Still using my first road bike - would a new one make a huge difference?

Hi,

I am still using my first, rather cheap road bike bought in 2014, Carbon fork, 105/Ultegra mix group set, Disc brakes, nothing fancy. It is a cyclocrosser which I have two wheel sets for: 28mm for road and 35mm for cyclocross.

Had a fitting some time ago and since then I do not have any pain, soreness, back or knee issues… fits perfectly.

I actually love it, and it never let me down, but still I wonder, if a new bike would make a huge difference. Not timewise (i do not race), rather comfort wise.

Would I feel a huge difference moving up to a new bike. Also, could there be a risk my 10y old bike would have some damages or technical liabilities I am not aware of and could lead to a crash?

I ride about 4-6k per year, indoor (on Rollers) and outdoor, do not race, just do my training for myself, always riding solo.

Money is not an issue, but I would certainly not buy anything just for sake of buying something new.

Thank you

My gut says ‘no’. You said you have a great fit now and love the bike.

Unless you are having issues from rough roads and smaller tires, a new bike is not likely to gain you much there. Comfort on road bikes comes mainly from tires and using larger tires (like 32mm) at lower pressures is the quickest and easiest way to add comfort to a road bike.

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IME…if the current bike fits perfect and no discomfort as you say a new new bike probably won’t feel better. It might feel different as in stiffer or maybe it corners different. But, comfort is king. Tires make the most noticeable difference here.

As far as a 10yo bike having “damages or technical liabilities” leading to a crash? That’s pretty specific to the ride history of the bike maybe the manufacturer but, ini general if maintained well, no.

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Probably not. Throw some 32 or 34 road tires on and enjoy the comfort!

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It’s a cross bike, it should fit at least 35mm slicks anway.

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No huge difference, no risk.

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Have you got hydraulic disc brakes? If not, I’d put money into an upgrade to those, but I wouldn’t change the frame. Sounds like you like it and it fits you, unless you have a specific need to address, I wouldn’t spend money on it. Save it until something crops up that you want to buy.

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Sure, the CX info that he added after the fact just reinforces the idea for not needing a new bike.

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@rentagreement probably not if performance is what you are after. You’ll get some tangible but small gains.

HOWEVER, I’m just gonna let you know that in my part of the world it is a good time to buy a bike. Shops are motivated to connect with buyers.

Also, you often don’t know the benefits of a new bike before you ride it. So why not ride down to a local bike shop and give a few models a ride. It’s free and you never know what you might find out. A lot of bike shops are suffering right now so it might turn into a win-win situation.

Very likely no if you properly maintain it. If you’re concerned about that, take it in for a tune up at a respected LBS.

Also, if you decide to buy, you can use bikeinsights to compare frames and try to get really close to your current bike frame geometry (of course that is not the only determinant of fit/comfort, but it is a start). You didn’t say the brand of bike. What is it?

For example, my Ritchey Road Logic 55cm is the best fitting bike for me that I have ever ridden. So when I was in the market for a carbon frame (road logic is steel), I matched that geometry, slapped on ultegra groupset as well as lighter, faster, road (not “all-road/gravel”) wheelset, and of course it feels different, but I did not compromise comfort. Fits great. Wider tires and geometry that I knew suited me are the vast majority of comfort, I think.

Now I have that same comfort and the bike is 5.5 lbs lighter. I feel that.

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Thanks for all the valuable input.

@splash
No, i have mechanical disc brakes. Avid BB7 Road.
I thought about upgrading the brakes actually. Do hydraulic brskes make a huge difference?

@all
Also: after what time would I need to exchange all the gear groupset? i changed chain, cassette etc obviously. But is there a need to change the rest too?

If you have poor grip strength and struggle to stop, Hydraulic disc brakes are a worthwhile upgrade for more power, but come with the downside of having to be bled.

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maybe misunderstood: I have mechanical disc brakes, probably rather first gen. I was wondering if hydraulic disk brakes would make a huge difference.

Edited my post, to clarify that hydraulic discs are more powerful if you are struggling with your current setup. BB7s with high quality cables fitted are almost as good.

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I had a bike that sounds quite similar, with BB7 brakes. At that time I thought they were pretty decent, but after having hydraulic brakes on my other bike, I changed my mind, lol. Hydraulic gives you more stopping power and better modulation, and actually less maintenance, at least for me. I only bleed them about once a year, and it doesn’t take long. The main issue with going for hydraulic is that you’ll need new shifters too, so it’s not that cheap.

With regards to needing to change the groupset - maybe the chainrings sometime, but the derailleurs and shifters don’t really wear out. I had old Deore derailleurs on my very old commuter for about 25 years that still worked perfectly fine, despite as good as no maintenance ever :zipper_mouth_face:

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Since we are talking about wider tires being more squishy and comfortable… what pressure & width you all running for your tires? Tubeless or tubes?

I’m going to suggest the opposite approach:

you will feel a massive difference going from your cross bike to a top shelf road race bike.

I do this every spring. I noodle around on my Crux all winter and then once the roads are cleared and swept, I bust out my road bike. It always feels like going from a sporty SUV into a Ferrari. My road bike is definitely a couple miles per hour faster everywhere.

Objectively, it’s faster tires, deeper rims, a more aggressive position, and a geometry and goes when you stomp on the pedals.

Do you need that extravagance for solo training rides? That depends on you, your bank balance, and your heart’s desire…

The short answer: “No, a new bike won’t be more comfortable if the current bike fits properly.” And “No, no concern about continuing to ride a 10 year old bike if maintained correctly.”

If you’re just suffering from “shinynewthingitis” and want to change some stuff, I’d recommend:

  • hydraulic brakes. This will require complete shifter set as well, so isn’t cheap. But, after the initial bleed, hydraulics tend to be less maintenance than cable brakes. And often with slightly better modulation and less pull effort.

  • tires. You didn’t say what brand/model you run, but tires can make a HUGE difference in comfort and speed. A supple, wide road tire should be very comfortable and roll well when set up tubeless and run at the correct pressure (for a 32mm tire, probably 50-70psi depending on terrain and body weight).

  • wheels. easy speed if you go to an aero wheel, but not cheap.

But really, if everything works well and you’re comfortable, there’s not much benefit in changing things. Especially as you aren’t racing.

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Sounds like you have a great fit and a good bike. I would guess you get marginal gains from here.

I was riding a steel frame Peugeot ('87) until my back couldn’t take it any more about 7 years ago (I’m 53 now). I took a few years off and then got a carbon fork, carbon frame, disc brake, endurance road bike. I actually couldn’t believe how much better it was, and that’s on 25s. I’m thinking about going to 28s and see if it’s better, but really it’s perfectly good. The limiter at this point is me…

Your choice should probably depend mostly on budget. Your next bike probably won’t fit any better, but if it’s a “better” bike you may enjoy it more.

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I have Continental UltraSport 3 28mm tyres.

My wheelset is a Shimano WH-RX010.

The bike is a Rose PRO DX Cross-2000, black version