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To upgrade or not - Please help - need some opinions(20 posts)

To upgrade or not - Please help - need some opinionswild
Oct 3, 2003 2:13 PM
Hi guys -

I am a newby at this (300 miles total time)and have been becoming progressively addicted to riding and sure could use some opinions and or suggestions -

I presently have a 03/cannondale r600 (cadd 5 frame). I would like to loose some more weight, (biiiiiig hills)improve performance and have been continplating upgrading all my components (except the shifters)to Dura-Ace.

My dilema is -
a)I'm not sure if it's worth the investment on cannondale's cadd 5 frame.
b)Try to sell my bike, get what I can for it and go with the r1000 which has the cadd 7 frame with ultegra upgrades and Mavic Ksyrium rims.

If I go with the upgrade's - I can purchase a couple of parts at a time - easier on wallet in the short term, a lot more in the long term, but will have quality parts (but not sure if frame is worth the upgrade)

If I go with the new bike - A bigger hit initially with decent upgrades (utegra parts with Mavic Ksyrium rims)and I get the cadd 7 frame.

Any help with this matter would greatly be appreciated.

With only 300 miles under your belt, why upgrade?Straightblock
Oct 3, 2003 3:09 PM
Unless you have money to burn, get some more experience first. Keep the bike as it is for a year or two. Upgrade things as they wear out or break.
I agree with this....russw19
Oct 3, 2003 3:48 PM
If you just started riding, how do you know it's your bike that is holding you back on the hills? Are you sure it's not your legs? Think about it, Eddy Merckx won every race imaginable on a bike that probably weighed more than yours does. Why start to upgrade now? And by the way, Cippollini won a Tour stage on a Cannondale Caad 3 frame. There is nothing wrong with your Caad 5 frame. Keep it, get some lighter tires with Kevlar beads if yours don't have them and maybe upgrade your contact points first. They will make a bigger difference. Make sure you are comfortable on your bike before you worry about how light it is. Make sure you have a nice comfy seat, and make sure your position is right with your bar and stem. If you are comfortable on the bike, you will ride more efficiently. Those are things you should worry about first.

But that's just my suggestion.

Upgrade is not the answer right nowKerry Irons
Oct 3, 2003 3:57 PM
Since you're new to riding, you're going to experience huge gains in your riding just from gaining experience and form. These gains will be far more than the improvements you would see from upgrading your equipment. Spend your effort on building form and skills, not on installing hardware. If you want to spend money on something that will give you a big improvement, buy a set of rollers so you can work on skills all winter. As another poster said, replace things as they wear out. Upgrading a virtually new bike just means a lot of money (buying parts is a lot more expensive than buying them as a group on a bike) and a box full of nearly new stuff in the basement. There's little point to it.
Why not?glia
Oct 3, 2003 5:04 PM
I was in the same situation earlier this year. Having been a runner all my life I got into biking in the spring. Spent a good sum of money on a decent bike, got hooked and saw an amazing bike on demo that had all I wanted including less weight, Kryssum wheels and it fit like a glove. I sold my bike at a loss and bought a much better bike and it sure was woth it. Even if it were for no other reason than you wanting to ride even more. I have been out essentially 6 days a week and have gotton pretty good in just 6 months of training. Importantly, I still love that bike. Therefore I would say, if you can afford it, upgrade to whatever makes you wanna ride even more. Hey, life's short....
Wheels if you have to spend money.....lyleseven
Oct 3, 2003 7:50 PM
If you just have to upgrade, put the money in some wheels that climb. But, I wouldn't do this until you have at least a couple of thousand miles behind you. You may think differently in a few months with some miles on you.
ALL points very well taken - Insidewild
Oct 3, 2003 8:17 PM
Thanks for all the feedback - knew I can count on you guy's.
Much food for thought -

Just wondering (and here's my inexperiance) what exactly would my "contact points" be?

Once again, thanks much
Contact points areLeroy
Oct 3, 2003 8:44 PM
where you touch [contact] the bike- your butt, hands and feet. I would just ride your bike for now. A caad5 is plenty frame for you. Like previous posters said, if you just gotta spend money go with lighter wheels and tires. But, you really don't need to spend any money right now. Your tastes and priorities will change in about 2500 miles, I'll bet. Just enjoy the bike - ride it.
Thx leroy - will enjoywild
Oct 3, 2003 9:00 PM
Contact points... seat, pedals, bar, stem, tape... go 4 comfortrussw19
Oct 4, 2003 11:55 AM
first, then go for performance after you are happy on your bike. Good handlebar tape will make a bigger difference to someone new than an upgrade of the front derailleur. You won't need to spend frivolously on a carbon seatpost if you have a good saddle... good tape with some nice gloves can smooth out more road vibration than a carbon bar can, and putting your body on the proper and efficient riding position will do much more for your riding than saving 100 grams off your wheels.

Now, as someone else pointed out, if you just want to spend that money to make you ride that bike more, then it's worth it, but I am of the opinion that there are better (and cheaper) places to start to customize your bike. If you are going to customize your bike, contact points are where you should start... a better derailleur won't make your butt anymore comfortable over a 70 mile ride, but a better saddle would.

Thx russw19 - good point's - I think I need to slow this downwild
Oct 4, 2003 1:19 PM
a little bit and learn how to walk before trying to run. I just really want to have fun and enjoy riding - but those damn hills can be a killer and sure can take away some of the fun (frustration talking). I figured on by dropping weight and increasing some performance would give me a little bit more of an edge when climbing those hills.

As far as "contact points" I never really looked at the comfort level as you described - interesting perspective (Guess it's really all about having fun)

Once again, thanks
Hills never get any easier, just faster! nmMShaw
Oct 4, 2003 3:19 PM
Yeah, I think some of these guys may be missing the point. Asbill
Oct 6, 2003 6:06 AM
I understand our hero, he may already know the answers he was going to get -- that is, he has perfectly good equipment -- but he wants to feel like he is in the game with equipment that better reflects his newfound commitment. I understand entirely. I think that it's a feeling that diminishes -- lots of the best riders I know have equipment that is merely competent -- but it's a motivator when you haven't been jaded by progressive iterations of "the best" against your experience.
With eyes open, the difference in performance between the best and the merely good is minimal. The performance curve really starts to flatten rather quickly. But, if it inspires you, and you have the cash, go for it.
Me? I like riding the good stuff. Intellectually I know that it makes little difference, but I dig it, therefore I am, or something like that.
Fantastic reply - couldn't agree more!(nm)deHonc
Oct 6, 2003 1:58 PM
bill - wooooow - That was beautifulwild
Oct 7, 2003 2:19 PM
1. "I understand our hero, he may already know the answers he was going to get -- that is, he has perfectly good equipment"
(Initially I really wasn't sure about my equipment)

2. "- but he wants to feel like he is in the game with equipment that better reflects his newfound commitment."

3. "Me? I like riding the good stuff. Intellectually I know that it makes little difference, but I dig it, therefore I am, or something like that."

Bill, couldn't agree with you more with your feedback - particularly with quotes 2 & 3 above. Your reply pretty much puts everything into perspective.

Yeah, I think some of these guys may be missing the point. AsJELLIOT1
Oct 8, 2003 8:24 AM
I have been riding since I was 14 or 15 (34 now) and I have always felt like cycling is exclusive because of the disparity in equipment. I have never been able to afford the best, but always look at other peoples bikes. I do a lot of riding in Central Park where I feel self concious sometimes about what I ride. I realize these may be my own insecurities, but I think some cyclists are snobby, I even overhear some guy comment on my weak rig to his buddy as I passed. I did however pass him. That being said, I would still love to upgrade and I believe that if you have the money - do it, but be nice to the guy who loves cycling and is out there on the best that he/she can afford.
JELLIOT1 - Insidewild
Oct 8, 2003 3:38 PM
If it's any concilation I to really don't have the money, but I do tend to be a bit competative and want that edge - as well as once in a while one needs to say "what the hell" and go for it - that said,

Today I test rode an 03/cannondale r3000, 2.5lb frame, full dura-ace components, full carbon fork ect., ect., - $3400 msrp,

Grant it, the bike was as light as a feather, but IMHO, when I test rode the bike I couldn't really tell the difference between my r600 caad 5 frame with cheaper components and the r3000 with full dura-ace ect., components/parts. I paid $1100 and can't understand were the $2300 difference is. Maybe due to my my inexperience I can't tell or maybe all these components/parts are just a bit overated - or just maybe I do have a descent bike after all - I just don't know. But after reading all the reply's to my original post, I've come to this conclusion - it all boils down to a couple frames of thought -

A - It's all a matter of perspective
B - Do what ever makes you happy (if you can afford it)
C - Most important - have a sh*t load of fun riding :-)- I guess that's what it's really all about and not whether your riding an older bike or top of the line ride.

As they say, the better bike is the one in front of you!!danielc
Oct 8, 2003 8:30 PM
re: To upgrade or not - Please help - need some opinionsdanielc
Oct 4, 2003 11:49 PM
I was in a similar situation 2 years ago. I bought a Specialized aluminum bike w/ ultegra/105 mix and loved it. With less than 2K miles i already was yearning for a lighter bike. it also doesn't help if your riding buddies have pinarellos, looks and 5900s.
I was first considering buying all new components and just using my old frame. then i realized that the key was to get a new frame..i mean, components wear out where as a frame should last you significantly longer. so this was the decision i made since i wanted to drop total bike weight.
it took me about 5 months to acquire all the parts and finally assemble the bike. this made it easier on the wallet and shopping online saved me about $1000 than if i were to just purchase the same bike off the rack at my lbs. believe me it wasn't just all fun and games...from waiting over a month to get my ksyriums from the UK to having a faulty dura-ace shifter replaced. anyway, the whole experience allowed me to really understand the technical/mechanical aspects of bicycles and in return has made me gone out to ride harder and faster.
i now commute on my specialized and feel much stronger on the bike than before. again, if i never made the decision to build a new bike, i don't think i would be as obsessed with riding as i am now. (ie. watching cycling on tv, doing double centuries, and checking this site everyday!!)
Its the engine not the equipmentbiketillyapuke
Oct 13, 2003 5:40 PM
Occasionally I go out with a crew of guys who are rich and have dumped a ton of money into their bikes. Until recently I rode a Dave Scott Ironman with biopace 105. It was missized by my old LBS and kills my knees on long rides. It weighs in at a finite 27 pounds. I could not sell that bike for the cost of one of those rider's front wheels.
Point is that I crush them. They are so slow that I have to do the hills twice and I still have to go back to pick them up.
Once I was overtaken my a dude on a Collagno with Campy Record. I passed him back in the hills. He could only overtake me on the flats cause of his equipment. I had the same experience in a few races. A friend even took pity on me and gave me her old wheels so I would not look too pathetic.
Nevertheless, I spent a whole season on my old bike until I was sure that I had the money and commitment to get back in. I only went as far as Ultegra on my new bike. That way I know that there is a whole grade that I can shift up to if I start to get close to pro-class points.
One thing I hate about sports in general is that you can buy your way to a better time simply by purchasing better equipment. If you want to show your commitment to cycling ride when it rains, bundle up and go out in the snow, ride till you taste blood in your mouth, go out and just cycle (but don't run lights, be careful for god's sake).
Don't buy your way up the hill, burn it.