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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Bike upgrade

Old 07-03-20, 09:35 PM
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Joearch
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Bike upgrade

In early March I had my 10 year old KHS tuned up and started riding. After a few weeks I was enjoying the relatively easy 10-15 mile rides 4-5 days a week. After going to a few LBS looking for a decent bike I realized they were mostly sold out of mid level road bikes. I looked on line and found a 105 group, carbon frame Motobecane immortal that I find comfortable have enjoy riding. Now doing 25 mile rides 4-5 times a weeks. Mostly as a way to get out, enjoy the road and outdoors. I am a design professional and enjoy the look and engineering of a well designed object. I thought about starting some upgrades like the wheels and am wondering is it worth the investment. I have always liked the look and mystic of a Bianchi and now am thinking do I sell the Motobecane and get a Bianchi with a similar endurance frame, Ultegra and disc brakes. Will there be a noticeable difference or is it more about the looks and heritage of the Bianchi which would be a $2500 upgrade. I guess I could just stay where I am at and enjoy what I am riding. Guessing this is a common situation most folks think about as they consider bike options.
thx in advance.
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Old 07-03-20, 10:48 PM
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Although I've never had the desire to own one, who doesn't like the look of a Bianchi? Seriously, they've got some good looking bikes with nice history.
There will be some differences; Ultegra is a nicer group and if the Motobecane came with a cheaper crank which is common an ultegra crank can be a nicer shifting upgrade. Wheels on the Bianchi are liable to be even nicer. Ultimately the differences won't be huge but having a bike you're happy and proud to throw a leg over and ride is something that can make for a better experience. If you can afford it without breaking the bank or creating problems then why not get it.
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Old 07-03-20, 11:32 PM
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When you say “will there be a noticeable difference” what exactly do you mean? Are you talking about looks, feel, speed, grip, color, shifting, or what?

Regardless, in my opinion, a bike you enjoy riding is the bike worth having. So if you feel like the Bianchi will make you happy and get out to ride more, and you’ve the means to swing the price, then I’d say go for it!
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Old 07-04-20, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
Although I've never had the desire to own one, who doesn't like the look of a Bianchi? Seriously, they've got some good looking bikes with nice history.
There will be some differences; Ultegra is a nicer group and if the Motobecane came with a cheaper crank which is common an ultegra crank can be a nicer shifting upgrade. Wheels on the Bianchi are liable to be even nicer. Ultimately the differences won't be huge but having a bike you're happy and proud to throw a leg over and ride is something that can make for a better experience. If you can afford it without breaking the bank or creating problems then why not get it.
Motobecane came with a FSA crank. So the Ultegra would be an improvement in addition to the wheels.

thx
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Old 07-04-20, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by yamsyamsyams View Post
When you say “will there be a noticeable difference” what exactly do you mean? Are you talking about looks, feel, speed, grip, color, shifting, or what?

Regardless, in my opinion, a bike you enjoy riding is the bike worth having. So if you feel like the Bianchi will make you happy and get out to ride more, and you’ve the means to swing the price, then I’d say go for it!
Mostly ridability. Shifting, handling and Less resistance. Looks are nice but wiuld hope there would be a performance improvement to some degree.
thx
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Old 07-04-20, 05:40 AM
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If you are looking to mainly get into disc brakes on a road bike I assume the Motobecane is only a rimmer??? My only thing is, until you ride the Bianchi to make sure it will be as comfortable I would not unload the Moto prior. There is a lot to be said (well, all is to be said) with comfort over looks for sure.

If you unload the Moto and get the Bianchi and it does not jive with your body you are going to be miserable and disgusted with yourself. Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 07-04-20, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Germanrazor View Post
If you are looking to mainly get into disc brakes on a road bike I assume the Motobecane is only a rimmer??? My only thing is, until you ride the Bianchi to make sure it will be as comfortable I would not unload the Moto prior. There is a lot to be said (well, all is to be said) with comfort over looks for sure.

If you unload the Moto and get the Bianchi and it does not jive with your body you are going to be miserable and disgusted with yourself. Good luck and enjoy.
Yes, rim brakes on the Moto and disk brakes are one of the reasons I am considering an upgrade. I do not have experience with disc but from what I can tell they perform better than rim brakes.
you are right on about comfort. I would hate to have the Bianchi be any less comfortable than the Motobecane. I am considering the Bianchi Infinito XE Disc Ultergra. Time to go to the LBS and do some testing.

thx
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Old 07-04-20, 07:32 AM
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"I do not have experience with disc but from what I can tell they perform better than rim brakes."

They don't except under very specific conditions such as in the rain or coming down a steep 15 mile descent. I ride both on the road, my 105 rim brakes are every bit as good as my 105 disc. One major advantage to disc is assuming there's frame clearance, it's easy to squeeze in larger tires as you're not fighting the brake for clearance. Another advantage to disc is it's the future and we've maybe hit a point where it's somewhat easier to find road wheels for disc systems than rim wheels.

Reasons to upgrade: 1) Save some weight. This might be noticeable with better and lighter wheels on a higher end bike. The wheels on the BikesDirect bikes are always the weak point (this is the case on about all of the less expensive production bikes) as that's where they save some money. So pay attention to what wheels you get on the Bianchi. 2) Ride quality. Only you can tell if the Bianchi is "better". In theory, a frame like the Motobecane is a 2nd tier frame, maybe less refined in terms of ride quality as compared to the Bianchi. I ride a 2nd tier carbon frame and find it very stiff, but like the fit and feel otherwise, maybe someday I'll upgrade the frame, not sure. 3) Parts and group, moving from Tiagra to Ultegra where you might notice the difference. I used to use Ultegra exclusively then went to the 105 group and consider it to be the best functioning for the money group out there. So that's a good price point
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Old 07-04-20, 08:51 AM
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Agree with advice

I agree with Steve. Only caveat I’d add is to wait to upgrade until you can afford to upgrade to electronic shifting. Of all the upgrades you might consider, the one you will likely appreciate the most is electronic shifting. Plus, once your bike is properly set-up, you’ll likely never (or almost never) have to adjust your shifting again. It is THAT good and that precise.

Good luck with your decision making.
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Old 07-04-20, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jsf1993 View Post
I agree with Steve. Only caveat I’d add is to wait to upgrade until you can afford to upgrade to electronic shifting. Of all the upgrades you might consider, the one you will likely appreciate the most is electronic shifting. Plus, once your bike is properly set-up, you’ll likely never (or almost never) have to adjust your shifting again. It is THAT good and that precise.

Good luck with your decision making.
Good point. A Di2 as an upgrade is expensive and hard to justify (I did it anyway as my frame was inexpensive). Purchased on a new bike is worth it. It’s a great system, very reliable, maintenance free mostly and shifts great. If I buy a new road bike in the future, it’ll be Di2.
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Old 07-04-20, 11:40 AM
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Love this forum. Such great input. Wheels are a weak point on my Moto. 105 group seems to work well, but did not realize electronic shifting upgrade is possible. The Di2 Bianchi Infinito is around 5k which I would need to think about.
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Old 07-04-20, 12:02 PM
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Like everybody said here, buy a bike you will be happy to ride on, make you stare at it randomly(sorry I do that sometimes;. Rest of it doesn't really matter much at least for me. I am not racing also don't need to have KOM on Strava so couple kg of extra weight doesn't bother me much.
Oh and one more thing buy the best bike you can afford. I believe everyone deserve a nice bike if you can afford it. Doesn't really matter if you are doing 9mph or 30mph, it will make you happy.
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Old 07-05-20, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jsf1993 View Post
I agree with Steve. Only caveat I’d add is to wait to upgrade until you can afford to upgrade to electronic shifting. Of all the upgrades you might consider, the one you will likely appreciate the most is electronic shifting. Plus, once your bike is properly set-up, you’ll likely never (or almost never) have to adjust your shifting again. It is THAT good and that precise.

Good luck with your decision making.
Had not realized Di2 was such a good feature. Can a 105 group bike be upgraded to electronic shifting?

in any case I will have to go test ride a Bianchi at the LBS that features the brand. Like many folks around here the interest in aesthetics and technology of a bike is very high.
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Old 07-05-20, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Joearch View Post
Had not realized Di2 was such a good feature. Can a 105 group bike be upgraded to electronic shifting?

in any case I will have to go test ride a Bianchi at the LBS that features the brand. Like many folks around here the interest in aesthetics and technology of a bike is very high.
You can re-use *some* parts, typically brakes, crank and bottom bracket, chain and cassette. The upgrade to remaining parts needed for electronic generally run about $1100, thus it’s usually cheaper by a bit to get a Di2 equipped bike as the manufacturer gets a break on bulk parts. But price it out mechanical vs. Di2 with an equal wheel set. Sometimes at the Di2 price point the wheels are higher end so the bike costs more than just the difference between electronic and mechanical.
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Old 07-05-20, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Joearch View Post
Had not realized Di2 was such a good feature. Can a 105 group bike be upgraded to electronic shifting?

in any case I will have to go test ride a Bianchi at the LBS that features the brand. Like many folks around here the interest in aesthetics and technology of a bike is very high.
Hi, Joe:

It really depends upon the frame for Di2. (Older frames can be upgraded to Di2, but you’d have to use discontinued Di2 components and the result involves some aesthetic and feature compromise.). But, SRAM offers an electronic shift alternative that should work on most any frame. I’ve never used SRAM, so I can’t comment on that drivetrain alternative. Regardless of which path you choose, as Steve noted, it is significantly more expensive to upgrade a bike to electronic shifting than it is to purchase one that has it included up-front. In the latter case, you are only being charged the “difference” in cost between the lesser groupset and the electronic one. When upgrading, you don’t get any credit for your existing groupset and your only alternative is to sell the old groupset on your own, probably at steep discount.

I suggest that you demo a Di2 bike before making your purchase decision. At least if you do, you will be making an informed buying decision. You may decide that you don’t appreciate the difference that electronic shifting affords as much as I do. Then again, you may decide that you really want that feature and save your pennies until you can afford to purchase a bike that includes it. Keep in mind, off season bike prices often are better than mid-season bike prices and this is especially true in Covid-19 2020. You may also consider looking at alternative sites to purchase from. Some are quite good at re-certifying bikes of very recent vintage (kind of CPO by car dealers) after a thorough inspection and tuning. But, you will likely need to factor in the cost of a good bike-fit afterwards.....and know the bike geometry that works for you.

Hope the above helps you in your decision making.

P.S. If looking at endurance bikes like Bianchi, you may also want to compare Trek Domane, Specialized Roubaix and Canyon Endurance models (among others). There are lots of good options for you to choose from.
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Old 07-05-20, 11:00 AM
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Steve is right, generally speaking. But if your frame does not allow for internal cable and component runs, the Di2 upgrade path is a bit more complicated. Also, for Di2, the seat post needs to house the battery in older frames. Not all seat posts can. The alternative is an external battery placed under the down-tube near the bottom bracket....again using discontinued Di2 parts. With a SRAM upgrade, if your present bike is 11 speed and you want to keep your crankset, you’ll need to purchase SRAM Red from 2019 or 2018. SRAM has moved to a 12 speed standard for 2020, which requires a different crankset. You’ll also be replacing brakes and hoods/shifters with SRAM.

Moving from 105 to Di2, you’ll be replacing hoods (shifters), front and rear derailleurs and installing several electronic components. You’ll probably end up replacing brakes as well because they typically come with the Di2 upgrade package. It sounds harder to do than it really is. But, it can get expensive.
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Old 07-05-20, 12:02 PM
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Hopefully your new bike is satisfactory for you longer than the bikes direct one you got 3 months ago! Good luck with the hunt
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Old 07-05-20, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Tacoenthusiast View Post
Hopefully your new bike is satisfactory for you longer than the bikes direct one you got 3 months ago! Good luck with the hunt
The Motobecane was meant to help me see if cycling would be something I was willing to commit to over the next year. It actually is a great bike for $1000. I am just getting sucked in to a higher level designed object that wiil be somewhat better but really beautiful.
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Old 07-05-20, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jsf1993 View Post
Hi, Joe:

It really depends upon the frame for Di2. (Older frames can be upgraded to Di2, but you’d have to use discontinued Di2 components and the result involves some aesthetic and feature compromise.). But, SRAM offers an electronic shift alternative that should work on most any frame. I’ve never used SRAM, so I can’t comment on that drivetrain alternative. Regardless of which path you choose, as Steve noted, it is significantly more expensive to upgrade a bike to electronic shifting than it is to purchase one that has it included up-front. In the latter case, you are only being charged the “difference” in cost between the lesser groupset and the electronic one. When upgrading, you don’t get any credit for your existing groupset and your only alternative is to sell the old groupset on your own, probably at steep discount.

I suggest that you demo a Di2 bike before making your purchase decision. At least if you do, you will be making an informed buying decision. You may decide that you don’t appreciate the difference that electronic shifting affords as much as I do. Then again, you may decide that you really want that feature and save your pennies until you can afford to purchase a bike that includes it. Keep in mind, off season bike prices often are better than mid-season bike prices and this is especially true in Covid-19 2020. You may also consider looking at alternative sites to purchase from. Some are quite good at re-certifying bikes of very recent vintage (kind of CPO by car dealers) after a thorough inspection and tuning. But, you will likely need to factor in the cost of a good bike-fit afterwards.....and know the bike geometry that works for you.

Hope the above helps you in your decision making.

P.S. If looking at endurance bikes like Bianchi, you may also want to compare Trek Domane, Specialized Roubaix and Canyon Endurance models (among others). There are lots of good options for you to choose from.
Yes, I was in the local Specialized shop and the Roubaix was looking very sharp.
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Old 07-05-20, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Joearch View Post
Love this forum. Such great input. Wheels are a weak point on my Moto. 105 group seems to work well, but did not realize electronic shifting upgrade is possible. The Di2 Bianchi Infinito is around 5k which I would need to think about.
Recently took delivery of the Infinito CV disc DI2 with 28mm tubeless tires and ENVE 45 wheels. Incredible..... (third bike with Di2). I realize this is a big purchase for you, but don't shortchange yourself if you are into riding that much. A great bike will make you want to ride more.

If you're concerned about fit, get a fitting done and have the person give you your recommended stack and reach numbers. The Infinito is still an endurance bike, slightly more aggressive than Trek or Giant or Specialized, slightly less than Canyon. I'm 5'-11" and ride a 57cm frame size Infinito.

And yes, I agree with post above, you have lots of good options for a good endurance bike.
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Old 07-05-20, 07:52 PM
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Fast-track upgradeitis.

Nothing special about today's Bianchis - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimaldi_Industri

Youtube vids https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...s+regular+bike
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Old 07-06-20, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by wthensler View Post
Recently took delivery of the Infinito CV disc DI2 with 28mm tubeless tires and ENVE 45 wheels. Incredible..... (third bike with Di2). I realize this is a big purchase for you, but don't shortchange yourself if you are into riding that much. A great bike will make you want to ride more.

If you're concerned about fit, get a fitting done and have the person give you your recommended stack and reach numbers. The Infinito is still an endurance bike, slightly more aggressive than Trek or Giant or Specialized, slightly less than Canyon. I'm 5'-11" and ride a 57cm frame size Infinito.

And yes, I agree with post above, you have lots of good options for a good endurance bike.
Great input. Good to near you are please with your Inifinito.
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