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Component upgrade priority(15 posts)

Component upgrade prioritykinger
Oct 24, 2002 4:24 PM
Ok, I splurged on a new Giant TCR composite with mostly Ultegra components. I want to slowly replace the Ultegra stuff with Dura-Ace/lighter/better components. Question is, what should the priority be? Where will I get the most bang for my buck in relation to weight and performance?
Wheels - nmChunky
Oct 24, 2002 4:36 PM
re: Component upgrade priority - WHEELS & TIRESroadcyclist
Oct 24, 2002 4:38 PM
IMHO lighter wheels & tires are first on the list. Second would be crankset, bottom bracket, and pedals (again, all relate to rotating weight). Third, shifting, and finally brakset. Lastly would be bars, stem, seatpost.
shoes, pedals, tiresgtx
Oct 24, 2002 5:55 PM
Ultegra is plenty good--you'll spend a ton to shave a small amount of weight. I'd save your money and replace stuff as it wears out. Top quality shoes and pedals, along with tires will make an immediate and noticeable difference.
Oct 24, 2002 6:59 PM
forget upgrading to DA. there's no perceptible difference save for the shifters (DA shifters are ungodly smooth and have a shorter throw). upgrade only as parts wear out (which should be quite a while). switching to light tires/tubes during a race are probably the single most cost-effective upgrade one can make. I agree with the shoes/pedals bit - comfortable shoes are a must, ditto for pedals. next thing you should look at are the wheels; admittedly this is a big-ticket upgrade. iirc, your model of TCR composite comes with R540 wheels. these would make good training wheels. if you like you can get a deep-section carbon wheelset for races only. if you'd like something you can race and train on, or don't want the hassle of tubulars (most CF wheels are tubulars, although Zipp, Hed and others make clincher wheels), you might consider one of Am Classic's wheelsets (but there are many other good ones). another cost-effective place to drop weight is the saddle, but this is limited by your personal preference. the SLR I use is very comfortable for me, but it took a while to get used to (it wasn't so bad at first, but it wasn't great). no one else I know is willing to try it.
there are many ways to upgrade your bike. you could get titanium or carbon bottle cages and save 40 grams (a set) over a pair of good steel ones. you could spend a hundred and fifty dollars on titanium bolt kits. you could get lightweight brakes for another hundred and fifty dollars. you could get a magnesium stem, carbon bars, a sub-300g fork, cableswith aluminum housing, stuff like that. but I just listed the more cost-effective upgrades.
Re: wheelskinger
Oct 24, 2002 7:12 PM
I got the Shimano R540 wheels with it for training purposes and will be picking up a lighter set for racing this winter sometime (should of mentioned that). My thought was to upgrade the cranks and BB next and keep an eye open for a good deal on closeout 2002 Dura-Ace shifters. The other drivetrain items (brakes and derailleurs) make good Xmas items so I may pick those up as gifts. Should I be considering something other than Dura-Ace?
Also ...kinger
Oct 24, 2002 7:14 PM
The Ultegra parts I take off of this bike will be used to build up a 2001 TCR frame that I'll be using for crits and bad weather riding so no real 'waste'.
Also ...gtx
Oct 24, 2002 7:24 PM
the two things I really like from the DA group are the cranks--light and stiff w/durable c-rings, lower q-factor, plus they are cool looking--and the hubs, which are lighter and more durable. The Ultegra bb is heavier but easier to deal with and probably more durable and the Ultegra brake calipers from what I hear aren't as flexy as the DA. Der/shifter upgrades always seem a bit silly to me--unless you're really have shifting problems or stuff is worn out. For racing check out Carnac shoes with Time pedals--a super solid combo. If you look closely at pro team bikes in the peleton I think you'll still see a lot of Ultegra out there. The stuff works.
Re: wheelspmf1
Oct 25, 2002 4:43 AM
A warning about the DA BB -- its a lot of fooling around. On two occasions, I have chucked them and replaced them with Ultegra BB. They're not worth the trouble.

There will be no close-out on 2002 DA shifters because there is no change in design.

For the money you're blowing, you should have gotten a better bike to start with. In the end, you'll have a tricked out Giant that cost the same and is heavier than my C-40.
Wheels 1st, then shifters.look271
Oct 24, 2002 6:29 PM
You'll notice the biggest differance in a good set of wheels.
re: Component upgrade prioritypmf1
Oct 25, 2002 4:38 AM
You'd be foolish to replace your Ultegra components with DA. The weight gains would be small in relation to the expense. DA functions a little better, but not significantly. There is nothing wrong with Ultegra. If you want a DA bike, buy one in the first place. Buying an Ultegra bike and then upgrading all the parts means you are buying two groups for one bike. If you wear out the Ultegra parts, amybe, but you'll probably be lusting after a new bike long before that happens.

A far better way to blow your money is on an extra set of wheels. Everyone needs extra wheels. Check out speed dream wheels. I bought a set of aerolights last year. $520 for a set of wheels that weigh 1435 grams (including skewers). They're nice. You could look around for Ksyriums -- they're out there at discounted prices if you look. Truly a bomb proof wheel. You could buy some fancy hubs and rims and have them built by either your LBS or Colorado Cyclist/Excel.

As far as replacing stuff on the bike, ride it for a while. You may find you want a slightly longer stem, or new saddle. At that point, get the fancy option.
re: Component upgrade prioritykinger
Oct 25, 2002 5:20 AM
See my comment above. I am building out another frame as well so I figured I would upgrade my main ride at the same time and use the Ultegra stuff on the other frame. It's not going to happen over night. I'll be lucky to have both bikes in working order come spring.

Wheels are definitely a priority but the ones I have are fine for training and I won't be doing any road racing until next year. Thanks for the tip on the aerolights. I'll check them out.
re: Component upgrade priorityFrith
Oct 25, 2002 6:54 AM
If weight is your concern, I posted a message a little while back entitled i am a geek. I used a spreadsheet to determine whether or not certain upgrades were worth the money. On a dollar per gram scale the BB came out the big winner. As some people have mentioned though it's not a quality upgrade. Another big one was comparing upgrading Cosmos (which come stock on your giant) to either american classic or ksyriums. The AC's came out as a really good weight saver for the money. It will also improve your ride, and in my opinion the looks of the bike. I say this because i plan on buying the same bike and upgrading the cosmos to AC's.
Do a search for spreasheet and geek. also if there's anything specifically you want me to calculate just let me know.
TCR Compositeandy437
Oct 27, 2002 2:22 PM
Hey there
Im a young rider who really likes Giant and despise those who comment on the fact its Asian. Im planning in 2004 to buy a new bike, most likely being the TCR Composite ONCE frame set with the TCR1 stem, bar etc but use Campy Centaur instead of Shimano Ultegra and also Campy Protons instead of the stock (in NZ/Australia) Shimano R-540 wheelset. And also im planning to have Campy Centaur pedals instead of Record and hopefully get 2 pairs of pedals for the price of 1 Record (they are VERY expensive in NZ) for my old bike or my sis's bike which I'll train on (Giant Peleton 8400 1999).
My old bike just happens to be a 2001 TCR2 and is completely stock and I love the ride. I would just like to hear if this is a good setup (the composite frame etc).
I would also be hoping to keep the frame for future upgrades to Record for when I get older.
Thanks a lot
TCR Compositelighter
Aug 29, 2003 8:05 AM
The TCR Advanced

New innovations allow Giant to build world's lightest composite frame: The TCR Advanced weighing just 830 gram
[Friedrichshafen 28-August, 2003] Building on almost twenty years of experience in making composite components and frames, Giant Inc today unveiled their latest addition to the TCR range of award winning bicycles. In preparation of the 2004 road-racing season, the all-composite TCR Advanced bike will weigh less than 830 grams in the size medium, which makes it the lightest frame in the world. It is expected that the total weight of frame plus fork will be less than 1170 grams. Equally important is that this is achieved without loosing any of the stiffness and durability for which the TCR range of composite road bikes is renowned.

This engineering breakthrough was possible through a variety of design and manufacturing innovations. First there is the use of a different kind of fiber and resin. The TCR-Advanced uses a custom made special aerospace grade High strength High Modulus fiber, called ‘Fibrium'. Most often this fiber deployed in aerospace designs. Also new is a special nano resin for better lamination strength that allows a higher level of stiffness. Like all Giant composite materials, fiber and resin are mixed and woven in Giant's propriety in-house developed composite machine that produces the composite mats.

Besides the new material, Giant engineers used Finite Element Analysis (FEA), Dynamic Vibration Analysis and strength testing to optimize the design. This allowed them to increase both the strength and rigidity of the frame whilst using less material. In parallel they developed a new special molding procedure, called "Dynamic Adaptive Tubing' Technology which produces a continuous different shape and size of the tubes. This Special molding technology enables the most efficient layering and shape of the bracket, head and seat tubes by minimizing overlapping material to further reduce the weight whilst maintaining stiffness. For the bottom bracket, drop out's and head parts 7075 Aerospace Aluminium material is being used for enhanced strength and reduced weight.

The TCR Advanced will be used next year by one of the main professional teams who will be competing on it during their 2004 road race season. The TCR Advanced will be in addition to the current 2004 TCR range of bicycles and shares the same sizing and Compact Road technology with the visually eye-catching sloping top tube which allows a lighter, stiffer design whilst lowering the centre of gravity allowing a more stable ride. Making the TCR the ultimate bike for both the steepest climbs and fastest descents.

TCR Advanced: facts at a glance

Light weight (830gram) M size, yet very stiff and responsive. Frame together with front fork is expected to weigh less than 1160 gram.

Expected availability as a frame set early spring 2004 through the normal specialized Giant dealers.

Input from Finite Element Analysis (FEA), Dynamic Vibration examination and strength testing allowed for an optimum design approach in reaching the objectives of lower weight whilst increasing both strength and rigidity of the frame. In line with Giant's company objective of creating a better overall cycling experience.

High strength, High Modulus Aerospace grade composite fiber called ‘Fibrium' is used for better strength and rigidity.

A new, Nano resin is being used with the fiber to achieve a higher lamination strength to weight ratio.

New Resin and fiber are being mated and woven on Giant's own in-house developed composite machine using propriety technology.

Giant's propriety Dynamic Adaptive Tubing Technology (DAT) a special molding process, allows very efficient fiber distribution enabling the reduction of overlapping material at cross sections such as head and seat tube.

7075 Aerospace Aluminium is being used for the aluminum parts (bottom bracket, drop outs and Head set parts) for bett