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?
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Thread: Am I crazy?
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