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  1. #1
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    1st Road bike setup/upgrades

    Have lurked for quite awhile and have found the forum posts informative and enjoyable. Me early 30s 6'1" 200 33.5 inseam previously road mountain bikes current ride a dual sport hybrid for mostly neighborhood rides with kids in trailer or trail-a-bike. Had contemplated picking up a road bike to log some more miles etc. Hit the local bike shops and Craigslist after reviewing the forums, multiple Specialized dealers, Trek, Giant, REI, and a Performance bike in town. Ran my numbers through the competitive cyclist website and was mostly searching for a decent used alloy 58cm frame with 105 spec components. Sat on a few new ones but wasn't quite ready to plunk down the $1200-$1500 quite yet.

    Was out pulling the 4yr old on the trail-a-bike around the neighborhood garage sale this weekend and saw Specialized road bike a few blocks over. 56cm frame 2009 Allez Sport, 5600 105 Crank,F/R Der, Mavic cxp22 rims upgraded with 23mm gatorskins. He had the stem flipped 90mm +16deg. Rode well shifted well and couldn't turn it down for the price $50.... Fit doesn't appear to be bad.

    Here's where i'm at with questions
    Will probably order a longer stem 110 or 120mm to stretch the cockpit and probably decrease angle from +16 to 10 or so. Raised the seatpost and moved saddle back.
    Brakes are lackluster alloy dual pivots. Do i just slap some koolstopps in (unsure of size) or grab a set of 5600 or 5700 used 105 brakes for 40-50 off ebay, or get a new set of 5800 105's for $75 or so?
    Will be heading to the local bike coop to work on tuning it up will probably replace brake cables possibly shifter cables and check chain and degrease it.
    Pedals had a ugly set of alloy platform MTB pedals. Was planning on picking up a set of SPD shoes (MTB style) and some clipless pedals debating A-520's M-530's or possibly some Candy1's or the new Shimano ED500 dual side touring pedals.

    Have a Performance bike in town to grab some jerseys and bibs or shorts. Any Recs?

  2. #2
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    It's generally not a good idea to put a lot of money into a used bike like that. Especially if there is a chance it's not going to be a good fit (physically) in the long term.

    My suggestion would be, if it's in decent riding shape, just ride it like it is, and save your money for a new bike when you are ready.

    Performance Ultra shorts and bibs are decent quality for the price. I'm not a big fan of the new model years graphics, but I have a few older ones that still make the rotation once in a while.

  3. #3
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    A bunch of people here may crucify you for fit issues buying a 56 at your height but I agree it may be worth playing around with for $50. If it doesn't work out maybe you can actually turn a profit on it. Good luck!

    BTW for time being I wouldn't bother with the brakes. Not a bad idea to do the cables and housing, and check the handlebar for corrosion when you take off the bar tape. You can probably find a good deal on a stem. But I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't ride this long before you want to upgrade, and you were already planning a substantially bigger budget so save it for the next ride...
    Last edited by jetdog9; 06-11-2018 at 10:11 PM.

  4. #4
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    New cables/housing and properly adjusted indexing is money well spent.

    New brake pads are a very good and cheap idea to see if they improve braking. Wait until the new cables/housing are installed to see if braking improves. Then pads. Last resort new calipers if you think the braking is that bad.

    Regarding stem length and angle...no advise other than comfort is king. Try to resist any specific online advise. Everything will feel comfortable for the first hour. If your fit matches you're flexibility/body/ability then you should remain comfortable indefinitely. If fit doesn't match then the bike slowly becomes intolerable.

    No specific advise on short/bibs brand as they are so personnel. This, like shoes, are an area to not worry about money imo...You do want to size them tight enough that the chamois/pad doesn't move around but not too small that the pad is not covering areas designed to cover. You want more dense pad v. soft and squishy. Antimicrobial and breathable.

  5. #5
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    $50??!!! Was it stolen? Is the frame cracked? The components alone are worth at least $100.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    $50??!!! Was it stolen? Is the frame cracked? The components alone are worth at least $100.
    No, older gentleman in the neighborhood. I live in a decent subdivision. Community garage sale weekend, put it out just to clear garage space. A bit dusty with a bit of chain grime. He and his wife have nice matching high dollar Gunnar trekking bikes that they explore on.

  7. #7
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    I would focus on the issues that make the bike fit you better, and that's pretty much it. After you overcome those issues, and if it fits properly, then drop a few bucks here, and there as you see how the bike performs.

    I am 6'0", and ride a 58CM framed road bike, but for $50 I would have given that 56 a shot also.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilot321 View Post
    I would focus on the issues that make the bike fit you better.
    This. The first thing I would do is have your bike shop check your fit. The best money spent would be to have them put you and your bike on their trainer, watch you pedal and make adjustments to tweak your fit just right. This will increase your enjoyment of the bike more than anything else and may prevent repetitive use injury down the road.

    New cables and housings are a good idea too. Check tires and have the shop check your frame for cracks.

    Other than that, leave it alone and enjoy the ride.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  9. #9
    What the what???
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    Yeah, that was a helluva deal.

    As others have said, start with safety, then focus on fit. Once you’ve taken care of those you should still be right-side up on the deal. Ride it till the wheels fall off and save your money for the next step in your new-found addiction.


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    The Law of Headwinds states: If the ride out is easy... wait.

  10. #10
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    You've got relatively short legs for someone of your height, so a 56 cm frame might not be that bad of a fit height wise. You probably will need a longer stem -- 12 or 13 cm. Stems are cheap and easy to swap out.

    Clean and lube the chain and consider some new tires. If it shifts OK, I'd wait on the cables.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. Have a bit over 100 miles on it the last 2 weeks. Cleaned the drivetrain chain stretch just over 0.5%, swapped a 120mm stem in for the 90 all of $25, feels better along with saddle height and setback adjustment. Ordered new stainless cables/housings, bar tape, some koolstop pads and an ultegra chain for about $70 total from Jenson.
    Grabbed some elite bibs and shirts from performance and swapped the 500g each flat pedals for some a520 touring pedals. I'm enjoying it so far.
    Will swap the cables this weekend, shifts well, just read too many issues with getting broken cables out of 5600 brifters if they shred so I'll just be proactive.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by R00K View Post
    ........ just read too many issues with getting broken cables out of 5600 brifters if they shred so I'll just be proactive.
    Check early, check often.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by R00K View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions. Have a bit over 100 miles on it the last 2 weeks. Cleaned the drivetrain chain stretch just over 0.5%, swapped a 120mm stem in for the 90 all of $25, feels better along with saddle height and setback adjustment. Ordered new stainless cables/housings, bar tape, some koolstop pads and an ultegra chain for about $70 total from Jenson.
    Grabbed some elite bibs and shirts from performance and swapped the 500g each flat pedals for some a520 touring pedals. I'm enjoying it so far.
    Will swap the cables this weekend, shifts well, just read too many issues with getting broken cables out of 5600 brifters if they shred so I'll just be proactive.
    Congrats, enjoy it man! It sounds like a good deal. I second those that say keep investment to the minimum for the moment (at least until you know you plan to keep it for a while) and invest in a fit session when you can. A good fit session not only increases comfort, it can also help you avoid injuries.
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetdog9 View Post
    A bunch of people here may crucify you for fit issues buying a 56 at your height but I agree it may be worth playing around with for $50.
    A lot of people will crucify you for spending money on old alloy bikes... A lot but not all of those people are the "carbon is better" types. I don't see how spending the money on a nice stem, handlebars, seat or even a cassette to make your bike fit you as a rider is an over investment at all. These things can also transfer over to a new bike should you get more adventurous. Perhaps not a stem as frame geometry is not created equally, but everything else.

  15. #15
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    If that bike has been sitting in a garage a while, get some new tires on it, they are only good for about 4-5 years. And clean your brake tracks and existing pad faces or new pads, cleaning the wheels makes a big difference.
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  16. #16
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    Circling back to what's worth spending money on and what's not when you buy an "older" bike that's a couple generations behind in things like drivetrain...

    It sounds like you already have experience self-wrenching, especially with MTB background, etc. That said, even if you end up getting a newer road bike down the line that's already 11-speed, etc... it might be worth it to hang on to this bike and upgrade things like drivetrain and wheels if you keep your eyes open for good deals. There's no substitute for hands-on experience when it comes to wrenching, although YouTube videos make it a lot easier than it used to be. This is assuming you ended up liking the fit.

    Then, someday you've got your shiny new superbike, and the old one is good for bad weather / trainer / loaner / backup.

    Upgrading piece by piece can be needless and sometimes expensive, but it can also be fun. Back in the 90s when I got my first cromo rigid MTB, I tinkered with it all through college. I still have and ride it, the only stock components left besides the frame are the front derailleur and seatpost.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetdog9 View Post
    Circling back to what's worth spending money on and what's not when you buy an "older" bike that's a couple generations behind in things like drivetrain...

    It sounds like you already have experience self-wrenching, especially with MTB background, etc. That said, even if you end up getting a newer road bike down the line that's already 11-speed, etc... it might be worth it to hang on to this bike and upgrade things like drivetrain and wheels if you keep your eyes open for good deals. There's no substitute for hands-on experience when it comes to wrenching, although YouTube videos make it a lot easier than it used to be. This is assuming you ended up liking the fit.

    Then, someday you've got your shiny new superbike, and the old one is good for bad weather / trainer / loaner / backup.

    Upgrading piece by piece can be needless and sometimes expensive, but it can also be fun. Back in the 90s when I got my first cromo rigid MTB, I tinkered with it all through college. I still have and ride it, the only stock components left besides the frame are the front derailleur and seatpost.
    I dunno there's something I find strange about this post. If you can wrench a bike you can ride whatever it is you want and the truth is shiny new wheels absolutely don't make you any faster in a race unless you're off the front and then more aero wheels MAY make a difference if you're going fast enough... like at least 35km/hr - 20m/hr or going up a ridiculously steep hill. Riding at an average speed of 35km/hr without any training to maintain that tempo is absolutely difficult and you probably will never do it by yourself, and that's about category C pace. I've seen a lot of category A crit racers and the bike they're on does not make them faster. In fact in the city I live in there is one track the Conti pros come and hang out in the off season and almost none of them run deep section wheels.

    Upgrading a drive train is about having the right gears like a 53-39 11-28 setup so you have the right gearing to have enough speed in a sprint. You absolutely wont win a sprint on a compact groupset simply because you wont have the right gears. Not by yourself anyway... I can lead you out... and then let you win... but you wont ever win a race ending in a sprint with a compact groupset. What you do need is the right gears and on a relatively recent bike made within the last 11 years or so with the right gearing and a 10 speed groupset or better so you don't have large gaps between cogs this is one of the few things you actually need.

    You do not need a shiny new super bike... all you need is this... I'm not saying this because its my bike. I'm using it because its an example. A more aero super bike will not make you any faster at all in a group race. Stop kidding yourself, you're not a later day hero that's going to win the Tour De France or Vuelta or Giro... stop kidding yourself.

    People justify to themselves lots of stupid ways to spend money on bikes and bike parts they don't need rather than building a $1500 race bike with the parts they want. You can absolutely build a race winning bike for less than $2000. There are some WEIRD obsessions among roadies of justifying spending $10000+ on a super bike they will never learn how to ride properly and will fit out with super wide handlebars, a flipped stem that's too short and with too much positive angle to ever have a proper racing position and drops that are too shallow to ever be useful in a race. Then they wonder why they sell their super bike for one third the price in two years time because its "outdated" and because they never raced it

    Get a decent computer and a heart rate monitor then got on training peaks or something and learn how to train properly so you can ride above tempo without blowing up. Stop wasting money on shiny new bikes. I fell off the back of another rider while going up a hill today... by knowing something about not blowing up I was able over about 10km to get back on his wheel at my own pace and pass him. This is because I ride properly not because I need a shiny new bike. Someone else would have tried to hold the wheel, blown up and lost a race like that. I just stayed in the bottom of zone 4 slightly above tempo and waited until he cracked. Racing is about being smart, not shiny new bikes.

    Also... telling a newbie they will ever need a super bike when they haven't even worked out what type of rider they are yet is just plain dumb and bad advice. Its the type of advice I'd expect at a bicycle store for pigeons where the owner is only interested in how much money they can make such as this one. They're run through corporate money that was given to a family member from another company that made all of its money in travel agencies. It's not the type of advice I would expect on a forum for people wanting to get into riding road bikes.

    Hell if you want a really cool old weird road bike by a Klein and put modern parts on it...

    1st Road bike setup/upgrades-sam_5248ok.jpg
    Last edited by 1500SLR; 2 Days Ago at 05:54 AM.

  18. #18
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    Not sure why you quoted my post in yours, all I was saying is that wrenching can be fun, it's a good thing to learn, and it's fun to make your bike personal. Then I pointed out that a lot of people eventually upgrade bikes because that's simply what they do... and if the OP does that they should keep the old one.

  19. #19
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    I was just pointing out its almost unnecessary to upgrade your frame if you buy the right frame in the first place. I was sitting at a crit meet the other day and seeing people riding around on $10000 bikes or even $5000 bikes got me thinking about what we justify ourselves to have a "shiny new bike" when the one we have is perfectly functional and with the right parts on it we can build a bike that wont be UCI road legal anymore.

    It also got me thinking about a frame like that Klein from an American company that started this whole obsession with over sized tubing on modern road bikes in the first place.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1500SLR View Post
    It also got me thinking about a frame like that Klein from an American company that started this whole obsession with over sized tubing on modern road bikes in the first place.
    "Oversized" tubing became necessary when we went from steel to aluminum and then carbon.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



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