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Upgrade Khs Vitamin A Bicycle
#1
http://khsbicycles.com/bikes/2012-khs-models/vitamin-a/

how can I upgrade my bike?
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#2
I would change the cassette, I don't like the 32 tooth low gear. Kool Stop salmon brake pads. I would service the wheel and headset bearings. If you want a more upright riding position you could change the bars to a higher rise or use a headset extender. A cycling computer would be nice, along with a nice set of lights. I like to use my bikes instead of a car for shopping and errands so I would add a front or rear basket.
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#3
(07-07-2013, 09:29 PM)karlracki Wrote:  http://khsbicycles.com/bikes/2012-khs-models/vitamin-a/

how can I upgrade my bike?

need more info: what do you not like about it now? How much in the budget? things like that
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#4
(07-07-2013, 10:10 PM)painkiller Wrote:  
(07-07-2013, 09:29 PM)karlracki Wrote:  http://khsbicycles.com/bikes/2012-khs-models/vitamin-a/

how can I upgrade my bike?

need more info: what do you not like about it now? How much in the budget? things like that
I would like to increase the speed. The guy at bike store mentioned putting 52 crank and smaller end (not sure of name), and thinner tires. $200 budget
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#5
(07-07-2013, 10:46 PM)karlracki Wrote:  I would like to increase the speed. The guy at bike store mentioned putting 52 crank and smaller end (not sure of name), and thinner tires. $200 budget

48-12 combination is really tall - with 35-622 tires, enough that if you are in true biking shape, you should be able to exceed 30mph on the level with no wind. (100rpm is 32.3mph) http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/

There is nothing you can do to the bike that will make the bike significant faster. You need to work on spinning the pedals faster.

The best way to do this is to ride harder and longer every day.
Nigel
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#6
(07-08-2013, 03:02 AM)nfmisso Wrote:  
(07-07-2013, 10:46 PM)karlracki Wrote:  I would like to increase the speed. The guy at bike store mentioned putting 52 crank and smaller end (not sure of name), and thinner tires. $200 budget

48-12 combination is really tall - with 35-622 tires, enough that if you are in true biking shape, you should be able to exceed 30mph on the level with no wind. (100rpm is 32.3mph) http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/

There is nothing you can do to the bike that will make the bike significant faster. You need to work on spinning the pedals faster.

The best way to do this is to ride harder and longer every day.
You're saying, there is nothing I can do to the bike to make me go faster? I have a hard time believing this...
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#7
nope, Nigel implied with $200 limit an inexpense remedy is not worth the small gain. There are lots of things you can do, but the slate is not all that upgradable.If I were to upgrade any bike, I would keep ride quality and feel as a prime objective on any upgrade.your bike would need new hubs or wheelset to at least to accommodate an 11t rear cog, a new crankset of quality and more teeth, plus bottom bracket, chain, just to start with, rolling with a seven speed freewheel is not happening, Keep the tires and keep a high Cadence or spend more money, But it is doable. Give your self $350 or so and I can help you do it up..speed and quality of ride. Smile
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#8
(07-08-2013, 10:26 PM)painkiller Wrote:  nope, Nigel implied with $200 limit an inexpense remedy is not worth the small gain. There are lots of things you can do, but the slate is not all that upgradable.If I were to upgrade any bike, I would keep ride quality and feel as a prime objective on any upgrade.your bike would need new hubs or wheelset to at least to accommodate an 11t rear cog, a new crankset of quality and more teeth, plus bottom bracket, chain, just to start with, rolling with a seven speed freewheel is not happening, Keep the tires and keep a high Cadence or spend more money, But it is doable. Give your self $350 or so and I can help you do it up..speed and quality of ride. Smile

Done. Let me know what I need to do for $350
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#9
(07-08-2013, 10:43 PM)karlracki Wrote:  
(07-08-2013, 10:26 PM)painkiller Wrote:  nope, Nigel implied with $200 limit an inexpense remedy is not worth the small gain. There are lots of things you can do, but the slate is not all that upgradable.If I were to upgrade any bike, I would keep ride quality and feel as a prime objective on any upgrade.your bike would need new hubs or wheelset to at least to accommodate an 11t rear cog, a new crankset of quality and more teeth, plus bottom bracket, chain, just to start with, rolling with a seven speed freewheel is not happening, Keep the tires and keep a high Cadence or spend more money, But it is doable. Give your self $350 or so and I can help you do it up..speed and quality of ride. Smile

Done. Let me know what I need to do for $350

Wow! now your talking. Big help with some other info though. What is the diameter of your seattube? what model are your derailleurs? top or bottom pull? Nigel is good at recommending wheelsets for an 8speed. Shifters are farily cheap. We will help you get going nice, but some things like wheels, cogs, cranks, and chains are the heart of a quality ride in my book. I think it is awesome you are willing to go the extra mile. Some tools will be involved also of course. So lets think it thru before ordering a bunch of stuff at one time you do not need. Planning and matching components on paper before the build is essential.once we help you decide then we/us and especially Nigel will find the parts as cheap as they come. I am sure Nigel will have his list and reasons as I will.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#10
Karl;

You can modify your bike all you want, but until the engine (you) is putting out more power, there is not a whole lot that is going to change in the speed department.

You are fortunate that your bike has a 7 speed cassette (not freewheel) (if the link you provided is to be trusted); which is easy to swap the 12-32 for a 11-23 or 11-28:
http://www.amazon.com/Origin8-Pro-Pulsion-Cassette-7-Speed/dp/B007Q4OV9Y/ref=sr_1_35?s=cycling&ie=UTF8&qid=1373328619&sr=1-35
http://www.amazon.com/SunRace-CSM63-7-Speed-Bicycle-Cassette/dp/B002G340LE/ref=sr_1_34?s=cycling&ie=UTF8&qid=1373328619&sr=1-34

You don't give any indication of the territory you ride; if it is flat, go for the 11-23 - the close ratio gears are nice, if you encounter hills more substantial than a overpass/underpass, the 11-28 might work better for you. Which gears are you using now?

I would not change to 8 or more speeds because of the many other components requiring changing.

IF 11-48 combo is not enough for you - if your engine is really good, you should be able to hit over 35mph on the level with no wind - the next step is more expensive and complicated.

Next step; crankset and FD:
looks like this one works with 122mm BB; which is what is recommended for the M131 cranks you have: http://www.amazon.com/Sunlite-Alloy-Double-Crankset-Square/dp/B003CO2RTS/ref=sr_1_16?s=cycling&ie=UTF8&qid=1373329130&sr=1-16
FD - you will need a road double that works with 53T
http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-FD-2300-Speed-Double-Derailleur/dp/B002UZBS7M/ref=sr_1_4?s=cycling&ie=UTF8&qid=1373329336&sr=1-4&keywords=2300
and you'll need new cable for the FD and a new chain.

After you make all these changes - over a 5 mile level wind free course; I bet that the difference in your time is less than the timing measurement error. But if you can get to 100rpm; you'll hit 39mph. It is all in the engine. If you increase your pedal rate from 100rpm to 120rpm, you'll get to 39mph with your current bike - no changes.
Or you could buy an additional engine for it - gas or electric - but then the main engine would get weaker and slower over time.
Nigel
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#11
really to me an upgrade is to improve the bike to suit my needs with the best components I can afford and help to up or retain the bikes integrity and value. The first thing to do is lose the crankset, total garbage, spotwelded rivited and does not feel smooth or very refined. $12 7 speed cassettes more garbage. Lateral move from what you have now. for around $300 or so. you can make the bike feel like over $1000 bike if done with Quality Parts. I would go with the 8 speed because I would use the sram pg-850 11-28 cassette, much better quality and smooth shifting. your front derailluer should handle the fc-2303 crankset and swap your rear derailluer to the rd-2300. and roll with the Shimano hg-91 chain. shifter/lever combo like the ef-51 or st-225 for cheap will transform your bike totally. matched to a set of wheels like these
http://www.amazon.com/Road-Wheel-Shimano-8-Speed-Black/dp/B004WSLUWI
and the right length Bottom bracket, you may already have it so check first. all this can be done within the $300 or so budget. thats a true upgrade that will suit your needs, are better quality parts. and will improve the speed and feel of the bike. It is just like the mod I did on this GT Tachyon. Bought it because I liked the frame and got a good price. then did the basic mod you would like to have done. Stick with decent parts of the same maker and your bike will retain value and look cleaner and not so hodge podge cheap on the fly
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#12
This comes up a lot so a bit of explanation to the original poster and other commentors.

The OP wants the bike to be "faster", by which I think he actually means two completely different things.

First, he feels like he could make the bike go at a higher speed except that it is geared too low for him to go any faster. As nfmisso correctly points out, this probably isn't true. This bike could exceed 30 mph with current gearing IF the rider can get up to 100 RPMs. Most newer cyclists ride at way too low RPMs and don't realize that it uses more energy. It also takes a little time to build up the skill and muscles to spin at higher RPMs. But everyone should understand that higher gears don't "make a bike faster", they make it go faster at slower pedalling RPMs.

Then there is actually making a bike go faster at the same effort level. This includes things like better tires, more aerodynamic position, well lubricated, lower drag bearings, chain, etc.

---------------------------------------------------------

To address the first issue. Step one of course is to learn how to spin the pedals faster. But I know that's unsatisfying. I'd start with a decent crank with a 52 chainring on it and see how that goes. Getting an entire new wheel just to go from a 12 to an 11 seems a bit silly. And going to 8 speed and buying a whole new drive train on a new $400 bikes seems a bit nuts. a 52-12 at 80 RPM is almost 30 MPH. If you're strong enough to do that for very long, you can learn how to spin the pedals faster.

I'd spend the rest of the money making the bike faster for the same effort level and perform better.
Don't go super skinny on the tires. Good quality tires suck up much less of your effort, mostly because they have more pliable sidewalls. Good tires will make a big difference in your speed and effort. Get better pedals, those things probably have the bare minimum of bearings and eat up a lot of effort. Get better brake pads, you can go faster when you can stop better.

If you want to go more aerodynamic without switching over to drop bars, start by flipping the stem or getting a lower stem. Next get some "riser bars" and install them upside down so they drop you down a couple inches.

But if what you really want is a racing bike, go find a good used one for $350. That will be a much better investment that replacing a bunch of parts on this bike so you end up with a slightly better cross bike.
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#13
This is where I stand on the situation. I would rather ride a better quality bike, period. Bikes in the $400 range are what I call entry level at best. Example: The Gt tachyon was just under$700 list bicycle, I paid like $350. I pulled out of the box and gutted the drivetrain. Why? because I wanted more speed and a better quality ride and to retain value. Plus when it came time to sell it, that person gets an awesome bike and my reputation for selling fine bicycles stays in tack. I sold the tachyon for around $800 in a package deal because the guy bought two. He came to look at a cannondale MTb, and after talking with him about his riding style I suggested a custom built sport hybrid, a flatbar road bike. I went here take my Tachyon for a spin. He came back and was hooked, he took them both. but the point here is this. I sold the bike for a couple hundred more than the original list with the crap components.
upgrading makes the bike nicer and helps retain value. plain and simple. I do it all the time. Thats all this gentleman wants is a faster nicer bicycle and a slate to work with. Of course he still has to keep cadence to actually go faster and he will. 7 speed components made today are low end. there are custom clusters and retro shifters that would be nice but to expensive for this guy. Thats why I would swap the wheels and move to an 8speed. he can sell the wheels, shifters,rear derailluer and that would put him close to his original $200 allowance. But he will have an overall balanced fine running machine that will be a pleasure to ride, will be worth every penny he has put into it.To replace or try one thing or another is not the way to do it at all. He as a budget and should get it all at once, build it and be done right. If a customer came to me with his request it would be whats the budget? this is what we can do, it will meet your requests above and beyond. come pick it up next week. spending very little like some have posted means nothing as far as upgrading and actually making a sweeter ride. buying another used bike and tossing more money on that is silly too. Building your own bicycle with a nice slate as he has with quality well thought out components that compliment each other is the only way I know how to do it. He can use the tires he has for their worth and the rest is done. A nice bicycle the way he wants that will last for years. All within the means of his budget. If a customer asked me what he asked I would not tell "pedal faster" and push him out the door, ( borderline insulting ). no matter the gearing of course. we all know if you want to go faster pedal faster
which means the mod I suggest he will go faster thanks to the advice of 'Pedal faster"
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#14
@painkiller - you make a good case for smart, targeted upgrading. And I'm not really disputing anything you're saying.

What I'm saying is that not every bike shop will make smart, cost effective upgrades to get a customer what they really want. What many will do is take a couple hundred bucks, slap some higher gear ratios with similar level components and give the bike back to the guy. Now he's got the same bike with higher gears, some extra parts that he can't do anything with, and a little less money.

I think the first step is to help someone understand what about the bike they are trying to change. Saying "it doesn't go fast enough" can mean a lot of different things. If what someone really wants is a road bike, you can drop $500 into a entry level cross bike and still not get what you want. I have no idea what the OP really wants, but I thought it wise to talk about some of the bigger issues before just listing off a bunch of components.

I'm not trying to be dismissive by saying "pedal faster". I'm saying that many cyclists think that it is actually wrong to pedal at too fast a cadence when it is actually the right way to do it and works better. I had to learn this and I don't think it's wrong to try to educate others as well. Taking someone's money and building up a bike that you think is what they want without actually figuring that out seems insulting to me.

Again, I'm not arguing with your recommendations. If what the guy wants is the kind of bike that will result, they all sounds like smart, cost effective upgrades that will give him a good solid bike. I just don't think it's that clear what the guy actually wants to achieve (at least to me) and that you really need to know that to give good advice.
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#15
One other problem, Karl (the OP) doesn't appear to have the tools or knowledge to do the work himself. Labor rates in the Bay Area would mean dropping $150- to $200- to change anything. (Spring tune-ups for bike here are advertised at $125- SPECIAL !!!! - and that does not include any parts requiring replacement.....) Most other areas of the USA are much less expensive.

Most of us on this forum do our own work, some of us because we are cheap, most because we enjoy it, and many because we do a better job than most bike shops.
Nigel
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#16
I understand your point Dave, He must also understand that what I am talking about means he must do the work himself and find the best deal he can on the parts. I suggested the triple ring ring up front because it is more usable for any situation and give him the choices for later fine tuning his gearing should he want a pinch taller ring that he can replace later. I doubt that if he does the mod the way I proposed he will be in the big ring and 11t in back much at all but going down hills. Until he responds back we will not know for sure but I think for the time and money spent it will be a nicer bike than going out and spending even $800 on a new one. The one thing is, is that I do not have a wall of parts hanging to sell and talk someone in to buying. I am more fond of flatbar road bike than dropbar but thats me. All he has to do is look and compare $600 dollar flatbar road bikes and he will see that what he will create will be much nicer for the money and he had fun building it and in that way he has saved money and got a bike just for him. I would never recommend something that I would not do myself. as a matter of fact I have a Felt coming in with a similar situation. He wants the bike to be faster and loose the gripshifters. Low end cranks for me totally ruin the feel of a bike. and as you pointed out good pedals are a nice too.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#17
Wow this certainly grew with some one techie hypo-technical upmanship. IMO the first thing I would change is the frame and wheels, than the crank. OR put a electric motor on it :-)))

But what do I know I ride a restored 85 Fuji with quad butted Vellulite frame that is better than most wannabe bikes today , with Suntour friction shifters that work swell. ANND it only weighs 24 lbs, 27lbs loaded.
Never Give Up!!!
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#18
(07-09-2013, 04:26 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  One other problem, Karl (the OP) doesn't appear to have the tools or knowledge to do the work himself. Labor rates in the Bay Area would mean dropping $150- to $200- to change anything. (Spring tune-ups for bike here are advertised at $125- SPECIAL !!!! - and that does not include any parts requiring replacement.....) Most other areas of the USA are much less expensive.

Most of us on this forum do our own work, some of us because we are cheap, most because we enjoy it, and many because we do a better job than most bike shops.

a couple allen wrenches. whip and cassette remover and a crank puller and possibly a bb tool and good to go. tools he needs anyway If he plans on owning a bike and willing to try to do his own work.
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#19
Painkiller, there's a guy out here with a half dozen police interceptors, too bad it's on the left coast, you could flip 'em.
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#20
(07-07-2013, 09:29 PM)karlracki Wrote:  http://khsbicycles.com/bikes/2012-khs-models/vitamin-a/
how can I upgrade my bike?
Did this person mention their weight? If it's 200+ pounds I don't see a cheap set of light rims working out. You guys know much more than me, but isn't that the wrong kind of bike for a speed demon? It looks like a comfort bike with a different seat & accessories. Doesn't he need a drop bar road bike?
It does look like some of the component upgrades mentioned will give a much better "feel".
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