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what upgrades should i take on first?(23 posts)

what upgrades should i take on first?latindork
Jun 18, 2002 8:49 PM
I just got my Giant OCR 3 about 10 months ago, and have enjoyed riding it thus far, but i am looking into riding more seriously and i know that my bike in its current stock configuration (Sora drivetrain, cromoly fork, POS wheels, etc.) will not get me anywhere. what upgrades will make the most immediate difference to the performance of my bike? i'm talking components here -- i want to keep my frame, since it's cool, fairly new, and i don't have unlimited funds. any input would be appreciated.
re: what upgrades should i take on first?Romani
Jun 18, 2002 8:53 PM
Upgrade the wheels first.
Get some really nice tires...nmrwbadley
Jun 18, 2002 9:06 PM
Wheels then 105McAndrus
Jun 19, 2002 4:41 AM
Better wheels will give you the most immediate improvement. Then I'd get a better component group. I'd go with Ultegra in this case but if money's a problem get the 105 group.

Someone else suggested upgrading to a TCR. You might want to think about that as well. If you keep upgrading the OCR pretty soon you'll have components that in a class better than the frame.
Whatever it is that's irritating you.Leisure
Jun 18, 2002 10:22 PM
Part by part upgrading is the expensive way to go, but that's never stopped me. You can start anywhere really, changing post, stem, handlebar, seat to lighten things up while getting a better fit. If you didn't get a great fit (meaning you don't have a very comfortable body position while seated and spinning) but you like the frame and it is honestly the right size for you I'd suggest that before anything. If the emphasis is pure performance, probably better wheels will help you more right off the bat; however, my suggestion (and it is only that) would be upgrading to a whole new component group. Both Shimano Ultegra and Campy Centaur will perform well, last, weigh less than a flock of sheep and cost about $600. You will eventually want to replace everything anyway, and it's more cost efficient than doing it one piece at a time. You will also get an extra set of nice hubs (especially them Campys, my preference) in the process that you can later build up into any kind of wheel you want. The fork is probably the last thing I'd change. There's nothing wrong with cromoly, even if it is mildly heavy, and the choice of fork has a large affect on your handling. Give yourself time to figure out the feel you want before dropping money on a potentially pricey carbon fork.
Upgrade to a TCR 0 - get it over with all at once nmLeroy
Jun 19, 2002 4:02 AM
Why that's easySpoke Wrench
Jun 19, 2002 5:42 AM
Buy yourself a really good wheelset. Nothing else that you can buy will improve your performance anywhere near as much.

Be sure to keep your old wheels and don't waste your money trying to upgrade the rest of the bike. Eventually, you'll want a whole new rig and you'll get to transfer your spiffy good wheelset to your new bike. Upgrading any other components, other than things like seats and stems, really doesn't have a very good cost/benefit ratio.
new bike-itisJS Haiku Shop
Jun 19, 2002 5:59 AM
sorry for the obligatory post, but consider this:

I was going to upgrade my specialized allez, including new wheels, fork, cassette, chain, tires, tubes, rim tape, bar tape, stem, handlebars, and saddle. additionally, it would have been a 105/ritchey/specialized mix on the components, and i wanted to migrate gradually to ultegra. everything but the 105 to ultegra move would have run $600-$800.

if i was going to drop $800 anyways, why not sell the bike on ebay, and spend the $800 plus whatever i got from the auction, on a new bike, including ultegra (or better) and all the upgrades i wanted? turned out to be a wash. got a good price for the auction, and found a more than adequate replacement ride.

of course, the unfortunate thing is that i chose to REALLY upgrade. oh, get the point. if you're going to spend $XX anyway, you can sell the bike on ebay and have $XX plus auction total to spend on a new bike. would this $$ be enough to get an upgraded package?

just a thought.
Jun 19, 2002 6:18 AM
Good tires represent a relatively inexpensive upgrade and they will improve the ride of your bike (better cornering, for one thing).

When you have more $, and are ready to spend them, a nice wheelset would be in order. This will improve the ride of your bike more than any component change you could contemplate. Also, you could carry the nicer wheels over if you were ever to decide to upgrade your bike.

I wouldn't jump to put a lot more money into the bike. If you are enjoying it, go ahead and rack up the miles. The more you ride, the more you'll realize what it is that you'd like to replace (or not). Also, be aware that while there are some very good--and very trick-looking--wheelsets out there, you can get quite good performance from well-built wheels based on stock components; a wheel that's well-built around, say, Dura Ace hubs and mavic rims may actually be cheaper, lighter, and in some mechanical ways just plain better than some alternative "upgrades" you could contemplate (I'm not criticizing factory wheels--I have a couple sets of them and like them; I just think that not all the offerings represent the best value for everyone.)
Wait till it breaks.U of A racer
Jun 19, 2002 7:14 AM
As long as your bike shifts well, the wheels stay true, and the brakes work, I don't see why it can't get you anywhere you want to go. If the wheels don't stay true, get new wheels first. If the shifting doesn't work correctly, or the brakes are sticky, upgrade to Ultegra. There's no way a new fork will help you "ride more seriously."
Jun 19, 2002 8:15 AM

I'm just wondering if your situation is a case of wishing you would have bought a much better/higher priced bike in the first place.

It must be quite common to try to buy a bike and stay under $1000-$1500 at the LBS and find out later you could have managed a credit purchase for $3000-$4000.

With the bikes I've bought, I always knew later I could have afforded more.
So where's the question?SteveO
Jun 19, 2002 8:58 AM
(sorry, couldnt resist... i know what you meant).

I usually question to the motives of those who purchase the better/higher priced bike.

Surely, one (usually) receives better quality with higher priced equipment, however, such 'better' equipment often yields a de minimus of return for the cost.

Perhaps our beginning friend COULD afford spending 2-3 grand more than he did (even if he needs plastic to 'afford' it). However, will that additional cost yield him appreciable benefit?

How much faster will he truly go? How much longer will the parts truly last? Will they be that much more servicable?

I feel, in many cases, the answers are 'not much', 'not at all', and 'probably not'. This leads me to believe, In many cases, the desire to upgrade is actually rooted in the desire to 'fit in', to appear more 'serious', or merely attributable to marketing glitz (those shiny pictures sure look pretty).

I'm not trying to say that spending large sums of money on a piece of simple machinary is (necessarily) bad; to each his own. However, I do think doing so without stepping back and looking at the big picture is.

I enjoy cycling immensely. I can hold my own. My bike is worth (maybe) 100 bucks. I can afford much, much more, but i realize, for me, the expenditure would not increase my enjoyment (at all). So why do it?
with Sora, it's all or nothinglaffeaux
Jun 19, 2002 9:39 AM
The best bet is to seel your bike, and use the money to buy a new bike.

The trouble with Sora is that it's 8 speed instead of 9, so you can't easily piece together a new bike. The worst part about Sora is the shifters, which for some reason Shimano opted for the odd shifting mechanism that prevents shifting from the drops. Since you can't easily replace the shifters without additional conponent upgrades, I'd do nothing until you had the money to afford a 105 or higher bike.
outta curiosity, whats the 'trouble' with 8 speeds? nmSteveO
Jun 19, 2002 9:43 AM
all other new groups are 9laffeaux
Jun 19, 2002 9:46 AM
There's nothing inherently wrong with 8 speeds. However if you go to buy new 105 shifters, you'll be buying a 9 speed component, and it won't work all that well with your 8 speed cassette. The problem is not 8 speeds, the problem is that it's different.
all other new groups are 9SteveO
Jun 19, 2002 9:50 AM
ah, sorry, i read out of context...
I was still in my 'are you sure you wanna upgrade?' mindset.

Agree with your rationale; One the other hand, i'll bet 'antiquated' 8-speed 105 or ult shifters could be found at bargain prices.
Yes, and a 9-speed cassette costs how much?filtersweep
Jun 19, 2002 2:43 PM
Maybe $40 for Ultegra. Not a big deal... and a rear deraileur is rather inexpensive as well. The most expensive group parts are the crankset and shifters... and how many people even need the hubs or other parts that are oddly considered part of the group?
Without a doubt, the single most important and effective upgradeMel Erickson
Jun 19, 2002 11:45 AM
is YOU. I hate to say it because it's been said so many times before and most people don't want to hear it. Spend more qualitative and quantitative time on the bike. Invest in knowledge on how to train. Customize the training to fit you. Maybe, when you feel strong enough and experienced enough, get a coach. You will get more out of this investment without one single component upgrade on the bike. Bike lust is almost irresistable but resist and invest in your conditioning. The payback will be much greater because, regardless of the equipment, it will always be with you.
Jun 19, 2002 12:00 PM
And then get new tires ;-)

Mel you are so right.
Everytime I think something about 'the bike' is holding me back from being a faster, better, more good looking rider; somebody will come along and blow that right out of the water.
Just the other day I was lugging up my favorite hill when I was pretty much left by another rider. It was not the bikes fault, I can tell you that.
The bike did not break, whine or cry... I'm afraid it was all mine -)
True Dat!look271
Jun 19, 2002 5:22 PM
You will be the item that needs improvement the most. New wheels, components, etc don't mean diddly if the engine sucks wind. Give it a year or 2 then buy a whole new bike.
sell on eBay and get a TCRweiwentg
Jun 19, 2002 5:01 PM
if you have to stick with the OCR, wheels are the way to go. personally, I would save for a TCR, or trade in for a CAAD5, or get used, or get something from Fuji or KHS, or maybe even bikesdirect.
having said this, it is the engine that ultimately matters. Lance would kick my ass and yours on an OCR3. one of the guys at the local collegiate races is on an OCR3. he doesn't exactly kick ass, but neither does he exactly get left behind.
Ride More, Become Better, the Bike Means Lessblownpupil
Jun 19, 2002 6:44 PM
I was in your situation, latindork.

Bought a Sora-equipped bike, with a really good Reynolds 853 frame for about $1K last year as a new rider.

Have since become addicted to riding...miles and miles piled on as my fitness got better. Suddenly, the bike (which always functioned flawlessly, by the way) "wasn't good enough" for me (the internet is a dangerous place to learn about the really cool bikes that are out there)

Hour after hour of looking at websites, learning about titanium, carbon fiber, etc. What "custom" bike am I gonna get (I can afford one, no problem)?

But you know what? I joined a club, became more interested in riding really well, and making friends, and less interested in the newest, hottest trickest bikes. The best riders I bike with ride good solid steel bikes, and a lot of these bikes are OLD, banged up, and probably heavy. It's the weaker riders I've found riding the works of art from the titanium fabricators.

I still lust for cool bikes, but I have so much fun on my Sora bike when I blast up hills past Dura Aced-Colnagos and Sevens!! It's not about the bike.
Bike upgradesMel Erickson
Jun 20, 2002 6:14 AM
make you feel good for a short time until you realize it hasn't made you any better, faster, stronger, etc. When the new feeling wears off you're left with ?. Blowing buy someone on a $3500 bike on your $750 boat anchor is a feeling that can't be described, and you can duplicate it regularly. It's the gift that keeps on giving.