Component comments

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Scott C, Jun 30, 2003.

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  1. Scott C

    Scott C Guest

    I'm looking at buying a new bike.. each model seems to have a low end, mid range, and high(er) end
    bike, the components being the difference - derailers, wheels, maybe breaks, ... ... and my question
    is, does it really make a difference (I ride about 30miles a weekend). I'm specifically looking at a
    Specialized Expedition - which comes in a Sport, Deluxe, and SE grade. I rode the Deluxe and the SE
    ($100 difference) and personally I did not notice much of a difference, if any. OK, I'm not a great
    judge, so do you 'experts' think I'd be better off spending the additional $100 ?

    Can someone tell me how the derailer (a better grade) will differ from a lesser grade? They both
    move the chain from sproket to sproket.. and seem to do it effortlessly. On my 20 year old
    Specialized bike, that I ride now, it's physical work to change to a lower gear on the rear derailer
    - on the new bike I rode, a simple click changed the gears, no effort at all.

    Thanks

    Scott
     
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  2. Scott C <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Can someone tell me how the derailer (a better grade) will differ from a lesser grade?

    Not a lot. Maybe slightly lighter.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
  3. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    > >Can someone tell me how the derailer (a better grade) will differ from a lesser grade?
    >
    > Not a lot. Maybe slightly lighter.
    > --
    Maybe less inherent slop in the pivots, etc.?

    Mike
     
  4. Nate

    Nate Guest

    "Scott C" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I'm looking at buying a new bike.. each model seems to have a low end, mid range, and high(er)
    > end bike, the components being the difference - derailers, wheels, maybe breaks, ... ... and my
    > question is, does it really make a difference (I ride about 30miles a weekend). I'm specifically
    > looking at a Specialized Expedition - which comes in a Sport, Deluxe, and SE grade. I rode the
    > Deluxe and the SE ($100 difference) and personally I did not notice much of a difference, if
    > any. OK, I'm not a great judge, so do you 'experts' think I'd be better off spending the
    > additional $100 ?
    >
    > Can someone tell me how the derailer (a better grade) will differ from a lesser grade? They both
    > move the chain from sproket to sproket.. and seem to do it effortlessly. On my 20 year old
    > Specialized bike, that I ride now, it's physical work to change to a lower gear on the rear
    > derailer - on the new bike I rode, a simple click changed the gears, no effort at all.
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > Scott

    The primary difference between the various component groups is weight. The differences in
    performance that do exist are fairly subtle. Ramp patterns on cassettes and chainrings get made with
    more detail at higher levels, the springs in canti break pivots are made with tighter tolerances to
    make centering easier, etc. But the performance differenes are never really critical for
    non-competitive riders. Deraileurs especially tend to work very adequately regardless of price
    level. What's most important for good shifting is that everything is set up right... even the
    smallest mistake/inaccuracy in setting up the cable housings or adjustment screws on a deraileur can
    make it perform much worse. Unfortuneatly, many shops don't pay the same amount of attention to
    setting up cheaper stuff as they do more expensive stuff, leading to some misperceptions about the
    real differences between components of different quality levels. By the same token, the cheaper a
    wheel is, the higher the chance of its hub coming from the factory mis-adjusted and undergreased,
    the rim being untrue and the spokes untensioned and not stress relieved, etc, and there are plenty
    of shops that don't correct these problems consistently and/or adequately. And then there are some
    real differences in design and features, like v-brakes with parallel linkage systems. One of the
    most important quality difference in mtb components is whether or not the crankset has replacable
    chainrings. Cheaper cranksets have the chainrings riveted in place, and so when they wear out you
    have to get a new crankset. Personally I would recommend getting something that at least has
    replaceable chainrings. Now none of this covers suspension, which are where a lot of the real
    differences between modern mtbs are. The status quo is that everyone wants one (or the industry
    wants everyone to want one, or whatever) and manufacturers make few real bikes that don't have them,
    but the ones they put on cheaper bikes are total crap that are pretty much only there to look like a
    shock. Although I don't have experience with the specific forks on the bikes you're looking at, the
    Expedition range uses SR/"Suntour" forks, which along with RST pretty much define crappy low-end
    forks. These have all sorts of serviceability/adjustability/longevity/consistency/functionality
    issues and should be avoided - you're better off with a rigid bike.
     
  5. Cyclist101

    Cyclist101 Guest

    Scott C wrote:
    > I'm looking at buying a new bike.. each model seems to have a low end, mid range, and high(er)
    > end bike, the components being the difference - derailers, wheels, maybe breaks, ... ... and my
    > question is, does it really make a difference (I ride about 30miles a weekend). I'm specifically
    > looking at a Specialized Expedition - which comes in a Sport, Deluxe, and SE grade. I rode the
    > Deluxe and the SE ($100 difference) and personally I did not notice much of a difference, if
    > any. OK, I'm not a great judge, so do you 'experts' think I'd be better off spending the
    > additional $100 ?

    I agree with Nate about the fork, unless you're 100% sure you'll only ride it on fairly smooth
    surfaces and even then it's a liability due to its weight and maintenance. Better off rigid or
    getting a better suspension fork.

    The main differences in component groups are weight, strength, and higher degrees of precision. If
    you're riding around town, none of those will really matter in the long run and the Sport model
    should be acceptable with its Acera components. If you want to ride trails, especially with some
    technical features, you'll probably want components that are on the stronger side (Deore, XT; I
    think you'd be happier with an entirely different bike if you plan on doing technical riding). That
    doesn't mean you can't ride the Sport model off-road; you can, you'll just have more maintenance
    issues to deal with over the long term. You'd still have maintenance issues with other component
    groups as well.

    As for the money, it really depends how much you have to throw around. Nate's advice about
    replaceable chainrings is sound. The Acera set-up on the Sport model is serviceable, so it
    should suffice.

    > Can someone tell me how the derailer (a better grade) will differ from a lesser grade? They both
    > move the chain from sproket to sproket.. and seem to do it effortlessly. On my 20 year old
    > Specialized bike, that I ride now, it's physical work to change to a lower gear on the rear
    > derailer - on the new bike I rode, a simple click changed the gears, no effort at all.

    Weight and strength primarily, precision secondarily. Have you had anyone look at your old bike to
    see why it's difficult to shift? I have a bike as old as yours and it shifts flawlessly.
     
  6. Mike S. <[email protected]> wrote:
    >David Damerell:

    Don't delete attribution lines, please.

    >>>Can someone tell me how the derailer (a better grade) will differ from a lesser grade?
    >>Not a lot. Maybe slightly lighter.
    >Maybe less inherent slop in the pivots, etc.?

    Maybe. Which will make about no difference with today's fancy tooth profiles.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
  7. Cyclist101

    Cyclist101 Guest

    Scott C wrote:
    > Thanks Nate and Cyclist101 - great answers for me. I could spend hours picking your guy's brains..
    > I appreciate the complete answers.

    Anytime.

    > I will look in to the difficult shifting.. it does shift correct each time (analog shifter), but
    > it's very hard to upshift (into a lower gear). Maybe a spring issue (if there is one!)

    Are they thumb shifters or twist? Do you know if it's indexed (click) or friction (slides without
    clicking; easy to over- or under-shift)?

    Sometimes replacing cables and housings make all the difference in the world, especially on older
    bikes. The housings can get dry and brittle and cause the cable to stick even if you've sprayed lube
    around the ends of the housings. Replacing your shifters, if they're malfunctioning or something, is
    also a lot less expensive than a new bike. That is, if you're happy with your bike otherwise.
     
  8. Thanks Nate and Cyclist101 - great answers for me. I could spend hours picking your guy's brains.. I
    appreciate the complete answers.

    I will look in to the difficult shifting.. it does shift correct each time (analog shifter), but
    it's very hard to upshift (into a lower gear). Maybe a spring issue (if there is one!)

    Scott

    "cyclist101" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Scott C wrote:
    > > I'm looking at buying a new bike.. each model seems to have a low end,
    mid
    > > range, and high(er) end bike, the components being the difference - derailers, wheels, maybe
    > > breaks, ... ... and my question is, does it
    really
    > > make a difference (I ride about 30miles a weekend). I'm specifically
    looking
    > > at a Specialized Expedition - which comes in a Sport, Deluxe, and SE
    grade.
    > > I rode the Deluxe and the SE ($100 difference) and personally I did not notice much of a
    > > difference, if any. OK, I'm not a great judge, so do
    you
    > > 'experts' think I'd be better off spending the additional $100 ?
    >
    > I agree with Nate about the fork, unless you're 100% sure you'll only ride it on fairly smooth
    > surfaces and even then it's a liability due to its weight and maintenance. Better off rigid or
    > getting a better suspension fork.
    >
    > The main differences in component groups are weight, strength, and higher degrees of precision. If
    > you're riding around town, none of those will really matter in the long run and the Sport model
    > should be acceptable with its Acera components. If you want to ride trails, especially with some
    > technical features, you'll probably want components that are on the stronger side (Deore, XT; I
    > think you'd be happier with an entirely different bike if you plan on doing technical riding).
    > That doesn't mean you can't ride the Sport model off-road; you can, you'll just have more
    > maintenance issues to deal with over the long term. You'd still have maintenance issues with other
    > component groups as well.
    >
    > As for the money, it really depends how much you have to throw around. Nate's advice about
    > replaceable chainrings is sound. The Acera set-up on the Sport model is serviceable, so it should
    > suffice.
    >
    > > Can someone tell me how the derailer (a better grade) will differ from a lesser grade? They both
    > > move the chain from sproket to sproket.. and
    seem to
    > > do it effortlessly. On my 20 year old Specialized bike, that I ride now, it's physical work to
    > > change to a lower gear on the rear derailer - on
    the
    > > new bike I rode, a simple click changed the gears, no effort at all.
    >
    > Weight and strength primarily, precision secondarily. Have you had anyone look at your old bike to
    > see why it's difficult to shift? I have a bike as old as yours and it shifts flawlessly.
     
  9. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "cyclist101" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Scott C wrote:
    > > Thanks Nate and Cyclist101 - great answers for me. I could spend hours picking your guy's
    > > brains.. I appreciate the complete answers.
    >
    > Anytime.
    >
    > > I will look in to the difficult shifting.. it does shift correct each
    time
    > > (analog shifter), but it's very hard to upshift (into a lower gear).
    Maybe a
    > > spring issue (if there is one!)
    >
    > Are they thumb shifters or twist? Do you know if it's indexed (click) or friction (slides without
    > clicking; easy to over- or under-shift)?
    >
    > Sometimes replacing cables and housings make all the difference in the world, especially on older
    > bikes. The housings can get dry and brittle and cause the cable to stick even if you've sprayed
    > lube around the ends of the housings. Replacing your shifters, if they're malfunctioning or
    > something, is also a lot less expensive than a new bike. That is, if you're happy with your bike
    > otherwise.
    >

    Maintenance? What's that?? I just ride my bike till the wheels don't turn any more then give it to
    the LBS and they make it all better...

    Seriously, once you start riding older bikes, or off-road, you'd better learn at least the very
    basics of bike maintenance: cleaning & lubing in particular. Those two aspects of bike maintenance
    will keep your bike happy for a long time.

    You don't have to be very mechanically inclined to wipe off the dirt. Or very mechanically inclined
    to look for pivots and spray them with Tri-flow, then wipe them off.

    Mike
     
  10. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    > >David Damerell wrote:
    > >>Don't delete attribution lines, please.
    > >Why waste space and time scrolling past the things when you can go look
    at
    > >who wrote what on the main thread?
    >
    > I count four defective assumptions here;
    > 1) Propagation of news articles is universally reliable.
    > 2) All newsreaders are threaded.
    > 3) It is somehow easier to grind back up the thread than to look at the text of the article you
    > are reading. [with perhaps 3a) Everyone's newsreader has the same interface.]
    > 4) Attribution lines consume a significant amount of space.
    > --
    > David Damerell

    The attribution lines take up LOTS of space when you start getting into really long threads. Since I
    don't want to read the damn things when I'm following a thread, I chop them out when I reply.

    Mike
     
  11. Mike S. <[email protected]> wrote: [Vile linewrap corrected - get a real newsreader!]
    >David Damerell:
    >>Mike S
    >>>David Damerell wrote:
    >>>>Don't delete attribution lines, please.
    >>>Why waste space and time scrolling past the things when you can go look at who wrote what on the
    >>>main thread?
    >>I count four defective assumptions here;
    >>1) Propagation of news articles is universally reliable.
    >>2) All newsreaders are threaded.
    >>3) It is somehow easier to grind back up the thread than to look at the text of the article you
    >> are reading. [with perhaps 3a) Everyone's newsreader has the same interface.]
    >>4) Attribution lines consume a significant amount of space.

    I notice you have not responded to #1 through #3 here. When do you plan to do so?

    >The attribution lines take up LOTS of space when you start getting into really long threads.

    This is not correct if proper quoting procedure is used, which is to trim attribution lines that
    have no associated text. Here we have only four attribution lines, which would occupy a mere 1/6 of
    the "lowest common denominator" 80x24 terminal.

    >Since I don't want to read the damn things when I'm following a thread, I chop them out
    >when I reply.

    So your posts should conform to your own personal preferences, even if those preferences are based
    on defective assumptions, rather than generally accepted standards; since presumably you post for
    your own benefit, and not in the hope that anyone else will read it.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
  12. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "David Damerell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:5Yy*[email protected]...
    > Mike S. <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >David Damerell:
    >
    > Don't delete attribution lines, please.
    >
    > >>>Can someone tell me how the derailer (a better grade) will differ from a lesser grade?
    > >>Not a lot. Maybe slightly lighter.
    > >Maybe less inherent slop in the pivots, etc.?
    >
    > Maybe. Which will make about no difference with today's fancy tooth profiles.

    Actually, I think this is not true. I recently built up a new bike and swapped components around
    between 4 bikes in the process. This resulted in a few examples of old derailers with new shifters
    and the opposite, new derailers with old shifters. The slop from wear in the old derailers made for
    much less precise shifting than the wear in the shifters.

    Sometimes the more expensive components are lighter, sometimes more durable. I'm not much of a
    weight weenie, but for those components that wear out, the additional service life may be well worth
    the extra cost. A lot of low-end components seem designed for light use and probably represent a
    poor value for high mileage cyclists. Off the top of my head:

    Things that don't wear out for me: Shifters (I don't use STI, obviously, but barcons, grip &
    rapidfire), brakes & levers, cranks (yet).

    Things that do (other than consumables like tires, pads, chains): Hubs (esp freehub bodies & axles),
    bottom brackets, headsets, saddles.

    Cheap parts that are more durable: chainrings (steel), chains (at least as durable), cassettes

    Cheap parts that are less durable: rear derailers, hubs, pedals
     
  13. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    [Vile linewrap corrected - get a real newsreader!] Outlook Express isn't a real reader?

    > >David Damerell:

    > >>>David Damerell wrote:
    > >>>>Don't delete attribution lines, please.
    > >>>Why waste space and time scrolling past the things when you can go look
    at
    > >>>who wrote what on the main thread?
    > >>I count four defective assumptions here;
    > >>1) Propagation of news articles is universally reliable.
    > >>2) All newsreaders are threaded.
    > >>3) It is somehow easier to grind back up the thread than to look at the text of the article you
    > >> are reading. [with perhaps 3a) Everyone's newsreader has the same interface.]
    > >>4) Attribution lines consume a significant amount of space.
    >
    > I notice you have not responded to #1 through #3 here. When do you plan to do so?

    Why bother? You've got a bug up your arse about something. I'm not going to change just because some
    idiot on usenet isn't happy with what I'm doing. If someone died and made you GOD of usenet, I must
    have missed that memo.

    > >The attribution lines take up LOTS of space when you start getting into really long threads.
    >
    > This is not correct if proper quoting procedure is used, which is to trim attribution lines that
    > have no associated text. Here we have only four attribution lines, which would occupy a mere 1/6
    > of the "lowest common denominator" 80x24 terminal.
    >
    > >Since I don't want to read the damn things when I'm following a thread, I chop them out when
    > >I reply.
    >
    > So your posts should conform to your own personal preferences, even if those preferences are based
    > on defective assumptions, rather than generally accepted standards; since presumably you post for
    > your own benefit, and not in the hope that anyone else will read it.
    > --
    > David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
  14. On Tue, 1 Jul 2003 12:19:55 -0700, "Mike S." <[email protected]> wrote:

    > [Vile linewrap corrected - get a real newsreader!] Outlook Express isn't a real reader?

    No, it's not. It's an email client, and a bad one at that.

    >Why bother? You've got a bug up your arse about something. I'm not going to change just because
    >some idiot on usenet isn't happy with what I'm doing. If someone died and made you GOD of usenet, I
    >must have missed that memo.

    >> So your posts should conform to your own personal preferences, even if those preferences are
    >> based on defective assumptions, rather than generally accepted standards; since presumably you
    >> post for your own benefit, and not in the hope that anyone else will read it.

    What he said. You apparently post not in the hope that anyone will read it, so I'm going to make
    sure I won't be reading it in future. Ta, and bye.

    Jasper
     
  15. Mike S. <[email protected]> wrote:
    >[Vile linewrap corrected - get a real newsreader!] Outlook Express isn't a real reader?

    No. It is the worst widely deployed newsreader in existence, and has the curious distinction of
    becoming worse still with each successive version.

    >>David Damerell:
    >>>Mike S. <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>I notice you have not responded to #1 through #3 here. When do you plan to do so?
    >Why bother? You've got a bug up your arse about something. I'm not going to change just because
    >some idiot on usenet isn't happy with what I'm doing.

    So you _do_ post as a strange form of mental masturbation, and not for other people to read. Well,
    there's an obvious response to that - and somehow I suspect I won't miss your bragging about
    supposedly spinning huge gears even though your knees will drop off if you shift across a 2-tooth
    difference...
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
  16. Peter Cole <[email protected]> wrote:
    >"David Damerell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>Mike S:
    [Differences in derailleur quality]
    >>>Maybe less inherent slop in the pivots, etc.?
    >>Maybe. Which will make about no difference with today's fancy tooth profiles.
    >Actually, I think this is not true. Sometimes the more expensive components are lighter, sometimes
    >more durable. I'm not much of a weight weenie, but for those components that wear out, the
    >additional service life may be well worth the extra cost.

    I am unconvinced. I have a 15-quid Shimano Tourney rear derailleur; it has well over 6,000 miles on
    it. Move the lever, the gear changes - it's no different from when it was put on, and the shifting
    can't really be better than that. A more expensive derailleur will have to last an awfully long time
    to be cheaper in the long run.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
  17. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "David Damerell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:R0D*[email protected]...
    >
    > I am unconvinced. I have a 15-quid Shimano Tourney rear derailleur; it has well over 6,000 miles
    > on it. Move the lever, the gear changes - it's no different from when it was put on, and the
    > shifting can't really be better than that. A more expensive derailleur will have to last an
    > awfully long time to be cheaper in the long run.

    6K miles is less than a year for me, typically. Plus, I do a lot of winter (wet, salty) riding.
    Derailers have a finite life (I have a box full of used up ones), old rear derailers have a
    noticeable amount of play in the pivots. Index shifting requires some precision, friction doesn't.
    Appearance may be deceiving, but the Tourney derailer looked like a pretty shabby. I wouldn't be
    surprised if an Alivio or LX derailer lasted easily 2X and would certainly provide better shifting
    over that lifetime. I just moved a 7 year old Alivio from my main bike to a beater. It is a bit
    sloppy, but then it has probably 40K+ (all-season) miles on it.
     
  18. Peter Cole <[email protected]> wrote:
    >"David Damerell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>I am unconvinced. I have a 15-quid Shimano Tourney rear derailleur; it has well over 6,000 miles
    >>on it. Move the lever, the gear changes - it's no different from when it was put on, and the
    >>shifting can't really be better than that. A more expensive derailleur will have to last an
    >>awfully long time to be cheaper in the long run.
    >6K miles is less than a year for me, typically. Plus, I do a lot of winter (wet, salty) riding.

    6K is almost exactly a year for me, and I have the same commute in winter
    - and here you get wet all the year round.

    >Index shifting requires some precision, friction doesn't. Appearance may be deceiving, but the
    >Tourney derailer looked like a pretty shabby. I wouldn't be surprised if an Alivio or LX derailer
    >lasted easily 2X and would certainly provide better shifting over that lifetime.

    I don't see that another derailleur could provide better shifting. I move the (indexed) lever, the
    gear changes - there's not a lot else it can do. And I'm not saying that the Tourney's _gone_ after
    6K miles - I'm saying it's just the same as when I bought it (admittedly I've taken it apart and
    cleaned it once) - any reasonable guess as to its total life multiplied by the 2X or 3X that a more
    expensive unit would cost is starting to look like some external event will trash it first anyway,
    if that makes any sense.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> Distortion Field!
     
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