Other Than Age Of Your Bike, When Do You Consider Upgrading?


Jun 11, 2015
This is a funny question for me to ask seeing I just got my upgrade a month ago. I had my parents 1980's hydrib which was OK, but just got the Specialized Sirrus base model.

I've taken 3 "longer" distance rides on it - 14 miles, 20 miles, 30 miles, and am now just beginning to rate the bike, something difficult to do at a bike shop and with a test ride. I am not a speed demon, but seem to be able to average around 17mph over these distance in an area with varying amounts of sloping hills and not too many extended flat zones.

I'm feeling some frame flex, something I never noticed before on other bikes. Nothing alarming, but for me a weird feeling. I added lights and am beginning to enjoy night riding, although here near Boston the potholes are horrible after the harsh winter we had, and that presents problems at night when going close to 20mph.

So here I am, really liking the bike, but already thinking long term. Funds was a factor in spending $480 on the bike and not more, although after adding other equipment it ran close to $700 anyways (upgrade pedals, lights, bag, pump, tool kit, spare tube). So I figure if I'm going to log in around 100 miles per week I'm already wondering if I should have spent more money on things like disc brakes, lighter frame, better components. The shop had the $1,100 Sirrus model (I think Elite), but since I don't plan on racing competitively I balked. Yet, I feel I ride "hard" compared to the general public out for leisure. I've already sped past those on their speed bikes with their biking regalia on (I do have bike shorts for padding but just wear a t-shirt), so that gives me this false sense of being a more aggressive rider.

Am I just caught in an equipment bug wanting more, or are their legitimate reasons to maybe stretch the wallet due to riding style?


Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
First thing's first - You don't race on a Sirrus. They are not allowed in UCI or USA cycling events. I don't care if you get the $2000 model - it's not a race bike.

I highly doubt you are feeling frame flex. If anything you are feeling the wheels which have the lateral stiffness of a wet spaghetti noodle. I guarantee you if you put a decent set of wheels on the bike, it would feel stiffer.

You don't need to be a racer to benefit from a "race" bike. One of those benefits is COMFORT. Road bikes optimize speed and comfort and maintain you in more aerodynamic position than a hybrid "fitness" bike. I know lots of riders that ride pretty decent mid-range road bikes (To me, about $3000-$3500 is mid range) that don't have any intention of ever going more than 17-18mph. They ride such bikes because they are comfortable, good preforming bikes that are fun to ride.

It's hard to understand the value of good performance until you find yourself in the situation you are in now where you under-bought a bike that was not well suited to your riding style because you did it based on $$$. You don't need to actually spend $3000 but you're probably better off on a $1200-$1400 aluminum road bike with 105 components.

If it's any consolation there are tons of riders like you that do the same exact thing you did.


Jun 11, 2015
Well, if it's any consolation to myself, the triathlon I'm doing in August does not have bike restrictions. My main purpose was a bike for fitness, so with that a model like the Sirrus is fine. But I suppose I underestimated my riding abilities now (at 55 years old) and thus really didn't consider a need for a more expensive (better made) bike. No knock on the bike, but I feel it will get heavier use than I originally anticipated.

Lesson learned I guess.


Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
In answer to your question:
  1. When something breaks
  2. When something might break and there's a deal I can't pass up
  3. When my wife says it's OK
I hope this helps.


Jun 11, 2015
I think my biggest issue is figuring out my own identity.

What do I want in cycling? Even if I don't do sanctioned races, how important is time over fitness to me? I like the more upright feel of a commuter bike, yet I still find myself striving for a 20mph average. I know I probably cannot attain that on a Sirrus with regularity (if ever on a longer ride), or any commuter bike for that matter. I don't think at 55 and getting older can I push a commuter bike to such an average speed. So, I guess since I just bought the bike and enjoy it, I'll just continue to push myself as hard as I can, and use the 20 as a gauge.


Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
NE Indiana
I only upgrade at the time of purchase or when something breaks, I don't upgrade for the sake of upgrading.

If the wheels are flexing, which your LBS should be able to determine that, then get a new set of wheels, BUT, a new set of decent but inexpensive wheels will cost you as much as the bike!!! Having said that probably the best deal on the market for nice aftermarket wheels is from Flo called quite simply 30, these will set you back about $498 for the pair, and if you decide to do that I would opt to have the wheels built with more spokes so the wheels last longer and have less flex even, not sure if that costs a bit more you would have to contact Flo. But those are the lowest priced aero wheels on the market that are of decent quality, so you can see they cost about as much as your bike did! But $498 for a pair of wheels is cheap in today's world as strange as that sounds. Also these wheels are completely off the shelf designed so if something were to fail you don't have to send the wheels back or wait a long time for the part to come like other factory built wheels.


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