Have you found the perfect bike frame?
Do you enjoy riding it?
But is there something not quite right and you are considering buying a new bike?
You don’t necessarily need to buy a new bike.
This is my experience.
I bought my Giant TCR2 in 2012 and it was the perfect bike when I first got it. But, over the years and the hundreds of miles of riding it there were a growing number niggles I had about it. These included:
• The gear shifting was slow;
• when pedalling I felt cramped;
• the gear ratios didn’t always have a comfortable setting, either the cadence was too high, or too slow; etc, etc.
The question was, what to do?
The original Groupset on my bike was the Shimano Tiagra; with 34-50 teeth chain set on the front and 9-speed cassette to the rear, 11-36 teeth.
The next step up in Groupset would be the Shimano 105; with 36-52 teeth on the chain set and an 11-speed cassette to the rear, 11-30 teeth. This would also include new cranks and reducing their length from 175mm to 172.5mm, new shifters and brake callipers too. But whilst I was upgrading all of these pieces I decided that I might as well upgrade the hubs on my wheels to DT-Swiss 350’s.
You might consider that this was a lot of expense and how does this compare the cost of a new bike?
While you may have paid £1000+ for your bike when it was new, if you have ridden it regularly and had it a few years it’s 2nd hand value is a fraction of its original price. Therefore, any money gained from selling it will only make a relatively small contribution towards the cost of the new bike.
In my case, the Giant TCR2 from 2012 would only be worth £200, approximately. Whereas the newest Giant bike with a Shimano 105 Groupset is the Giant TCR Advanced 2 – at £1,495. I would still need to find over £1,200 to fund the purchase of a new bike.
However, what about upgrading an existing bike to the Shimano 105 Groupset?
From searching numerous online Cycling retailers, you can generally purchase complete Groupsets rather than having search for individual items within their websites.
Within the Groupset bundles you can then customise your choices to suit each bike; Shimano/Campagnolo cassette and free hubs; chain set sizes; cassette sizes; crank length; the type of fitting for brake callipers and derailleurs; etc, etc.
The cost of all of this is probably not as much as you’d think. By searching around you can find Groupsets for between £360 and £460. Which is a saving of over £1,000 when compared to the cost of a new bike.
Once you’ve replaced all the Groupset the only original items left would be:
• The frame
• The Headset
• Seat post
It is like riding a new bike.
From my experience the new Groupset and hubs have completely changed my bike.
The gearing is so much nicer. It’s so quick and responsive when changing gears. As soon as you start to move the shifters the derailleurs are moving, and the gear has changed.
With the additional two gears, on the cassette, the difference between each gear is a smooth progression and it is now so simple to find the correct gearing for a comfortable and manageable cadence.
Whether it is an affect of the shorter cranks or the whole Groupset but my average speed, especially on the flats and gentle inclines, has increased by approximately 2mph; without any noticeable increase in effort.
Over time though you can keep upgrading parts on your bike:• wheel rims, deep set aero rims, carbon or alloy?
• Calliper or Disc brakes?
• New hubs?
All of which can be changed and give you a new bike feel while retaining a frame that suits your riding style and still at a cheaper cost than a whole new bike.
Should you want to look into the costs and work involved with upgrading your bike please do not hesitate to visit us in the Lower Parking Level of the Brooks Centre to speak to one of our very knowledgeable mechanics.