What transforming changes have you made to your bike

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zenitb
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Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by zenitb »

Hub dynamos for me. My "daily driver" always has lights - like a car would.
pwa
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Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by pwa »

Tyres, tyres and tyres. The simplest and most effective improvement you can make to a sluggish bike. Great tyres are far more important than having the dearest groupset or even the finest frameset.

On an Audax bike I remember finding Gatorskins a bit less than grippy on steep, wet ascents on country lanes, where the rear wheel sometimes lost traction. So I tried the dearer Grand Prix 4 Seasons and the transformation in the ride was better than I had hoped. Much more grip in the wet, but also better cushioning from vibration.

On my current tourer I found standard Marathons a bit harsh over chip n seal road surfaces, so took them off and replaced with the dearer Supremes, and the bike instantly felt like a different, nicer ride, with road vibration greatly reduced and appreciably less effort required to to keep momentum over poor surfaces.

I'd rather have a mediocre bike with great tyres than a great bike with mediocre tyres. I am no longer as clued up about good tyres as I once was, but for anyone looking to make a bike swifter or smoother riding, tyres are the thing to look at first.
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geomannie
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Joined: 13 May 2009, 6:07pm

Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by geomannie »

zenitb wrote: 21 Sep 2022, 10:57pm Hub dynamos for me. My "daily driver" always has lights - like a car would.
+1 for this.

I fitted a hub dynamo on my city bike a couple of years ago. I never now worry about lights, are they charged/good batteries? The lights just work- always.

You would never fit separate lights requiring their own power source to your car. So why on a bike?
geomannie
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Mick F
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Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by Mick F »

Where do I start with my Moulton TSR? :D

Ditched the STIs and fitted downtube levers.
Added a SA3sp to make the gearing better - 10sp Triple with a 3sp = 90 gears.
Sold the Tektro brake callipers, and fitted Shimano 105.
Fitted hub dynamo.

............ that was in a nutshell, but there's more.
Mick F. Cornwall
geocycle
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Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 9:46am

Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by geocycle »

Lots of things already mentioned above like wheels and tyres. But for me I transformed my Spa audax by lowering the gearing from the 50-34 Shimano 105 chainset to 44-28. I liked the bike but was irritated by the feeling I was always on the wrong chain ring (I have a rohloff on the workhorse bike). Made a huge difference to my enjoyment of riding around the south lakes and western dales and now love it.
hoogerbooger
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Joined: 14 Jun 2009, 11:27am
Location: In Wales

Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by hoogerbooger »

It's hilly in Wales and my 2005 6 speed Brompton's gearing was a pain in the kneecap. It's also rainy ( well it used to be !!) and water doesn't mix well with grease fired hubs (according to Brucey and his many pictures of rusty dismantled hubs).

After many years of playing with gearing options I have now got to what I think is the final arrangement of a Schlumpf speed drive and a pre-NIG SA AW 3 speed hub, with two sprockets. Working nicely with swift gear change and a good range. Oil fired on a 50/50 mix of Landrover swivel SFG/EP90 gear oil(just the SFG for the schlumpf)
Brompton  pre-NIG AW 2.jpg
The transformation?: well not only can I get to the shops/pub on it, or go for a longer ride/tour.........it quietly ticks to me in a calming therapeutic way. Brucey suggested the pre-NIG AW would survive the apocalypse. So I've got it working just in time.
Brompton pre-NIG AW 1.jpg
You are never alone when you're with someone else
Jupestar
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Joined: 29 Feb 2020, 3:03pm

Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by Jupestar »

Mick F wrote: 22 Sep 2022, 8:50am Sold the Tektro brake callipers, and fitted Shimano 105.
Brakes! When I first upgraded the brakes on my single speed bike maybe 7 years ago it was a game changer. Swapped some Promax calipers for TRP 957 (or something like that). What a massive transformative change.

Nowadays they are not a change, I always have excellent brakes (mainly TRP).
mattsccm
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Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by mattsccm »

Closer gears on my commuter bike. Ditched the outer ring of a triple c/s and now have a super compact chainset. 30/42. The 42 would be too low for most use but my commute has a long gravel up hill with a short sharp drop the other end so freewheeling is ok. Reverse I freewheel the gravel. Cassette is now a 11/25 and 10 speed. 30/25 lowest gear is more than enough for the short sharp 25% and also the long gravel climb.
42/11 is a bit low for a very gradual descent on the way home but I live with it.
Dynamo hub means no battery swapping daily.
Not sure about the idea of lights on with a car. Not in day light.
Have ridden road bikes for 50 years but in the past 10 my stem has dropped. Guess it is because that's all I do. No MTB or off road motorcycling any more but I do now ride TTs so low aero bars all summer.
GideonReade
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Joined: 4 Jul 2010, 10:46pm

Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by GideonReade »

Hey Mattsccm, "Have ridden road bikes for 50 years but in the past 10 my stem has dropped. Guess it is because that's all I do. No MTB or off road motorcycling any more but I do now ride TTs so low aero bars all summer"

Interesting, so many of us find with the years that stems creep up not down. Maybe that's only cos we do less miles? In retirement, I'm doing more miles, but some of my bikes give me neck ache. Is there hope?
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gazza_d
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Joined: 30 Oct 2016, 8:20am

Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by gazza_d »

Hub dynamo and lights. They are such a game changer for transport/commute cycling as they are always available. With a sensor light they even switch on and off automatically..

Hub gears. Again for year round cycling you can't beat them. For many years on my main bike I had an SRAM dualdrive system, but swapped it a few years ago for an alfine 11.
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GuyBoden
Posts: 47
Joined: 29 Jul 2015, 7:11pm

Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by GuyBoden »

Lower gears for any uphill, 40T and 42T rear sprockets. Road bikes.
tenbikes
Posts: 317
Joined: 11 Jan 2009, 6:41pm

Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by tenbikes »

With modern LED lights and rechargeable lithium I don't see the attraction of dynamo lighting at all......

For me, the best changes have been to loose the drop bars , going for Jones style sweeps, tubeless tyres and Hope brakes. And for off road, going to fat bike with a good selection of tyres:)

And perhaps the move back.wards....to trad cup and cone hubs on my touring bike. So quiet compared with the Hope hubs I use off road!! It feels really spooky to free wheel down hill in silence :))
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geomannie
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Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by geomannie »

tenbikes wrote: 22 Sep 2022, 8:31pm With modern LED lights and rechargeable lithium I don't see the attraction of dynamo lighting at all......
Err, no recharging, the lights just work without you having to think about them. Very relaxing, especially around the equinox when you might need lights, you might not, but they are always there.
geomannie
nomm
Posts: 374
Joined: 13 Oct 2015, 8:39pm

Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by nomm »

Dynamo lighting on the commuter/child carrier/shopping trolley/utility bike. Did this 10 years ago and have never looked back. Have them across the range and essentially they pay for themselves very quickly with regularly used bikes... Plus have certainly extended my riding seasons on the audax machine.

Hydro disks as a recent upgrade on the same work horse. Entry level shimanos flat bar system but bloody hell what a change in performance. Especially on a heavy double racked commuter. Wouldn't say I'm ready to give up the rims/calipers on the audax yet, but being lucky enough to test ride a lot of drop bar hydro bikes, it's certainly getting more tempting. The dura ace road hydros were shockingly good on a 4k+ Cannondale I tested recently.

Tyres - whether it's 35mm marathons on the commute and getting punctures less than once a year, or the balance of performance from a conti 4 season on the road bike. It's always surprising how much difference to speed, comfort or hardyness a tyre can make.
Dingdong
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Joined: 22 Apr 2022, 4:59pm

Re: What transforming changes have you made to your bike

Post by Dingdong »

Motor and a decent battery. Just starting on second bike conversion, a very easy task really on a venerable Marin Pallisades for my brother. It's a very nice looking Tange Triple butted bike with Shimano XT throughout and I've just converted the front to disc braking.

Assist is fabulous, especially on those days when it's grim and grey and you really don't want to get the bike out from it's winter rest. With a battery, even the most brutal of winter weather is a breeze (pardon the pun), not a great fan of cycling for utility but this is a game changer for me at any rate.
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