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Buying Specialized Cirrus Elite Disc. Need upgrade help.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 


I’m buying a 2011 Specialized Cirrus Elite Disc for a rain bike and I need a 22 up front. But using Sheldon Brown’s gear calculator, I believe I can still make this a double. (Making it a 2 x 8 with a Shimano HG-40 8sp 11 – 32.) Here’s where I’m dumb. Since I’m swapping cranksets, – and since I want to start reducing weight and upgrading quality, - what do you recommend for a crankset? As to ring gears, close spacing “sounds” good. But to match the downhill speed of the 1998 Trek 970SHX that I am very familiar and comfortable with in downhill traffic, I’d need a 36 up front, making it a 22 – 36. Does that spacing present issues?
One other thing regarding the crankset. A friendly mechanic told me that if I want crisper shifting up front ( I DO ! I DO! ) an upgraded FD might not buy me anything, unless the crankset was purchased to match that in some way? Can anyone explain that? Make any sense? Recommendations? (What FD comes with the bike? A Shimano Altus. What shifters? EZ Fire for flatbar.)
To keep the $$$ under control, I’d rather not upgrade the shifters at this point. Nor the handlebar. Nor the wheels. However, this would be the time to upgrade the RD to a Shimano Deore XT with medium cage. Do I have that right? All input welcome!!
I’m a caregiver, so circumstances often just push me out the door even if there is heavy rain. That’s what this bike would be for - joy riding in the rain. But here’s the problem. I now have a nice road bike for dry weather, - very light and very crisp shifting - so , yeah, – after decades, suddenly I’m spoiled. I want everything like that.
post #2 of 4

Upgradeitis can be real costly, and if you're planning upgrades even before you've gotten the bike - well, maybe you should be looking at another bike instead.


I've always found that how you synch your shifting with your pedalling has far greater influence on front derailer performance than make & model of the derailer. It's working on the tension side of the chain, so there's an easy limit to what can be achieved. 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  Point well taken.  And I woke up this morning not that all enthralled with my choice.  So backing off.


The problem is that I've scoured them all - and when I start with the premise that I want disk brakes and lots of fender attachment points, the pickings are slim.  Also, my standards are high.  Here in the NW, I ride more months in the rain than not.  And I want a bike that feels good under me, not like I'm driving a school bus. 


Cyclocross bikes interested me, but even at $2000 they are unappealing as they are too over-ruggidized and, at that price point, too heavy.  And being so popular, they are over priced IMO. 


I've thought of building up a bike on carbon road frame, but no joy there as I don't see any with disk brake attachment points.  I guess I should look again as cyclocross bikes with disk brakes are coming - and so will the frames.  But that's one rainy-season away, me thinks.




post #4 of 4

So maybe look at a hardtail XC race MTB, slap a rigid fork on it. That'll give you the disc mounts.Fender mounts can be improvised with a modest effort and good results. Run some 24-28-32 spoke XC wheels with narrow tires. Can be made to play nice with a drop bar if that's your fancy.


Or, if you have the money, go for a Cotic Road Rat: http://www.cotic.co.uk/product/roadrat

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