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Thread: Am I crazy?

  1. #1
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    Am I crazy?

    I originally purchased my 2001 Raleigh M20 (heavy steel, rigid, bottome end shimano) for riding to campus from my truck at the parking lot off campus. I paid $135 for the bike on closeout which was a great deal for a new bike. Anyway, I started changing a few things to suit my needs. First were the tires, but I already had the slick tires from my old bike, so that cost me nothing. Then I changed out the horrible twist shifters for some nice Shimano STX 7 speed rapidfire units. That prompted me to to want some new brake levers since the original ones were designed for gripshifters and had a bump right against my hand which was really uncomfortable. I really tried to find some cheapie levers for my cheapie brakes, but all the bike shops wanted $20 a set and on ebay I had to pay ridiculous shipping. So, I found cambria bike had a really nice set of Avid speed dial lever for $15 and I couldnt pass that up. On top of that they had some nice Shimano V-brakes for $6 a set. I mean, how can I have such sweet levers and hook them up to crappy brakes, I wouldnt think of it. So, now I start looking at my bike and I think that ugly steel Tourney derailleur has got to go, damn those red pulleys. So I figure I better not get too fancy, so I order an 8 speed Acera unit for my megarange freewheel. I thought I was happy with the bike until I moved to where I was going to school. Now I live on a big hill and i am finding the 28/38/48 crank is not giving me optimal low gearing for the ascent to my apartment. I find a seller on ebay who has some decent looking Sugino cranks which were made for Specialized, plus he has cheap bottom brackets and front derailleurs, all of which I need to change over to a smaller crank. So then Ive got that all set and and my bike is pretty much void of really cheap drivetrain components, but I can justify all of it. Then I realize that I need a different stem to suit my comfort and instead of getting a supercheap steel stem, I find a nice Profile alloy quill stem, so it wont ever rust and it will weigh a bit less. Most people would say that I have spent too much on such a cheap bike. I dont care that the bike has no suspension and I prefer that for commuting. The thing I like about the bike is it has old school mtb geometry (41" wheelbase and slack head and seat tube angles) so it handles nice and stable. I figure at this point with the good deals I get on stuff, I havent spent that much money, but...now here goes the rest of the story:

    I spotted a wheelset on ebay that was perfect for my bike, 7 speed cassette hub with Mavic 221 rims. Plus, I know the guy actioning them so I can pick stuff up to save on shipping. What the heck, I got the wheels for $25 and it really is a nice deal. It did include a Shimano IG cassette, but i quickly saw it was worn out when my chain kept skipping. That prompted me to order a new one. Also, I am really nutty about how my bike looks. I start looking at the crank and man is that thing crazy looking. It uses the same BCD for all three rings! It appears to be smaller than a compact 5 arm crank BCD, so now I figure I better get a different crank some down the road I can find replacement chainrings for it. Yeah, way to rationalize that. So, I find the cheapest crank with replaceable rings to be a Shimano Alivio crank. Then I realize that I cant have a rear derailleur of a lower componentry level than my crank, now can I? So I decide that an Alivio derailleur would be great, only to find I can get a Deore for $20, $3 LESS than the Alivio! What luck, good deals to be had. So I order those two items and voila, now my bike is complete? Maybe not. I figure at this point the only original parts on my bike are the frame, fork, headset, and seatpost. (By the way, I swapped out the seatpost QR for a nicer one on a bike I bought and resold). I figure at this point, why not put in a new headset and replace the cheapo seatpost? I know the frame is cheap, but its actually good quality. The last year these were made in the USA too. Plus, I like the fit and feel of it. Does that make it wrong to upgrade so much?

  2. #2
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    Which way to the Asylum?

    Are you crazy? Yes, but not the nuttiest bar on the shelf. I've spent $740 in suspension and bolted it to a $370 (closeout price) bike!

    I say if the improvements = cost ratio is ballanced and you have the money then go for it.

    In my case, the $1100 that I've spent on my bike has it riding exactly how I want it. There is no pedal bob so it climbs very well despite being a bit heavy 32lbs. Very plush progressive suspension that seldomly bottoms. It corners like its on rails.

    Tequila!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboy
    I originally purchased my 2001 Raleigh M20 (heavy steel, rigid, bottome end shimano) for riding to campus............................................ .............................. I know the frame is cheap, but its actually good quality. The last year these were made in the USA too. Plus, I like the fit and feel of it. Does that make it wrong to upgrade so much?
    not crazy at all.... this is something that we all do. it's the perfect way to build a custom bike, but still also be able to ride it in the meantime.......

    personally, i cannot think of one of my friends who does not do this on a regular basis......


  4. #4
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    There is no right or wrong, just shades of mental instability.

    I'm sure we all upgrade one thing or another at some point but to what degree can you do this until you're considered crazy?

    This sparks the debate whether it's better to bite the bullet, sell your Grandmother and buy the bike with the upgraded components you want or, buy a cheap bike and upgrade it later with the components you really want. I'm sure most riders fall into one category or the other.

    What I was referring to was from a "mentally stable" cost standpoint, it makes sense to buy the bike with the upgraded parts because frame manufacturers get a much better deal on components than Joe public and these savings are partially passed onto the consumer. However, upgrading over time ensures you get the exact parts you want and your Granny doesn't get upset.

    There is no right or wrong, just shades of mental instability.

    Tequila!
    Last edited by tequila joe; 02-02-2004 at 11:01 AM.

  5. #5
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    Woohoo, Im only a little crazy en la cabeza. Actually, for the money Ive spent, I could have gotten similar quality components in a flat bar road bike which is something I have been eyeing for a while because after riding a road bike I love the lightness and speed, but dont want to give up the comfort of a mountain bike. That said, I do realize I could have gotten the eye candy machine Ive been wanting, except one thing held me back. I am afraid that a flat-bar road bike is no as robust as I need it to be. Granted, I dont go jumping things like crazy, but its nice to be able to roll down a few stairs or up a curb and not worry if I am going to taco the rim or crack the frame. The reason I didn't get a bike with suspension is because I find it an complete waste on the street. The 2001 M20 seemed to be a good platform for what I wanted. Not exactly light at 30 lbs, it was dirt cheap. The frame is what is heavy, so with my lightweight Mavic 221 rims and road slicks, it pedals pretty darn good, so thats all that matters to me. Now that I put the pencil to it, I have spend about $230 on the bike on top of the initial purchase price of $145. So for $375 I have a bike which fits me perfectly and will last a lifetime. Plus, one way to look at it is that I didn't have to spend it all at once. I got to pay as I go, which is a better payment plan for poor college students.

  6. #6
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    i'm a bit crazy too

    ...because on my max lite fs3 i have changed rear wheel (to mavic517 - $45) + rear der (sram9 - $50) + rear shock (to x fusion - $160) + deore xt rear axle ($48) + deore xt bottom bracket ($20) + spokes ($40) + pedals to shimano clipless ($35)
    and i'll change disc brake to deore xt hydr ($200) + deore xt front axle + front suspension ($300-$500)..... >>>>> around $1000! .....and the bike cost me $1200 (back then)
    so.....yeah, i'm crazy


    edit: maybe (maybe i say) it's wiser to buy a new bike (it'll cost me around $2700)? (because with the upgrade, the total money spent for this bike is ~$2200!)
    Last edited by stavpal; 10-03-2004 at 01:18 PM.

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