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  1. #1
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    Frame or Complete Bike?

    I told myself when I hit 10,000 miles (it wasn't in one year) on my current bike I would reward myself with a new one. My current bike is an '07 (purchased in '08) Giant TCR C1 and I still enjoy riding it just have the urge to shop for a new one.

    I have only set aside $2,000 but could stretch it up to $3,000. If I buy a complete bike I am not sure I would be getting anything "better" than my current one, it most likely would just be newer. Question is for $2,000 to $3,000 what kind of frame can I get? If I go the frame route I would just swap my parts, which is a mix of 6600 Ultegra/7800 Dura Ace with 7850 Dura Ace weels. Any ideas on which frames fall in that price range?

    My thought process is to get the best frame I can afford, my components although not new still function smoothly.

  2. #2
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    I think you should buy a new bike and keep the TCR as a back up bike. For that much money, I would even consider a SRAM Rival equipped bike. Have you looked at a Cannondale? A CAAD10 with Ultegra runs about $2,100 and it's a high end aluminum frame. Sure it's not carbon, but it's better than than the carbon bikes you'll find in that price range. I just can't see putting 4 year old components with 10,000+ miles on them on a new $2,000-3,000 frame no matter how great the group is. They do have wear on them. If you can go $3,000, you might be able to pull off an Ultegra 6700 equipped carbon bike. Personally, I would go with either the CAAD10 Ultegra or the Giant TCR Advanced with 105 5700. The 5700 is a great group and you already know that the Giant TCR is an excellent machine. With all of the advancements in frame technology over the last three years from nearly every manufacturer, this TCR won't be the same as yours. I like Shimano products, but SRAM is good too. Have you checked out any SRAM equipped bikes? You might find that you like SRAM more and for the money, you might get more.

  3. #3
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    I just picked up a 2011 Specialized Roubaix Expert for $3k and put some 7900 C24 wheels on it that I had. Completely loving it so far. Anyway, not saying you should get a Specialized but definitely look at some of the 2011 models that stores are trying to blow out.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by edscueth View Post
    I told myself when I hit 10,000 miles (it wasn't in one year) on my current bike I would reward myself with a new one. My current bike is an '07 (purchased in '08) Giant TCR C1 and I still enjoy riding it just have the urge to shop for a new one.

    I have only set aside $2,000 but could stretch it up to $3,000. If I buy a complete bike I am not sure I would be getting anything "better" than my current one, it most likely would just be newer. Question is for $2,000 to $3,000 what kind of frame can I get?
    Made in America titanium, carbon fiber (lugged), steel, or aluminum with optional custom geometry.

    Abnormal things are possible like clearance for fenders and long reach brakes on an otherwise racy frame

    Your options are more limited with titanium (NTP starts at $1800) and carbon (obviously lugged; Calfee starts at $2200 for stock geometry + $500 for custom).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
    Made in America titanium, carbon fiber (lugged), steel, or aluminum with optional custom geometry.

    Abnormal things are possible like clearance for fenders and long reach brakes on an otherwise racy frame

    Your options are more limited with titanium (NTP starts at $1800) and carbon (obviously lugged; Calfee starts at $2200 for stock geometry + $500 for custom).
    Great idea; wrong excecution, IMO. He's planning to put four year old components with 10,000 miles on them. The wheels I might understand but the drivetrain may need parts replaced sooner than later. I strongly believe in having a high quality frame that is upgradeable but at least when these discussions come up, it is on lower end components that are new. Something about older components with that many miles on them does't strike me as a wise move on a nice Calfee frame. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's just my opinion on it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by terbennett View Post
    Great idea; wrong excecution, IMO. He's planning to put four year old components with 10,000 miles on them. The wheels I might understand but the drivetrain may need parts replaced sooner than later. I strongly believe in having a high quality frame that is upgradeable but at least when these discussions come up, it is on lower end components that are new. Something about older components with that many miles on them does't strike me as a wise move on a nice Calfee frame.
    2-3 years use isn't a big deal except on high wear items which are relatively inexpensive and easily replaced (chains, cassettes, brake pads, some bottom brackets)

    Maybe I'm wrong, but it's just my opinion on it.
    I'm a Campagnolo guy so I might be projecting here but

    Brake/shift levers last indefinitely with periodic spring replacement

    Brakes last indefinitely with periodic pad replacement and return springs less often

    Front derailleurs last indefinitely

    Chain rings last through a few cassettes and by extension cranksets which are often not appreciably more expensive than a nice set of rings.

    Rear derailleurs last longer (I got fifteen years shifting like I have ADHD before I had too much slop).

    Headsets last a very long time.

    Chains wear out quickly, cassettes make it through a few chains, and bottom brackets can be close behind but they're all relatively inexpensive.

    Using an old-fashioned definition of gruppo posts last forever and hubs also last for a very long time but sometimes need new bearings and perhaps axles.

    If the same doesn't hold for Shimano/SRAM you'd want to buy a Campagnolo bike (Tsunami aluminum frames with custom geometry start at $750, which leaves room for a decent build) so you have a gruppo which lasts and go from there.
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 09-21-2011 at 09:27 AM.

  7. #7
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    Either a frame or wait and save up so you can make a step up. Saving up might be better because then you'd have two bike which is nice. Unless you want to get different geo I'd try to resist getting something that isn't a noticeable improvement over what you have.
    The fun of getting a new bike will wear off real quick if it's similar to your old one.

  8. #8
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    Interesting thoughts, but personally I don't view 10,000 miles on components as a lot. My wheels are DA 7850's with 2500 miles. The cranks and btm bracket are DA 7800's with 5000 miles. Shifts, brakes and fd are Ultegra 6600 with 10,000 miles and the rd is DA 7800 with 10,000 miles. I also have Pro Vibe seaport, stem and handle bars. I just can't see spending $3,000 on a complete bike as an upgrade. The components might be new but are today's 105's better then my 6600/7800 mix? I would say equal at best. Same with the frame I'd guess it be a low to mid level carbon, I can't imagine its that much better then what I have. To me its the frame that creates the ride, so that's why I got the idea to purchase just a frame. No need for a back up ride, I can only ride one at a time. Nor do I care what it looks like, its a bike not a piece of art.

  9. #9
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    You're correct in believing 10,000 miles isn't a lot. Many people here have a few hundred thousand miles on the majority of the drivetrain. What is your riding style? The TCR is Giant's racier design, whereas a bike like their Defy or a Specialized Roubaix is more of a distance design. If you're happy with the geometry and ride quality, why spend the money at all? In the last few years, there's only been very minor changes in frame design, aside from looks.
    My carbon footprint has cleats

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    A Lynskey R230 would be my first choice.

    Depending on the options you could probably get a Waterford if you're into steel.

  11. #11
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    For $2k you can prob find yourself another nice Giant. How old is your current bike? Technology has come down and 105 stuff of today is quite nicer than the stuff of only 5 years ago, as is Ultegra.

    Personally if you like your frame i would just buy a new group and some wheels for it...maybe even a snazzy new paint job and then have money left for some other stuff.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by edscueth View Post
    My thought process is to get the best frame I can afford, my components although not new still function smoothly.
    In your situation, I'd go buy a new frame. I'd start looking in Specialized dealers for a deal on a 2011 Tarmac S-Works frame-set. The 2012 models are hitting the stores now, and you should be able to get the 2011 model for close to your $2000 budget (if you can find one). You'll be getting a top-of-the-line TdF winning frame. In fact the 2011 frame is better for you than the 2012 one because the 2012 has gone OSBB and internal cable routing. Your components and wheels should have many years and miles left in them. If you don't like the Tarmac, try the Roubaix equivalent, or go shopping for another brand of frame.
    Old La Honda in less than 20 minutes! Or you can watch race video from the low-key hill climb on Welch Creek. More at www.biketelemetry.com.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by terbennett View Post
    Great idea; wrong excecution, IMO. He's planning to put four year old components with 10,000 miles on them. The wheels I might understand but the drivetrain may need parts replaced sooner than later. I strongly believe in having a high quality frame that is upgradeable but at least when these discussions come up, it is on lower end components that are new. Something about older components with that many miles on them does't strike me as a wise move on a nice Calfee frame. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's just my opinion on it.
    3 years and 10000 miles is nothing. You are a snob.

    I have several road bikes, one with a brand new drivetrain and one with a 12 year old mixed campagnolo record/chorus group with around 40k mile. It works just as good as the new one with a new cassette & chain. The only wear is cosmetic, scratchs from rubbing the levers against a wall + and the hoods could be replaced. I wouldn't put it on a new frame but that's just because it is 9sp only.

    It has more to do with pride than functionnality.

  14. #14
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    Having never bought a complete bike in my life, I say buy the frame. Check out Blue Competition Cycles, I love my Blue. The Axino frame is $2100.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by edscueth View Post
    I told myself when I hit 10,000 miles (it wasn't in one year) on my current bike I would reward myself with a new one. My current bike is an '07 (purchased in '08) Giant TCR C1 and I still enjoy riding it just have the urge to shop for a new one.

    I have only set aside $2,000 but could stretch it up to $3,000. If I buy a complete bike I am not sure I would be getting anything "better" than my current one, it most likely would just be newer. Question is for $2,000 to $3,000 what kind of frame can I get? If I go the frame route I would just swap my parts, which is a mix of 6600 Ultegra/7800 Dura Ace with 7850 Dura Ace weels. Any ideas on which frames fall in that price range?

    My thought process is to get the best frame I can afford, my components although not new still function smoothly.
    In your case you are satisfied with your current bike. I would keep this one as it is and not do any swap but buy something completely different, like a titanium frame with sram components. That way you will be able to choose between different flavours while keeping a backup bike in case of a failure. You can equip one with gears more suited to hills and one for the flats.

    Why not this lynskey R230, it looks like a great deal :
    R230 Complete - Lynskey Performance | Titanium Bicycles

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by T0mi View Post
    In your case you are satisfied with your current bike. I would keep this one as it is and not do any swap but buy something completely different, like a titanium frame with sram components. That way you will be able to choose between different flavours while keeping a backup bike in case of a failure. You can equip one with gears more suited to hills and one for the flats.

    Why not this lynskey R230, it looks like a great deal :
    R230 Complete - Lynskey Performance | Titanium Bicycles
    That's a pretty good deal. I personally like having more than one bike. Titanium will have a different ride than your Giant. Keep them both and mix it up. Plus, its nice to have a beater/travel bike that you don't worry about or baby. Being the long time owner of a titanium bike, I'd definitely encourage you to think about one. A Specialized frame? Please, don't be a member of the herd when you could get something a little more interesting.

  17. #17
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    A Time NXR frame.....

    Time Road Bike Frames

  18. #18
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    I'm of the "buy the frame, then build it up with whatever you like" mindset.

    I recently purchased a nearly mind condition Colnago CT-1 Lux Titanio for $800. I'm debating between Campy or Shimano for the build. I want to go Campy just because of the whole Italian thing, but all my wheelsets are Shimano compatible.

    In any case, by using a few components I aready have, including bar and stem, I'm fairly certain I can get a this thing on the road for slightly more than $2K.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by old'n'slow View Post
    I'm of the "buy the frame, then build it up with whatever you like" mindset.

    I recently purchased a nearly mind condition Colnago CT-1 Lux Titanio for $800. I'm debating between Campy or Shimano for the build. I want to go Campy just because of the whole Italian thing, but all my wheelsets are Shimano compatible.

    In any case, by using a few components I aready have, including bar and stem, I'm fairly certain I can get a this thing on the road for slightly more than $2K.
    I know a few guys, including a bike shop owner, who are using shimano wheels/cassette with a 10sp campagnolo group. The bike shop owner is the local master champion. They only had to tweak a little the setup with the barrel adjuster. Shift perfectly, no noise.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by T0mi View Post
    I know a few guys, including a bike shop owner, who are using shimano wheels/cassette with a 10sp campagnolo group. The bike shop owner is the local master champion. They only had to tweak a little the setup with the barrel adjuster. Shift perfectly, no noise.
    SWEET! That's good to know. Kinda makes my decision easier. Campy - here I come....

  21. #21
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    Sweet deals on BMCs at Competitive Cyclist now!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyletrois View Post
    Sweet deals on BMCs at Competitive Cyclist now!
    Yep, heck of a deal on some very, very nice bikes.
    My carbon footprint has cleats

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by edscueth
    I told myself when I hit 10,000 miles (it wasn't in one year) on my current bike I would reward myself with a new one. My current bike is an '07 (purchased in '08) Giant TCR C1 and I still enjoy riding it just have the urge to shop for a new one.

    I have only set aside $2,000 but could stretch it up to $3,000. If I buy a complete bike I am not sure I would be getting anything "better" than my current one, it most likely would just be newer. Question is for $2,000 to $3,000 what kind of frame can I get? If I go the frame route I would just swap my parts, which is a mix of 6600 Ultegra/7800 Dura Ace with 7850 Dura Ace weels. Any ideas on which frames fall in that price range?

    My thought process is to get the best frame I can afford, my components although not new still function smoothly.
    Definitely go frame. With the season drawing to a close, everbody will be discounting their 2011 inventory. Ridley,Look, BMC, Merckx, Time, Willier, not to mention the smaller builders like Calfee, Lynskey, Independent Fab. There are just too many good frames out there to settle on a pre-built bike or a frame from one of the major 3 (Cannondale, Specialized or Trek). At the price range you are looking at, you can get something that suits your riding style exactly. Just takes patience and some looking around.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by edscueth View Post
    I told myself when I hit 10,000 miles (it wasn't in one year) on my current bike I would reward myself with a new one. My current bike is an '07 (purchased in '08) Giant TCR C1 and I still enjoy riding it just have the urge to shop for a new one.

    I have only set aside $2,000 but could stretch it up to $3,000. If I buy a complete bike I am not sure I would be getting anything "better" than my current one, it most likely would just be newer. Question is for $2,000 to $3,000 what kind of frame can I get? If I go the frame route I would just swap my parts, which is a mix of 6600 Ultegra/7800 Dura Ace with 7850 Dura Ace weels. Any ideas on which frames fall in that price range?

    My thought process is to get the best frame I can afford, my components although not new still function smoothly.
    How would you want the ride of your new frame/bike to be different from your current one? What would make it better? Or, do you want something with a ride very much like what you have now, only newer? Important to answer those questions before deciding on a new bike or frame, and with that info folks could give more specific recommendations.

  25. #25
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    Campy

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
    2-3 years use isn't a big deal except on high wear items which are relatively inexpensive and easily replaced (chains, cassettes, brake pads, some bottom brackets)



    I'm a Campagnolo guy so I might be projecting here but

    Brake/shift levers last indefinitely with periodic spring replacement

    Brakes last indefinitely with periodic pad replacement and return springs less often

    Front derailleurs last indefinitely

    Chain rings last through a few cassettes and by extension cranksets which are often not appreciably more expensive than a nice set of rings.

    Rear derailleurs last longer (I got fifteen years shifting like I have ADHD before I had too much slop).

    Headsets last a very long time.

    Chains wear out quickly, cassettes make it through a few chains, and bottom brackets can be close behind but they're all relatively inexpensive.

    Using an old-fashioned definition of gruppo posts last forever and hubs also last for a very long time but sometimes need new bearings and perhaps axles.

    If the same doesn't hold for Shimano/SRAM you'd want to buy a Campagnolo bike (Tsunami aluminum frames with custom geometry start at $750, which leaves room for a decent build) so you have a gruppo which lasts and go from there.
    I have ran my Campy Chorus since 1997, replaced the cranks this year, derailer pulleys this year, brake pads last year. Went through one bottom bracket, a few chains and cassettes. It has been on my first bike for 2 years and then on my custom Land Shark since Jan 1999. I weigh 250lbs so I am hard on equipment but it held up very well (as did the Landshark frame)


    I have a new Moots Ti on order, so I just picked up a complete 2011 Chorus Group from Planet Cyclery on EBay, I paid $1249.00 including shipping, cassette lockring and bottom bracket...It pays to shop. They had great deals on 2012 Shimano Ultegra Groups as well, $899.00 free shipping. Great customer service and fast shipping. The original buy it now price was $1289.00 but I made them a lower offer and $1249.00 is what I ended up paying.

    Good Luck...

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