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Upgrading a drivetrain...(7 posts)

Upgrading a drivetrain...mk_42
May 23, 2001 7:38 PM
I have a mixed low-end Shimano compset that came with my Fuji. I like the ride and size, but there are many things lacking, so I want to upgrade to high-end components in most places, especially the drivetrain. I don't have the money to buy everything at the same time, (nor is my wife giving me $500 dollars to supplement the project), so I want to do this a little at a time.

Here's the big question: what are the logical paths to this bike's max potential? Which things absolutely *must* be replaced together?
I currently have a triple crank, 8 speed cassette, and derailleurs to match.

Here are a few questions:
If I replace the rear d. I assume I would need a new cassette and chain...would I need a new hub? shifters? would I have to replace the front d. as well?
Can the control levers of the ultegra/dura ace set be adjusted between the double/triple front (I notice they don't sell two kinds). Can the rear be adjusted for 8 speeds? Is the adjustment just on the derailleur or on the shifter too?
Can the double crank rear derailleurs on the dura ace/ultegra groups be used with a triple crank for a time?
Can a double front derailleur be used on a triple crank (that is, can you adjust it to only use two of the three gears) for a time?
Can a 9 speed chain run okay over my current chainrings?
That's all I have for now but if there are other issues you can think of feel free to post them too...

_42
I can't tell you much other than that, if you want help, you'rebill
May 23, 2001 8:18 PM
going to have to describe exactly what you have currently. Some of the stuff can be made compatible, some can't.
Usually it's best to do the whole drivetrain at once. Probably should save your money and do it once, all compatible. If you do it piecemeal, by the time you're buying the last piece, you won't even know if they're still making it.
re: Upgrading a drivetrain...Stu in Leavenworth
May 23, 2001 9:32 PM
You have an old low end Fuji, and after spending alot of money on it ,you will still have an expensive POS. Besides, you don't know enough about what you are doing to pull it off, so it will be a #ucking mess,expensive, POS. Just my opinion,others may agree.
What he said. Also, you may think that you'll transfer allbill
May 24, 2001 8:35 AM
of your components to a nicer frame someday, but, not only is the cheapest way to buy components is attached to the frame (you can get deals on built up bikes where you basically end up paying retail for the frame and getting the components for free), but you may develop preferences and lusts and discretionary income that you cannot fathom now. In which case your plan A will have kept you away from what you really wanted all along -- a better bike.
to clarify a little...mk_42
May 24, 2001 5:35 PM
Thanks for your input bill.

As for Stu. Yes my bike is a "POS" in many opinions. I'm sure many of you wouldn't be caught dead riding it. But I do know a little about what I'm doing and I can assure you that if I did have all the comps, it would not end up a mess. Expensive, maybe. A "POS," in your eyes, probably. But mess, no.

But let me clarify a little what I want to do.
I know that my bike is cheap, and trust me, I'm not trying to make a mean racing machine nor am I trying to get compliments on the street. A little math: A whole dura-ace drivetrain (including shifters and rear hub) is $800, ultegra is $485 for the same. My bike was about $800. If I upgrade the drivetrain my total bike will be 1300-1600. I tried several bikes in that price range when I was shopping for this bike, but the reason I bought this bike was NOT because it was cheaper, but because I felt best riding on it. And that's what it's all about in the end I think. I'm thinking if I could get rid of a couple of annoyances on this bike I would have the best of both worlds. It's easier to replace the drivetrain on this bike than it would be to replace the frame on one of the other bikes, not to mention that it's easier to shop for components than a frame.

Eventually I would like to get an all around better bike but it will take me a while to save up $2000 for that whereas I could have a better bike this summer by upgrading a few things.

When I said "a little at a time" I think I should have said "in halves or thirds" because that's more what I meant. And I didn't mean over many years but a couple of months, keeping my bike in service in between.

So with this new information, are there any do-it-yourselfers out there that have some experience with bending the intended uses a little and mixing components? Or do most people concur that it would be better to wait and do the whole thing at once?

_42
Go for itHerrLURP
May 25, 2001 8:21 AM
Here's a little personal story of mine. This year I bought a Lemond Reno road bike for $400, that was originally $800 back in 98. It had RSX and RX100 components. This year I got crazy, and I have upgraded my bike with:

Kestrel Carbon Fork
Mavic Cosmos front wheel
Spinergy SR3 rear wheel
Dura Ace 9spd STI Shifters
105 Brake calipers and deraillers
Dura Ace Crankset
Dura Ace bottom bracket
Dura Ace headset
Lighter skewers, seatpost, stem
Selle Italia flite saddle

Now my bike looks like a sweet machine, and it actually feels better to me than a CAAD4 bike I used to have. My frame may be 1lb heavier, but everything else is great. Not only that, but I bought all my parts from Ebay or on the classifieds here, and I sold all my old parts as I went along, so my upgrades costed a total of around $800 which is a great deal when you consider the wheels included. I could have saved my money and spend $1200 on a bike at once, but when you consider that option, even used bikes at the price range usually come with Ultegra parts. All said and done, I have learned a heck of a lot about bikes, have had a lot of fun upgrading, and I have ended up with a machine that flies. And no I didn't upgrade all at once. I finished my upgrades in a period of about 3 months.
yeah, but.bill
May 25, 2001 9:57 AM
If you steal a "lifetime" frame, then I can see it, even if the frame is a bit older. The hypothesis here, though, is that there is something special about this older Fuji frame, and I'm not buying it. If you want to play mechanic, then go for it. But it's no longer a bargain.
How much did you get for the old parts? Just curious.