At what point does it become pointless upgrading a bike?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Andrew_Culture, 19 Aug 2012.

  1. Andrew_Culture

    Andrew_Culture Internet Marketing bod

    Thanks to some tipsy bidding I 'won' a Claud Butler Roubaix frame for £50 on eBay. A friend then gave me the old rims from his 80s Peugeot racer turned fixie and the 52t front crank. My local bike doctor then added second hand brakes, a new chain and a single speed freewheel and hey presto; I'm a lot closer to the roadie I'm been dreaming of.

    So far the total cost to me is around £170.

    Having been out for a decent ride I now know I need gears. So while I prepare to start trawling eBay for unwanted gems I'm wondering if upgrading this bike is the right thing to do. The frame is nothing terribly special and maybe I can get £200 off someone who is after an alternative to a Spesh Langster.

    Or taking into account the fact that I can only spare about £30 on parts (on an average month) should I very gradually upgrade this bike with the best parts I can afford, with an eye to one day changing the frameset?

    I currently have £100 in the pot.

    I know I'm kinda thinking out loud here, but any input would be appreciated!


    ____________________________________________________________________________
    Posted from a sarcasm free mind, seriously, if I'm being sarcastic I'll add <sarcasm> tags. Of course this message isn't sarcastic in any way. Oh gawd, now I'm just confused...
     
  2. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Location:
    Chandler's Ford
    If you were closer I'd offer you the run of my box of semi-redundant bits - plenty of of old DT shifters / mechs / a few double chainsets / and even a 6 speed freewheel.

    As to whether it's worth spending money on.... the questions I'd be asking are:
    Frame Material - Aluminium? Steel? Reynolds? 531? or another recognisable "name"
    Bosses on downtube for cable stops or DT shifters, or if none and requires band-on, what diameter?
    Derailleur hanger ? or direct mount to hub axle (with semi-horizontal dropout)
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Andrew_Culture

    Andrew_Culture Internet Marketing bod

    The frame is from a bike only a handful of years old, the downtube says 'Made in Taiwan' :smile:

    There are no bosses for friction shifters, and I would prefer integrated brakes / changers.

    Thanks for the offer though :smile:


    ____________________________________________________________________________
    Posted from a sarcasm free mind, seriously, if I'm being sarcastic I'll add <sarcasm> tags. Of course this message isn't sarcastic in any way. Oh gawd, now I'm just confused...
     
  4. The frame sounds 10 a penny, (no disrespect), so probably no worth 'investing' in.

    However, if doing so helps you to improve/fine tune your fettling abilities, and you can use the experience to create your ideal set up, which you then plan to transplant to a more worthy frame then go for it.

    Building/restoring/converting a bike is a very rewarding experience IME, but can easily become quite expensive, although it sounds like you've got a grip of your finances, (or they've got a grip of you), so you should be fine.

    Just remember though, even if you get it 100% to your satisfaction, when you get a new frame some parts may not transplant, namely the seat post and front mech depending on fitment, but you can always replace them and sell on the ones you can't use.

    Ultimately though only you can decide if it's worth doing. You can very easily get into new bike territory when building bikes, due to the subsided cost of new bikes versus the individual cost of components, but if you do decide to do it, you will enjoy it I'm sure.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Andrew_Culture

    Andrew_Culture Internet Marketing bod

    I've had the frame for a long time and wholly regret buying it.

    I like your way of thinking though, and it I build / upgrade this bike I can do silly things like put a 54t ring on the front :/
     
  6. Nebulous

    Nebulous Veteran

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Looking at the price of second-hand bikes provides a sobering influence to any thoughts of reconditioning them, other than as a labour of love. I commuted for a year on a hardtail mtb, which I had owned from new, about 8 years. It had done very few miles in its first 7 years, then quite a bit in its last one. The rear rim was worn past the wear indicators, the bottom bracket was rough, and the headset bearings were shot. About £70-80 worth of bits if I did the work myself. My mind was made up to scrap it when a colleague bought a steel mtb in reasonable condition for £40.

    My son went abroad for a year and left behind a rather worn Subway. I decided to do a refurb as a pub bike. I changed cables, a tyre, freewheel and chain and I was quickly down about £40. I then realised it needed a wheel, and a chainset, by which point I was totally disillusioned. Fortunately somebody nicked it before I dropped any more money on it.

    On the other side of the coin usable bikes can even be difficult to give away. We've had bad experiences of putting bikes on freecycle, with people not turning up when they say they will and / or grumbling about some aspect of them. The best option seems to be putting them on Ebay, at least people come for them. My two daughters both got new bikes, and we put 2 similar bikes on Ebay starting at 99p. One of them went for £4.99, and the other reached the giddy heights of £28 for some reason.

    We truly live in a disposable society.
     
    dellzeqq likes this.
  7. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Resistance is futile! Moderator

    Location:
    Stevenage
    If you can get £200 for it, I'd flog it, add your £100 and get a Triban 3 from Decathlon.
    Alloy frame, carbon fork and 24 speed Shimano 2300 gears :thumbsup:
    It's not really worth faffing about, since your Claude Butler frame is nothing special anyhow...
     
    dellzeqq likes this.
  8. OP
    OP
    Andrew_Culture

    Andrew_Culture Internet Marketing bod

    Part of me wants to fight that,but a bigger part of me knows it's futile.

    I think I'm reaching the conclusion that money would be better spent buying some spd pedals and shoes, saving up for a Triban 3 and then keeping this bike as it is for the winter commute.

    Thanks as always'
     
  9. palinurus

    palinurus Guru

    Location:
    Watford
    eBay parts. I got a functional 105 rear mech on eBay for a penny once, used it on my commute hack for two years. Only thing wrong with it was it was filthy. I got lucky with that but even so I doubt it would've cost much.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Andrew_Culture

    Andrew_Culture Internet Marketing bod

    The £200 was a total and fairly unrealistic guess!
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Andrew_Culture

    Andrew_Culture Internet Marketing bod

    The £200 was a total and fairly unrealistic guess!
     
  12. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Resistance is futile! Moderator

    Location:
    Stevenage
    I know, but it's worth a try.
    There are cheap ways to get gears happening, but it's the STI levers that cost a fortune.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Andrew_Culture

    Andrew_Culture Internet Marketing bod

    Hmm, looking on eBay a decent set of STI levers costs half the price of a Triban 3!
     
  14. palinurus

    palinurus Guru

    Location:
    Watford
    When I did a similar thing I used downtube shifters. Tricky if your frame doesn't have the lugs (although maybe you can get band-on shifters, someone will know). Bar-end shifters will work.
     
  15. Nebulous

    Nebulous Veteran

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    Like this?
     
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