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Upgrade or push through?

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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Upgrade or push through?

Old 08-11-21, 11:48 AM
  #1  
joonyoung82
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Upgrade or push through?

Just started cycling and went on my first ride with my 2010 Scott Speedster s30.
It's a 20 lb bike with Shimano 105 components so it's decent bike but I struggled to get up the hills.
It's only valued at $200 so I guess it's not a great bike.
Should I keep my bike and push through to get stronger or get an upgrade for better experience? Or upgrade parts?

If I were to upgrade, my budget is $1000 and I'm open to pre-owned bikes.
All suggestions are welcomed
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Old 08-11-21, 12:10 PM
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HTupolev
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Originally Posted by joonyoung82 View Post
Just started cycling and went on my first ride with my 2010 Scott Speedster s30.
It's a 20 lb bike with Shimano 105 components so it's decent bike but I struggled to get up the hills.
It's only valued at $200 so I guess it's not a great bike.
Should I keep my bike and push through to get stronger or get an upgrade for better experience? Or upgrade parts?

If I were to upgrade, my budget is $1000 and I'm open to pre-owned bikes.
All suggestions are welcomed
What about the hills was hard? Was it that you ran out of low gears, or simply that it was slow-going?

If it was the gearing, you could try widening the drivetrain. The rear derailleur on that bike should use the same pull ratios as Shimano's 8/9-speed MTB derailleurs, so you could pop one of those on there* and swap to a wider cassette (like an 11-34) to see if it helps.

*Some current-gen models to look at would be the Acera and Alivio parts. They're available in both "trekking" versions (RD-T3000 and RD-T4000) and "mountain" versions (RD-M3000 and RD-M4000). Both should do the trick, although the "trekking" versions would probably be a better aesthetic fit on your bike.
Lots of previous-gen stuff would work fine as well. Acera RD-M360 and Alivio RD-M410 are excellent, and the Deore RD-M591 can still be found new if you're interested in a higher-tier option.
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Old 08-11-21, 12:12 PM
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You state you just started cycling and went on a first ride. Of course you struggle to get up a hill! Keep riding and gradually pick up the distance and/or intensity. Upgrade yourself first. At this point, the bike fit and your physical fitness are having more effect than anything else. Not familiar with your particular bike, but it is a Scott,105 components and you state it weighs 20 lbs. If it fits you, it is a really good starter bike. Save your money until you know more about yourself regarding bikes. If it is something you want to continue with and want to better your equipment, get a new bike. In the long term, it is almost always cheaper to buy a new decent bike that you can afford, than to go piece together an old bike. I would say always if you are inexperienced.

I think you will be surprised by how quickly your leg strength, breathing and general conditioning will improve, if you stick with it. Even if you have bad health habits, you will still improve, albeit significantly less. For most of us, bicycling is just as important as a mental outlet and relief valve.

Last edited by delbiker1; 08-11-21 at 12:18 PM. Reason: add more info
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Old 08-11-21, 12:18 PM
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Push through.
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Old 08-11-21, 12:19 PM
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The longer you wait the better your knowledge will be making a decision. You can swap gears but it never gets easier, you just get faster and the hills steeper. You get out of it what you put into it. Just ride the bike.
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Old 08-11-21, 01:27 PM
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If you just started, just keep riding. Your bike isn't the limiting factor (and it won't be for a LONG time).
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Old 08-11-21, 01:29 PM
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all hills are tough in the beginning. just keep riding and after a year or so they will be easier and you'll be looking for bigger challenges.
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Old 08-11-21, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by joonyoung82 View Post
Just started cycling and went on my first ride with my 2010 Scott Speedster s30.
It's a 20 lb bike with Shimano 105 components so it's decent bike but I struggled to get up the hills.
It's only valued at $200 so I guess it's not a great bike.
Should I keep my bike and push through to get stronger or get an upgrade for better experience? Or upgrade parts?

If I were to upgrade, my budget is $1000 and I'm open to pre-owned bikes.
All suggestions are welcomed
Just started riding?...what were you doing during the first 7 years you belonged to this forum?
That bike is way better than 'decent'. Its also worth more than $200.
Ride more and figure out if its you or components(its most likely you).
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Old 08-11-21, 01:44 PM
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That was probably a really good bike in 2010. Here it is a decade later and I still don't have 105.
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Old 08-11-21, 05:38 PM
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You just started cycling. Time to upgrade...

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Old 08-11-21, 05:47 PM
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Just ride. Give it a year unless something needs maintenance.
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Old 08-11-21, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist View Post
You just started cycling. Time to upgrade...

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Old 08-11-21, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Push through.
This. Its not the bike that is holding you back. Maybe get some nicer tires but focus on improving fitness.
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Old 08-11-21, 06:37 PM
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You won’t get much of an upgrade for $1k, and certainly wouldn’t get a bike that is significantly lighter. Even if you could shed a pound from the bike, you’ll still have the same issues going uphill until you are in better cycling condition.
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Old 08-11-21, 09:01 PM
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Yeah, give it about a year before thinking about upgrades. Takes awhile to build up a solid fitness base.

We have no mountains here, just roller coaster terrain with lots of short, steep hillettes. And I don't race so sprinting isn't a factor unless I'm chasing a PR. After reviewing my Strava data over the past few years, comparing my 24 lb steel road bike and sub-20 lb carbon fiber bikes, I see no consistent differences or advantages to the carbon fiber bikes. I've tied my best times on some tough segments using all three bikes.

The best and most cost effective upgrade I've done to all my bikes is better tires and latex tubes, or the lighter Continental Race 28 Light or comparably thin butyl tubes. Latex tubes really enhance the road feel of good tires. They may be a bit quicker, but they are definitely more comfortable on chipseal and rough pavement, which can't hurt my chasing PRs.

Ditto, more aero position on the bike, aero clothing, helmet, etc. Those are cost effective methods for gaining a little speed. However it doesn't help as much on climbs unless there's a headwind, or my average speed is better than around 14 mph, which is pretty rare for me on climbs. Any consistent gains I see from getting more aero is measured over distance in which flat terrain, uphills and downhills more or less even out the ride.
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Old 08-12-21, 07:08 AM
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Unless your gearing is really inappropriate for your terrain, like riding in the mountains with a 53/39 up front and a 12-25 cassette, just give it time.
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Old 08-12-21, 07:49 AM
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Your struggle has nothing to do with your equipment. You might want to consider upgrading, but it won't help getting up hills. That only comes with miles ridden.
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Old 08-12-21, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by joonyoung82 View Post
Just started cycling and went on my first ride with my 2010 Scott Speedster s30.
It's a 20 lb bike with Shimano 105 components so it's decent bike but I struggled to get up the hills.
It's only valued at $200 so I guess it's not a great bike.
Should I keep my bike and push through to get stronger or get an upgrade for better experience? Or upgrade parts?

If I were to upgrade, my budget is $1000 and I'm open to pre-owned bikes.
All suggestions are welcomed
You need to ride more to get better at the hills.

Your $1000 budget will limit you to a bike like you have right now that will only be a few years newer. If you want an upgrade for a better experience such as disc brakes, carbon frame etc. you will need to increase your budget.
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Old 08-12-21, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by joonyoung82 View Post
Just started cycling and went on my first ride with my 2010 Scott Speedster s30.
It's a 20 lb bike with Shimano 105 components so it's decent bike but I struggled to get up the hills.
It's only valued at $200 so I guess it's not a great bike.
Should I keep my bike and push through to get stronger or get an upgrade for better experience? Or upgrade parts?
If it was your first ride, it is no surprise that you struggled going up hills. Even very fit people have trouble riding a bicycle uphill no matter how good a bike they have if they are new to the sport. If your bike has 105 components, it is likely that it isn't a 2010 model. The 2010 was equipped with a 9 speed Tiagra drivetrain. Yours is probably an earlier model like the 2009:
https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/valu...product/17314/
The book value of a 12 year old bike is no measure of how good a bike it is. The 2009 Scott Speedster s30 was a $1300 bike when it was new and a very good starting point for starting not only cycling, it could also have been seen as a good entry level race bike. If yours is in good shape, it certainly will not hold you back for several years. One thing I noticed was the 11-25 original equipment cassette. Moving to an 11-28 cassette would provide an easier hill climbing low gear. You would also need a new slightly longer chain to go with it. Another upgrade would be better tires, the original Hutchinson Equinox tires are very basic quality and quite heavy. Upgrading tires, cassette and chain would not be all that expensive and would provide a noticeable improvement

Last edited by alcjphil; 08-12-21 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 08-12-21, 09:36 AM
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My first road bike was a 2006 Speedster S20, bought used in 2011. That bike got me into road cycling and I'd probably still be riding it if it hadn't been damaged in a crash. Most of my personal best times were on that bike (according to Strava). I did upgrade to an Addict a few years later when I found one on clearance. It would be hard to say it made me faster, and the Speedster might have been slightly more comfortable - the Addict is really stiff.

Based on my experience the Speedster is a great bike to get started on, and there's no reason to rush to upgrade.
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Old 08-12-21, 01:17 PM
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Besides, this is a terrible time to be in the market for a bike, new or used.

Another reason to wait.
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Old 08-12-21, 01:26 PM
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As long as the moving parts (esp. wheel and bottom bracket bearings) are in good condition, spending any money to make your bike faster will only help by making your wallet lighter.

1. Make sure your fit is optimized on the bike - you could be limiting your power output if your saddle is not in the correct position, of if the fit of the bike is causing you fatigue.
2. When you need new tires, consider good quality ones that are lightweight and have a supple casing. Cheaper tires and tires with a flat protective layer generally sap more energy as you ride than better quality tires. This is a tradeoff you have to consider - the slowest and heaviest tires might be the most puncture resistant, while the lightest and fastest tires are more likely to suffer a puncture, which slows you down a lot more than the heavy slow tires.
3. Make sure everything is in good condition. For example, an improperly lubricated or very worn chain or drivetrain will take more energy to keep spinning.
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Old 08-12-21, 04:29 PM
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OP here
Thanks for all your suggestions!!
I'll stick with my bike for the next few years and focus on getting stronger.
Hopefully used bikes will be cheaper by then too.
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Old 08-12-21, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Just started riding?...what were you doing during the first 7 years you belonged to this forum?
That bike is way better than 'decent'. Its also worth more than $200.
Ride more and figure out if its you or components(its most likely you).
I was mostly fixing bikes.
Now I want to actually ride
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Old 08-13-21, 05:23 AM
  #25  
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Don't neglect hydration, this heat is brutal.
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