Upgrade options?
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  1. #1
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    Upgrade options?

    So Covid-19 has allowed me to put a pretty big increase in my riding mileage since I don't spend my weekends at our kids games, and I'm starting to wonder about potential upgrades to a 15 year old Trek aluminum/carbon frame with a Shimano 105 groupset triple crank. It's been a good bike that's been well maintained and honestly don't have any glaring issues, but at the end of the day it's 15 years old and the gear landscape has changed a lot. In a perfect world I'd love to just upgrade to a new bike, buy something that's carbon with a newer 105 drivetrain and be done. However $2k-$3k for that isn't really an option right now.

    The different areas I've though about pursuing are:

    Wheels - I've heard that a new wheel set gives you the biggest bang for your buck in terms of upgrade $$$ spending, but is there a point that you can actually put on wheels that are "too" nice? I've also thought that getting a good pair of wheels on this bike could also serve as an instant upgrade to a newer bike if/when that ever comes along.

    Groupset - the older 105 triple isn't that bad but it's also 15 years old and just seems a bit outdated. I've started to do some of my own maintenance and thought this would be a good project to learn on in the off season, but it's also a bit of a rabbit hole having to swap out the cassette, cranks, bottom bracket, FD, RD, shifters, and possibly the rear wheel (not sure if it's a 9spd free hub body or if it's a wider one that uses spacers).

    Are there any other areas that might be worth looking into?
    Last edited by Jayhawk; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:49 AM.

  2. #2
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    IMO, if you really need a triple, your going to want to hold out for a new bike with hydraulic brakes. IMO, to put $$$ into that bike would be a mistake.
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  3. #3
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    Better tires, if you don't already have good ones, and items that help comfort or improve fit are really the only things that offer any real improvement over anything functioning well already.

  4. #4
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    Tires first and a new group set next, Shimano 6800 min. Consider a sub compact crankset with ovals, absolute black. I put absolute black ovals 48/32 on my 6800 and love the change.. Nice gears for the hills and more than enough top end for an old codger. You may soon forget the triple if you couple it with an 11/32 cassette. The newer Shimano brake sets are a generational improvement over the old stuff.. Good luck and please let us know what changes you make

  5. #5
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    Be aware that new group will also have to mean new rear wheel.

  6. #6
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by n2deep View Post
    Tires first and a new group set next, Shimano 6800 min.
    Except there's a good chance his 15yro bikes doesn't have 11sp compatible wheels.
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    Yea, it gets serious fast. You rid'in around lawrence?
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  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone! No I'm not riding around Lawrence....the "Jayhawk" things is a nickname, no affiliation with KU...I'm in the Chicago NW 'burbs.

    I honestly haven't thought about tires 'cause I've always ridden the Continental Gatorskins for durability since I used to commute on the bike....but the more I think about it the roads I tend to ride on now aren't really that bad as far as debris....might be worth looking into something a little nicer in that category. Which direction would you guys go in the 23-25mm area? Maybe Conti GP 5000?

    The triple vs. compact double thing is a tough one because I think I'm a strong enough rider to not "need" a triple (rarely use the granny gear) but I realize it's probably more trouble than it's worth to try and switch it out myself, not to mention the cost. Although I do kinda like the idea of sourcing out slightly older (5800) versions of 105 components and seeing if that could be a more cost effective way to upgrade over the off-season.

    Someone mentioned needing a new rear wheel...about 2 years ago my LBS replaced my rear wheel because the stock wheel had a small crack in the rim....so they might have replaced it with a 9/10/11sp compatible wheel that uses spacers on the hub for the 9sp cassette. I've honestly never really looked that closely. Ironically, the wheels are something that are sort of visually annoying to me because I still have the stock Bontrager paired spoke wheel on the front, with a newer traditionally laced wheel from Origin8. I realize it's not performance or comfort related but just having two wheels that match makes some sense to me

  9. #9
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    Gatorskins suck. They ride like solid plastic wheels and although durable they flat as often as any tire. I loved the GP4000s and just put on GP 5000s, although not as durable they ride great and hold up well, we have a ton of glass/trash on our roads also.. Have fun

  10. #10
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    On a reasonable budget, you may be able to find a decent 11-speed wheelset and a used 5800, 6800, or even R7000 or R8000 groupset including cranks on FB Marketplace or eBay. The benefit of it all besides "modernizing" is learning how to do a bike build and not having to depend on the shop as much.

    Upgrading an older bike from 6600 to 6800 was one of the more fun bike experiences I've had off the bike.

  11. #11
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    If you step back and look at the changes from a dollar stand point, you may be better off buying a nice used bike that is more up to date and selling yours. Bikes in the price range I'm guessing for the description of yours sell really fast and for good money these days and bikes that are in the price range of a little over $1000 range around you might have the groupset and wheels / tires you want. Just something to consider, although I like the idea of learning your way into a groupset replacement - you can get lots of advice here on that work and choices.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetdog9 View Post
    On a reasonable budget, you may be able to find a decent 11-speed wheelset and a used 5800, 6800, or even R7000 or R8000 groupset including cranks on FB Marketplace or eBay. The benefit of it all besides "modernizing" is learning how to do a bike build and not having to depend on the shop as much.

    Upgrading an older bike from 6600 to 6800 was one of the more fun bike experiences I've had off the bike.
    I'm starting to lean in this direction a little more after doing some chasing on the web....it looks like I can do a 105 R7000 set of components new for around $500, and then have a project to work on through the winter. I could also add a Shimano WH-RS500 wheel set for under $400 so for less than $1k minus the intrinsic value of adding some new skills to my tool belt I'd have a pretty nice ride at a pretty good overall value point.

    I have thought about slightly used bikes as an option. I'm just a little nervous about fit and sizing especially if looking at anything other than a Trek Domane (my current ride is a Trek Pilot which was the pre-cursor to the Domane), but maybe I just haven't done enough research.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawk View Post
    I'm starting to lean in this direction a little more after doing some chasing on the web....it looks like I can do a 105 R7000 set of components new for around $500, and then have a project to work on through the winter. I could also add a Shimano WH-RS500 wheel set for under $400 so for less than $1k minus the intrinsic value of adding some new skills to my tool belt I'd have a pretty nice ride at a pretty good overall value point.

    I have thought about slightly used bikes as an option. I'm just a little nervous about fit and sizing especially if looking at anything other than a Trek Domane (my current ride is a Trek Pilot which was the pre-cursor to the Domane), but maybe I just haven't done enough research.
    Why? Look at 'stack' & 'reach'...couldn't be much easier.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawk View Post
    I'm starting to lean in this direction a little more after doing some chasing on the web....it looks like I can do a 105 R7000 set of components new for around $500, and then have a project to work on through the winter. I could also add a Shimano WH-RS500 wheel set for under $400 so for less than $1k minus the intrinsic value of adding some new skills to my tool belt I'd have a pretty nice ride at a pretty good overall value point.

    I have thought about slightly used bikes as an option. I'm just a little nervous about fit and sizing especially if looking at anything other than a Trek Domane (my current ride is a Trek Pilot which was the pre-cursor to the Domane), but maybe I just haven't done enough research.

    What you'd have is one extra cog. The bike won't perform any better (assuming your current stuff is still in working order)

    You say you have all this time on your hands to ride because of the virus. Don't you think that's going to go away? I would look at it this way......if you don't end up riding a ton in the future this will be a total waste. And if you do end up riding a lot in the future your old stuff will eventually break or wear out and you'll get your new stuff eventually anyway.

  15. #15
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    I think the chances of the virus going away are pretty slim.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    I think the chances of the virus going away are pretty slim.
    Well what I said was regarding his extra time going away. If you think his kids will never have games and activities again that is fine but opinions on the virus itself are pretty far out of context here.

  17. #17
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    Upgrade vs new / new-used bike can be six one way and half-a-dozen the other... it's true you should be able to find an excellent used bike for a good price if you keep your eyes open. Beyond that, you can even often find new bikes with 105 or Ultegra excellently priced during sales when shops need to blow out prior year models (and often the biggest difference between years is paint job). With COVID-19 and supply issues, this might not be the best year to find a new bike but you can always keep your eyes open.

    On the other hand, upgrading an old bike is a journey or experience that really can be a lot of fun. You can do it for less than the price of a new bike, but that doesn't mean you're really getting more value from a monetary sense. And after a bunch of new tools, a few purchase mistakes, and maybe wanting a new bike in the end anyway, you might end up spending MORE. More likely than not, I bet you'll find the experience to be fun and educational. There are still certain things I take the bike to the shop for, and every once in a while I like to have a good tune-up done. But when you become self-reliant on mechanic work, and on top of that end up being the "mechanic" for a bunch of your friends, it's rewarding.

  18. #18
    Matnlely Dregaend
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    Considering that everyone is moving to subcompact cranks your triple should be the hot new stuff in a year or two.
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