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Stop me from making a terrible mistake

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Stop me from making a terrible mistake

Old 09-09-20, 07:09 PM
  #1  
ericcox
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Stop me from making a terrible mistake

TL/DR I have a perfectly fine 2017 Ridley Fenix AL with 105, but I can't seem to stop looking at bikes with Di2 or Etap and disk brakes. Tell me I don't need it.

Longer version - I got my first real road bike about 23 years ago, a Bianchi Premio with downtube shifters. The next year I picked up a Fuji Team - the last model made from True Temper OX Gold steel. I rode that bike for a decade after switching the 8speed ultegra out for 9 speed. I put many, many miles on that bike. In 2007, I sold it (a terrible mistake), and replaced it with an Orbea Onyx, a bike I also loved. Again, many, many miles on that bike until my kids got old enough to start playing sports, then riding took a real back seat to attending their events. Fast forward to 3 years ago when the oldest kid inherited the Orbea (he's an excellent athlete; he cross trains on it), while I found the Ridley on clearance. I wasn't riding a ton and was more than happy with it. Fast forward to the present; I ride a little with both my kids, including the older son who is getting older and stronger (he's definitely stronger than I am). Starting in June, I began upping my mileage, and have really been putting in the kind of miles I did 20 years ago (actually more). While not the numbers some around here put in, I've been averaging 180 miles or so a week for the last few months.

Anyway, the Ridley is fine. It is comfy for long rides (did my first solo century in around 20 years Sunday), I upgraded the wheels (unnecessary), and 105 is perfectly good. The brakes and crank are not 105; the crank is fine; the brakes are meh, but that's an easy upgrade. The bike looks pretty good to my eye, and I have not seen another one like it around here (I still don't know what it was doing where I got it - a Performance store - for under $800 new). The fit is good - the frame is a little small, but I like a decent saddle to bar drop. If I were to get something new, I'd probably look to get a little more reach, but otherwise the fit is fine. So I know I don't need a new bike, but I bought this one as, at the time, I recognized that I didn't ride enough miles or fast enough to justify anything nicer. So I ignored the nicer bikes and went with it.

So I need the collective wisdom of this place, a place I used to frequent quite often back in its earlier days, to tell me that I don't need electronic shifting or disc brakes, and that my little aluminum Ridley with 105 and bargain basement Superteam carbon wheels is perfectly fine.

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Old 09-09-20, 07:30 PM
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Naw, just fix the angle on your tail light and keeping riding!

Why would getting a new bike be a terrible mistake? Is it an extravagance that doesn't fit in your budget? I can't think of any other reason it would be a mistake. But you might as well wait a bit longer for the 2021 bikes to trickle in, since both inventory and good riding weather days are dwindling this year.
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Old 09-09-20, 07:42 PM
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Nice looking bike. How do you feel riding it? Does it make you feel good when you get out and ride? Does it put a smile on your face when you push yourself up those hills and hit better times for speed? Then it's fine. I have a Motobecane Sprintour with Ultegra caliper brakes (to match the entire drivetrain). I certainly look longingly at those titanium bikes with disc brakes. But I have no need to upgrade at the moment. I'd only upgrade if I felt the bike was holding me back in some way. Mine isn't. And disc brakes won't impact how well I ride one bit. Just ride and be happy.

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Old 09-09-20, 07:49 PM
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You don't need electronic shifting.

But you'll want it!

Have you tried it out yet? If not, you really wouldn't know what you're missing which is great because frankly, it's probably not much unless you really care about how it feels to switch gears. I've also heard that 105 and Dura-Ace is basically indistinguishable unless you go electronic so you've pretty much got as good as it'll get in terms of switching.

Disc brakes are also not necessary but you may want to consider them for your next bike or if you're going to drop money on expensive wheels.

If you want to adjust your reach, maybe just swap out the stem? As for a new bike, that doesn't need to get justified. Just get it if you can afford it and want it. surak makes a good point though: if you do go the new route, I'd wait a bit for the new models or for the current ones to go on sale.
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Old 09-09-20, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Naw, just fix the angle on your tail light and keeping riding!

Why would getting a new bike be a terrible mistake? Is it an extravagance that doesn't fit in your budget? I can't think of any other reason it would be a mistake. But you might as well wait a bit longer for the 2021 bikes to trickle in, since both inventory and good riding weather days are dwindling this year.
That taillight is gone - it loved to move around. Replaced with a varus radar light (lots of traffic where I ride). I can afford a new bike within reason (Ultegra Di2 / Force range) but I tend to be frugal and keep stuff for a while. If I got something, it would be after the new year. I'd say I would wait for the 2020s to go on clearance, but there is nothing left in the shops around here in my extremely average size. My logic brain tells me to wait for the next Shimano update which should happen before long I would think.

Originally Posted by MntnMan62 View Post
Nice looking bike. How do you feel riding it? Does it make you feel good when you get out and ride? Does it put a smile on your face when you push yourself up those hills and hit better times for speed? Then it's fine. I have a Motobecane Sprintour with Ultegra brakes (to match the entire drivetrain). I certainly look longingly at those titanium bikes with disc brakes. But I have no need to upgrade at the moment. I'd only upgrade if I felt the bike was holding me back in some way. Mine isn't. And disc brakes won't impact how well I ride one bit. Just ride and be happy.
This is the kind of thing I keep telling myself. Today I was cranking along pretty well in some crappy weather. Cruising along, hearing the slight mechanical noise of the groupset that's dialed in pretty well, the particular noise the wheels make, and the sound of the wind while laying out on the hoods, I was in pure bliss. For a bike I bought as a compromise, it is great. Honestly, what's got me annoyed is what a pain the brakes have been to keep dialed in, but that can be fixed/managed. For the vast majority of us, our bikes aren't holding us back - the engine is the thing. My want is mainly a desire for a Shiny New Thing (and a little jealousy of my friend who just got a Canyon with Di2 - it's pretty sweet :-).
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Old 09-09-20, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mattscq View Post
You don't need electronic shifting.

But you'll want it!

Have you tried it out yet? If not, you really wouldn't know what you're missing which is great because frankly, it's probably not much unless you really care about how it feels to switch gears. I've also heard that 105 and Dura-Ace is basically indistinguishable unless you go electronic so you've pretty much got as good as it'll get in terms of switching.

Disc brakes are also not necessary but you may want to consider them for your next bike or if you're going to drop money on expensive wheels.

If you want to adjust your reach, maybe just swap out the stem? As for a new bike, that doesn't need to get justified. Just get it if you can afford it and want it. surak makes a good point though: if you do go the new route, I'd wait a bit for the new models or for the current ones to go on sale.
I've tried Di2 - I like it. The 105 is very nice - I'm not complaining. Definitely not a need. I am likely to replace the stem and drop it a little (I have a few spacers I can remove) as I continue to get in better shape. I'm also looking at getting a power meter - probably pedal based. Whenever I get something new, whether it is 2 months, next year, or 5 years from now, it will likely have disc brakes. My youngest son's bike has mechanical disks. I really wanted them the other day when I was caught out in a surprise rain storm. The rim brakes are fine, but the discs are just more sure.
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Old 09-09-20, 08:15 PM
  #7  
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Take your dream bike for a test ride. It will either do it for you, or it won't.

This spring I rode an All City Space Horse, which had the features on my list, and was sold on the ride within two blocks. I ended up building up my own bike. After the first ride on my build, I knew I'd never ride the old bike again.
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Old 09-09-20, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ericcox View Post
I've tried Di2 - I like it. The 105 is very nice - I'm not complaining. Definitely not a need. I am likely to replace the stem and drop it a little (I have a few spacers I can remove) as I continue to get in better shape. I'm also looking at getting a power meter - probably pedal based. Whenever I get something new, whether it is 2 months, next year, or 5 years from now, it will likely have disc brakes. My youngest son's bike has mechanical disks. I really wanted them the other day when I was caught out in a surprise rain storm. The rim brakes are fine, but the discs are just more sure.
I'm a bit of a late-comer to road cycling. The first bike I bought as an adult after a lapse in any sort of bike-riding in years was a Brompton with 2 speeds. I briefly built up a fixie which got stolen and then I had an ebike which I sold. When I got my road bike, disc brakes were already the trend so I just made that one of my priorities (thankfully, today for a new bike, discs aren't that much more of a premium). I opted to go for Di2 which was a bit of a splurge but it was within my budget and people kept raving about it. Basically I've been spoiled but I have since tried mechanical 105 and it feels great too. I do probably rely too much on Di2's synchroshift and I like never having to worry about cross-chaining.

I do hate that wet disc squeal but I'm sure glad that I'm running discs when I did my first descent on carbon rims. A powermeter is great. I got a single-sided crank based meter and I think some bike manufacturers (Canyon comes to mind) have begun to include powermeters in some of their configurations. I'm hoping that they become more or less standard on mid-to-top tier bikes going forward.
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Old 09-09-20, 09:46 PM
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How much do you ride? Do you already have a spare bike for when your main bike can't be ridden? Or a rain bike?

If you ride a lot, buy another bike. You'll love them both and you'll find different rides/purposes for each.
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Old 09-10-20, 07:11 AM
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Can't help you, I absolutely love my di2 and disc brakes, I'll never go back.
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Old 09-10-20, 07:14 AM
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N+1
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Old 09-10-20, 07:23 AM
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No one really needs electronic shifting or disc brakes. But if you want, and it's not going to be financial hardship to get it, why not?
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Old 09-10-20, 07:29 AM
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The one thing I would do would be to deal with the brakes. A set of 105 or even Ultegra brake callipers would be a noticeable upgrade at a fairly low cost. If that isn't enough, the crank would be another step you could take. Cranks and brakes are areas where bike makers often skimp to maintain price points and where upgrades make good sense
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Old 09-10-20, 08:01 AM
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There's no reason to have rim brake problems. Carbon fiber wheels need special pads, and even then, the braking may not be near as good as an aluminum rim. I have two rim brake bikes that are only two years old. I have Campy chorus brakes and high quality Campy Zonda aluminum rim wheels that brake great, even on high speed mountain descents. No CF rims for me.

You can read long debate threads on the pros and cons of disc brakes on this forum. One common theme is more maintenance to bleed lines and occasionally change fluid. My rim brake pads easily last 12,000 miles and I rarely have to do any maintenance or adjustment.
Di2 is the lowest priced and most common electronic shifting, but still 11 speed. Sram AXS 12 will cost significantly more. It won't be long before shimano follows with a major change to new hubs and 12 speed.

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Old 09-10-20, 08:50 AM
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You never need a solid reason for N+1, it's a good choice all on it's own. Not to mention those pesky fit issues.

My concern right this moment would be availability...but I also ride a very common size.
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Old 09-10-20, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Rides4Beer View Post
Can't help you, I absolutely love my di2 and disc brakes, I'll never go back.
+1

I almost never ride my other road bikes now, unless the group decides to make it a classic bike ride.

Next upgrade is Di2 for my mountain bike. Luckily they don't have XT 1x12 Di2 yet. .
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Old 09-10-20, 09:03 AM
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You do realize that you're in a nut-house rehabilitation facility for bicycle addicts who have been unsuccessful in their treatment, right?

Hard to argue with N+1 if its not a burden financially.

Glenn
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Old 09-10-20, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
You can read long debate threads on the pros and cons of disc brakes on this forum. One common theme is more maintenance to bleed lines and occasionally change fluid. My rim brake pads easily last 12,000 miles and I rarely have to do any maintenance or adjustment.
The whole maintenance issue is way overblow(at least for Shimano hydraulic discs). the shop I work at sells a boatload of Shimano disc bikes, and we rarely have any bike that need to be bled after they are sold. Replacing pads and rotors is a simple job that any home mechanic can do,

SRAM hydraulic brakes are a little more problematic, but they are getting better
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Old 09-10-20, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
The whole maintenance issue is way overblow(at least for Shimano hydraulic discs). the shop I work at sells a boatload of Shimano disc bikes, and we rarely have any bike that need to be bled after they are sold. Replacing pads and rotors is a simple job that any home mechanic can do,

SRAM hydraulic brakes are a little more problematic, but they are getting better
My experience certainly bears that out.

What's the recommended brake fluid change interval for passenger cars with their hygroscopic fluid, many tube couplings, and constant, all-weather use? 4 yrs? 5 yrs?
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Old 09-10-20, 09:40 AM
  #20  
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Stop looking at other bikes and look up the road and enjoy your ride.
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Old 09-10-20, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
My experience certainly bears that out.

What's the recommended brake fluid change interval for passenger cars with their hygroscopic fluid, many tube couplings, and constant, all-weather use? 4 yrs? 5 yrs?
"on the Ford Escape, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Camry and other models from those manufacturers, there are no recommendations for replacing the brake fluid, only instructions to inspect it periodically."

Some car makers recommend fluid replacement, some don't. I've been riding hydraulic disc mtbs for 12 years and have never bled the brakes on either of them.
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Old 09-10-20, 10:31 AM
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I don't have disk brakes but I have Red eTap and a Mechanical Ultegra 8000. So yeah, I'm sold on electronic shifting.

If ever I'm going to get a new bike, I'd probably get this one --> https://22bicycles.com/blogs/news/in...coupler-system

It has everything I want (electronic shifting + disk brakes + coupler + titanium).

You don't need it but you know you want it......YOLO!!!
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Old 09-10-20, 01:18 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by GAtkins View Post
You do realize that you're in a nut-house rehabilitation facility for bicycle addicts who have been unsuccessful in their treatment, right?

Hard to argue with N+1 if its not a burden financially.

Glenn
But there are also curmudgeons afoot to whip me into shape.

My reality is that I will likely upgrade the brakes at some point (they work ok, yes I'm using carbon pads, but an easy upgrade). I am likely to avoid n+1 until the next big Shimano makeover. Unless I find that great deal on a bike I want. Now, do I want steel, ti, or CF?
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Old 09-10-20, 01:25 PM
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Here's how I look at it:
• Disk brakes won't make you faster unless you are having to descend lots of steep mountains very slowly with your current brakes or frequently have problems braking in the rain.
• Di2 won't make you any faster unless you are racing and missing shifts with your current system that are causing you to get dropped

So, unless you fit one of the 2 above exceptions, you'd just be getting a new bike because you want it. There's nothing wrong with that (so long as you can afford it), but don't expect much improvement in your riding.
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Old 09-10-20, 03:26 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Take your dream bike for a test ride. It will either do it for you, or it won't.
At least for me, I almost never like a new bike upon first or second ride because my body is used to whatever I've been riding. A new bike has to "grow on me" and then after a few rides I prefer it and never go back to the old one. Food for thought.

ericcox Your Ridley could probably outlast you if you'd let it Do you ride 100% road rides on asphalt? If so, keep the Ridley and throw your extra money into your 401k or something.

However, if you enjoy riding other surfaces like gravel trails, gravel roads, or even mild off-roading, disc brakes open-up the possibility of having either different wheel sets for different terrain or just getting wider rims and tires in general. If I'm not mistaken, most rim brakes limit your tire size to 25-28mm wide tires. I've been riding 32mm tires on 25mm wide rims (wide rims are kind of new-ish in the roadie world as of late) and love, love, love the combination which wouldn't be possible on a rim brake bike. (Did I mention I love my wheels and tires? ) I also have a second wheel set with 38mm wide and mildly grippy tires for gravel riding.

As for electronic shifting, it won't make you a better person, but... Oh who am I kidding, I think I am a better person since I finally got Ultegra Di2 this year. Electronic shifting has a slew of nifty features and benefits, none of which you need but you'll be glad you have once you have 'em!
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