Where to spend my money

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
liamba
Posts: 12
Joined: 29 Jun 2015, 8:54pm

Where to spend my money

Postby liamba » 30 Mar 2019, 6:32am

Hi - first post here so apologies if I’ve missed any forum etiquette.

I have one of these.... http://www.bianchiusa.com/archives/09-b ... onoq-1051/

Don’t know how I have a US spec bike but using the power of Google I couldn’t find the uk version.

I’ve had it from new and love my bike. The wheels are now Fulcrum Racing 3 and I’m about to fork out for a new Ultegra Di2 Groupset. Bearing in minding that is going to be north of £1k it begs the question, is that overkill for the bike I have?

Is there a ratio in the bike world as to where you invest your money? For example, in the hifi world they used to say you should spend 10% of your budget on cables.

I like my stuff to work perfectly, smoothly and efficiently. Gears that don’t shift spot on, or slip drive me nuts and I can’t cope with rattles. Any advice on where I should be investing?

I should say, my miles have varied over the years. A number of sportives, max 100m but most around 50m. Usually it’s a ride or two a week circa 20m. I don’t claim to have been consistent with this though!

Thanks,
Liam


I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my stupid phone.

pwa
Posts: 10654
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Where to spend my money

Postby pwa » 30 Mar 2019, 8:23am

Assuming everything you currently have is working fine, the normal priority for "upgrades" would be tyres (the most cost effective improvement) and wheels (not so cost effective, but an improvement you can feel). Those are the things most likely to make you faster, other than getting fitter of course.

But if you do want electronic shifting, will you be satisfied without it? Maybe it is just an itch you feel compelled to scratch, and you will go that way whatever. It won't make your bike cover ten miles any faster, whereas new wheels and tyres could.

Bonefishblues
Posts: 6957
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Where to spend my money

Postby Bonefishblues » 30 Mar 2019, 8:28am

Sounds like you need a new 'best' bike to me, keeping the current bike for wet rides, training etc

It is the nature of things :wink:

Brucey
Posts: 36188
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Where to spend my money

Postby Brucey » 30 Mar 2019, 8:37am

financially it usually doesn't make a lot of sense to 'upgrade' a bike; often you spend more on the parts than a whole bike might cost with those parts fitted. In terms of reselling the bike, you almost invariably won't get your money back. On the other hand upgrades can be fun though, and it can spare you the trauma of buying a new bike and making it comfy for you.

Some folk end up turning into serial bike tinkerers; forever swapping groupsets and wheels around between bikes. Other people view it as an activity that takes away from time you might have spent riding.

When all is said and done there are no 'rules' about upgrades. If you fit a given groupset on a bike and it doesn't work for you or you want to change the frame, no problem, the old kit can be bolted back on again. It usually costs you bar tape, cables, and the time it takes to swap the bits over.

FWIW it can be quite satisfying, working on bikes; like meccano, but you can ride it. However I don't know anyone who actively enjoys dealing with the computery side of Di2 systems; at best they tolerate it and hope it doesn't go wrong in such a way as it leaves you unable to ride the bike. A bit like any other computer, there are updates to fix old problems and these create new problems, and it can all go horribly wrong for some new reason that no-one has seen before....

cheers
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peterh11
Posts: 214
Joined: 20 Mar 2010, 10:25pm

Re: Where to spend my money

Postby peterh11 » 30 Mar 2019, 1:06pm

It depends, as always.

If you have a bike with a frame you really like, and you have taken the time and trouble to set it up (saddle choice and position, handlebar choice and position etc) so that it is just right for you, and you plan to keep riding it for a few years ... then I think it is worth spending money on upgrades and replacements.

How much you want to spend is absolutely up to you, but having the core of a bike which works well for me has definitely been a motivator to spend more on replacing and upgrading components than might be objectively “worth it” over the past few years. Last year I had my LBS replace the worn out hub gear and brake levers on my commuter bike, and do a full service on it, and while it was about half the cost of replacing the bike, I think it was well worth doing as it felt almost like new but without all the settling in and adjustment process (and already had saddle, bars, lights, pedals etc of my choice)

You could test ride a couple of bikes with Di2 both to check you will be happy with it and to see if your existing frame does feel better than others for you, as well as to get a sense of how much more it would cost to buy a complete bike.

Peter H

thelawnet
Posts: 2248
Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: Where to spend my money

Postby thelawnet » 30 Mar 2019, 8:03pm

Upgrading bikes is not a good substitute for riding them

Your bike looks like an entry level carbon frame. Some manufacturers might put Di2 on a similar frame - it is not of the question.

Btw in terms of working perfectly without rattles the best way is to learn maintenance and do it yourself, you can tune it up regularly so it's always nice.

Also rather than £1k on a new groupset I'd look at used bikes. £1k should get you a whole bike with Di2

gregoryoftours
Posts: 1024
Joined: 22 May 2011, 7:14pm

Re: Where to spend my money

Postby gregoryoftours » 30 Mar 2019, 10:14pm

You need to be careful, if you pass by a house as someone inside is switching channel to watch strictly your bike will change to top gear. If they switch to Jeremy Kyle your battery will spontaneously combust. Seriously though get Di2 because you really want it, not for any significant performance enhancement. Well adjusted and maintained high end mechanical gears work without a hitch too, although Di2 is snappier, especially on the front rings, and the auto trim function on the front derailleur is a thing to behold.

liamba
Posts: 12
Joined: 29 Jun 2015, 8:54pm

Re: Where to spend my money

Postby liamba » 31 Mar 2019, 7:36am

Thanks for all of the replies guys, some good food for thought. It looks like the the sort of thing I’d like new would be between £3k/£4K and not sure I want to spend that; you’ve got me thinking/looking now though. Hadn’t considered the second hand market so will have a look at that too.

A little concerned I’ve gone from “shall I:is it worth upgrading my groupset” to “I want a new bike”. I can see where this is going and give it a little while and there’ll be a Bianchi Infinito in the garage :-(

gregoryoftours
Posts: 1024
Joined: 22 May 2011, 7:14pm

Re: Where to spend my money

Postby gregoryoftours » 31 Mar 2019, 11:23am

Gears etc working spot on is more to do with setup and maintenance once you reach a certain level of componentry. In Shimano terms cable Ultegra and 105 would fall easily within this category, and are a hell of a lot cheaper than Di2, hence me saying it's only worth it if you don't mind spending the money because it's something that you really specifically want for how it feels. Maybe you could find a Di2 bike to rent for the day, or borrow a friend's or something. Are you considering Di2 because it takes cable associated problems out of the equation? I don't have enough experience to know if Di2 brings any other specific problems into the mix but it will still be prone to all of the usual non cable related issues, eg. your gears would still go out of whack if your rear hanger gets a little bent just as would happen with a cable system. You should also make sure that your frame is suitable to fit Di2; i don't know what is necessary and what's just ideal in terms of frame fittings/features but it's something to consider. Why does your bike have to be garage bound, if it's not behaving have you had it properly looked at and diagnosed?

Bonefishblues
Posts: 6957
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Where to spend my money

Postby Bonefishblues » 31 Mar 2019, 11:35am

liamba wrote:Thanks for all of the replies guys, some good food for thought. It looks like the the sort of thing I’d like new would be between £3k/£4K and not sure I want to spend that; you’ve got me thinking/looking now though. Hadn’t considered the second hand market so will have a look at that too.

A little concerned I’ve gone from “shall I:is it worth upgrading my groupset” to “I want a new bike”. I can see where this is going and give it a little while and there’ll be a Bianchi Infinito in the garage :-(

It is the way of things! :)

...and were one to be in your garage, I suspect your face mightn't look quite like that :wink:

Jamesh
Posts: 700
Joined: 2 Jan 2017, 5:56pm

Re: Where to spend my money

Postby Jamesh » 31 Mar 2019, 2:44pm

I've heard it said that you need to go up two tiers to see a real difference in shifting. So 105 to durace.
Di obviously makes a difference if you like that sort of thing but not the best for keeping in a garage or shed!
A one thirds rule is good for bike pricing
1/3 frame
1/3 groupset
1/3 wheels / finishing kit.

That's just my opinion.
I often see tiagra bikes for £1500 ouch!

Cheers James

Brucey
Posts: 36188
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Where to spend my money

Postby Brucey » 31 Mar 2019, 3:05pm

FWIW one of my chums has recently bought one of these

https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/CBPXRRULTR8000MIX/planet-x-ec-130e-r8000-custom

but with the groupset upgraded to 'all R8000' where possible. It seemed like pretty good value to me, just a few odd things to sort out when he got it.

One of the thoughts was that if he didn't get on with the new groupset or frameset very well, it would go on/be the training bike and some other combination might be the race bike.

cheers
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