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upgrade theory... ultegra vs DA?(6 posts)

upgrade theory... ultegra vs DA?Gobe
Jul 6, 2001 12:27 AM
OK folks, here's my delima. I am relatively new to this roadie thing, but am totally digging it. I am riding a late 90's entry level Lemond w/ RSX 7 spd. The steel frame fits good and rides nice, so I don't think I am into the new bike option.

I am thinking that an Ultegra 9 spd upgrade kit and crank/BB would be the wiser investment, and use the extra $ towards a carbon fork or wheelset (which I will need anyway). Anybody have any reasons to fork out the extra cash for DA?

For wheels I am thinking of either the Orion's or a set of Dave's. The Orion's seem to have passed the test... anybody with some miles on Dave's wheels?

Any advice for this entry level leg shaver would be great!
thanks- josh
re: upgrade theory... ultegra vs DA?DrD
Jul 6, 2001 5:09 AM
WIth an Ultegra or DA kit + the wheels you mention, you are looking to spend alot of $ to upgrade an older, entry level frame - you may be better served buying a new Ultegra equipped bike (will cost roughly the same I imagine, esp. if you sell the old ride) - I know you mention that the current bike fits well, which is good - you know what you need geometry wise (so you could go mail order on the bike and save more $)

That being said, Ultegra is great - I would only selectively replace some of the components with DA, namely the STI levers. Wheelset wise, I am leary of the Velomax stuff mostly because having spokes threaded on both ends seems like a bad idea to me (come wheel-trureing time). Dave's wheels have a pretty good rep. here, and he seems to really stand behind his product. It's alot of $ for wheels, though - not so sure how much of a difference you would notice over a set of DA hubs/Open pro rims which you could get built up for ~320 or so...
Jul 6, 2001 8:33 AM
I was just checking out the classifieds, and I think you may be on to something as far as the new bike vs. $800-$1000 worth of components & wheels.

re: upgrade theory... ultegra vs DA?Jay Davenport
Jul 6, 2001 2:06 PM
For about $1000 you could buy a really nice, almost new bike, from the classifieds here.. It should be all you would need for a couple of years.. You can unload your current bike to someone on e-bay, or keep it as a backup/ rain/ take to the beach bike..
re: upgrade theory... ultegra vs DA?jpa
Jul 6, 2001 12:06 PM
If you think this is going to become a serious long term obsession I would go ahead with the upgrades. Next year you can save up and get a really killer frame. Use the next 12 months to improve your skills, educating yourself and test ride different frames.

Check Excel Sports for their pre-built wheels. Excel Sports Threat Stealth-Chris King hubs, revolution spokes 3x lacing, Mavic CXP-33rims, 730g front, 880 rear, for $489.95. Or, Excel Sports Cirrus-Dura Ace hubs, revolution/14-15 spokes 2x front/3x rear, Mavic Open Pro Rims, 683g front, 933g rear, for $295.95. Pro's & Con's over fancier wheelsets would include easy maintenance 3x & 2x spoke patterns, ease of repair & maintenance, easy to true, availability of spokes, cheaper, lighter, not as stiff, not as pimp.

I would hold off on the fork till you get a new frame. headset size, steering tube length and fork length will need to match. Other goodies to wait on till you get a new frame would be a Chris King headset, seatpost, stem, and bars.

Dura Ace vs. Ultegra - read the reviews! If you want to split pennies and get the most bang for the buck based on the reviews, performance, and cost per gram get the following:

Ultegra BB, Dura Ace crank, Ultegra brakeset, Ultegra front der., Dura Ace rear der., Dura Ace cog, Dura Ace chain, and Dura Ace brake/shift levers. You could even get away with 105 brakes. I cant tell much of a diffence between the 3 models. However, I can definetly tell the difference between cheap and quality cables.

You may also want to consider a pair of road pedals and shoes. Speedplay and Time pedals seem to be favorites based on reviews but try before you buy.

Happy shopping!
re: upgrade theory... ultegra vs DA?jim hubbard
Jul 6, 2001 3:34 PM
here is the thing I stared doing the road thing a few years ago now(shit that makes me seem old). Anyway I started out with a not bad bike, in fact looking back on it was one of the best rides I have ever had but to look at it was nothing special. Along the way a had 2 really helpful LBS. And the one thing, the most important thing on a bike is the wheels! You can have the best bike in the world but put a shit set of wheels on it will ride like a dog. The next piece of advice I was given was look at the frame. This was painful to do I loved that bike put eventual it has to be upgraded so that is next. And finally the groupset, this is the icing on the cake. The other thing that I have learned over the years is that if you only have the 'folding' to do things slowly you notice the difference alot more when you ugrade things than if you rush everything and do it at once. So my advice is look at the wheels first, it is the best way to turn an average bike into a world beater.