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What should I do:

1. upgrade my current bike slowly: Mavic Ksryium Elites this year, new saddle and bars next year, Ultegra shifters and brakes two years from now, and finally a new frameset three years from now, or

2. put aside about $600 canadian each year for the next three years and sell my current bike for at least $600, leaving me with $2400 to buy a new complete bike on sale that would thus be better overall than if I go with option 1.

I am riding a Cannondale CAAD8 right now with a mix of 105 and cheap FSA components (crankset, brakes). The way I see it, if I go with option 1, then I get to build my way up to a better bike as I become an increasingly experienced rider, whereas with option 2, I am riding an absolute beginner bike for the next three seasons but I will get more bang for my buck when I do upgrade to a brand new complete in three years. Which option would you suggest?

11 comments

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CXR94Di2 [1585 posts] 2 months ago
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Non of the upgrades will make the bike faster, only your training and weight loss. 

The upsides- upgrading a bike is great fun, in learning new skills of bike maintainance. 

I would ride the bike for a while and learn from riding if its the perfect frame/position for you.  Once you know the frame is right, start putting the desirable bits on it.  If the frame is not perfect, buy another and build that up.

Always build a bike from the best frame you can afford.

Also bear in mind as you get fitter your aspirations might change and racing or long distance become of interest to you and the bikes requirements will change also.

This is one of the bikes I've built after riding others for a few years beforehand

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unconstituted [2355 posts] 2 months ago
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Yah, start with the best frame you can get, and work from there. Get something you can't stop looking at and want the ride the hell out of. Even if it takes ages to get it. Find some other focus in the interim. Like an FTP score and body fat loss. That can take your mind off your bike and by the time you get your new frame, you'll feel like you've deserved it. 

 

I made a mistake by buying a frame I thought was a nice and safe bet, and went on an endless upgrade spree on it. Could have thrown 5 grand at it and it still wouldn't be the bike I wanted. Ended up selling all the stuff off, saved up for months and got the frame I really loved this year when I was able to negotiate the price down to where I wanted. 

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trohos [34 posts] 2 months ago
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First of all, think what you want from your bike. Also +1 for body weight loss. If you want it for commute, for some sunday rides or for winter training i think your bike is perfect, except in the case you want to get involved in road racing (weight). Also i disagree, this is not an absolute beginner bike! But if you want to change something, in my opinion, are the wheels (of course, if those in your bike aren't good).

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cyclesteffer [258 posts] 2 months ago
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Didnt Mario Cipollini do alright on the earlier Caad frames? I thought he won a stage of the tour de France at some insane 50kph+ average speed? (30mph) I think they are pretty good bikes! I've always read that the Caads were well worth upgrading to get the most out of them.

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alansmurphy [432 posts] 2 months ago
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Also won't it be like painting the - inert name of bridge here - bridge? In other words when you get your decent gears on it your wheels may be nearing 3 years old and around you go again...

 

Is finance an option if you know you can save $50 a month is a finance package worth a go and the other bike either becomes winter/turbo or could be sold for point of sale upgrades or saved for wheelsets etc. down the line.

 

Second hand is the other option, I've built up from a Specialized Allez (£600 bike I paid £250 for and sold at a profit) to a Cannondale Synapse (worth £1,800 and paid £600 - must be stolen) so I'm £550 down and have had 4 years riding, learnt some stuff and miles up the road in terms of new bike performance...

 

 

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brooksby [2235 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

What is this "saving" of which you speak?    

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WhatNow [1 post] 2 months ago
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Thanks for the advice, everyone! I have decided to save for a complete and only upgrade the wheelset to something in the $300-500 price range for the time being.

 

"What is this "saving" of which you speak?"

What I mean is that it would be cheaper to buy a complete on sale than it would be to build that same bike by buying all of the parts individually, over time.

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Nat Jas Moe [154 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Well you could do both, just as I did upgraded my groupset and then a month later bought an new much better / sleaker / nicer bike. Now I have a filthy weather bike and a sunny weather bike. Happy days.

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pedalpowerDC [356 posts] 2 months ago
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Your caad 8 is old as dirt. Ride that sucker into the ground, replace parts as needed, sell the thing for a couple hundred in a few years, and get something completely new.

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wellsprop [185 posts] 2 months ago
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WhatNow wrote:

Thanks for the advice, everyone! I have decided to save for a complete and only upgrade the wheelset to something in the $300-500 price range for the time being.

That's exactly what I did to my 2011 Dawes Giro 500.

It came with Tiagra 9 speed and crappy box section wheel with a million spokes each. I've had it since new, since then, I've stuck some Campy Zondas on it with Vittoria Open Corsas and put Shimano 105 on.

There's nothing more I can do now except save up for my next bike. When I get the next bike, I'll strip my Dawes for parts and transfer the parts onto my disc brake winter/commute bike  10

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HowardR [132 posts] 2 months ago
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WHEELS! - Tyres & (if your a grumpy sod like me -  tubes - latex preferably).

Once you get past a certain stage of O.Kness in the frame it's the wheels & tyres that give a bike it's feel.

If you can, try to borrow the lightest wheels you can blag & see what that does to your CAAD8.

As to most of the other parts..... It in part depends on what sort of terrain you generaly ride through but   for a lot of the time most parts are just hanging there adding a bit of mass & drag. The biggest difference between a £20 pair of handlebars and a £200 pair is the price  & if the £20 modle fits you better than that's the pair to go for.

After that - maybe keep an eye out for last years Super-Whizzo frame being sold off cheap.....