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Upgrades...?(6 posts)

Upgrades...?UncleMoe
Jul 23, 2002 1:17 PM
I bought an entry level roadbike last year, a Bianchi Brava, for commuting to work and touring - mainly commuting but I did do a 600 mile tour last fall. The components aren't the greatest of course. The hubs are Sora and I'm wondering what a difference a new wheel set would make, and what some other decent upgrade options are. The bike was $700 so I don't want to spend $700 on a wheelset, but maybe have $500 I'd consider to put into a variety of upgrades.

Any advice, input is invited. Not looking for racing level, just much better overall performance and speed. Thanks.
wheels are a good place to startLone Gunman
Jul 23, 2002 1:39 PM
I'd then move on to the shifters and rear derailer. Putting Kool stop brake pads on your arches is also a cheap upgrade that alot of people overlook. Wheels and hubs? Mavic Cosmos or Shimano R540 are around $300 a set or get something built around 105 hubs.
little buggers tugging at your walletfiltersweep
Jul 23, 2002 2:25 PM
A variety of upgrades?

I'd optimize your dollar: if you even have an ounce of "bike envy" and are considering a new ride within a year or two, I'd dump all your money into a nice wheelset- then keep those wheels and put them on a new bike when you get one... most $2000-3000 bikes don't even have "great" wheels when purchased stock.

I'd also get a decent seat and pedals if you don't already have them- and keep them when you get a new bike.

Any other parts will "depreciate" by a far greater value by virtue of the fact that they are on an entry level bike... and if you are bike shopping, you won't want to worry about your new bike being compatible with your seatpost, stem etc...

...also a nice wheelset and tires can really improve overall speed.

I wouldn't mess with your component group- not that Sora is "top of the line"- but spending $500 for a 105 group? You could probably sell your bike and apply the $500 to a new bike with a better fork, headset, 105, etc... and come out ahead. You'd probably be luck to sell your bike for $700 next year after you upgraded it to 105.

My two cents....
little buggers tugging at your walletjtolleson
Jul 23, 2002 2:31 PM
Agreed. Generally I discourage any significant upgrading of entry level bikes, and wheelsets would be the one exception. After all, a good wheelset can be kept, and the old wheelset put back on the bike for sale (of course that requires buying a casette also but they are cheap).

I can't agree with the proposal above to "move on" to front and rear derailleurs. First, there will be compatibility issues on this Sora-equipped bike; second it will add nothing perceptible to performance and definitely nothing perceptible to resale value.

Ditto on the suggestion that $500 is best spent by combining it with the resale value of the Brava and buying a whole new bike. If you've acquired enough knowledge to shop used, $500 plus the resale price of your Brava would get you 105 or better groupo on an upgraded frame, probably.
Words of Advicejose_Tex_mex
Jul 23, 2002 4:07 PM
In case you have not already found the online bike stores here's a few. Shopping at the LBS will be much more expensive.
performancebike.com
bikenashbar.com
cambriabike.com
supergo.com
excelsports.com
branfordbike.com
coloradocyclist.com
jensonusa.com

You will save a lot of money by watching their sales. Decide how far you want to go and then check out the price on an Ultegra Build Kit from Jenson. Building piece by piece will be more expensive than buying nice kit at one time.
Don't be afraid to get performance to beat prices - I do all of the time.
Finally, check out SeanKelly.com and go to their bike store. Under wheelsets you will see the Shimano 535 set for $160, delivered - $190. This is the ABSOLUTE best set of rims you will ever get at this price. They are not light, they are not heavy, but they are tough and roll like there's no tomorrow. I have over 3K on one of my sets and it never needed to be trued.

Good Luck
In Summary....?UncleMoe
Jul 23, 2002 8:22 PM
So it ounds like all of you agree that upgrading the wheelset is the best way to increase performance, but if I do so, keep the wheelset for the next bike that I buy in a few years?