Quick poll - upgrade a 10+ year old top end bike or get something new

honestly, no knee jerk responses, really dig deep. I bought a GREAT bike 10-11 years ago. Madone Project1. DA7900, 50mm deep clinchers, weight with pedals 7.2kg. No BB creak, well maintained but the groupset is tired and despite some typical maintenance it just isn’t as crisp as I would like. Wheelset are fine but not great. rim brake obviously. Would I be crazy to put prior gen 11sp Ultegra di2 on it? maybe get some winspace rim brake wheels? or is it simply time to relegate this beast to the neo2t and get something new. I just can’t imagine any new bike will have enough to offer me (I’m fit, but not crazy fit) that my current bike can’t offer


I just sold my 2015 Pinarello F8. It was an awesome bike! Enve 4/5 wheels, Dura Ace Di2, SRM power meter, rim brake, carbon everywhere etc… Definitely top of the line. I thought about upgrades, but pulled the trigger on a Trek Emonda SLR9 and I’m glad I did. I’m loving the 28mm tires. Disc brakes are awesome in my opinion. SRAM red 12 speed has been great. Love the wider range of gears. It’s stiffer where it needs to be, but still compliant. All for almost the same weight. F8 was 16lbs and the Emonda is 16.07lbs. And reality is the things I listed that I really like I couldn’t have upgraded anyway. The F8 could never have disc brakes and 28mm tires. No room for 12 speeds either. Just my thoughts as I just went through this
myself. Good luck!


I am in a similar spot - keep eyeballing all the newer bikes - mine is amazing but is getting long in the tooth

I am really only envious of two things (1) the ability to run wider tires (2) the newest electric groupsets

Disk brakes are nice, but they would be more of a bonus, having the ability run 28’s, 30’s or even 32’s on chip seal for the comfort and still be fast. I can’t fit anything wider than a 23 on the rear of my R3 or it rubs.

I would suggest riding a new whip with 28’s - its will blow your mind (and your wallet)

1 Like

I’ve had the same dilemma a number of times over the years. The result is I’ve got 3 road bikes in my garage. The thing is, I get the most pleasure from riding the first one I got, a Trek Domane with rim brakes and 10speed 105 (since upgraded to SRAM Force/Rival and new wheels). It’s stiff enough for me, comfy and fits me like a glove. But I wouldn’t want to ride it all the time as the newest bike with discs, Di2 and carbon aero wheels is great. The older bike is now only used in dry weather as it’s takes more maintenance if I ride it in the generally rubbish weather we get here in the UK.

1 Like

I’d get a brand-new bike.

I kept my mountain bike for 9.5 years, and almost all parts were well-worn. By the end of its life, all sorts of standards had changed (it was the last generation of 26" fullys), which meant either buying used parts in a lot of places or really looking hard. In my book, after 10 years, your bike’s job is done. Take off all the parts and hang the frame on the wall.

You will see that new bikes come with all sorts of advantages: disc brakes means consistent braking in all conditions as well as wider tires. And you can ride your “good” wheels all year round. Electronic shifting is nice. Aero benefits are neat, too.

Get a new bike. The technology has moved on. Disc brakes and wireless shifting for the win!


I’ve just moved from a rim brake Ultegra 6800 Di2 bike to a disc brake Sram Rival AXS bike. I don’t notice any difference in the groupsets but the disc brakes and 28mm tyres are definitely worth it!

1 Like

Unless it causes you storage / financial problems I’d go for N+1 myself. When my Scandium frame broke 10 years ago I replaced it with a Ti Kinesis GF that was going to be my forever bike. It was ‘Trigger’s Broom’ for a bit, originally with all the components of the Scandium frame then gradually those were replaced (new wheels, group set etc) but after 40,000miles (6 years). I just fancied something new (N+1). I still specced a rim brake bike but the newer one is just a little more aero and light and with it being a custom geometry frame its just a joy to ride. Maybe its not an 100% upgrade on the Ti GF but it was mainly the N+1 factor for me.


I had an older s works tarmac, like yr madone it was brilliant, then i rode and bought a new tarmac expert, the ride quality blew me away. In fact almost 3yrs later i cant believe how nice it is to ride. Im 56 and loved that s-works, but there is no denying the latest carbon guru’s magic

I, personally, would get the new bike. I like new bikes. Geometry changes, technology changes, ride quality changes. I enjoy all of that. I also like to sell bikes before they lose too much value so the upgrade hurts less.

However, if I was YOU, I would not. You’ve already said you don’t think a new bike will be worth it. With that mindset, you’re going to end up disappointed.


Being the techno-grouch I am, I would (of course) keep the old bike. Refresh chainrings, chain, cassette, maybe RD rollers. Redo the cabling. Maybe upgrade the wheels. Maybe, depending on mileage, replace BB bearings. And keep riding.


Ummm… This is a dilemma I am having, or at least thinking about. So I have a 18 year old Omega Alchemy (Titanium) summer bike, and a 24 year old Kinesis TK2, Winter bike) as well as a Boardman ATT 9.8 with Sram Red 11. (probably 7 yr old) All 11 speed and rim brakes. My TT bike is a 2016 with dual Di2.

I have upgraded the Omega from 6600 3x10 to R8000 2x11 and new forks and carbon wheels. In the upgrade I found that the rear which would previously only take a 23mm tyre, because of the front mech band on, could now take a 25mm gp5000 because the R8000 band on moved up and was slimmer. That was a nice win. 25s definitely ride nicer than 23s. Likewise the TK2 is now R7000, upgrded from 6500 3x10. Whilst the change is crisper, I am not sure the 2x11 range with a wider cassette (11-34) is an upgrade from a closer 11-30, when I get the equivalent low climbing gear (30/30 = 34/34)

I keep thinking, "Wouldn’t it be nice to have a new bike, carbon or titanium, with disc brakes… maybe 12 speed, and electronic shifting… "… but then I think of the cost of change, how little I would get for the existing bikes, and changing to a new set of wheels for each one, …and my money stays in my pocket. I ride with guys who are still working and change bikes every few years, or habve multiple bikes They enjoy wider tyres and disc brakes and shiney new bikes.

However I can keep up with the other guys on the other guys who are younger and generally faster than me, so that is not an excuse. When they said lets go out on our oldest bike, most of them newer still newer than the ones I used.

I spend too long looking at FB and ebay for second hand ones, but still not convinced. If money were genuinely no object, perhaps yes. It my ego was bigger and my wallet bigger, perhaps yes. Or if a frame gave up, then yes. So far, no.

I guess it is as much about money, financing and cost of change, as much as the nicities of 28mm tyres, electronic shifting and disc brakes.

1 Like

I don’t think you’d be crazy at all. Why chase the marketing spiele when you have a great bike that’s also this resilient?

I’m like @Pbase and couldn’t have said it better. If you’re justifying worth get ready to convince yourself bikes these days are worth it. Case in point the Trek SLR 6 eTap. $8000 for a 3rd tier group and 2nd tier wheels. IDK man. I’m hopelessly addicted to new tech but, prices are stratospheric.

Even though I love new tech I’m a bit like @rocourteau. All this new tech just means a whole new world of proprietary parts and harder to work on if you want to swap anything. Case in point integrated bar/stem with hydraulic brakes.

With high prices and not maintenance friendly being able to select stem length, bar width, crank length, post setback would be something I’d consider. Unfortunately, I don’t know who does ala carte. Maybe Canyon? Or buy a frame and build it but, then prices go up…My last new complete bike was a 2021 and I had to buy a new post, bars and cranks to get the fit I like. The extra cost stung and rerunning lines, tape etc…sort of take away from the excitement as I was in and out the shop for a while dialing it all in.



Funny how electric groupsets were going to add so much flexibility in setting up the cockpit, but internal hydraulic brake lines killed all that.

1 Like

I think that the best innovation in the last 10 years is the simple widening of rims. Sure you can throw 28s on narrower rims, but they will measure even wider (and allow even lower pressures) on the wider rims AND be more aero. It’ll probably be pretty tough to economically and practically make your rim brake bike accommodate wider hoops.

1 Like

It was one of the reasons when I ordered my new frame (late 2018) that I got it specced with rim brakes. I know where I am with rim brakes and can swap wheels between my different bikes. I have given into the dark world of hydraulic rim brakes on my gravel bike, I can see their point off road but on road I still prefer my rim brakes. I would like to put road wheels on the gravel bike to see if it makes a good GROADY but you are definitely limited there.


same exact experience, I had an old Sworks, and upgraded to a tarmac expert and the ride quality blew me away.


You need to ride a few new bikes👍

Doesn’t everything have a natural lifespan, though? Would you expect that your car will last 30, 40 years? And you said something about cost, even if the frame is in good shape after all this time, all other components will eventually wear out. And replacing them often costs more than buying a new bike.

E. g. the full sus mountain bike that I sold had brake rotors that needed replacing, a worn rear derailleur, 3 worn chainrings, a worn chain, a worn right trigger, the rear damper and the suspension fork were on their last legs (the rear damper made funny sounds and the seals of the fork were cracked …), and the wheels were out of true and had rusted nipples. Perhaps the cassette was also on its last legs. Individually, none of these are big issues, but in aggregate they are. Adding everything up would have cost perhaps more than a new bike.