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Upgrading strategy(14 posts)

Upgrading strategyfrank_freedom
May 5, 2002 2:54 PM
Hi everyone,

I purchased a used bike to get back into shape and into cycling after 5 years of inactivity.

My bike has a steel frame (Columbus Brain), carbon fork, with 1996/1997 Shimano 105, Rolf Vector Comp wheels, and upgraded lightweight seat/seatpost (the old stuff weighed 750gr!)

I like the bike but it is heavy (22 lbs), and since I am out of shape, everything seems harder than it really is.

Now, what is the best bang for the buck upgrade? A set of light wheels from Oddsandendos? I also saw a set of SSC's for a reasonable price.

My goal is to ride this bike for this summer, and then move on to a light & custom bike maybe next fall / next spring.

I think a wheelset is the best purchase for now. My old dull-gray Shimano 105 ain't that great to look at, although it runs fine.

I'm thinking a wheelset that I will be able to use with the new custom bike, what else would give me a good weight savings?

Here's the bike:

(picture was taken a month ago)

The rider makes the bike :)PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
May 5, 2002 3:11 PM
Before I go any further I'm just gonna sum up my advice quickly. I'd recommend not buying any new parts for your bike unless you absolutely need it and if you really wanna whoop yourself into shape look at PowerCranks @ they aren't cheap but make your pedalstroke perfect in no time if you haven't even been riding very much!

But anyway style is cool and I've always had really nice bikes since my parents were able to buy them for me and a nice track bike and Corima aero wheels helped me get to junior worlds on the track last year but irregardless I had to go under the "12 second" - 200 m time trial barrier that no Canadian Junior had cracked in 15 years. You can have the nicest bike out there and still get whooped by a guy on the crappiest bike out there. So my recommendation is to stay on the bike you have now while you get back in shape. If you don't trust the old Rolf Vector wheels maybe get a new set of wheels but if you do then just stick with them. So when it comes to this fall and next spring when you get the really nice stuff you'll be flying!!! Also with all the miles you'll put on the new stuff will feel silky smooth! Especially if you give in and buy a completely new bike which in all honesty makes the most since, because once you upgrade single pieces one at a time buying a new complete bike gets substantially cheaper. Bike Shops make far more money on parts than on bikes!

re: Upgrading strategyfrank_freedom
May 5, 2002 3:15 PM

seems the Ksyriums don't have much of an approval from the 'experts' at my bike shop, they said they were too expensive for their weight (and mainly for looks) and that there are much better deals out there (Bontrager RaceXlite)

I have another question: does anyone use Zipp wheels or is it mainly triathletes that use those wheels?

The problem is that I have enough money for plenty of upgrades but I cannot cough up the 4K for my custom bike yet.

Any input would be appreciated.


ps: Should I keep this bike or sell it? I think I loved this bike more than the one I am riding now. But it's only a 7 speed and I would need to upgrade everything, but I loved that frame.
May 5, 2002 3:21 PM
I love my Ksyriums so I don't know why the experts at your bike shop don't like them. They are aero and very robust. I put them through the ringer in Trinidad just because the roads there are so bad and they aren't fragile at all. Can they say that about the Bontrager wheels?

About the Zipps using carbon fiber rims on the road can be risky so most people use them as race only or track wheels. Also since they are tubulars if and when you flat you won't have fun.

If you don't have enough for custom bike just find a bike that has 1 cm sizing increments. I believe Cramerotti does and they may even custom build the frame for you at no extra cost. Then build it up with Ultegra.

As for your old bike. VERY NICE! I'm 18 and its a very nice looking bike. Maybe keep it as a trainer bike or even a beater bike. I know people hate to use their old nice bikes as beaters but if you can't part with it then thats the best way to go. No worries about it being 7 speed either! I ride a super nice Cannondale F2000 mountain bike with 8 speed when theirs 9 speed out their and I ain't complaining at all.

-Nick Corcoran
May 5, 2002 7:17 PM
I ride the Zipp 101's. I'm not a triathlete, I raced some collegiate and will do some other USCF races this summer, but they are an awsome wheel for the $$$. They were hand built w/Zipp 101 rims and Ultegra hubs. I was amazed how light they were. I will eventually upgrade to the 303's or 440's but I just graduated from college and don't have a job so it will have to wait, although I may pick up a used set of Ksyriums to train on.
re: Upgrading strategyweiwentg
May 5, 2002 3:19 PM
tires/inner tubes are probably the best weight savings for the buck. ksyriums are only about 100 grams lighter than vector comps - they're excellent wheels, and they're more aero (I think). part of the issue is probably your groupset. another big part is the frame - but you knew that. if I were you, I'd sell the frame now (or keep it as a beater bike), and then get a good frame and a groupset (your wheels are probably fine, vector comps are pretty good wheels).
however, you might want to just stick with your setup for now and get into shape...
Save your moneyKerry
May 5, 2002 3:35 PM
There's nothing wrong with this bike - the parts are pretty well matched already. If you really are going to get a new bike, and you'd be willing to get wheels that are equal to what you put on that bike, then get new wheels. Would they be a revelation? Probably not. Would they make you faster? Not noticeably. A steel bike of this vintage is not going to go much below 21 lb without topping out all the components. Unless you're looking just to spend money or impress your friends, save the cash for the new bike. Some of your friends might not even be impressed, but rather wonder why you tried to do the "mutton dressed as lamb" thing to this bike.
Yep.Sintesi at home
May 5, 2002 6:39 PM
Nothing wrong with your bike at all especially at your self described level of fitness. Why buy upgrades at retail when you can get them much much cheaper by virtue of OEM spec on a brand new bike (i.e. manufacurers get their parts much cheaper than retailers and can deck their bikes out for considerably less than you or your LBS can.)? If you wait and shop around you'll find much more bang for your buck buying an entire package deal.
whatever you getDougSloan
May 5, 2002 4:13 PM
Whatever you get, try to get things that you can easily transfer to the new bike; wheels make the most sense, but only if the freehub is the same (will you get Shimano next time); you do realize Shimano and Campy use different freehub designs?

I'd say that on nearly any bike, wheels make the most sense to upgrade. Ksyriums are fantastic wheels.
whatever you getfrank_freedom
May 5, 2002 7:03 PM
That's good advice, in fact I was looking at getting a Campagnolo gruppo on my next bike.. And the Mavics that are for sale cheap are on Shimano.... But they are so "Seeexy" (Imagine my best Fat Bastard accent)

It's bizarre, on my old and trusty Argon18 I really felt good on the bike, but on the Guru I just don't get that feeling, even though I had it fitted by a pro. Maybe I have to give it some time. Yeah, I'll just ride the damned thing until I get fit and no silly excuses.

My body is like it wants to be in eternal comfort zone (I am the absolute opposite of Lance who likes it when it hurts) no saddle sores, no stiff shoulders. Wake up call!

Thanks for the advice,


ps: I think I'll try to find some vintage Campagnolo stuff to put on my Argon, I'm sure they have a few boxes left at Marinoni.. Still have my old Nuovo Record derailleur!
Now you have me wondering about the fit.Spoke Wrench
May 6, 2002 6:47 AM
You said you were more comfortable on your old bike but had the new bike fitted by a pro. How are the two bikes different relative to fit? Ultimately, your bike has to satisfy you not the pro who fit you. Fit affects your comfort, performance and fun every single minute you are on the bike. Nothing else has that much affect.

I think I'd spend my upgrade money to experiment with stems, handlebars, seatposts, saddles, whatever I thought it might take to make me feel really dialed in. Then I'd have a better idea about frame size and geometry when it came time to buy the "dream bike."
re: Upgrading strategyJekyll
May 5, 2002 5:15 PM
I would take some time and put a few hundred miles on your bike as is. See if you're going to stick with things, etc. Also, your body and maybe your goals have changed since the last time you rode seriously. Just use the bike you have, assuming its in proper working condition, to get back in the game and then if you still have to commitment get the new bike with all the good stuff.
Doing things piecemeal will nickel and dime you to death and some things will not transfer from one bike to the other. Like Doug said, make sure whatever you buy will work on the perspective future bike (seat post, f. derailleur, bb's, etc tend to be the most commonly none compatible items). And I'll second him on the Ksyriums as well, a great set of wheels.
re: weight is not gonna make much diffcyclopathic
May 5, 2002 11:47 PM
if you're not racing. I would just keep it as is and save money for new "light" bike.
re: Upgrade your body first!dzrider
May 6, 2002 6:46 AM
The bike looks fine to me for non-competitive riding and the only items I'd be inclined to change are those that relate to comfort e.g. seat, bars and pedals. Use the new bike as an incentive to get in shape so you can have the custom bike built to fit you at your best!