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$250, Now What?

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$250, Now What?

Old 12-31-19, 07:16 PM
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bampilot06
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$250, Now What?

For Christmas, I was given an extra 250 dollars that I was not expecting, and being new to the wonderful world of cycling my head is spinning on what to buy or do.

Fact:
2001 Caad 4
Old Ultegra components
Just replaced rear wheel with a cheap machine made wheel
Other than the rear wheel I have no idea how many miles are on the bike, and or, when the last time the chain, cables were replaced or tuned.

So a couple of ideas that I have.

1. For $140 my lbs will do a complete tear down and wash. Re lube everything, tune everything and torque everything to factory specs. I would have them replace the cables and chain while they are at it, so let’s call it $200
With this I would ask to sit in, would like to be able to do this myself in the future, also a touch worried that stuff may break when taken off which could lead to more money.

2. Buy another wheel set and save the wheels that are on the bike for spare. I think the Mavic askiums are in my budget.

3. Do nothing, and save the money for when something breaks. My shifters are pretty beat up, but thanks to you guys currently are working again.

4. Along with 3 just save the money for my next bike, which I hopefully will purchase in a bout a year.
Looking at the emonda, and the domane

Thanks for the help. I wasn’t expecting the money, and I also don’t want to waste it.
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Old 12-31-19, 07:31 PM
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I am sure you will get some pretty interesting replies here, but if it were me, and I truly had no knowledge of the bike's history of maintenance and upkeep, I would definitely put "1" at the top of my list. It's a safety thing, but also a ride quality thing, in my view. Wheel upgrade is always popular and Aksiums could probably be had at close to your price overall, but I still think the overall safety issue would be numero uno.

Stuff is going to break, especially on an older rig, so just prepare yourself now for that. It will happen. But hopefully, if your shop does its job, the bike will be in pretty solid shape for awhile. Of course, that assumes they don't find other issues that need your wallet to address. Which I suspect they will.

A Domane or Emonda or any of a zillion other bikes is a great goal, but if you plan on trying to ride this current bike until such time as you have, say, $3K or so for the new bike, you better make sure it is safe to put those miles on first. $250 isn't worth risking your health over.
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Old 12-31-19, 08:19 PM
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If you are doing number 1 and replacing the chain, you most likely will have to change the cassette at the same time. Not a deal breaker but something to think about. Also have a look at your chain rings, do they look like shark fins yet? if so they might need changing.

If it was me, I would buy a new chain, cassette, chainrings if need be and spend the rest on tools and do the work yourself. Lots of great videos, Park Tool website to follow along. Learning to work on your bike is a skill that will last you through every bike you will ever own. bpcyclist gave some great advice.
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Old 12-31-19, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
If you are doing number 1 and replacing the chain, you most likely will have to change the cassette at the same time. Not a deal breaker but something to think about. Also have a look at your chain rings, do they look like shark fins yet? if so they might need changing.

If it was me, I would buy a new chain, cassette, chainrings if need be and spend the rest on tools and do the work yourself. Lots of great videos, Park Tool website to follow along. Learning to work on your bike is a skill that will last you through every bike you will ever own. bpcyclist gave some great advice.
will any shimano 9 speed cassette do? I’m not sure which model of ultegra it is. My shifters say flight deck and have ultegra on the brake handle.
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Old 12-31-19, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post

If it was me, I would buy a new chain, cassette, chainrings if need be and spend the rest on tools and do the work yourself. Lots of great videos, Park Tool website to follow along. Learning to work on your bike is a skill that will last you through every bike you will ever own. bpcyclist gave some great advice.
this is what I have been doing with some extra cash I get. Extra wear parts for my fleet and some tools. Tools are spendy but last forever if you buy good stuff. I have many of the wear parts ready to go for my bikes. I don't want to be down because of a lack of cash at an inopportune time because I need part "x".

Learning your own mech skills will save you a bundle too...fun too.
in short wear parts and maintenance gets my vote!

Good luck,
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Old 12-31-19, 08:49 PM
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250 is a night or two away somewhere with great cycling.
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Old 01-01-20, 12:13 AM
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I'd get:

New stem (other thread) (verify proper sizing for your bars and fork)
New Cables / housings (https://www.merlincycles.com/shimano...ess-54000.html)
New brake pads (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XQK3GO)
Cable cutter tool (park CN-10)
Chain tool (park MLP 1.2)
New Chain (https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/k...in-134174.html)
New cassette (https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/s...te-104400.html)
New seatpost (?)
Small basic torque wrench for installing stem (4-5 nm) (https://www.amazon.com/CDI-Torque-TL.../dp/B004XG5YIA)
A jug of Simple Green (or orange) degreaser/cleaner from the local hardware store


As a guy who built up a 9-speed ultegra bike from a trashed bum bike on a very limited budget a few years ago, I'd suggest doing it all yourself -- slowly and carefully -- with the help of plenty of research here and plenty of yourtube videos.

Note that the chain and cassette on the bike now may be just fine -- if it was bought by someone who ended up riding only a few hundred miles and throwing it in the garage, you've got thousands of miles of life left in those parts if you clean and oil them up right.


Edit: Beyond that stuff, I'd look at obtaining a few essentials (if you don't already own them) like:
-Cycling bibs (not shorts, don't waste cash on shorts since you'll eventually try bibs and never go back)
-a jersey or two (look at the web stores of past cycling events like centuries and such for clearance clothing at bargain=basement pricing!)
-Bottle of chain lube
-bulk replacement tubes in 18-25 size from Merlin or similar online site
-padded gloves
-cheap sunglasses ("rivbos" is a great generic brand to lookup on Amazon for <$20 decent glasses and gloves, btw.)
-cycling-specific shoes with the proper cleats for your pedals (worth a thread in-and-of-iteself!)

Last edited by goenrdoug; 01-01-20 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 01-01-20, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by goenrdoug View Post
I'd get:

New stem (other thread) (verify proper sizing for your bars and fork)
New Cables / housings (https://www.merlincycles.com/shimano...ess-54000.html)
New brake pads (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XQK3GO)
Cable cutter tool (park CN-10)
Chain tool (park MLP 1.2)
New Chain (https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/k...in-134174.html)
New cassette (https://www.merlincycles.com/en-us/s...te-104400.html)
New seatpost (?)
Small basic torque wrench for installing stem (4-5 nm) (https://www.amazon.com/CDI-Torque-TL.../dp/B004XG5YIA)
A jug of Simple Green (or orange) degreaser/cleaner from the local hardware store


As a guy who built up a 9-speed ultegra bike from a trashed bum bike on a very limited budget a few years ago, I'd suggest doing it all yourself -- slowly and carefully -- with the help of plenty of research here and plenty of yourtube videos.

Note that the chain and cassette on the bike now may be just fine -- if it was bought by someone who ended up riding only a few hundred miles and throwing it in the garage, you've got thousands of miles of life left in those parts if you clean and oil them up right.


Edit: Beyond that stuff, I'd look at obtaining a few essentials (if you don't already own them) like:
-Cycling bibs (not shorts, don't waste cash on shorts since you'll eventually try bibs and never go back)
-a jersey or two (look at the web stores of past cycling events like centuries and such for clearance clothing at bargain=basement pricing!)
-Bottle of chain lube
-bulk replacement tubes in 18-25 size from Merlin or similar online site
-padded gloves
-cheap sunglasses ("rivbos" is a great generic brand to lookup on Amazon for <$20 decent glasses and gloves, btw.)
-cycling-specific shoes with the proper cleats for your pedals (worth a thread in-and-of-iteself!)
A lot of info! Thank you for the links, much appreciated.
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Old 01-01-20, 09:22 AM
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Do the tires date to 2001?
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Old 01-01-20, 10:23 AM
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Hide that money in a bank account so you won't spend it. It will be there when something happens and you can fix your bike then. I get that it is nice to dream a bit, but having the means to do repairs when they come up is even nicer. Smiles, MH
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Old 01-01-20, 10:29 AM
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Send it to me in Lagos and I will send you back $350,000 (US),
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Old 01-01-20, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
Hide that money in a bank account so you won't spend it. It will be there when something happens and you can fix your bike then. I get that it is nice to dream a bit, but having the means to do repairs when they come up is even nicer. Smiles, MH
My philosophy with "found" money (in an amount such as this) is to always put 1/2 of it in the bank and then spend the remainder.
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Old 01-01-20, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Do the tires date to 2001?
those are fairly new, I do have a spare tires already.
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Old 01-01-20, 12:06 PM
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1- an lbs makes money off shop work. While it's normal to teach someone to change a tube so they arent stranded when riding, sitting in on maintenance work to learn so you can not pay them in the future is...ballsy.
Maybe they dont care and it's cool. A shop near me has taught basic maintenance courses, but its cost money. You are learning from an expert/professional and should both expect and be willing to pay for the knowledge.
nobody goes to a car mechanic and asks to sit in on the service so they can learn what to do in order to not pay the shop for future service.

2- basic maintenance isnt tough, just watch a few hours of youtube videos and buy $80 in tools and $80 in parts. Tearing down the bike, cleaning, then reassembling is basic maintenance since it will be 90% adjusted correctly once reassembled. If you then can figure out how to make it perfect, take it to the shop for fine tuning(probably shifting will be the issue, if anything).
it really is just threading components off of and onto the bike, plus cutting some cables and housing.

$16-25 - Buy a new 9sp cassette with the tooth range you want and works with your derailleur is fine.
$10 - but a new 9sp chain.
$12-25 - buy new brake pads.
$15-30 - buy new cables and housing.
$10-25 - buy new bar tape.

$63-105 will buy you a the consumables you need. The price range is because it will depend on what you buy and where you buy. In store is more expensive than online, for example. Another example for cost range is you can get a quality shimano hg50 cassette for under $20 if you look around, or for $28 at many places.

Then you need tools.
$10-25 - quality chain breaker
$10 - bottom bracket tool
$10-25 - quality cable and housing cutter
$10-25 - chain whip
$10 - cassette tool
Everything else can be done with a multi-tool or common metric hex wrenches and scissors.

so $50-95 for tools, again depending on where you buy and what you buy.


You mention wanting to do this stuff on your own, so you will need to eventually buy tools anyways. Might as well do it now with the surprise $.


Or as a hybrid approach, buy some components online and ask the shop to install them when they do the full tear down. This is absolutely ok, there is no reason to feel obligated to buy components from the shop. They can just install the new ones instead of the worn old ones.
This would save some $ on your end while still allowing the shop to do the work if that's the route you want to go.
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Old 01-01-20, 12:40 PM
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On a camera forum, I'd probably answer, "if you have to ask, you haven't shot enough." I'd echo that, here - ride more until you know what needs to be changed/addressed to better suit your needs.
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Old 01-01-20, 12:43 PM
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I clean the cassette and chain twice a month, and average between 250 to 500 miles a month. does this look really worn?
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Old 01-01-20, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad Honk View Post
Hide that money in a bank account so you won't spend it. It will be there when something happens and you can fix your bike then. I get that it is nice to dream a bit, but having the means to do repairs when they come up is even nicer. Smiles, MH
This. If getting an unexpected $250 has you wondering how to spend it, that seems to say that you didn't have sufficient savings on hand already to blow on something that "only" costs $250. I hope I'm wrong.

Get money, spend. vs. Save money, spend when needed.
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