What should I do with this bike?!
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  1. #1
    Human man
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    What should I do with this bike?!

    Just got what seems like a great deal on a Fuji Cross that I plan to use as a road/commuter/light trail bike. It's in great shape, was only $200 and has tons of upgraded (or at least aftermarket) parts:


    - Dura ace rear derailleur/cassette
    - FSA front derailleur/cassette (Gossamer?)
    - Mavic open pro wheelset w/ ultegra hubs
    - Terry falcon x saddle w/ carbon seatpost
    - Cat eye strada cadence computer
    - Look keo pedals
    - Shimano front brakes (not sure type)
    - TRP CX 8.4 linear pull rear brakes
    - Ritchey bars with new tape
    - Specialized stem
    - Some unbranded carbon headset and matching unbranded carbon forks


    It's kind of a Frankenbike! But beats the hell out of a stock Fuji Cross, especially for $200!!!


    Main questions, any changes, additions or tweaks you'd recommend?


    Should I get front brakes (shimano) matching rear brakes (TRP CX 8.4)....if so, which one to go with?


    Should I replace front FSA derailleur/cassette with dura ace to match rear? I'm kinda thinking only this one and leave the rest.


    Or should I just leave it entirely as is and not mess with it if it ain't broke? I'm kind of a n00b so any and all advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!


    LINK TO PICS IN SHARED GOOGLE FOLDER: https://photos.app.goo.gl/kf52XX6enhzTcrhp7
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  2. #2
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    Replace the front fork with one that will accommodate a V-brake like the rear. That way, you'll fit wider tires to match the rear, and consequently to match the type of riding you'll do.

    Leave the drivetrain alone. Take it apart and clean it, but don't start replacing parts. If you do, you'll find out other parts are worn, resulting is skipping chains, and more part replacements. You're trying to keep costs down. All the drivetrain parts wear together and will work fine if you KEEP them together. So just clean everything.

  3. #3
    tlg
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    What should I do with this bike?!
    Give it a through cleaning. It's filthy.

    That bike is REALLY neglected.

    Should I replace front FSA derailleur/cassette with dura ace to match rear?
    No. My guess is your chain is worn beyond it's limit. A new cassette will probably skip. You likely have to replace your chain, cassette, and maybe chainrings all together. Don't do anything until you know how worn your chain is.

    Should I get front brakes (shimano) matching rear brakes (TRP CX 8.4)....if so, which one to go with?
    New breaks would be beneficial. Especially on the front where all the breaking power is. Modern Ultegra or 105 brakes are pretty cheap and more powerful.


    But here's the thing... those rims are shot. Holy crap, look at the groove worn in the front rim! The strength of the rim is compromised. A pothole (or just riding along) could crack the brake track.
    The brake tracks are worn and loaded with pad residue. It must brake like crap. Even new breaks will brake like crap.





    This is what's likely to happen.



    My guess is your need:
    a) New wheels
    b) New brake pads (or new brakes)
    c) New chain & cassette
    d) Maybe new chainrings
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    Replace the front fork with one that will accommodate a V-brake like the rear. That way, you'll fit wider tires to match the rear, and consequently to match the type of riding you'll do.
    Also, who knows how the bike handles with what is probably just a random fork someone found a deal on.


    Keep in mind there is more to choosing a fork than what brakes it can use. Know how you want the bike to handle and consult someone who knows about that sort of stuff when selecting the fork.

    I can't see your pictures but can see the ones tlg reposted. Rather than jumping right to new wheels I would determine how the hubs are and just get new rims/spokes/nips if the hubs are in decent shape or can be brought back to decent shape.

    I'm guessing it's long overdue for new cables and housing but who knows.

  5. #5
    Human man
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    Hey fellas, thanks for the advice! This is exactly what I was looking for!

    So first thing, CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN! It looks like it was used as a CX bike!

    Second, get the chain checked out (can do that @ my LBS right? Any DIY method?)

    Third, consider new front forks. I'm not sure about this one. If I was doing more CX or trail riding maybe, but it'll mostly be road/commuting. I may get another set of wheels so I can have one dedicated to road.

    I'll check out the rims too. Seller said they had been recently replaced. But yeah, doesn't look like THAT recent. Hopefully tracks are still flat. Braking strength seems good.

    Will check cables too. Is there a standard test for this or if you don't know age, is it more by feel?

    Not sure why pics aren't showing for some folks. I don't see them in mobile actually, maybe you need to be on a desktop? If you click the Google photo share link you should see them all.

  6. #6
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
    Second, get the chain checked out (can do that @ my LBS right? Any DIY method?)
    It's pretty easy DIY
    If it's over 1/16 you need a new chain. If it's 3/16 - 1/8 you probably need a new cassette. If it's over 1/8 you probably need new everything.
    It's not clear in the video, but make sure the 1" mark is dead center on the chain rivet. You're measuring center to center.






    I'll check out the rims too. Seller said they had been recently replaced. But yeah, doesn't look like THAT recent. Hopefully tracks are still flat. Braking strength seems good.
    The seller lied to you.
    Those rims have a sh!t ton of wear on them. The tracks are NOT flat. They are destroyed. It's blatantly obvious from the pictures.
    There is no way the braking strength is good.



    Not sure why pics aren't showing for some folks.
    I can see them all in your google folder from my desktop.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
    Will check cables too. Is there a standard test for this or if you don't know age, is it more by feel?

    Not sure why pics aren't showing for some folks.
    Actually just replace the shifting cables. If you didn't need to do that, you're only out $8 or so. I'm assuming you have shimano shifters and yes you can look to see if they are beginning to fray and sucky shitfing is a symptom, but they can go from 'looking' fine to exploding pretty quick. So I'd just be cautious and replace any shifter cables with unknown wear on them.

    Pretty sure the fire wall with my work computer is the reason I can't see your pictures.

  8. #8
    Human man
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    Hey thanks again fellas!

    Checked chain, it's damn near dead on center at the 13" mark.

    Checked hubs, I really think they're fine. With a brand new luthiery ruler (admittedly not a proper straight edge, but close) there is very little daylight. Realistically I doubt brand new hubs will be any flatter than this, PICTURE HERE: https://photos.app.goo.gl/NEYghsXAPGaeYfbu6

    And thanks Jay! I will replace cables after a good ride or two to assess things. If shifting is perfect, honestly, I'll wait til my next tune up.

    Posted on bikeforums too. Nobody seems too concerned with that FSA front group, even though they get pretty bad reviews vs. shimano. I guess I'll just clean it up, ride it and take stock. If something doesn't seem right, perhaps a trip to the LBS is in order, otherwise I'll just enjoy it....and get some road wheels! ;)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
    What should I do with this bike?!
    Oh my, that sure is a loaded question.

    Seriously, those two rim pics look very different - one has a very worn brake track, the other looks like hardly any wear.

    FSA stuff isn't the greatest, but if it shifts OK, leave it alone. Not as good as Shimano, but if it aint broken, don't fix it.
    "If someone needs 200 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, they probably should have made a doctor's appointment way before the COVID-19 outbreak." -- Unknown

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  10. #10
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    Thing's I'd do...

    1. Get new fork, rake for this should be 45mm... example (probably more than you want to spend): https://us.ritcheylogic.com/us_en/wc...oss-canty-fork ... Per Peter P's comment, make sure the fork has posts for v-brake. Get a proper measurement / figure out how long you want the steerer tube to be and have it cut to size.

    2. Get a matching TRP 8.4 brake for the front, they seem to have good reputation and you've already got one on the back.

    3. I'd get a new headset, something doesn't look right in the pictures for your's but maybe it's fine... as to what you'd need you might need to take to a shop to find out.

    4. New wheels. Get something 11-speed compatible in case you ever upgrade the drivetrain/shifters, but it should work with your 10-speed setup.

    5. Cables and housing (as others have suggested)

    6. A different saddle?

    This is all assuming the chainrings and cogs are fine. If they were toast, rather than just dealing with that, I'd consider upgrading to 11-speed (along with the wheels) on the cheap by looking for a Shimano 105 11-speed used groupset on eBay or something. For the record, I rode Dura-Ace 7800 and Ultegra 6600 forever and they are still still one of my favorite generation groupsets... but you could find yourself on an 11-speed setup surprisingly cheap.

    In addition, if you could then clean up the DA-7800 / Ultegra 6600 parts you have, I may find they are sellable on eBay to recoup some cost.

    Looks like a fun project overall, good luck!
    Last edited by jetdog9; 4 Weeks Ago at 12:51 PM.

  11. #11
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    Nuke it from orbit... it's the only way to be sure.
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  12. #12
    Human man
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    Okay, I see a lot of people talking about 11 speed. What's the big benefit? Obviously other than one more gear and one more speed per front gear? I'm counting 9 gears on the one I currently have.

  13. #13
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
    Okay, I see a lot of people talking about 11 speed. What's the big benefit? Obviously other than one more gear and one more speed per front gear? I'm counting 9 gears on the one I currently have.
    Well if you have 9 sp then 11 is two more gears.

    The benefit is you get bigger gears and/or smaller jumps between them. Modern drive trains shift and function better. And parts are easier to find since it's the latest generation. If you break something 9sp, you're not likely to walk into a bike shop and get a replacement that's in stock.

    That said, if you like 9sp, there's nothing wrong with it. It works. 8sp worked. 7sp worked.
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  14. #14
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    Just ride the thing.

    People who care about having the latest groupsets and on-line reviews about cranksets shouldn't buy $200 Frankenbikes to begin with.

    It's not like the frame is anything special. It's fine though. The best update you can probably make, aside from things that are broken or are needed for safety, is to get some really good tires that suite the riding you want to do.
    Last edited by Jay Strongbow; 4 Weeks Ago at 03:52 AM.

  15. #15
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    11 speeds? ... well as we all know, these go to ....11. BlackSabbath! .... or was it AeroSmith? it still goes to ....11!
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  16. #16
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    11 speeds? ... well as we all know, these go to ....11. BlackSabbath! .... or was it AeroSmith? it still goes to ....11!
    Nooooo. Spinal Tap

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    If you break something 9sp, you're not likely to walk into a bike shop and get a replacement that's in stock.
    You can still find new/old stock 9 speed stuff on eBay as well as used stuff.
    "If someone needs 200 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, they probably should have made a doctor's appointment way before the COVID-19 outbreak." -- Unknown

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    bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."
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  18. #18
    Cooper1960
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    I wouldn't do anything but ride it around. You're a new rider on a $200 bike, if it rolls, shifts and stops that's all you need for now. Before dumping a bunch of money see if you enjoy riding a bike, and decide if you like the way the bike feels. If you love both then start repairing/replacing/upgrading.

  19. #19
    Human man
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    I appreciate all the input, but I think I'm going to go the route Jay and Cooper suggest. I'll get one wheelset with tires for road and fit the best trail tires I can on the current wheels given the limitation of the front forks and brake. If I want a matching brake, then I gotta mess with a fork, maybe headset + brake swap. If I want an 11 speed cassette (I don't really care about a few extra speeds) it's a new chain, derailleur, cassette, setup, etc....it's just not worth it.

    I may keep an eye out for a matching DA crankset + derailleur that'll drop right in and go....but in the mean time I'm gunna ride it as is and just look for some road wheels/tires with a 9 speed rear. $200 for this bike was a great deal. If I start putting a ton of time and $ and work into it, it kinda defeats the point!

    Thanks again everyone! Much appreciated!
    Last edited by jdurango; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:01 AM.

  20. #20
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    Bah, okay, I'm getting a little apprehensive about riding unknown no-name carbon forks. If I'm switching out the fork for safety reasons, I might as well get one with V-brakes up front too, then I can have a set of fat proper MTB wheels/tires for trails and skinny little road tires for road. Really digging the cross bike platform! Seems like the best of both road and MTB worlds with pretty small compromises in either....at least for the standard, non-pro/competitive rider.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
    Bah, okay, I'm getting a little apprehensive about riding unknown no-name carbon forks. If I'm switching out the fork for safety reasons, I might as well get one with V-brakes up front too, then I can have a set of fat proper MTB wheels/tires for trails and skinny little road tires for road. Really digging the cross bike platform! Seems like the best of both road and MTB worlds with pretty small compromises in either....at least for the standard, non-pro/competitive rider.
    IMO bikes that try to do everything do nothing particularly well. YMMV. Itís a $200 bike. I would worry about the brake track. Thatís it. Make it safe and ride it.
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    IMO bikes that try to do everything do nothing particularly well.
    See that's what I was thinking, until I ran across this video, which shows a CX/gravel bike competing very favorably against an MTB in off-road terrain.

    https://youtu.be/naSgdcZlcPE

    Of course in heavy mud and extremely rocky terrain the MTB was still better, but 1) I don't plan to ride any such terrain and 2) the CX bike still handled it reasonably well.

    And then we have the differences between a cross bike and a road bike, which are very minimal for the average rider. On top of that, I actually prefer the more upright posture due to back issues.

    I'm trying to downsize immensely and eventually live/travel in a van/trailer. I feel like a CX/gravel bike with two wheel/tire options may be the way to go!

    I'll give it a shot and see how how close it comes to my recently sold Cervelo Soloist Carbon DA on the road and my recently acquired S Works hardtail on the trail. If it's reasonably close to each with the appropriate tires, I'll probably sell the S Works and consolidate! I'll update this thread with results! Thanks again!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
    Bah, okay, I'm getting a little apprehensive about riding unknown no-name carbon forks.
    I would be apprehensive about a no-name carbon fork as well.
    "If someone needs 200 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, they probably should have made a doctor's appointment way before the COVID-19 outbreak." -- Unknown

    "With
    bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."
    -- DCGriz, RBR.




  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdurango View Post
    On top of that, I actually prefer the more upright posture due to back issues.

    I'm trying to downsize immensely and eventually live/travel in a van/trailer. I feel like a CX/gravel bike with two wheel/tire options may be the way to go!
    A CX and a gravel bike are two different things. If you prefer a more upright position because of back issues, a CX bike will be too low in front for you. A gravel bike is more upright.
    "If someone needs 200 rolls of toilet paper for a 14-day quarantine, they probably should have made a doctor's appointment way before the COVID-19 outbreak." -- Unknown

    "With
    bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."
    -- DCGriz, RBR.




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