Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Most Beneficial Upgrade?

Notices
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

Most Beneficial Upgrade?

Old 08-15-08, 04:18 AM
  #1  
audioslavery
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Dimas, Ca
Posts: 213

Bikes: CAAD9, Fulcrum Racing Zero Wheelset

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Most Beneficial Upgrade?

What would be the most beneficial upgrade to my bike at this point. I am looking to upgrade slowly but surely and am not sure what would have the most dramatic upgrade on my riding experience.

Here are my bike specs.

Frame CAAD9 Optimo
Fork Slice Ultra
Wheels Shimano WH-R561
Rear Derailleur Shimano Ultegra
Handlebars Cannondale C3, 31.8 mm
Stem Cannondale C4
Saddle Selle San Marco Ponza
Seat Post Cannondale C2 Carbon-wrapped

Everything else is Shimano 105 from Front deraileur to rear brakes.
I want the upgrades to help me up the hills particularly.
audioslavery is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 04:33 AM
  #2  
KevinF
Keep on climbing
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Marlborough, Massachusetts
Posts: 2,192

Bikes: 2004 Calfee Tetra Pro

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
There is no upgrade that will markedly improve your hill-climbing times. Even really light, ungodly expensive wheels will only save you a few seconds / mile, and that's at all-out race pace.
KevinF is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 04:39 AM
  #3  
ehidle
T-Shirt Guy
 
ehidle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lansdale, PA
Posts: 464

Bikes: 2005 Fuji Team Issue, 2007 Fuji SL-1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Upgrade the rider...
__________________
Yellow + Blue Jerseys!

Get your Cranky T-Shirt!
Men's
and Women's designs available
ehidle is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 05:09 AM
  #4  
daytonian
elitist jerk
 
daytonian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Blow - hio
Posts: 4,188

Bikes: CAAD9

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
powermeter

/thread
daytonian is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 05:16 AM
  #5  
roadwarrior
Senior Member
 
roadwarrior's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Someplace trying to figure it out
Posts: 10,664

Bikes: Cannondale EVO, CAAD9, Giant cross bike.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Cardio vascular system, and leg strength.
roadwarrior is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 05:25 AM
  #6  
Pedaleur
Je pose, donc je suis.
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Back. Here.
Posts: 2,898
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
There is no upgrade that will markedly improve your hill-climbing times. Even really light, ungodly expensive wheels will only save you a few seconds / mile, and that's at all-out race pace.
Agreed. As with me and mine, it isn't the bike that is slowing you down.
Pedaleur is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 06:20 AM
  #7  
FatguyRacer
Mmmmm Donuts!
 
FatguyRacer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Crownsville, MD
Posts: 2,069

Bikes: 1998 IF Crown Jewel

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Aside from the usual 'lose weight' and "improve the engine", all of which will be the best upgrade BTW, the single best thing i've done to upgrade my bike to climb better is buy a 12-27 cassette. I may not be the first to the top among my racing peers, but with that 27 tooth in the back, I never have to get off the bike, no matter what the gradient is. I have a compact crank too, but I havnt used it yet this year. I've gotten my wieght down to a point where I do just fine on any hill with a 39x27 as my tallest gear.
__________________
John

'09 Cannondale CAAD9 - Team Latitude/ABRT Special.
'04 Lemond Victorie Ti
'98 IF Crown Jewel (dead)
'92 Trek2100 (TT)
'50 something Gino Bartali (fixer)
'02 Ducati ST4s (Moto-Ref mount)

My Blog
FatguyRacer is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 06:26 AM
  #8  
bigtea
Senior Member
 
bigtea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,639
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by FatguyRacer View Post
Aside from the usual 'lose weight' and "improve the engine", all of which will be the best upgrade BTW, the single best thing i've done to upgrade my bike to climb better is buy a 12-27 cassette. I may not be the first to the top among my racing peers, but with that 27 tooth in the back, I never have to get off the bike, no matter what the gradient is. I have a compact crank too, but I havnt used it yet this year. I've gotten my wieght down to a point where I do just fine on any hill with a 39x27 as my tallest gear.
+1 on that...optimize your gearing and learn how to shift under load. I use Ultegra compact cranks and they've helped me considerably on steeper climbs. I'm a clydesdale however.
bigtea is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 06:32 AM
  #9  
substructure
RustyTainte
 
substructure's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: 28012
Posts: 12,343

Bikes: zilch

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yeah, if you're using a 11-23 or even a 12-25 cassette, you may want to get something you can spin easier.

BUT!!! They only way to really get better is hard work and diligence. Improving the motor. Regardless of what you ride or what's on your ride, nothing beats a good pair of lungs and legs. I've waxed guys climbing with 15# bikes while I had a 22# C'dale because I constantly worked hard with what I had.
substructure is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 06:36 AM
  #10  
waterrockets 
Making a kilometer blurry
 
waterrockets's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Austin (near TX)
Posts: 26,170

Bikes: rkwaki's porn collection

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Liked 85 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by daytonian View Post
powermeter

/thread
+∞
waterrockets is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 06:55 AM
  #11  
BarryJo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: No. Central Ma. USA
Posts: 2,669

Bikes: 2013 Cannondale EVO DA; 09 Giant TCR Advanced SL; 07 Giant TCR Advanced

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I'd go with the ridiculously priced set of carbon wheels, maybe Zipp 808's!
Seriously though, I have a similar Caad9 bike, those Shimano wheels are boat anchors. I use mine mostly in the winter. I swap the Ksyrium ES wheels from another bike onto the Caad9 and I find a decent improvement on ride quality and speed.
Of course it could just be the placebo effect.
But one thing I've noticed is there are people on this forum racing stock Caad9's and other "antique" bike who are a hell of a lot better/ faster riders than I will ever be - so working on your conditioning is the best upgrade you can make (and it doesn't cost anything except time and dedication).
BarryJo is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 07:33 AM
  #12  
simplyred
Lanterne Rouge
 
simplyred's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,993

Bikes: Time VX Edge

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Good tires and brake pads will make you confident down the hill.
Go for Conti 4000's, Michelin PR2/PR3's, Vittoria RubPro. If you have bad roads - Conti GatorSkins.
Pads - SwissStop Yellows.

Find a saddle your @ss really likes.
Get a handlebar with a shape your hands really like.
Get some Assos bibs.
Get some lube for your chain - too many people don't lube their bike enough.

There is no upgrade that will make hills *significantly* easier.

Welcome to the addiction.
simplyred is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 07:51 AM
  #13  
volleybrad
pathetic earthling
 
volleybrad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Detroit area
Posts: 162

Bikes: Felt F1x, Niner Air9

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
upgrade the amount of time you spend doing hill repeats.
volleybrad is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 07:56 AM
  #14  
Allegheny Jet
Senior Member
 
Allegheny Jet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Medina, OH
Posts: 5,806

Bikes: confidential infromation that I don't even share with my wife

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Purchase Dr. Michael Ross's book "Maximum Performance for Cyclist". Once you read and understand that book, purchase "Joesph Friel's Book" which is more indepth. For an investment of under $35.00 you will be on your way to real gains in speed and power.
Allegheny Jet is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 08:05 AM
  #15  
urbanknight
Over the hill
 
urbanknight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 22,590

Bikes: Specialized Allez Elite, Raleigh Pursuit tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Liked 61 Times in 34 Posts
Coach, but they're expensive as you have to keep paying.
urbanknight is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 08:17 AM
  #16  
novacommuter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 164
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Engine.
novacommuter is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 08:23 AM
  #17  
key
Senior Member
 
key's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Posts: 243
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
can't go wrong with a power meter, if you use it right, you will gain more speed than any other upgrade you can buy for your bike
key is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 08:42 AM
  #18  
MONGO!
Senior Member
 
MONGO!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 4,279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades-Eddy Merckx
MONGO! is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 09:03 AM
  #19  
johnny99
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern California
Posts: 10,879
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by novacommuter View Post
Engine.
+1. Also tools to improve the engine: HRM, power meter, coaching, books on training.
johnny99 is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 09:10 AM
  #20  
erliuic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 566

Bikes: Specialized Allez Elite, BMC SLC01

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by simplyred View Post
Good tires and brake pads will make you confident down the hill.
Go for Conti 4000's, Michelin PR2/PR3's, Vittoria RubPro. If you have bad roads - Conti GatorSkins.
Pads - SwissStop Yellows.

Find a saddle your @ss really likes.
Get a handlebar with a shape your hands really like.
Get some Assos bibs.
Get some lube for your chain - too many people don't lube their bike enough.

There is no upgrade that will make hills *significantly* easier.

Welcome to the addiction.
No need for SwissStops with his wheels -- KoolStop pads will do just fine. Good bike maintenance is very important and buy whatever makes you happy. If you're happy, you'll ride more, and that my friend is the best upgrade you can buy.


Edit: Don't cheap out on a pair of bibs. Contact points and fit are the places to focus on for comfort. With what you have now, you won't feel much of a difference in performance (not considering placebo).

Last edited by erliuic; 08-15-08 at 09:13 AM.
erliuic is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 09:21 AM
  #21  
DrPete 
Dirt-riding heretic
 
DrPete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Posts: 17,413

Bikes: Lynskey R230/Red, Blue Triad SL/Red, Cannondale Scalpel 3/X9

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by audioslavery View Post
What would be the most beneficial upgrade to my bike at this point. I am looking to upgrade slowly but surely and am not sure what would have the most dramatic upgrade on my riding experience.

Here are my bike specs.

Frame CAAD9 Optimo
Fork Slice Ultra
Wheels Shimano WH-R561
Rear Derailleur Shimano Ultegra
Handlebars Cannondale C3, 31.8 mm
Stem Cannondale C4
Saddle Selle San Marco Ponza
Seat Post Cannondale C2 Carbon-wrapped

Everything else is Shimano 105 from Front deraileur to rear brakes.
I want the upgrades to help me up the hills particularly.
1. Engine - get a training program/coach/whatever. If you're really, really serious and will stick to a training plan, get a power meter. Otherwise an HRM can be helpful.
2. Engine
3. Engine
4. Clipless pedals if you're not using them already
5. Light climbing wheels
6. Engine
7. Engine
8. Other lightweight chi-chi upgrades like DA drivetrain, etc.

Now, of course, the non-engine upgrades can be much more fun and much less painful, and there's nothing wrong with buying new bling, because a lot of times a little confidence/placebo effect can rev the engine a bit harder too.
__________________
"Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."
DrPete is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 09:24 AM
  #22  
DrPete 
Dirt-riding heretic
 
DrPete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Posts: 17,413

Bikes: Lynskey R230/Red, Blue Triad SL/Red, Cannondale Scalpel 3/X9

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by MONGO! View Post
Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades-Eddy Merckx
It may not improve your speed as much, but it's fun to buy cool **** for your bike too. -DrPete

__________________
"Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."
DrPete is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 10:52 AM
  #23  
mondaycurse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 857
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Upgrade the freetime you have to ride.
mondaycurse is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 10:55 AM
  #24  
Longfemur
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,936
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you already have a saddle and clipless pedals you're comfortable with, the single most effective upgrade is wheels and sometimes just high quality, light tires. May or may not make you a bit faster, but it definitely will make you feel faster.
Longfemur is offline  
Old 08-15-08, 11:01 AM
  #25  
MrCrassic 
Senior Member
 
MrCrassic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 3,644

Bikes: 2008 Giant OCR1 (with panda bear on the back!)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Clipless
__________________
Ride more.

Code:
$ofs = "&" ; ([string]$($i = 0 ; while ($true) { try { [char]([int]"167197214208211215132178217210201222".substring($i,3) - 100) ; $i =
 $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces
MrCrassic is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.