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  1. #1
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    parts group purchase for my Speedster S50

    hey guys... hoping for a little help. just got into road biking but i'm an avid MTBer. so, i got this '10 speedster S50 used for a great deal (was a trade) and i really enjoy road riding, but the parts that came stock on the bike are awful. it mis-shifts often, and feels clunky and unpredictable when shifting/braking... since i know road riding will (actually already has) become a new passion, i'd liek to give this bike a bit of an edge so i ma ystart riding in groups and not get left behind. from what i understand a missed shift can definitely leave you playing catch up.

    so i hear a lot about "Shimano 105" but i'm not really sure if this is just apopular choice because shimano is a well known manufacturer. there may be something maybe less known that';s a better bang for the buck so to speak. what do you guys suggest to use as a parts group when upgrading this bike?

    i was thinking about just selling it since i can get a good deal on a new CAAD8 with 105 parts ($999) but the reviews i read say the speedster frameset is worth upgrading... this is also debatable since it's a very entry level bike... opinions on this are welcome too!

  2. #2
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    no parts suggestions?

  3. #3
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    If your primary motivation to upgrade is sloppy shifting and poor braking, I suggest bringing your bike to a reputable LBS for adjustment/ tuning of the drivetrain along with a nominal investment in Kool Stop brake pads. Even Shimano's lower end groups perform/ function well when properly set up, so yours probably isn't.

    Also, upgrading to 105 will be fairly costly, basically net you 2 additional cogs, a level of refinement and easier shifting (when in the drops), but not necessarily better shifting, so it won't save you from getting dropped in a group ride - the motor (you) does that.

    As far as selling the S50 and buying the CAAD8, IMO as long as the Speedster fits well, it would be wise to invest some $$ in the tuning, keep it for a season or two, then consider upgrading to a 105 level bike. In the interim you'll build saddle time, become acclimated to road riding and (possibly) have a better idea of what you'd want/ need in that next bike.

  4. #4
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    parktool.com for great pictorial instructions for tuning.

    Non-competitive group rides shouldn't be dropping you when you miss a shift. If the bike's good enough that you can ride and pedal continuously for however long the ride is, it's good enough.

    Shoddy cables and housings can account for a lot of shifting problems misattributed to inexpensive components. So if cleaning up the drivetrain and taking your time on a tuneup aren't enough, try new housings for $20 before new shifters, derailleurs, etc. for $200+.

    It looks like the Speedster S50 frame is pretty much the same as their more up-model Speedster frames, so it's not likely to have any self-defeating secrets if you want to make it into more bike. It's generally not very efficient to try to raise the spec on an existing bike, but if you only have one or two choice upgrades in mind, that's another story.

    That said, I find the Sora/2300 shifters to be pretty awkward to use. So I'd be tempted to change them out, assuming I could afford it. You'd also need the matching cassette and chain.

  5. #5
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    thanks for all the good info!

    the one blistering problem i'm having now (which is either the result of a shoddy shifter or just an adjustment issue) is that the thumb shift for the front der. takes all my strength to downshift. i literally have to use both hands. as if it was stuck. i'll bring it by the LBS and get it all tuned up and get the saddle/bars/seatpost/etc. adjusted to my body...

    i do feel like the bike is maybe a millimeter too big (62cm... i'm 6'3" with about 33 inseam) but i guess for now it will suffice

  6. #6
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    Maybe it is stuck.

    You can sometimes gain some insight into the condition of the front derailleur by pulling the cable that operates it with your fingers. It takes some force, but not a ton, and should feel pretty smooth. Pull it away from your top tube, and see what you feel.

    If the derailleur's good and you're ready to sacrifice a shift cable on an experiment, cut or disconnect it and see if the shifter works when there's no load on the cable.

    None of this stuff is rocket science, but there are a lot of connected mechanisms on a bike. So often, figuring out what, exactly, is wrong is the hardest part and the actual fix is relatively simple.

  7. #7
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChubaDub View Post
    thanks for all the good info!

    the one blistering problem i'm having now (which is either the result of a shoddy shifter or just an adjustment issue) is that the thumb shift for the front der. takes all my strength to downshift. i literally have to use both hands. as if it was stuck. i'll bring it by the LBS and get it all tuned up and get the saddle/bars/seatpost/etc. adjusted to my body...

    i do feel like the bike is maybe a millimeter too big (62cm... i'm 6'3" with about 33 inseam) but i guess for now it will suffice
    If shifting with the brake/ shift lever doesn't require excessive force, but the thumb shifter does, it may indicate a problem within the shifter rather than along the cable path/ at the FD.

    That aside, while I agree that it's advantageous to learn how to wrench, I think in this instance your plan to bring the bike to your LBS is a good one. Ideally, they'll let you hang around, watch and learn how they narrow down, then diagnose the problem. It takes some time, but slowly, it'll all make sense.

    Regarding your height, inseam and frame size... FWIW and very generally speaking that frame is (at least) one size too large for you. In that model, I'd think a 60 (and possibly a 58) would better meet your sizing requirements.

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