the only way to go. That and a skinsuit.
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Old 02-29-16, 09:49 PM
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Thank you both for responding!
@dangerd Thanks for your vote of confidence! What do you like about the 105, especially over the Claris?
@PepeM Money is definitely an object, hence the upgrade over a new bike. I'm doing a lot of training, of course, but am looking for something else that can give me more of an edge. Do you have any other suggestions?
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Old 02-29-16, 10:15 PM
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Last summer I was riding my Emonda ALR and stopped at a red light (Yes, I do that). A teenager pulled up next to me on a 1.1 with all stock parts. When the light turned green he stayed about 30 yards behind me for several miles as I was going about 16-17mph. A guy on a TT bike zipped past me when I was stopped at a stop sign. I used that as incentive to push harder, caught up to the TT guy and stayed about 30 yards behind him for a few miles at about 20-25mph. I looked back for the kid a few times, but didn't see him. Then he zipped past me and the TT guy like we were sitting still and kept going until he was farther ahead than I could see. The Trek 1.1 is not a slow bike.
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Old 02-29-16, 10:21 PM
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Are those wheels 11-speed? If not, 4700 isn't half bad either.
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Old 02-29-16, 10:26 PM
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You go from 8 to 10 (or 11) speed. The shifting is smoother on the 105. It will not make you faster. Just keep riding, the more you ride the faster you will get. If you want to know what cranks to buy go get a bike fit so you know where you are most comfortable and efficient. As for if you want compact and what cassette, you need to evaluate the terrain where you ride the most. You can always swap cassettes if need be.
Personally I use a compact with a 12/30 cassette because I live near the hills and climb often.
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Old 02-29-16, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by enyalius View Post
Greetings!

I've been riding for around 2 years now and am pushing 30 years of age. My first and current road bike is the 2014 Trek 1.1, and, overall, I've been fairly happy with it. I spent some money on 2014 Reynolds Attack carbon wheels (got them relatively cheap at my local shop in the summer of 2015) and I changed out the saddle, but that's about it so far in terms of upgrades.

I'm at the point, though, where I think that the Shimano Claris groupset may be holding me back (I'm open to those who would disagree). An eight speed cassette doesn't seem like enough gears, though, when I'm riding with friends that have far niceer bikes than mine (one even has the brand new Venge). I'm average height and around 200 lbs, so I know that I can ALWAYS lose more weight off me than my bike, and I'm working on that, but I was wondering if any of you would suggest upgrading my current Claris groupset to a Shimano 105 or something else? Looks like I can get the full 105 groupset for under $400 off Merlin, which I feel would be a decent deal (but, then, what do I know?).

I really am still fairly new to all of this, I've only put a little over 3,000 miles on the 1.1 since I got it in March of 2014 according to Strava, but I'd like to get more into it and be able to better keep up with my friends. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I live in the midwest, so suggestions on cranks (guessing compact), cassettes and other such specs would also be appreciated! My buddy is rolling a 28/11 on his 11 speed cassette and a 36/52 on his crank (172.5mm) on his new Venge, so I was thinking about using that as a base for my potential 105 setup.

Thanks in advance
Keep in mind that Dura Ace was 6 speed in 1984, 8 speed in 1988, and only went to 9 speed in 1996. So the good news is, even humble Claris 8 speed is more or as many gears than Merckx, Roche, Lemond, Jalabert, Indurain, and Hinault used back in the day, and they were the best in the world.

You are only riding a couple of years, so you have room to improve your fitness and riding form. That said, if you want to upgrade to something better, that is cool. Sometimes it is fun just to have something different. Just don't think it will make you any faster, because it probably won't.
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Old 02-29-16, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by enyalius View Post
but I'd like to get more into it and be able to better keep up with my friends. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I live in the midwest, so suggestions on cranks (guessing compact), cassettes and other such specs would also be appreciated! My buddy is rolling a 28/11 on his 11 speed cassette and a 36/52 on his crank (172.5mm) on his new Venge, so I was thinking about using that as a base for my potential 105 setup.

Thanks in advance
If you want to keep up with friends, upgrade your legs, lungs and heart. (train harder, better, smarter)

How hilly is it ?? a 52x11 is for flying down steep mountains. No point in having gears you don't need.
Do your current gear ratios get you up & down the hills ??
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Old 03-01-16, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by enyalius View Post
@PepeM Money is definitely an object, hence the upgrade over a new bike. I'm doing a lot of training, of course, but am looking for something else that can give me more of an edge. Do you have any other suggestions?
You already have nice wheels. Top quality tires are probably your best bet performance-wise right now. I don't know what you have on at this point, but you could go for the new Vittoria Corsas or everyone's favorites the Continentals GP4000s. If you rather spend less you can get a pair of Rubino Pro slicks for like $30 from Merlin and they are very good tires. Beyond that I guess its mostly about aero. Learn to get low, way low on your bike, it makes all the difference. It is said that the rider contributes ~80% of the drag, so if you want to reduce it then you start looking there. Fitted clothes, aero helmet, that kind of stuff. Nothing I mentioned will make a massive difference, but I guess it all adds up.
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Old 03-01-16, 08:40 AM
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Out of all my bikes I would probably say that the one with 9 speed 105 shifts the best.
Almost as well as the one with Di2.
What are your complaints about claris?
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Old 03-01-16, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by enyalius View Post
Thank you both for responding!
@dangerd Thanks for your vote of confidence! What do you like about the 105, especially over the Claris?
You mentioned buddies with "nicer" bikes. Have you ridden any of them around the parking lot or whatever to compare the feel of various components? 11-speed 105 is a great group, it has solid and consistent shifts, the brakes are excellent, the levers feel better in-hand than basically any previous generation Shimano group, ect. It's also something like $350 or so for a complete group, which is really not that much.

It won't make you faster by any measurable amount (it is a bit lighter, but you wouldn't really notice that), but it will improve the feel of your shifting and braking by a big margin compared to what's on the bike now. The biggest thing is you'll be going from the annoying thumb levers (I think Claris has these?) to the shift paddle/brake lever combo, which in my experience is far better for shifting in the drops and feels more precise.

Having 3 additional gears in the cluster is nice for allowing you to maintain a consistent cadence across a range of speeds.

Like someone else mentioned, make sure the freehub on your wheels is 11-speed compatible if you do get 5800. If it isn't, you don't need new wheels, you just have to buy a new freehub body to replace what's on there-

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Old 03-01-16, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP View Post
You mentioned buddies with "nicer" bikes. Have you ridden any of them around the parking lot or whatever to compare the feel of various components? 11-speed 105 is a great group, it has solid and consistent shifts, the brakes are excellent, the levers feel better in-hand than basically any previous generation Shimano group, ect. It's also something like $350 or so for a complete group, which is really not that much.

It won't make you faster by any measurable amount (it is a bit lighter, but you wouldn't really notice that), but it will improve the feel of your shifting and braking by a big margin compared to what's on the bike now. The biggest thing is you'll be going from the annoying thumb levers (I think Claris has these?) to the shift paddle/brake lever combo, which in my experience is far better for shifting in the drops and feels more precise.

Having 3 additional gears in the cluster is nice for allowing you to maintain a consistent cadence across a range of speeds.

Like someone else mentioned, make sure the freehub on your wheels is 11-speed compatible if you do get 5800. If it isn't, you don't need new wheels, you just have to buy a new freehub body to replace what's on there-

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I believe Claris always had the paddle shifters. You are thinking about the old Sora and 2300 groups.
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Old 03-01-16, 09:01 AM
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The only upgrade you can do that might allow you to actually ride faster is better wheels and tires, and you have done that. Anything else you change is just throwing money at your bike to make it shinier... and there's nothing wrong with wanting a shiny bike, but it won't go any faster because it is shiny. Save your money, and when you ride enough to wear out your tires, reward yourself with increasingly high quality replacement tires. Eventually all the moving parts on your Trek will be loose and jangly and hard to keep adjusted, and that would be a good time to consider a new bike. The only real difference between Claris and Ultegra (besides an insignificant weight difference and slightly better feel at the levers) is how long it takes for the components to wear out.
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Old 03-01-16, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by enyalius View Post
Greetings!

I've been riding for around 2 years now and am pushing 30 years of age. My first and current road bike is the 2014 Trek 1.1, and, overall, I've been fairly happy with it. I spent some money on 2014 Reynolds Attack carbon wheels (got them relatively cheap at my local shop in the summer of 2015) and I changed out the saddle, but that's about it so far in terms of upgrades.

I'm at the point, though, where I think that the Shimano Claris groupset may be holding me back (I'm open to those who would disagree). An eight speed cassette doesn't seem like enough gears, though, when I'm riding with friends that have far niceer bikes than mine (one even has the brand new Venge). I'm average height and around 200 lbs, so I know that I can ALWAYS lose more weight off me than my bike, and I'm working on that, but I was wondering if any of you would suggest upgrading my current Claris groupset to a Shimano 105 or something else? Looks like I can get the full 105 groupset for under $400 off Merlin, which I feel would be a decent deal (but, then, what do I know?).

I really am still fairly new to all of this, I've only put a little over 3,000 miles on the 1.1 since I got it in March of 2014 according to Strava, but I'd like to get more into it and be able to better keep up with my friends. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I live in the midwest, so suggestions on cranks (guessing compact), cassettes and other such specs would also be appreciated! My buddy is rolling a 28/11 on his 11 speed cassette and a 36/52 on his crank (172.5mm) on his new Venge, so I was thinking about using that as a base for my potential 105 setup.

Thanks in advance
The big thing is how much money you want to spend on that frame. If you still have the stock wheels, you might look on your local CL and gauge what you could get out of your bike, and then look to see if any dealers have an alloy 11 speed equipped 105 bike on clearance.

I only say all this because I personally wouldn't put that kind of money into a Trek 1.1 frame. You can do much, much better in an Emonda ALR, but that might just be out of your budget. If you're really, really happy with the frame and can go 11 speed on your current wheelset, then go for the 5800 group.
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Old 03-01-16, 09:13 AM
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Nothing wrong with that frame, plus any upgrade can be transferred to another frame in the future.
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Old 03-01-16, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
Nothing wrong with that frame, plus any upgrade can be transferred to another frame in the future.
Definitely nothing wrong with it, just not worth nice wheels and a 5800 group to ME. However, if he's happy with the frame it's a great idea. And as you said, he could always swap everything to a new frame down the line.
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Old 03-01-16, 10:38 AM
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I would definitely try riding a better frame before spending a bunch of money upgrading a 1.1 frame. It's not a bad frame, but its not particularly stiff and not super light so you'll never get the same "fast" feel as on a higher quality frame.
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Old 03-01-16, 12:08 PM
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You said it's Claris, so I'm guessing you have a 2015 Trek 1.1 and not the 2014. I have a 2014 1.1 and it has the 2300 shifters. Interestingly enough, that was my first road bike too, and I also have a 7.2FX.

EDIT: Sorry, I realized my mistake. I have a 2013. Apologies.

I don't know what your compatibility is on those wheels, but if they're not compatible with 11 speed cassettes, you're going to be buying new wheels. I was looking at doing this same thing to my 1.1 last summer, and it had to happen, as I was having many issues with my 1.1. After realizing the cost of the components and wheels, then thinking about the labor to put it all together and replace pretty much everything on the bike, I decided to get a new bike, and I think the decision was perfect (for me).

If you're set on upgrading to a full group, I would recommend the 105 5800. It has probably the best price-to-performance ratio for Shimano parts, and every piece in the group is fantastic. I went from the 1.1 mutt components to a full 105 group and it felt like I upgraded to a $5000 bike. Part of it has to do with the frame change, but the components alone are the change I really noticed right away.

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Old 03-01-16, 09:47 PM
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Thank you all for your comments! I apologize for not being more active in my own thread, but work was unexpectedly busy today.

The consensus seems to be that doing the upgrade to the 105 as planned really won't net me anything beyond the psychological, and I respect (and somewhat expected) that opinion.

To those of you who suggest a new bike, do you have suggestions? My understanding is that the Trek 1.1 already has a fairly aggressive frame, and I do have my stem flipped to be pointing down. What benefits, other than the upgraded components I already seek, will I gain in going to a completely new bike? I did check out a few, but anything that is a reasonable step up from where I am seems to start at around the $1,700 mark, which hurts a lot more than the proposed $400 groupset upgrade I was considering. Can someone help me understand what a new bike can do for me that components alone cannot?

Also, to those of you suggesting I 'upgrade my legs' and the like, I assure you that I am in the process of doing so I found that I outgrew my current mag trainer (a JetBlack M5), so I got a Tacx Vortex Smart a week ago and have started using it with Zwift; I really like this combination and it has definitely been kicking my rear in ways that my old trainer never could.

Finally, I want to throw it out there that I am none too happy with the Trek stores in my area. To be fair, I've only been to two of the three, but of those I've visited I have had several problems and the same individual owns all three so I really don't have any reason to think the third I haven't visited is any better. One store has staff that were...shall we say unprofessional on several occasions which turned my wife off to them completely (and I wasn't too happy with them, either). The other store, which I had visited the most out of the two, has had trouble retaining staff (especially bike mechanics) and have been the cause of several issues with my bike like slipped cables, broken spokes, etc. The customer service at the latter store has really gone downhill in the last year or so, too, so I'm trying to avoid going with Trek if at all possible.

I do have several retailers that offer everything from Giant to Specialized, so I'm open to any suggestions.

Thank you all again! Your time and feedback is appreciated.

Edit:

The bikes I have tried include:
2016 Cervelo R2 ($2,400) - This one felt more responsive like my 1.1, but it still seemed to have a 'soft' feeling ride somehow; not sure that I like that soft feel.

2016 Giant ? (~$1700 or so) - I honestly can't remember the model on this one, but I do remember that it felt somewhat sluggish when compared to my 1.1. This bike did have an aluminum frame with a carbon fork and the 105 groupset.

2016 Emonda ALR ($1,700) - Sadly, this is the one I liked the most! As I said before, though, I'm hoping to avoid Trek if possible, but it felt very responsive and seemed to have a stiff ride quality, both of which I like.

I seem to like touchy bikes that are stiff from what I can tell so far.

Further, my Reynolds wheels are 11-speed compatible but NOT disc brake compatible. Unfortunately, my local Giant dealer is moving to mostly stock disc brake road bikes, and that would really be a deal breaker for me; I'd like to be able to use my nice carbon wheels on my next bike if at all possible.

Last edited by enyalius; 03-01-16 at 09:59 PM. Reason: Added info
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Old 03-02-16, 12:16 AM
  #21  
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A couple weeks ago I was commuting on my hybrid, which has an 8 speed cassette and I was definitely missing the extra two speeds, tighter grouping of my tiagra equipped bike. The extra gears are likely to make it easier to have a steadier cadence.

Do you have a computer that measures cadence? That was one toy that helped me pick up speed by getting me to use lighter gears at a higher rpm.
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Old 03-02-16, 01:58 AM
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A different bike would offer an upgrade in the group set and other components but the biggest difference is the frame. Take the Specialized Allez DSW SL Comp. It has the Smart Weld frame with Specialized E5 aluminum. 5800 105 group set that would work nice with your wheels. It's priced a little below those you have ridden and is a great bike right out of the box.
Giant has the TCR Advanced, carbon frame with Tiagra 10 speed. Still a good upgrade on the group set but it is entry carbon and most likely not much lighter than an equivalent aluminum frame.
You should go ride some other bikes and see if you would be happy just upgrading the group set on your current bike or maybe ride it as is until you can replace it. Figure a good aluminum framed bike with 105 is in the $1500 range. If you think you may get really involved in the sport saving up for a better bike may be the best bet.
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Old 03-02-16, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by enyalius View Post
The consensus seems to be that doing the upgrade to the 105 as planned really won't net me anything beyond the psychological, and I respect (and somewhat expected) that opinion.
Hold on a sec. I don't think anyone said that.

Upgrading to the 105 (5800, not so much 5700) will definitely be a marked performance improvement from the Claris. It won't make you faster, but you will tell the difference in the quality and appreciate the gearing. The brakes are also a huge improvement from the stock ones on the 1.1.

Further, my Reynolds wheels are 11-speed compatible but NOT disc brake compatible. Unfortunately, my local Giant dealer is moving to mostly stock disc brake road bikes, and that would really be a deal breaker for me; I'd like to be able to use my nice carbon wheels on my next bike if at all possible.
This is a big reason to go for the upgrade. Those are some nice wheels.

It sounds like you enjoy your 1.1 frame. If it's a good fit for you and you like how it performs, but you want new components, I see no reason to get a new bike, especially since your wheels are 11-speed compatible. Getting a frame that fits you is arguably the most important part of a bike. If you like Trek's geometry, it might just be that theirs works best for you. It's a bummer your Trek dealers are terrible, but you still need to go with what you like the best.

Again, the decision is up to you. If you decide that you really want a new bike, I wouldn't blame you, and certainly no one else on here will. We all want new bikes. N+1 after all. I had similar feelings as you and ended up buying the ALR 5 last year (it's worth noting that you should be able to talk the price down to $1600). I absolutely love it. However, if I didn't need to buy new wheels, I probably would have upgraded the components on my 1.1 to the 105. The new frame and the DuoTrap S compatibility also was a huge selling factor for me. It's also a full 105 5800 group (excluding pedals), unlike other bikes in its price range which are not full 105.
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Old 03-02-16, 10:10 AM
  #24  
Wilfred Laurier
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Originally Posted by enyalius View Post
The consensus seems to be that doing the upgrade to the 105 as planned really won't net me anything beyond the psychological, and I respect (and somewhat expected) that opinion.
Originally Posted by cicatrize View Post
Hold on a sec. I don't think anyone said that.

I did. There might be a noticalbe difference in shifting 'feel' but that's about it. Two year old Claris should still be able to be adjusted perfectly. You are right that a set of 105 brakes will be better than the (presumably) no-name ones on the trek.
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Old 03-03-16, 11:43 PM
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There is nothing wrong with the frame you have if you are comfortable on it.
(or the whole bike as is)

If you change to the 105 5800 11 group there will be a noticeable difference to you in the shifting. (even with the 105 5700 10)
It will not just be psychological.

And I agree with Wilfred Laurier above, the 105 brakes are better.

Who wouldn't want an N+1 bike, but you can save your money in my opinion.

As far as your bike shop, it makes no difference where you purchased the bike, if you don't like the mechanic at that place find another mechanic somewhere you like and go there instead.
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