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New to riding. ?'s about component swapping(18 posts)

New to riding. ?'s about component swappingSeancorbett
Apr 11, 2001 6:51 PM
I am looking into getting a road bike to work on my endurance/stamina, ect. I work at a bike shop that carries Giant, so the OCR 1 would seem like a natural choice to me, but what could I upgrade to make it better. I have replaced my entire mountain bike piece by piece already, and most of that was done before I even worked at the bike shop! I know the Shimano 105 components that come on the OCR 1 are decent but what needs improvement more than anything else? What would be the easiest areas to shave weight? I was thinking maybe the wheels and cranks. I use Raceface w/ time pedals on my mountain bike, so I will definately want power transmission and stiffness equivalent to that. What do you guys recommend?
Apr 12, 2001 6:51 AM
Unless you have a whole lot of cash to burn, why mess with it if you just want it for traning endurance and stamina? 105 is fine stuff - you will spend good cash (even if you get the gear cheap through your shop) to loose a little weight and for what end? I know what you mean, but "needs improvement" is a slightly difficult concept here!

Anyhow, I think most would agree that losing some rotating weight is probably the best place to start on a bike like that - what wheels are you getting on it - if they are good anyway (presumably they would be) you could be getting into some fairly exponential spending to gain pretty marginal "improvments"? Again, if you want to train on it, you might be better getting a slightly heavier less fragile wheelset and reaping the durability/less fuss benefits?

I think one thing is for sure - you won't get any stiffness improvement over 105 cranks whatever you do, IMHO.

Of course, along with all that is the motivation argument - if you have a bike that you really love, then you are more likely to ride it, and thus to get more training benefit. On that basis, aside from BB (see wealth of Ultega BB gripes on this site) then change anything from 105 to Ultega or Dura-Ace and you will be, in theory, improving things, but remember the horses for courses principle - it's not always a case of getting what you pay for with spending on components...

Perhaps give it a while, then see if there is anything that bothers you about the bike, then go from there?

Hope that at least gives you some thoughts - enjoy what ever you go with.
Apr 12, 2001 7:36 PM
Thanks. You make a lot of very good points. I think for me that upgrading is an addiction... one that I probably need to get under control. I would hate to say that I am only using for training and endurance purposes however. I don't even race! Right now I ride my mountain bike on the road more than I do the trail, so maybe I will discover a new joy, who knows. In any case I appreciate your suggestions.
I don't mean to be a total bastard...TJeanloz
Apr 12, 2001 10:13 AM
But you work at a bike shop and you're not sure what you can do to make your own bike better? What do you tell customers when they ask you how they can improve their bikes? Hearing things like this make me sympatize with people who complain about service at their bike shop.
He's a mountain biker......nmEnough Said!
Apr 12, 2001 5:07 PM
Why did you even reply?Seancorbett
Apr 12, 2001 7:31 PM
You have contributed nothing valuable to this post, and because of this experience I, and perhaps others will be reluctant to post in the future. My initial reaction was to defend myself and explain my situation, but I'll spare you that arguement. Hell, I could even turn this right around and make broad generalizations regarding road bikers using this and the following post as an example. This kind of reception to an honest question irks me to no end. I went ahead and registered myself to post here so I could get some information. This IS a forum for that kind of thing after all.
If you must know why I ask as a bike shop employee, then I will give you a simple answer; because I know next to nothing about road bikes. I was hired to check in inventory and basically work on the computer. My knowledge is enough to help 95% of the customers that come into our store. If I cannot, then one of the other three people that work there can.
Why did you even reply?Jofa
Apr 13, 2001 4:32 AM
Well done Sean. Don't stop posting, just ignore the idiots. Every forum on the web has them...
If you are calling TJeanloz...PsyDoc
Apr 13, 2001 5:26 AM
an idiot, then I take exception. In my opinion, TJeanloz is FAR from an idiot and he has contributed much knowledge to this board. He has helped me on numerous occassions and has always been affable.
Apr 13, 2001 10:17 AM
TJeanloz is the man! he has also helped me numerous times. I don't think he meant any offense to Sean, he just asked a simple question and Sean gave a good answer, except that I guesss TJ could of been more tactful in his question. Ok I'm rambling now... blah blah blah
Let he who is free of sin cast the first stone!!JBergland
Apr 13, 2001 5:32 AM
I would not consider TJ an idiot. He is a pretty knowledgeable guy that comes from a shops/owners perspective. His posts might be a little brash and to-the-point sometimes, but many people find that approach refreshing. TJ's post, IMO, is pointing out the issue of someone working in a bike shop that does not have a good knowledge base. Is that the worst thing in the world?? Nope. In fact, I believe that is the reason why many people have poor experiences at their LBS... employees that don't have a general understanding of the business.

I think Sean is doing a good thing... asking questions and learning. I also hope he keeps posting and scanning this site/board, there is so much information.
Apr 14, 2001 3:59 PM
The 'idiot' comment was directed more at the snide mountain biker remark; I agree that T Jeanloz clearly has a high knowledge base and solves a lot of problems on this board, and was no doubt doing so long before I discovered it. However his comment about the bike shop was unfair, and shown to be so by Sean's response. (That's already been resolved, I know...) Appearances can be deceptive, bike shops employ people in all sorts of capacities, not just on the shop floor (though when I worked in one, I seemed to do everything from washing the windows to doing the tax returns, but that's another story). And in response to Sean's original question.... I'm sure a TCR2 will be fine, right out of stock. Preferable to the OCR... go for the frame first, as in mountain biking. On the road you don't get the excuse to upgrade to glitzy gear as often as on MTB's, because you don't break as much stuff, but on the other hand, stock bikes usually work best anyway. I'm rambling now....laters, good luck, enjoy the black stuff...
Why did you even reply?TJeanloz
Apr 13, 2001 6:47 AM
I have to be honest, when I read your post I was shocked. Most who know me know that I tend to defend LBS employees ignorance and crankiness. But I have run under the assumption that LBS employees are well trained and care about their work. I admire you for trying to improve your knowledge in the area of bicycle technology; but your boss and co-workers can (I hope) teach you in an afternoon what would take months to learn here- I don't mean to disparage posters here- but you have a far better resource than this message board to ask these questions to.

That being said, I learn a lot from these boards. I watch them to see what is working for people and what's not, and what people here say impacts on the products I sell and how I sell them. These boards can be great educational tools, but I think you probably ought to glean some basic knowledge from a real expert you work with.
My LBS is MTB only........Tsunami
Apr 13, 2001 10:31 AM
I love my LBS, but it is probably like Sean's LBS, that is they (or at least use to) cater to mountain bikers and sell only mtn bikes. The employees there are very knowledgable but they do not know anything about road bikes (except the manager who is an ex-semi-pro-roadie). I can ask them "which Hayes adapter will work with a Monster T?", but cannot ask them "what's the spacer limit on a carbon steerer?"
Why did you even reply?Seancorbett
Apr 14, 2001 11:32 AM
Unfortunately this is not exactly the case. Our shop caters mostly to people who have/want to spend less than $400 dollars on a bike, so most of the repairs that come through are basic maintainence on relatively cheap bikes. The two other guys that work at the shop as mechanics have a great deal of knowledge, but not in the road bike arena. One races BMX, and the other can build bikes so fast it's not even funny. Our owner has only basic knowledge when it comes to mechanics as well. He runs the bussiness and that's enough. So I make the fourth person who does inventory.
What I'm getting at here is I don't really have a resource to go to for road bike questions, thus my post here. I have asked the owner if he knew of any kind of bike mechanic training classes anywhere nearby so I could Improve my knowledge, but he didn't know of any offered in our area (Orlando, Florida). If you or anyone else knows of any way I can improve my knowledge please let me know.
Why did you even reply?Herb
Apr 17, 2001 7:31 AM
You tell 'em Sean.
C'mon folks, we ALL ride!! It doesn't matter if it's road or dirt or a unicycle for cryin' out loud. Drop the attitudes!!!! Sean came to this site for info not insults! Welcome the brother with open arms and HELP him. "Muncher" has a GREAT attitude and had really good, sound advise. "Enough Said" and "TJeanloz" could stand an attitude check. Those two threw -arrogance and lack of knowing (Sean and his employment position)- out there like it was some badget of superiority. In the end they look rather foolish and only help to perpetuate the ongoing us-versus-them mentality.
The next time you're out on your $2K+ bike, whether on the road or dirt and someone with a Costco special is broken down, STOP and help them!!! Especially if you work or OWN a bike shop. The world will be better off for your efforts and you might even help to sell a few more bikes!!!! Later!!!!!
most cost effective way...DrD
Apr 13, 2001 5:53 PM
Since you haven't even bought the bike yet, why even consider something you are just going to upgrade the cr@p out of? If you are sure you want a Giant, why not try the TCR1 (Ultegra) or TCR0 (DA + Ksyriums) - the more compact frame ought to be a little stiffer, which should be right up your alley. - plus buying the nicer stuff up front as part of a new bike is much cheaper than doing it piece by piece...

In my opinion, 105, Ultegra and DA all function exceptionally well - most of what you get while upgrading from one to the next is reduced weight and better fit and finish. The exception to this being, IMHO, the STI levers - the DA levers have a much crisper feel to them while shifting (also require a shorter throw). It's really unlikely you'll notice much of a difference with the other components while riding.
Agree with DrD!Kerry Irons
Apr 14, 2001 6:42 AM
Always buy more bike than you can afford, and then forget the upgrade concept. With rare exceptions, bikes are reasonably balanced in the components and the frame, so throwing upgrades at a decent bike is not cost effective, and upgrading an entry level bike doesn't gain much - the basic bike will hold you back.

Regards the whole bike shop employee knowledge question: it has been my experience that in any sporting goods store, there are at most one or two people who actually know the stuff they sell, and the rest are hired hands. I suspect this is the case in any store that sells technically oriented stuff (computers, cameras, etc.) This situation is adequate for 90% of the customers, though it does lead to some unfortunate buying choices as the blind lead the blind. It's hard to imagine a different scenario, and the cost of having knowledgeable employees is more than the buying public is willing to pay. When many customers come into a bike shop wondering what "size" bike to buy (26" or 27"), you know that audience isn't willing to pay for somone who knows how many spacers can be safely put on a CF steerer tube threadless fork.
I bet you're rightSeancorbett
Apr 14, 2001 11:38 AM
I am discovering that there are a great deal of differences between the sport of Mountain biking, and road riding. I'm sure you are absolutely right, but I just need to figure out how much money I am willing to initially invest. I have been looking at the TCR 2...