Upgrading parts

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Upgrading parts

Postby casper001 » Sat Dec 30, 2006 8:30 pm

Gday All,

Just a few quick questions....what is the best way to upgrade parts? If i am unable to afford to buy all the parts at once is it possible to buy one or two parts at a time and attach them?

For example if i wanted to put a 10speed cassette on (and i only have a 7 gear changer) will this have much of an effect?

And can you suggest any stores as to where i can buy such parts?

Also how hard is it to change parts such as shifters and other parts as such

Cheers Chris
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by BNA » Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:37 pm


Postby europa » Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:37 pm

You can upgrade bits as you go but when going from one brand to another, say Campy to Shimano, or from one cassette size to another, say from 7 to 9, you can run into problems.

Indexed gear systems work on a known distance between cogs. Change that and the shifter won't shift as desired. Sometimes, that just means it won't shift cleanly, sometimes it means utter confusion. For example, if I tried to make the 7 speed shifters on my Sow's Ear handle a 10 speed cassette, they probably wouldn't have the range and where they did, would most likely drop the chain partway between cogs.

Moving from say 8 speed to 9 speed, or 9 speed to 10 speed also involves a change in chain width.

However, within say 8 speed cassettes, or 9 speed cassettes, you can move from cheap to Tiagra to Ultegra to Dura Ace without a problem, because Shimano make all their 9 speed cassettes with the same spacing. I'm assuming Campy are the same but could be wrong.

Brakes, of course, are a different animal again and as long as they fit on the bike, can be made to work. Going from differing types of brakes, eg caliper to V-brake can lead to issues with the amount of pull (on the cable) the levers give, but this can be handled with various after market pulley systems - I'm using caliper brake levers with V-brakes and love the arrangement.

Many Shimano front derailleurs can handle both three chainrings and two chainrings, but not all - you need to check.

And yes, Kev'll come in and say that if you use friction shifters none of this is relevant but he's a retro grump :D

So yes, you can upgrade piece by piece and the individual pieces are all out there, but sometimes, if the shift is large enough (eg from 7 speed to 9 speed), you're better off (or forced to) buying the full set of bits. When you consider that a groupset (all the Ultegra bits for example, including brakes) is usually packaged new as cheaper than the sum of the individual bits new, and you have some real research to do.

But hey, if it was dead easy, there wouldn't be any challenge eh?

eternal optimist dammit
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Postby casper001 » Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:40 pm

Thanks heaps for that Richard, was a great help

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Postby europa » Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:54 pm

This link might help even more.

Bicycle Road Components Database

He's just a private mug like us so give him a pat on the back if you find his site useful.

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Postby wongaga » Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:10 pm

Be careful about how much you spend on bits, as it won't take long before you have spend a substantial fraction of the cost of a new bike. Bike manufacturers get the parts from CampyShim at very low mark-up, whereas we, poor mugs, pay CampyShim profit, plus wholesaler profit, plus LBS exorbitant mark-up plus GST! Less extreme buying over the net, but still a trap.

Bikes have come down so far in price the last few years it is not funny, so unless you absolutley love that frame, consider selling it wholus-bolus on Ebay or thru Trading Post, and put that plus your "new bag of bits" money towards a new bike.

BTW for what it's worth, 7 and 8 speed Shimano use same spacing, so you can bung your 7 speed cassette on and play with the lmit screws on the derailleur to inhibit the 8th click.
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Postby casper001 » Mon Jan 01, 2007 2:06 pm

Thanks all for the help. Makes a lot more sense after looking at prices of individual parts

Thanks again.

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