Basic SS Upgrade options

Ant_S
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Basic SS Upgrade options

Postby Ant_S » Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:12 pm

Hi All,

Not the most original topic but looking for some input if you guys wouldn't mind for upgrading my SS..

I have a Reid Griffon 2013 I recently started riding, ~35-40km a week (as fast as I can!) but want to do more. I've done a few part changes to the Reid, half for looks & half for function..
i.e. Lasco 46T 165mm cranks & 'clickster' 17T freewheel, pedals w/straps, quill ahead adapter & stem, drop bars w/brakes on tops, saddle & combo of deep V Reid rear & bright orange Teny tri spoke front :lol:

The Reid frame is Large/58cm and i'm ~172cm so i think it's a size too big. It's also full hi ten which i know now is bad. Overall it feels like a bulletproof tank but bulky & cumbersome. I'm also not sure on fit with the changed parts since I got them off the net.

I'm wanting a 'good' upgrade, but obviously less spent the better. Mostly want good fit & reliability, if it isn't the lightest i don't mind as long as it holds up to abuse.

I want something i can buy locally in Perth so i can test ride. I've found Brown Jersey bikes i can ride at Captain Walker's. I've also found Ideal Cycles have the Fuji Feather and a bunch of other options as well e.g. SE etc.

However I'm a bit confused on the differences between a lot of these lower end bikes- many of the parts seem similar, the frames seem similar e.g. 4130, yet prices can vary from about $350 through to $1000!

Does anyone have knowledge as to the true difference between bikes in this price range? I know parts are pretty easy to change out, so for me i suppose a reasonable quality good fitting frame is top priority, with other parts coming next.

Thanks for any input..

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KGB
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Re: Basic SS Upgrade options

Postby KGB » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:34 am

I doubt most of them will be a significant upgrade. I have an SE Lager that I bought as a frame and built up and I have a Specialised Langster as well.

The Lager rides well but is a tank. I definitely wouldn't call it junk, its astrid enough and pretty responsive, just heavy.
The Langster is aluminium and is stiffer AND lighter and is great to ride.

My advice would be to look at aluminium track bikes like the giant omnium, avanti pista and the langster. You can find them and others 2nd hand for well under a grand and they should be a significant improvement. You can swap over any of your new bits you want to keep and put the leftovers on the reid to sell it off.
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Drizt
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Re: Basic SS Upgrade options

Postby Drizt » Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:26 am

At 172cm (depending on brand sizing) you should be on a bike in the 51 to 54 range. 58 is usually for people over 6 foot

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HLC
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Re: Basic SS Upgrade options

Postby HLC » Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:35 pm

Drizt wrote:At 172cm (depending on brand sizing) you should be on a bike in the 51 to 54 range. 58 is usually for people over 6 foot



Yep this is correct.

It all really depends on your budget.

For a grand you will be able to get a wicked bike second hand. Even then, every now and again i see Specialized Langster Pro's on run-out for $999

You also need to ask yourself what you want to want to do with the bike - if you want to run dual brakes, with drops+hoods etc - because, that will rule out Langsters, Fuji Track Pro's, most alloy bianchi's etc.

I know you want to get something in Perth, for test riding purposes.

BUT i would look at Gear Brisbane and their Colossi range. When i lived in Perth - everything the local shops stocked was not great and had Perth-tax on it. I know the guys at Gear quite well and had plenty of stuff shipped over - and still get stuff from them now I'm in Sydney.

I built this for my GF for around a grand (probably a little under as i had some parts already - brakes/seatpost/saddle).

Colossi Cheeko "Custom" - as in i picked the size and colour and asked for the bidon mounts to be added. It's an aluminium frame with carbon fork.

But that's still with Sram Omniums and custom built wheels and i've just added a White Industries ($100) Freewheel.

You could contact them and probably have something built up for less than that still reasonably solid and a huge improvement over your current ride, and most importantly, getting the right size frame. I'd love to see a pic of your current set up because at 172 on a 58 - that is wildly off. I'm 177 and ride a 54/55.

Pic of the colossi for reference. My partner is 175cm, and this frame is a 53. We probably could have pushed for the 55, but it might have been a little long. She is all legs, much like me.

Image




I'm not affiliated with the shop in any way.. there is a lot of rubbish on the market and if you want something specific, you might as well do it right.

Ant_S
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Re: Basic SS Upgrade options

Postby Ant_S » Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:56 am

Thanks for the replies everyone. I visited Captain Walkers today and had a ride of a Medium Brown Jersey bike (54 i think?) but the guy there thought i'd probably do better on a 52 actually. So i see what you're saying about 58 being crazy big for me!

Captain Walkers did have Langsters there but didn't try to upsell me or tell me about them, i guess as they were $1000+ opposed to $675 for the Brown Jersey. Bit of a shame in hindsight..!

I gotta admit the brown jersey on my little test ride didn't feel too different, but it definitely felt better. I think i will go to another local store or two tomorrow and try a Fuji Feather and SE Lager etc just for comparison. At least then I'll have tried those options and gotten some pricing as an idea.

HLC you make good points, building something up like a Colossi would fit the bill to my requirements and probably wouldn't need another SS again unless something broke. I'm beginning to think i may be better saving a bit more, if i can put up with the massive 58cm bike in the meantime..!

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HLC
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Re: Basic SS Upgrade options

Postby HLC » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:53 am

Ant_S wrote:Thanks for the replies everyone. I visited Captain Walkers today and had a ride of a Medium Brown Jersey bike (54 i think?) but the guy there thought i'd probably do better on a 52 actually. So i see what you're saying about 58 being crazy big for me!

Captain Walkers did have Langsters there but didn't try to upsell me or tell me about them, i guess as they were $1000+ opposed to $675 for the Brown Jersey. Bit of a shame in hindsight..!

I gotta admit the brown jersey on my little test ride didn't feel too different, but it definitely felt better. I think i will go to another local store or two tomorrow and try a Fuji Feather and SE Lager etc just for comparison. At least then I'll have tried those options and gotten some pricing as an idea.

HLC you make good points, building something up like a Colossi would fit the bill to my requirements and probably wouldn't need another SS again unless something broke. I'm beginning to think i may be better saving a bit more, if i can put up with the massive 58cm bike in the meantime..!


Saving and building would probably be your best option. I would not put the Brown Jersey on a much higher rung than the spruced up Reid you are riding now.

Fuji Feather will be the nicer out of the SE Lager and Brown Jersey, but again i would not say that it is amazing.

LIke i said, budget is key.

I'd also like to see a pic of your set up if possible.

Cheers

Ant_S
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Re: Basic SS Upgrade options

Postby Ant_S » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:33 pm

I've been having a look at frame sets online like the Collosi. I guess I'm a bit hesitant on the Aluminium just in case it gets damaged. I just cart it around in the back of my wagon, and I must admit my Reid has fallen over in the garage before. Also I've read Aluminium can be rougher riding, which is an issue since majority of my riding isn't on the road it is on rough pathways etc around the river. Is this just being overly cautious?

For those who wanted to see my current setup see photo below. Even though its a huge frame for me, I've ended up with the saddle pretty high since my friend recommended it be as high as possible so my leg is comfortable but as straight as possible at full pedal drop (165mm cranks). This actually feels good to me leg / power wise, but I feel quite a long way stretched out so it does hurt my lower shoulder blades.

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HLC
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Re: Basic SS Upgrade options

Postby HLC » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:22 pm

Set up doesn't actually look too bad, but if you are stretched out, only way to fix that is a shorter TT.

Just like Steel, or carbon, there is a big difference between the top quality Aluminium frames and those that are more affordable.

The cheek is not super stiff, nor is it 'weak' or soft. Also, the carbon forks help to absorb any bumps.

Anyway, it's all opinion, and my opinion would be to go down that path!

I used to live in Perth and the paths around the rivers and lakes are pretty good. A lot better than sydney anyway.

Ant_S
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Re: Basic SS Upgrade options

Postby Ant_S » Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:30 pm

HLC I tried to flick you a PM just to get your opinion on a 2nd hand bike that has popped up. I'm unsure if it worked though as i'm so new to the forum, it seems to be sitting in my outbox :p

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Re: Basic SS Upgrade options

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:58 pm

Ant_S wrote:HLC I tried to flick you a PM just to get your opinion on a 2nd hand bike that has popped up. I'm unsure if it worked though as i'm so new to the forum, it seems to be sitting in my outbox :p

That's how it works in this software. Your message will stay there until read then move to the sent box.

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Ant_S
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Re: Basic SS Upgrade options

Postby Ant_S » Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:10 am

Thanks Shaun!

Ant_S
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Re: Basic SS Upgrade options

Postby Ant_S » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:15 pm

Well I've mentioned a few 'buzz words' in this topic in terms of brands so I suppose it may come up when others search online...As such I'll update as my hunt goes on.

I've ridden a few bikes and here's my completely amateur opinions for what they are worth!

- 2015 Reid Harrier = feels smoother than my Griffon, but is still "heavy". Components generally seem pretty nice and it feels sturdy. It felt like a solid, reliable cruiser that'd do the job but for me it didn't feel much better than the upgraded Griffon. Also it was $375 sticker price, but a showroom version which had upgrades I wanted (bullhorns, bar end brakes, upgraded chain, upgraded saddle & maxxis tyres) was priced at $649 which I didn't think was worth it.

- 2013 Masi Fixed Riser = this was a used bike, built from the frameset with better parts. This is the double butted cro mo frame with crowned forks (Not the UNO). Its a light frame and felt compact and zippy due to the lighter frame and components. Definitely felt more 'lively' than the Harrier. The curved forks do make the wheel seem 'pushed out' at first but I guess I'd get used to it. However decided to leave it being 2nd hand and some parts on it I didn't want.

- 2013 Masi Fixed Uno Riser = the cheaper version of above. standard cro mo frame & straight cro mo forks. Again, light for steel, it felt about 10kg. However the bars are very wide, grips a bit cheesy, and the drivetrain a little rough when I tested. Overall it felt light but somehow a bit cheap, I would want to upgrade bits immediately on top of the $499 on special price. So I am not sure on this one.

- Brown Jersey Monaco II = I originally wanted a BJ bike, actually the Divvy Van. But I tested a Monaco II as it was in stock. To me it felt like a more polished Harrier. A bit heavy, but very solid and smooth riding. Also extra nice touches like the chunky etched cranks. I felt it could benefit from shedding some weight but the look was there. For someone wanting a nicer finished bike for getting around than a Reid, I would say its well worth a look. For me though, again it didn't feel different enough from my Griffon to justify price ~$675 with bullhorns.

- 2015 Fuji Track Comp = I went to ride this as I couldn't find a local dealer with a Fuji Feather. I thought I didn't want it due to being an Aluminium frame rather than steel, and I am still a bit unsure. That said, I tested it with brakes but fixed gear. Weight wise it actually felt similar to the 2x Masi's, which makes sense as it is around the 9.5-10kg mark from sources I've looked at. Weight for weight, I'd probably go for steel, but ride wise it felt better. Lighter, sharper, overall a bit more of a 'serious' ride which is what I wanted. I don't need to commute with it so I don't need some compromises like mudguard, racks etc. In my short ride it didn't feel super clattery nor heavy with vibration. Price wise it is also looking good at $550-599 pending where I go.

So that's where I'm at!

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HLC
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Re: Basic SS Upgrade options

Postby HLC » Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:41 pm

Out of the above, Fuji Track Comp any day of the week.

Easy places to shed weight - aside from everywhere... but a Carbon fork with alloy steerer could be had for $150ish brand new. That will save a bucketload. Followed up with wheels - myriad of choices. If you opted for China Carbons - about $400.. Otherwise you could build some other wheels for about the same if you hunt around that would be a lot lighter... Then you have cranks / bars / stem / saddle (not to be underestimated) etc.

Curve forks and straight forks are much of a muchness. Depends on the rake as to how the wheel can feel pushed out!

Ant_S
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Re: Basic SS Upgrade options

Postby Ant_S » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:58 am

^Yup, Fuji Track Comp is what I went for, quite stoked with it too. Just got it on Thursday.

I ended up getting a Medium which is 54 ST 55 TT. The LBS guy said it looked right for me and it felt ok on my quick ride. i thought the Small (52 ST 54 TT) may have been a tad short as i do seem to have a long cycling inseam. I also like the fact i have no toe overlap on the Medium. However with the 100mm stem the 55 TT does seem a tad stretched. I'm considering a 90mm stem just to try and see if it feels more natural. Not a lot to spend to test it out anyway!

I took the bike for its first proper ride today, ~20kms. It felt much better than any of the other bikes I've ridden. Despite being Aluminium frame & forks, it definitely rides smoother and nicer than the other steel bikes I've ridden or that I tested. The forks have a slight curve to them and i felt them soaking up some bumps - i actually thought my front tyre was going flat a couple of times!

The wheels probably also play a part, i'm not sure how good they are on the Fuji however they ride much nicer than the Reid Deep Vs and Teny Tri Spoke on previous bikes. Hopefully they're durable too for now.

Cheers for the ideas on upgrades HLC. I think cranks may be next, to some Omniums. They seem to be the best value overall to me for a solid upgrade. The stem was swapped from a light Fuji 110mm to a Pro LT 100mm, without much consult from me on brand as i was asking for an almost straight swap cost wise. I can no doubt get something lighter there. I do have a carbon/suede saddle i bought a while ago from eBay, but i like the Oval saddle on there in terms of comfort, for now.

All in all happy with it and looking forward to doing more riding!

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