The Future For My *New* Bike

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by LostBoysDown, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. LostBoysDown

    LostBoysDown New Member

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    I was borrowing a road bike from a friend (I was going to be riding with some guys, and I wasn't going to be able to hang on my 100 dollar Dick's Sporting Goods bike), and he offered to give it to me for 30 dollars. Which is an absolutely amazing offer, let me tell you. A Specialized Allez, currently in near-perfect condition, several years old, and has very few things wrong with it (that actually affect riding, there are cosmetic flaws, but that doesn't bother me)

    The rear brake needs to be fixed for sure, as it currently does not work at all. I'm not sure though if it's the lever or the actual calipers themselves that are the problem. I imagine it would be fairly simple to switch to an integrated brake/shift system from the old style (shifters on the frame), would it not?

    I would also like to switch to clipless pedals, because these toe clips are pretty annoying, and one of them doesnt even have the toe part - it's just a strap.

    As for the wheels...I think they're fine for now, but they're showing age (and actually, now that I think of it, the bike's older than I thought. I think that the handlebars have been replaced recently, giving the bike a slightly newer look...but I digress). Would it be a good idea to replace the wheels, and keep the old ones *just in case*? The tubes definitely need replacing, as it looks like the rubber is starting to come apart.

    The saddle I can live with for now - I've taken this bike on 3 hour+ rides and my bottom wasn't too terribly sore.

    I don't plan on doing all this at once - I'll probably start with brakes and shoes/pedals, and probably tubes/tires, as it seems like a slow leak may be developing.

    Other things to consider: is there really that much of an advantage to wearing bike shorts and a jersey? What advantages are there to using aero bars when not in a racing context - simply another position to ride in? Those of you who don't have the luxury of riding on perfectly smooth roads - how do you keep the tires and wheels in good condition? A lot of the roads around here are quite nice, however, some areas are just horrendous.

    I'm just looking for general feedback (yes, I know, it's a ridiculous deal) on what I plan to do, as well as at least some general respnses about my questions.
     
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  2. dgregory57

    dgregory57 New Member

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    If it ain't broke don't fix it.

    I would leave the wheels alone for now, and only fix the things that seem to be problematic like the brakes.

    The tires should be OK until threads show or there is any cracking.

    I ave seen other threads that mention that the expense and work of going to integrated shifters is quite extensive... You may want to save stuff like that for when you buy your next bike.

    But, I actually am responding here concerning the shorts.

    On Saturday I did my first ride with shorts and a jersey, and I rode the same route I had ridden 6 days earlier. No rides in between, but a couple of work-outs. There may be other variables, but my ride that originally took 1:59 took 1:50 and I felt much better at the end. So, you should look seriously at getting some shorts...

    My next step is going to be clipless pedals and shoes.
     
  3. LostBoysDown

    LostBoysDown New Member

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    The only reason I mention going to integrated shifters is that I'm going to have to replace the rear brake anyway. However, it may be a matter of replacing the cable, as I'm not exactly sure what's wrong with it. The trip to my LBS should clear things up a bit.

    As for the shorts...it seems like my idea could be right. Swimmers wear tight suits not only because of the reduced drag, but also because it helps keep muscle quivering down, which can cause fatigue more quickly. Same principle I guess.

    And the tires...I can see that the rear tire USED to have treads on it, but now it's looking more like slicks, and the side walls are starting to crack, so yeah...they're getting replaced.

    I'll get some pictures up when I get around to playing with my camera. But it's time to go ride now.
     
  4. jyeager

    jyeager New Member

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    The brake caliper has nothing to do with the integrated shifting.

    If this is an older bike with a 126.5 mm dropout width, I don't think you'll find any integrated STS systems that work....they're all based on the 9-10 speed systems that use 130mm dropouts.
    So you'd have to buy new brake levers, deraillers, rear wheel, cassette (some would say crank), all for a cost of around $500 AND it may require a frame upgrade to boot.
    Just fix the brake problem...it's probably an issue with the cable and/or pads and not likely the calipers anyway.

    The pedals are a great and necessary upgrade, you'll also need shoes. The shorts are primarily a comfort issue. The chamois built in provides great relief during long rides. I can't see how it could make you faster though, unless you are measuring a long distance with a stop-watch (I'm thinking aerodynamics here).
     
  5. jyeager

    jyeager New Member

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    Oh yes, you also asked about wheels. They are the single best upgrade you can make. If you decide to get competitive later, you should buy a set of wheels dedicated to the task but always keep the wheels you have now, if for nothing else, inclement weather or backup use.
    A nice set of wheels are definitely worth their money and you'll feel the difference right away.
     
  6. capwater

    capwater New Member

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    Clipless pedals are a very good investment to maximize your pedal efficiency. Lots of online places (Nashbar, Performance, Supergo) have inexpensive house brands that will do the trick. Wheels might be nice if you can use 700c sized rims. Supergo has some Korsos on sale for $149 which would be a cheap upgrade. Don't mess with the shifters due to the numerous issues already mentioned. Nothing wrong with downtube friction style. Brake is an easily fixable situation not really needing an upgrade to fix.
     
  7. LostBoysDown

    LostBoysDown New Member

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    Yeah, it's a seven-speed, so it's not going to be worth the hastle. I actually kind of like the downtube shifters.

    As for the break issue, I'm positive that it's just the cable - near the back of the bike, the cable has several kinks in it that prevents the lever from pulling on the calipers.

    The only real problem I'm left with is the fact that I'm moving in at my university in five days, and I don't want to have the bike stolen or damaged, so chances are it's going to sit in my garage for the vast majority of the next 8 - 9 months. Unless of course there's some way that I can store it somewhere (maybe meet up with a team and store it at another member's house?).

    That's another thing - anyone here from the Bowling Green, Ohio area?
     
  8. jyeager

    jyeager New Member

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    Can't you fit it in your dorm room? It could probably fit under your bed or suspended from the ceiling of space is tight. In my college dorm I had access to a storage room in the basement and kept it there.
     
  9. LostBoysDown

    LostBoysDown New Member

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    That may be a possibility, but I haven't been in the room yet, so I don't know how big it is. Suspended would probably be my best bet, but I'll have to wait at least a few weeks before I can get home and bring the bike back. Still, that's better than no bike at all, right?

    I guess the fact that I'm on the first floor will help.
     
  10. LostBoysDown

    LostBoysDown New Member

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    As promised, I have a picture. This is how it is currently set up, with the first upgrades/repairs.

    Look A3.1 clipless pedals
    Specialized shoes
    Specialized Mondo tires..red because yellow wasn't an option.

    Now, when they fixed the brake cable...they ran into some trouble. The barrel where the cable connects to the calliper was totally rusted out, as was the part where the cable enters the protective housing near the rear. In short, they had to rip the cable out, hacksaw the barrel out and redrill it, fit it with a new part, get a new protective cable and then they could install the new cable. And that all stayed under the 10 dollar service fee. We are probably the luckiest town...the guy who runs one of the LBSs LOVES bikes - they're his life. The entire staff is knowledgable, won't try to just sell you a bike to make money, and...I guess you could say it's like a cyclist's utopia, so to speak.

    Anyway, here's a picture of the bike. http://photobucket.com/albums/v201/corecom/?action=view&current=dscn05252.jpg

    The only thing else I'd really consider at this point is a new saddle. Wheels are a possibility for later, and would be nice to have for when I have a second bike - just move them up, or to have as backups. That won't be soon though, as I'd like to be able to full appreciate having another bike that is signifigantly better.
     
  11. p38lightning

    p38lightning New Member

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    I wouldn't put a lot of money in it, but I certainly would "go through it" and lube and replace hub and bottom bracket ball bearings as needed. Sounds like a great deal for $30, and at that price a great training ground for learning bike maintenance. Sounds like the guys at the L.B.S. would be glad to sell you parts and lubes, and give you advice, and also bail you out if you get over your head.
     
  12. jyeager

    jyeager New Member

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    You have gotten yourself an awesome bargain. Enjoy.

    You'll need to ride a lot to work off all that ice cream. :)
     
  13. LostBoysDown

    LostBoysDown New Member

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    Ride a lot? Oh yeah - I'm physically capable of riding over three hours every day, average speed being somewhere around 20 mph, I'd approximate. (not the ENTIRE time of course, I'm not superhuman. I do understand the concept of a resting pace) Only problem is time constraints - I think you guys understand how that goes.
     
  14. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    A good jersey and bike shorts keep you dry, fresh, and keep certain male parts from abrading or getting knocked around. Definitely worth having.
     
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