We all reached this stage in cycling before. Where components starts to malfunction due to wear and tear from high mileage. Some of us might choose to upgrade it to another level or might even choose to buy back the same components used. So which upgrade is worthwhile and which is not.
Currently my Cervelo has gone thru around 10-13k KM its chain has already been changed once and according to the mechanic, the cassette,chain(way past the red line), shifters, cable and handlebar (due to corrosion) needs a change soon. Though it is not very obvious that the parts are wearing out, during upshifts and downshifts, I can feel that the bike is not shifting as smoothly as before, could be due to either the shifter cables or due to the stretched out chain. Handlebar also has a layer of salt on it and I’m afraid it will corrode and eventually eat up the handlebar rendering it unusable. And the shifters levers have shown signs of corrosion eating into the levers, hope it doesnt break off halfway while I’m riding
Is there a noticeable difference between a 250+ SGD Dura-Ace Cassette and a 65+ SGD 105 Cassette ? Besides being lighter due to certain parts of the cassette being made out of Titanium, Dura-Ace has a plethora of combination of cassette sizing be it for time-trialling or climbing, hence having funny combinations of 11-21 or 12-27. Whereas for the more economical 105,It doesn’t have many gear combination choices, and it is only tens of grams heavier than Dura-Ace. So unless you can afford to change it on a regular basis, by all means go ahead change to a Dura-Ace and enjoy its light weight. But for the mortals that have a more down-to-earth budget. A 105 cassette will not have a significant disadvantage to its more expensive counterparts.
While the price differences its only around 20 sgd between a top-end chain to a mid-end chain,I find that personally, the higher end Dura-Ace chain shifts much better than the 105 chain.And though it lighter due to it using lighter more expensive material it may wear out faster as the chain has alot of weight savings features reducing its durability. However at around 60sgd per chain it is not as expensive as changing a entire cassette or shifters which costs around 300-400sgd.I highly recommend the higher end chain in this case.
Shifters and Handlebars
While I initially considered the differences between a normal shifter and 1 that is good, I couldn’t justify the price difference. I mean besides looking nicer, being lighter and having internal cable routing there is not nothing else?While I used to deem the carbon fibre levers as a “bling-bling” extra. I would now prefer it instead of the aluminum lever found on the Shimano 105 shifters.Carbon Fibre is light but fragile and perhaps the biggest advantage it has over metals is that it is more corrosion resistant as compared to metal. 3 years of using the 105 shifters. Plus coupled with the fact that it has scratches due to leaning in on rough surfaces has led to a heavily pocked marked lever.Same for my egronova pro handlebars. There is 1 layer of salt on it. While the salt has not yet penetrate into the metal,the salt cant be removed by using detergent or contact cleaning solution. This made me worried as the sweat may already be working its way into the metal! This has made me want to try carbon fiber shifters and handlebar to make sure that my equipment will last me a long time. So right now, I’m scrimping my way up for it and at almost double the price of its regular counterparts. Its going to be a long way