Upgrade Time?

thatmdee
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Upgrade Time?

Postby thatmdee » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:54 am

Hi all,

n+1 is kicking in, and I'm trying to decide if I should buy another bike.

Up until now, I've been using a Giant Defy 4 and had issues with the reliability and performance. The hanger was bent, which 2 LBSes didn't pick up on (someone else did) and was fixed. Since then, despite multiple attempts at reindexing, etc -- gear shifting has been sloppy and sluggish, and possibly a symptom of 8-speed claris, shifting is a bit clunky. I've replaced the chain, rear cassette, hanger, rear derailleur. My latest problem appears to be excess chain rub in the 3 smallest sprockets (despite using the trim feature), which could be chaing ring wobble -- I'm not entirely sure. My partner has a bike with Claris components, and chain rub only occurs in the smallest sprocket. We've done maintenance on her bike and it works flawlessly. Despite the large amount of time I've wasted on mine, I never seem to be able to get shifting working well.

In addition, I've never really had a proper bike fit. Most of my riding has been indoors on a trainer (Neo - direct drive). I'm not sure if I should persist with it, or just bite the bullet and get another bike.

I spend around 9 - 12 hours a week riding, mostly indoors (TrainerRoad). The problem is, a lot of manufacturers don't seem to honour warranty when using on a trainer. So, in the interests of having a reliable bike, I'm not sure if I should get something reliable for outdoors, and try fix up the Defy for indoors, or maybe buy a new bike from a manufacturer that supports indoor trainer usage. My weekly riding time may increase, especially outdoors, if I buy a new bike and am more confident with its reliability. I guess the frustration with my current bike is the driving force for an upgrade.

I'm also unsure how much I should spend. The Defy 4 was only $750, and I've been riding for around 18 months. I think I'd be happy to spend maybe $2000-3000 on my next bike. However, I'm not even sure what geometry to aim for. I'm also not even sure if I'd like to try racing. I love using TrainerRoad, and have been using it to build fitness -- with no real intention to train for a specific event at this point (but who knows..). I'm not even sure what 'type' of rider I am, so maybe I should go for a general, all-round road bike?

Should I stick with an alloy (higher quality alloy) bike, and aim for better componentry now? Or am I better off splurging and pushing my budget up a bit (which I'm willing to do)?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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Derny Driver
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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby Derny Driver » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:13 am

Bike fits are over-rated and over-priced. Just put your Defy in the trainer and leave it there. Shifting doesn't matter on the trainer.
Go out and buy something like a Giant TCR with 105 components. Get a reputable bike shop to size you up. Two Wheel Industries don't stock Giant but are worth a look and a chat to their staff. The owner Marek is a friend of mine.

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g-boaf
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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby g-boaf » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:30 am

thatmdee wrote:Hi all,

n+1 is kicking in, and I'm trying to decide if I should buy another bike.

Up until now, I've been using a Giant Defy 4 and had issues with the reliability and performance. The hanger was bent, which 2 LBSes didn't pick up on (someone else did) and was fixed. Since then, despite multiple attempts at reindexing, etc -- gear shifting has been sloppy and sluggish, and possibly a symptom of 8-speed claris, shifting is a bit clunky. I've replaced the chain, rear cassette, hanger, rear derailleur. My latest problem appears to be excess chain rub in the 3 smallest sprockets (despite using the trim feature), which could be chaing ring wobble -- I'm not entirely sure. My partner has a bike with Claris components, and chain rub only occurs in the smallest sprocket. We've done maintenance on her bike and it works flawlessly. Despite the large amount of time I've wasted on mine, I never seem to be able to get shifting working well.

In addition, I've never really had a proper bike fit. Most of my riding has been indoors on a trainer (Neo - direct drive). I'm not sure if I should persist with it, or just bite the bullet and get another bike.

I spend around 9 - 12 hours a week riding, mostly indoors (TrainerRoad). The problem is, a lot of manufacturers don't seem to honour warranty when using on a trainer. So, in the interests of having a reliable bike, I'm not sure if I should get something reliable for outdoors, and try fix up the Defy for indoors, or maybe buy a new bike from a manufacturer that supports indoor trainer usage. My weekly riding time may increase, especially outdoors, if I buy a new bike and am more confident with its reliability. I guess the frustration with my current bike is the driving force for an upgrade.

I'm also unsure how much I should spend. The Defy 4 was only $750, and I've been riding for around 18 months. I think I'd be happy to spend maybe $2000-3000 on my next bike. However, I'm not even sure what geometry to aim for. I'm also not even sure if I'd like to try racing. I love using TrainerRoad, and have been using it to build fitness -- with no real intention to train for a specific event at this point (but who knows..). I'm not even sure what 'type' of rider I am, so maybe I should go for a general, all-round road bike?

Should I stick with an alloy (higher quality alloy) bike, and aim for better componentry now? Or am I better off splurging and pushing my budget up a bit (which I'm willing to do)?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks!


I would go a current model TCR. Don't worry about disc brakes, those are not really necessary. I did get an email from Giant Sydney advertising 15% discount on road models, so maybe other Giant retailers might also be doing something similar.

As for reliability, any of the newer groupsets will shift pretty well.

I also have a Tacx Neo and use one bike on that (an old Madone 4.5 Trek), but my other two Giants (both TCR Advanced SL) are for normal road use. On the trainer I just don't trust doing any sprint type efforts and I'd prefer to do those outdoors anyway. In any case, in the last five weeks I've only done 1 hour on the trainer.

You could also fix up the defy with a 105 11 speed groupset and run it on the trainer all the time. Just grab the bits and pieces you need over time and put it together. Or just upgrade it and use that bike as your only bike.

thatmdee
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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby thatmdee » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:20 pm

Derny Driver wrote:Bike fits are over-rated and over-priced. Just put your Defy in the trainer and leave it there. Shifting doesn't matter on the trainer.
Go out and buy something like a Giant TCR with 105 components. Get a reputable bike shop to size you up. Two Wheel Industries don't stock Giant but are worth a look and a chat to their staff. The owner Marek is a friend of mine.


I was thinking Two Wheel. I get a good vibe from there. The couple of times I've been, they have been exceptionally helpful and talkative.

I have almost exclusively been using the Defy in Erg mode in a single gear on the Neo, as I use TrainerRoad for Erg -- and pair with Zwift as a power source just so I have something to look at apart. Having said that, I'd like shifting so I can start participating in some bunch rides and races in Zwift.

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10speedsemiracer
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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:25 pm

Why not upgrade the Defy, say maybe to 10sp Tiagra. There are still people in the process of upgrading 10sp > 11sp and i've noticed a bit of 10sp stuff floating around. No need to go beyond Tiagra if you don't want to, keeps the whole operation semi-viable $-wise. New cassette, chain and chainrings - $120, Used derailleurs, brifters, calipers and crankset - $200. Incidentals (cables, BB, bar tape), add another $80. Could be all done for $400 and would give the bike a new lease on life, and you could gear it specifically for your environment and riding style.

Is what I would do.
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Kronos
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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby Kronos » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:43 pm

Derny Driver wrote:Bike fits are over-rated and over-priced.


Bike fits are overrated... I'm going to leave out most of your previous problems of treating a bike like a horse you can "hop onto" and I'm going to say you might not understand that its because most bike stores don't know what a bike fit is, how to do one properly, or are either unable to or incapable of hiring someone who can do it. One more thing... you can go pretty far wrong both in term of physiology and safety if you don't know anything about how a properly fitted bike should feel, so if you don't know its best to leave it to someone who does.

I'm gonna say wasting money on new frames is entirely overrated also, they wont make you in any way significantly faster if you are an average rider. Focus on fixing your existing bike with an older type Ultegra set up second hand with first generation shifters or upgrade straight to 6870 DI2 11 speed spec if you have money to burn. I have a first generation Ultegra groupset and it shifts flawlessly, they are cheap and plentiful. As to your bike, do what normal people do and get a trainer wheel for the rear wheel (and it can be any aluminum clincher including anything your local bike store wants to chuck out, but also search Gumtree.)

Leave the rest of your bike alone, at your stage or even at my stage there is no need to buy a $2000-$3000 bike, invest a small percentage of that in a better groupset. As to alluminium vs. carbon. My lightest bike for the moment is 8.5kg, my heaviest bike is a steel bike probably closer to 10kg. I am and most people would be happy to ride an 8kg bike without any extra effort expended.

I'm upgrading my aluminum bike to DI2 as I intend to pick up my training for doing some Gran Fondos in the next 6months and want the most reliable bike that wont drop a chain or misshift in the middle of a race, not much more, just the reality of the fact that the shift kit makes for a better, safer and more reliable riding experience.

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Derny Driver
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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby Derny Driver » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:38 pm

Kronos wrote:
Derny Driver wrote:Bike fits are over-rated and over-priced.

.. Focus on fixing your existing bike with an older type Ultegra set up second hand with first generation shifters or upgrade straight to 6870 DI2 11 speed spec if you have money to burn.
As to your bike, do what normal people do and get a trainer wheel for the rear wheel (and it can be any aluminum clincher including anything your local bike store wants to chuck out, but also search Gumtree.)

Can you put 11 speed Di2 on a Giant Defy frame?
PS Direct drive trainers dont use a rear wheel.

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Derny Driver
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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby Derny Driver » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:39 pm

10speedsemiracer wrote:Why not upgrade the Defy, say maybe to 10sp Tiagra. There are still people in the process of upgrading 10sp > 11sp and i've noticed a bit of 10sp stuff floating around. No need to go beyond Tiagra if you don't want to, keeps the whole operation semi-viable $-wise. New cassette, chain and chainrings - $120, Used derailleurs, brifters, calipers and crankset - $200. Incidentals (cables, BB, bar tape), add another $80. Could be all done for $400 and would give the bike a new lease on life, and you could gear it specifically for your environment and riding style.

+1

Kronos
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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby Kronos » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:56 pm

Derny Driver wrote:
Kronos wrote:
Derny Driver wrote:Bike fits are over-rated and over-priced.

.. Focus on fixing your existing bike with an older type Ultegra set up second hand with first generation shifters or upgrade straight to 6870 DI2 11 speed spec if you have money to burn.
As to your bike, do what normal people do and get a trainer wheel for the rear wheel (and it can be any aluminum clincher including anything your local bike store wants to chuck out, but also search Gumtree.)

Can you put 11 speed Di2 on a Giant Defy frame?
PS Direct drive trainers dont use a rear wheel.


It depends if you use a trainer or a roller. As to whether you can put DI2 on a bike, you can put DI2 on a bike regardless of whether you have internal mounting or not. There are internal and external mount kits. External mount DI2 is a bit ugly. You end up with a couple of external junction box, and a battery in the seat post, or externally mounted to your down tube.

Then there is the option I'm going through. You could defeat the mount problem and drill three small holes in your aluminum frame. However, because of the risks involved I'm gonna say don't be like me kids, you might end up actually destroying your frame, or at least the value of it (of which I don't care with my Trek). Once you've gone through whether or not you've made that decision then you can actually buy the lugs for any frame to use internal routing. It will be a bit more cumbersome fiddling through the whole process as there will be no internal guiding for cabling.

If you don't want to destroy your frame, or make it ugly, then you can choose the other option of using SRAM eTap which doesn't require cables between your components. I've gone my own way because I already have an Ultegra groupset but if you were replacing the whole groupset then you might decide to use eTap.

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10speedsemiracer
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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:41 pm

Derny Driver wrote:Bike fits are over-rated and over-priced.....


I think Di2 on a Defy4 frame is possibly over-capitalizing and also excessive for OP's needs. The investment and work required to adapt the Defy to a Nintendo bike would make buying a newer Defy or TCR much more viable and attractive. I don't know how the thread devolved into a sook-fest about bike fit, but I'm going to support DernyDriver in his argument re bike fit. Unless you have a specific need, and you're getting a professional fit done by a specialist like Hogg or Kennedy or one of the others, I feel you're wasting money.

In any case, my original suggestion to OP was designed to be cost-effective whilst providing a better riding experience, within the limitations of what he has as a starting point. Sure, you could go nuts and fit 11sp Ultegra (I don't believe Di2 is feasible in this case) but then we're into similar $ territory with wheel-set cost etc, as buying a new 105 Defy. And I think 10sp Tiagra, along with a couple of others, was an under-rated group. Going from Claris 8sp to Tiagra 10sp would be a revelation. Actually a quick search, and I've just found a Tiagra 4600 upgrade build kit for $340 (shifters, derailleurs etc)
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Duck!
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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby Duck! » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:50 pm

Put some new cables in it (only bits not mentioned in the OP).

Although not as slick as the higher-spec groups, mostly due to the basic mechanics of wider sprocket spacing and correspondingly longer shifter stroke, Claris is not a fundamentally dyspunctional groupset.

If most of your riding is on the indoor trainer, it is probable that the cables have become contaminated with sweat and begun to corrode, which will hamper performance.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Duck!
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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby Duck! » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:54 pm

Derny Driver wrote:Can you put 11 speed Di2 on a Giant Defy frame?

Yes. The only thing that specifically needs to be 11-sp. compatible is the rear wheel, which the original-spec for that model most likely isn't. Nothing else about 11-sp. renders it incompatible with any frame that will take at least 7-sp. Which is basically everything built within the last 30 years.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

Kronos
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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby Kronos » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:17 am

I'd have to agree on over capitalizing but some people want shiny new bikes or bike parts. The way I see the world is this: Your money is a barter for your time. No one has infinite time so splurging on shiny new bikes for me at least is generally an overkill.

thatmdee
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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby thatmdee » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:53 am

Thanks for the responses. I'm still unsure what direction to go. Part of me is tempted to try a new groupset, but given the issues I've had with the bike, another part of me wants an entirely new bike (and for all I know, maybe there are issues with my existing frame -- e.g. dropouts bent).

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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby eeksll » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:32 pm

my 2cents

I wouldn't get a new bike for the trainer. I would get a bike for non-trainer use if I rode both often.

I think most here would think there is nothing specifically wrong with your current gears just because of the claris name or hanger history. Thats not to say something isn't wrong, but would need more information.

Bike fit, if you have a bit of a detailed mind and can google, there is no reason you can't set your bike up decent enough. The hard part of DIY is ususally lack of access to a trainer, trainer + mirror + plumb bob, get stuck post some pics ...

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Re: Upgrade Time?

Postby Mububban » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:21 pm

thatmdee wrote:Thanks for the responses. I'm still unsure what direction to go. Part of me is tempted to try a new groupset, but given the issues I've had with the bike, another part of me wants an entirely new bike (and for all I know, maybe there are issues with my existing frame -- e.g. dropouts bent).


Once the upgrade bug bites, it can be hard to make it go away :)

If you like Giant and have a budget of $2000-$3000, go check out the 2018 Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 (rim brake). It's currently $3200 but go for a test ride and I think you'll love it. Full R8000 Ultegra, 52-36 and 11-30 covers most riders for most terrain, carbon wheels, 7.5kg in large - it's a lot of bike for the money and leaves you with nothing to upgrade, unlike other bikes that cheap out on wheels.
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