To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade
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  1. #1
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    To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade

    I have a 2000 model year GT ZR2000 (Ultegra 9sp) that I need to do some upgrades on to get it to where I'd like it to be. The upgrades will cost me about a thousand dollars and in that it doesn't really touch the drive train that is 5 years old but still seems to be in good shape. (I've gotten a new chain and cassette recently) That being said, the question is, is the frame worth the money to upgrade to where I'd like my bike to be? Or would I be better off just laying out the extra $$$ for a bike that has all the new bells and whistles.

  2. #2
    ARP
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    I'm sure others will ask...

    what are the planned upgrades and why?

  3. #3
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    Are you left or right handed?

    The left side of your brain controls the logic functions and the right side of your brain is the artistic side. Ironically, left dominate brain people tend to be right handed and vice versa.

    If you are right handed, I'd recommend taking the logical course because most equipment upgrades don't make economic sense. If you're left handed, I say let your artistic side come out and enjoy the upgrade process.

  4. #4
    Cycling 4 Life
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    k, how about a non-smartass response from someone who recently experienced the same dilemma?


    I worked at a bike shop this summer and loved the job. The greatest perk was the employee purchasing. It was absolutely tempting to buy everything and anything. One of my plans was to purchase a Specialized Tarmac Pro. I have the money and figured everything out. All i needed to do was fax in the purchase form.

    In a weird but fortuitous twist of fate, our shop was negotiating contracts with Specialized and things werent looking so good. Weeks went by as I deliberated as to whether or not I really needed a new bike. Am I good enough for $3500 bike or am I gonna look like a total poser?

    I finally decided to wait and upgrade myself before I spent money on a new bike.

    If you're a really powerful and experienced racer who feels the bike is slowing you down, then I'd say spend the money on a new bike. It will pay for itself in the long run. If you're an up and coming rider who has aspirations of Cat. 1 some time in the distant future (like me), then I may hold off on a new bike or frame. A decent bike will go a long way before it becomes obsolete.





    * Ignoring all dogmatic advise: if you are in the market for a new bike, then keep in mind that you're really buying the frame. It's the only thing that can't be upgraded. Don't waste money on some no-name frame but is decked out in 7800 Dura-Ace for $1800 free shipping.

  5. #5
    djg
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    Do you basically like the bike?

    It seems to me that if you don't like the frame, or the fit, you can buy a nice frame and fork for about a grand (less used) and transfer all your stuff over onto what will, essentially, be a new bike.

    A big upgrade in wheels will also make a very noticeable difference, and very nice wheelsets are available for less than a thousand dollars (less to much, much less, depending on what you want, although you can spend more too, just as with everything else).

    Otherwise, I'd say that's a whole lot of dough to change out working parts. You might notice and prefer all sorts of different things, but most component changes won't make much of a difference in how your bike rides. But, you probably know that already.

  6. #6
    The Gimlet Eye
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    Quote Originally Posted by EE33
    The upgrades will cost me about a thousand dollars and in that it doesn't really touch the drive train
    What are the upgrades if the drivetrain isn't involved? $1000 wheelset?

  7. #7
    Cycling 4 Life
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    a nicer pair of wheels are the only necessary upgrades. Shifters, derailleurs, stems, handlebars, etc etc arent going to affect the performance much, if any.

    However, the rotating mass is in the wheels and farthest from the pivot points. A lighter and stiffer pair of wheels are a must for upgrading, maybe the only thing worth upgrading. Hold off on the drivetrain unless it's broken.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wzq622
    a nicer pair of wheels are the only necessary upgrades. Shifters, derailleurs, stems, handlebars, etc etc arent going to affect the performance much, if any.

    However, the rotating mass is in the wheels and farthest from the pivot points. A lighter and stiffer pair of wheels are a must for upgrading, maybe the only thing worth upgrading. Hold off on the drivetrain unless it's broken.
    I've got an OK set of wheels (velomax curcuits) so that's not the issue, it more comes down to fit and getting rid of some extra weight in a bad fork, w/ a threaded headset and stem.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Gunman
    what are the planned upgrades and why?
    The upgrades will be a fork, headset, stem, bar, carbon seatpost, and breaklever/shifters.

    The shifters have taken a beating and need to be replaced. The GT triple triangle is really stiff ride and the seatpost will take care that as much as possible. The front end is being upgraded from threaded to threadless mostly because it doens't fit me and the fork that came w/ the bike is heavy as a boat anchor and sucks.

  10. #10
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    personally, if it doesn't fit quite right, i'ld put that grand into a new bike.

    alternatively, the good thing with 9sp shimmy, is you can scour ebay for 105 up shifters they'll work for a good price instead of your busted up ones.

    could be a good option either way. 1) fix up your bike now and stick with it or 2) get new bike, fix this one with new shifters only and have as spare / 2nd ride.
    Last edited by wankski; 08-29-2005 at 07:50 PM.

  11. #11
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    Upgrading's nice

    I love buying something new for my bike. There's something very satisfying about installing a new component. I just love that first ride after installing anything from new bar tape to a new component group.

    If you're not happy with your frame, remember, a lot of upgrades can be transferred over when you decide to upgrade that. ;)

    Life's short. If you have the money, and it will make you happy, upgrade.

  12. #12
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    If fit is your problem-

    I'd start with a new frame. $1000 bucks will get you a pretty nice frame that fits you, and most of your parts seem servicable. Look for some used brifters, and you're set.

    Its a lot cheaper to drop a pound from your gut than from your bike.

    That said- it's always fun to buy new shiny bits for the bike even if you don't need them.

  13. #13
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    Don't bother trying to make a bad bike...better. Just replace it! You already stated it rides stiff, is heavy, and doesn't fit well enough. Why even consider upgrading parts. You'll be hanging them on something you don't like. I'm not bashing the GT frame but by your own statements, it's not working for you.

    I would do the things you mention if I absolutely loved the frame. If it were custom fitted Ti or something I't upgrade parts for a long time. This triple tiangle GT is a 5 year old, out of date, Al frame. It is relatively the same quality as the components that are on it. IMO, it makes no sense to upgrade your list of random parts which will make no real difference. You are wasting your money in upgrading.
    Last edited by biknben; 08-30-2005 at 05:50 AM.
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  14. #14
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    New bike

    I get the impression that you don't really like this frame (from you stiffness comment). Unless you're getting a suspension post, a new post isn't going to cure your stiffness problem. $1000 can get you a decent bike or is a good start towards a really nice bike. I vote for get a new bike. Some other users suggested getting a new frame but I don't see how that makes sense given how most of your components are trashed.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by EE33
    The upgrades will be a fork, headset, stem, bar, carbon seatpost, and breaklever/shifters.

    The shifters have taken a beating and need to be replaced. The GT triple triangle is really stiff ride and the seatpost will take care that as much as possible. The front end is being upgraded from threaded to threadless mostly because it doens't fit me and the fork that came w/ the bike is heavy as a boat anchor and sucks.
    Get a new bike.

  16. #16
    djg
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    Quote Originally Posted by EE33
    The upgrades will be a fork, headset, stem, bar, carbon seatpost, and breaklever/shifters.

    The shifters have taken a beating and need to be replaced. The GT triple triangle is really stiff ride and the seatpost will take care that as much as possible. The front end is being upgraded from threaded to threadless mostly because it doens't fit me and the fork that came w/ the bike is heavy as a boat anchor and sucks.
    Sorry, I hadn't seen this when I posted. This sounds like an argument for a new (or new-to-you) bike. If you don't like the ride of your current bike, a CF seatpost will not fix it. 1K is probably at, or close to, what you'd need for a substantially better bike bought on the used market and might even be enough to find you something you'd prefer new. Certainly, you should be able to find a used frame/fork/headset package, in excellent condition, within your budget, leaving something left over for new brifters besides.

  17. #17
    ARP
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    I always look at bikes in thirds

    Quote Originally Posted by EE33
    The upgrades will be a fork, headset, stem, bar, carbon seatpost, and breaklever/shifters.

    The shifters have taken a beating and need to be replaced. The GT triple triangle is really stiff ride and the seatpost will take care that as much as possible. The front end is being upgraded from threaded to threadless mostly because it doens't fit me and the fork that came w/ the bike is heavy as a boat anchor and sucks.
    Wheels (you got that covered), components (you need some STIs, go with 105s) and frame+controls. I would shop around for a frame/fork and controls(bar/stem/hs), transfer all your old parts over maybe a new bb and rings if needed and you got a new ride. The CF post won't soften the blows of your frame, 25mm tires will. Take a look at GVHbikes.com for some great deals on frames.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wzq622
    k, how about a non-smartass response from someone who recently experienced the same dilemma?
    Actually that wasn't intended as a smartass answer - just a recognition that there is more than one way of looking at the topic of upgrading bikes. Lots of people seek some objective engineering oriented permission to do what their artistic side has decided to do anyway. Once you allow yourself to understand your motivation you don't have to do that anymore.

    It sounds to me like you have trouble even envisioning the artistic viewpoint of simply upgrading your bike for the esthetic experience. I'm guessing that makes you decidedly right handed. That's OK with me too.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by wzq622
    if you are in the market for a new bike, then keep in mind that you're really buying the frame. It's the only thing that can't be upgraded. Don't waste money on some no-name frame but is decked out in 7800 Dura-Ace for $1800 free shipping.
    This is supposition nonsense. With a DA gruppo at $1500. A good wheelset at $800+ you have to wonder how it can be that a frame is "the only thing that can't be upgraded." All parts are equal, including the frame.

    The frame is the only part that has huge identity, note the large print all over it, usually plastered all over it several times in case you missed it the first two times on the toptube and downtube. It is for this reason that no-one says oh, I ride a Dura Ace. They say I ride a Trek.

    Most accurately you ride your seat. Personnally I ride a Fizik. What do you ride?

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