To upgrade or to replace?

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

To upgrade or to replace?

Postby tree_stumper » Mon May 06, 2013 3:24 pm

Hi all. I'm just having difficulty deciding on a direction in regard to my bike choice.

My riding requirements vary. I like weekend riding with my mates, and I like the occasional climb up to King Lake. I also like to do a little touring. Not months-long, cross-continent touring, just weekends (10 days has been the longest). I live in a small place in Melbourne, so having multiple bikes is not ideal. Neither is the cost of having multiple bikes.

Last year, when I first got into cycling, I bought a Schwinn Le Tour Classic (2011) for $649. It's a steel frame bike with drops and Sora/Tiagra componentry. It's served me well, and I love the look of it. I've done a fair bit of riding with a mate who has a fancy carbon Giant and kept up just fine, but it was particularly great for the 10 day tour of New Zealands west coast.

The Schwinn is a nice ride but doesn't have eyelets for racks, so I have to rig them up with p-clips. Not ideal. And everything is getting a bit creaky now. The shifters are fine, but the crankset is a bit wobbly and it doesn't run quietly anymore, even with the LBS servicing it.

So I was thinking of upgrading the components to Shimano 105 (from Ribble or the like, for around $650), but I'm wondering it it's worth it. I'd also like eyelets for racks; to do that, with powder-coating, would be a minimum of $250. So I'd have a steel framed touring-ready bike with 105 components for around $1550.

Essentially, that's what I think fits my cycling best - a steel framed bike with 105 triple-ring components, ready for panniers when I want them. Is there anything out there that fits this description already that doesn't require the hassle of redoing the Schwinn? I like the look of the Jamis Bosanova, but it's Tiagra only. Any other ideas? A steel framed cyclocross bike perhaps? Or should I not fixate on steel - maybe aluminium?

Of course, I'd love to have two bikes - one for touring (with cheaper components) and one light modern looking thing for the road (and hills) on weekends, but I can't afford $1500 on two bikes. I'm tempted to buy a new road-specific bike, believe me (!), but it will still leave me without a tour-ready bike.

Any ideas, tips, recommendations?
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by BNA » Tue May 07, 2013 1:03 pm

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Re: To upgrade or to replace?

Postby AP81 » Tue May 07, 2013 1:03 pm

I don't think it's worth investing that much money into the bike. Spending that much money you're better buying something off the shelf.

Other than touring, any reason for specifically going a triple? You are restricting your choices by doing so.

If it were me, I'd get a steel frame then build up the bike with second hand pieces. I wouldn't recommend an aluminium framed bike for touring either.
Steel - is - real
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Re: To upgrade or to replace?

Postby cyclotaur » Tue May 07, 2013 2:00 pm

AP81 wrote:.... I wouldn't recommend an aluminium framed bike for touring either.

Au contraire - for tree_stumper's requirements an alu framed CAADX 105 CX bike (just for example) may be quite suitable - road, trail, touring. Mine has 105 gear (46/34 FSA cranks>11-28 cassette), rack eyelets, good geometry. I have other bikes but do 90% of all my rides on this bike.

Set for road riding - BeachRd/Kinglake/Alps etc ... lighter wheels and 25 tyres <9kg
Image

Set for day trails rides - eg. up the back of Donna Buang ... CX wheels/tyres/mudguards(winter) <10kg
Image

Set for light touring - eg. 7 days along GOR... CX wheels/tyres/racks+rear panniers
Image
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Re: To upgrade or to replace?

Postby MattyK » Tue May 07, 2013 2:34 pm

Yeah, seems to be plenty of options around the $1500 mark for CX bikes, most except race models have rack and guard mounts. Add a second set of wheels for road use and you'd have a great allrounder.
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Re: To upgrade or to replace?

Postby tree_stumper » Wed May 08, 2013 1:25 am

Thanks for the replies.

Why the triple? Because I'm not fit enough to turn the wheels over without the granny gear! When I climbed Crown Range Road in NZ with loaded panniers on the back, I was standing the whole time just to get the pedals over (admittedly, I'm probably a little fitter now).

I like the idea of a cross bike, my only reservation is the lack of fork eyelets. For light touring it's no biggie, but I've wished my current bike was more versatile, and I don't want to be wishing that my bike had lugs on the front when I decide to bite off a bigger tour. Nothing in the plans yet, but I'd love to.

Cool seeing the versatility of your CAADX though. Nice to have a bike that can put on a few different hats.
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Re: To upgrade or to replace?

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed May 08, 2013 9:54 am

I'd say that your best bet is to do the modifications to the Schwinn. I've seen one of these and I thought they were a great bike for the money.

Fitting with eyelets and the like is no biggie (talk to Gripsport), eyeleted steel forks are available (check out http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/forks-steel-dept264_pg1/ ) and the 105 group is good value (though you can get the full group for less than $600 from Bike24). The other great improvement would be better wheels (but this would be the case with any circa $1500 bike).

Rear racks can be had that mount on the rear axle rather than the frame which'll get rid of the more problematic p clips. SJS in the UK has a huge range and they're good http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/rear-rack-dept254/

The alternative is to literally give the Schwinn away since it would be worth less than half what you paid for it and spend more on another bike that may 'still' not suit your needs. As the owner of a cross bike...it is not and never will be anything but a severely compromised touring bike if I were ever that stupid to make that particular leap. I'd rather buy a tourer!!
Ours is not to reason why...merely to point and giggle
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Re: To upgrade or to replace?

Postby Tim » Wed May 08, 2013 10:14 am

Versatile, durable, reliable, strong. Best value for money steel framed touring/commuting bike on the Australian market;

http://www.viventebikes.com/

Plenty of discussion here;

http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=80&t=50053

and here;

http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=77&t=63295
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Re: To upgrade or to replace?

Postby Tim » Wed May 08, 2013 3:27 pm

Alternately, have Ribble build you up a Reynolds 525 steel tubed frame with your own choice of components;

http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/bbd/road-track-bike/ribble-reynolds-525-steel?part=BB13RIBREYNOLDS525&sub=conf_BBRW&bike=1

Suitable for light touring ie. rear panniers only, with the supplied carbon fiber forks, or replace with steel forks fitted with rack eyelets for front and rear panniers.
I'm seriously considering building up one of these frames for my next road bike. Equipped with Ultegra running gear and very good Shimano RS80 wheels I'm finding it hard to track down a better value steel framed equivalent.
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Re: To upgrade or to replace?

Postby cyclotaur » Wed May 08, 2013 3:50 pm

tree_stumper wrote:Thanks for the replies.
.......
I like the idea of a cross bike, my only reservation is the lack of fork eyelets. For light touring it's no biggie, but I've wished my current bike was more versatile, and I don't want to be wishing that my bike had lugs on the front when I decide to bite off a bigger tour. Nothing in the plans yet, but I'd love to.

Cool seeing the versatility of your CAADX though. Nice to have a bike that can put on a few different hats.


The CAADX has front fork eyelets... and rear eyelets and rack mounts. :?

Just the same, I'm not planning any heavy, self-supported touring ... but light-touring is a cinch. :)
Here's my blog - A bit of fun :)
"Riding not racing...."
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Re: To upgrade or to replace?

Postby cyclotaur » Wed May 08, 2013 3:57 pm

silentbutdeadly wrote:I'd say that your best bet is to do the modifications to the Schwinn. I've seen one of these and I thought they were a great bike for the money ..... As the owner of a cross bike...it is not and never will be anything but a severely compromised touring bike if I were ever that stupid to make that particular leap. I'd rather buy a tourer!!

Hey -- who you callin' stoopid ?!?! :lol:
Here's my blog - A bit of fun :)
"Riding not racing...."
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Re: To upgrade or to replace?

Postby jemima » Wed May 08, 2013 5:20 pm

Not sure what size you are, but there's a 2007 (white with red frame; trad geo.) Jamis Quest with double-crank (you could change to triple) on Vic Gumtree, right now for $600.

The 2007 Quest, is my favourite.
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Re: To upgrade or to replace?

Postby rjk » Thu May 09, 2013 8:20 am

what about a kona jake the snake, and a second set of road wheels, i have a couple fo mates who have these and love them.

one set of wheels with cx tyres for commuting and rail trail gravel work and another set of road wheel with 23mm tyres.

covers all options
http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?conte ... _the_snake

Image
Boardman CX pro now the commuter, Salsa Casseroll, Trek Domane
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Re: To upgrade or to replace?

Postby cyclotaur » Thu May 09, 2013 8:51 am

rjk wrote:what about a kona jake the snake, and a second set of road wheels, i have a couple fo mates who have these and love them.
One set of wheels with cx tyres for commuting and rail trail gravel work and another set of road wheel with 23mm tyres.
Covers all options
http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?conte ... _the_snake

Very similar spec, setup and price to the CAADX - very nice bikes, super versatile, rack and guard eyelets etc.
Here's my blog - A bit of fun :)
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Re: To upgrade or to replace?

Postby silentbutdeadly » Thu May 09, 2013 9:18 am

cyclotaur wrote:
silentbutdeadly wrote:I'd say that your best bet is to do the modifications to the Schwinn. I've seen one of these and I thought they were a great bike for the money ..... As the owner of a cross bike...it is not and never will be anything but a severely compromised touring bike if I were ever that stupid to make that particular leap. I'd rather buy a tourer!!

Hey -- who you callin' stoopid ?!?! :lol:


Not you. You haven't seen my cross bike - a mid noughties Scott CX Team with absolutely no pretensions to racks, mudguards or anything else to do with touring let alone commuting!!
Ours is not to reason why...merely to point and giggle
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