Commuter Upgrade- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Commuter Upgrade

    So i have a Specialized Expedition Sport as my bike i take to and form work and around the city. Here is the link to the specialized webpage: https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...LIbGlQeK9Jn0BA

    Sorry that's so long!!

    Anyway, i was riding it a few weeks ago into work, and the rear derailleur got caught in a spoke. As you can imagine, it did quite a bit of damage to the derailleur, bent a couple spokes, and bent the wheel quite a bit. I got an estimate to fix the wheel, and it looks like i might as well just buy a new one. So, i'm thinking i might as well upgrade the drivetrain while i'm doing that. I'm a big guy, and i always kinda felt like i was putting a lot of strain on the cheaper drivetrain it came with.

    I know a but about mountain bikes, but absolutely nothing about road bikes, so all the upgrades i'm looking at are mountain bike parts. I've been pricing them out on ebay, and X7 Shifters and an x9 derailleur are a pretty reasonable price, and not much more than the lower models, so i figured i might as well get those, even tho they are total overkill.

    What do you guys think about this plan? is there a better route i could take? I know i'd have to replace the rear cassette for sure, and maybe the front cassette and derailleur (although if i could wait and use the old ones at first, that would be cool). are those sort of bikes typically that upgradable?

    Any input would be awesome!!

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    It's not a road bike. It's a comfort bike. That one looks like it's basically a mountain bike chassis, and all the parts in the spec. list are either MTB or hybrid parts.

    The only parts of the drivetrain that have any idea how big you are are the crankset, bottom bracket and pedals, and they probably think you're smaller than Mark Cavendish (he only weighs 150lbs.)

    You can get by with a new wheel, derailleur, and derailleur hanger. Keep the old rear hub and Craig's List it or something. Was there something about the old drivetrain that actually bothered you?

    Bikes of that type are as upgradeable as you want them to be. But the geometry's a bit funny, so it's unlikely that it has the right fit to be set up for an athletic riding style. What's the goal here?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    Yeah when i said i knew nothing about road bikes, i meant i know nothing about their parts, so i didn't know if road bike parts would be better for this sort of thing. My goal is really just to ride it around town. I ride to work a couple times of week, which is about 13 miles each way. While that isn't a crazy long ride, it's definitely not short. I have a mountain bike that i use for my trail riding.

    I'm around 225 lbs, and i feel like when i really started to stand up and pedal hard, it would slip gears sometimes (maybe i have them alligned poorly, but i tried making some adjustments). It also all just sounded really squeaky and crappy, but i bought it used, so who knows how it was treated before i had it.

    The shifters have just kind of crappy feel to em, but it's also possible that i'm just spoiled by my Stumpjumper FSR. The main reason, tho, that i wanted to upgrade, was that i was looking at replacing the derailleur with the same one, and it was like an extra $15 to throw an x9 on it, so i just figured i might as well go that route. Are those nicer parts pretty pointless for city driving?

  4. #4
    weirdo
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    If you were jumping gears, my guess is that it needed adjustment, which is probably why your derailler took a ride through the spokes in the first place. Alivio isn`t fancy, but it should do just fine with good cables/housing and well adjusted, especially being 8 speed. As far as the Deore RD goes, you can get lighter or prettier, but I can`t imagine you`ll see any better function from "higher" levels. BTW, deraillers don`t care how many sprockets you have- that`s all between the cassette and the shifters. My .02, if you can get a little bit of bling for a good price and it gives you the warm fuzzies, go for it, but you`ll get more real improvement from new cables and housing and a good tuneup.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I use a mid-80's road bike for city driving, but I'd use my fancy one if I had someplace safe to keep it at school/work and could leave a pair of real shoes there. For me, 13 miles, whether they're city, trails, or country roads, is a long enough ride that I like to have a nice bike, nice saddle, and do the ride in cycling clothes. But it's totally a preference thing.

    I just looked at the correct spec - I just clicked the link before. I don't know why you'd want to upgrade from MRX.

    The shifters would certainly be an upgrade. Getting both derailleurs would be too. I was shocked at how much better front shifting can be when I went from Altus to my current SLX front derailleur. And getting rid of the suspension...

    Price a couple of bikes that come sensibly equipped out of the box while you're at it, though - these can become expensive projects pretty rapidly. How much are you expecting to spend?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Alivio blows. My friend had that r.derailer back in the day and it wouldn't stay in alignment without constant fussing.

    I'm actually a huge fan of friction shifting for commuters. You never have to slam into another gear quickly and friction shifting is pretty money most of the time. Falcon thumbies and a Deore r.derailer would put you out 30 bucks and you'd have pretty smooth, flawless shifting. Or just go SS.

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    My mountain bike has an Alivio rear derailleur. It's been on there for a few years and a few races, and it's still doing its job. I guess if I was having trouble with it, I might try loc-tite...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
    weirdo
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    What is MRX?
    According to the link, he already has a Deore RD.

  9. #9
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    MRX is SRAM's Shimano-compatible grip shifter. They're the cheapest shifters made, I think, and they're the ones many of us learned to hate grip shifters on.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
    weirdo
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    Either the specs on the link are wrong or that bike doesn`t have grip shifters.

  11. #11
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    I didn't notice it myself the first time I looked at it. The OP says he has the Sport but links to the Comp Disc. Try this one.

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...Id=0&gold_ses=
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    Hey i don't know if i have the wrong year or something with that link, but my bike has an acera, i do believe (or it did).

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Maybe you should just post the spec. of the bike you have, and we can all drop the issue of links and specific models and years and stuff. After all, "specifications are subject to change without notice" and the previous owner could have changed things too.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
    weirdo
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    That explains it

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the input, people. The rear derailleur is definitely an Acera, as for the shifters, i will have to check that out tonight, and then post on here. I do not think, however, that they are Sram... I don't think it says "SRAM" anywhere on the bike...

    And as for how much i'm looking to spend? I was hoping i could keep it under $150, but the less, the better.

  16. #16
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by mclaren880
    And as for how much i'm looking to spend? I was hoping i could keep it under $150, but the less, the better.
    How much time and patience do you have? Whatever it costs to order today from Jenson, Performance, Cambria, etc is going to be a lot more than if you have time to wait for clearance sales and set up camp on Craigslist. Here`s a (long) story about a great job at budget building:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=569620
    Maybe you could write a check ASAP for a rear wheel and new derailler, then keep an eye out for not so urgent goodies as they come up? Or buy a whole used bike to either ride or strip for parts? Or just do the wheel and RD, then tune well with new cables and housings (good cables/housings are worth a lot) and see how you like it?

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the link, i will give that a look. I also checked and they are in fact MRX

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