Help With New Bike

Hi all, I’m currently riding a 2013 Norco Threshold C2. It’s a carbon rim brake cyclocross bike with SRAM Apex shifting. I’ve changed to a better wheelset, added a power meter and a 105 cassette for better shifting. Weighs about 9kg.

I ordered a new bike last week because Decathlon randomly had an alloy road bike with Shimano 105 (Triban 520) on sale for $1350 CAD. The price was ridiculous and so I ordered it. Thinking about swapping on my 105 crankset PM, a carbon disc wheelset I already own, and a couple other changes.

So, a couple of questions for you all: are there any options under $2000 that will give me a better all-around bike? The same alloy 105 bikes from Canyon, Spesh, Trek are all around $2500, but maybe there’s a brand I haven’t heard of. Second, if I go with the Decathlon bike, what changes do you recommend to improve it? I think with swapping parts I already have I can bring it down to around 9.1 kg (carbon wheelset, 105 cassette, my current saddle, carbon post, 105 crankset).

I’d like to upgrade because it would be nice to have better shifting and be able to run a carbon wheelset that I already own. That said, I don’t know how much difference there will really be.

Final thing: I suppose I can afford a $4k bike with Ultegra. Why would that be worth it, if at all?

I know some people who use the Triban 520 as a commuter and it’s great for that. Honestly though I doubt it’d be an improvement on your Norco. I’m not a fan of those TRP Hy/Rd brakes, they’re an absolute pain to maintain and the braking isn’t much better then a well set up rim brake bike. In terms of ride position it’s quite change from a CX bike as well, certainly a lot more relaxed.

I’m guessing that you’re a Yank given your use of $, if so then if you can wait until autumn I’d get this:

Pop your carbon wheels on and you’ve got a great bike.

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I think going from that carbon Norco frame to the alloy Decathlon would be a noticeable step backwards. You didn’t mention needing disc brakes and/or the type of riding you do so if that’s not an issue why not just upgrade the drivetrain on the Norco?

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What’s your intended riding style/ideal frame geometry? If you’ve already got a groupset and wheels then your most cost effective option is to just order a frameset from China or a used frameset from a mainline brand like Giant and build off that. I’ve had good experiences with buying used carbon stuff from Pro’s Closet.

Ultegra question is sort of moot. R8100 has changed the market position of Ultegra dramatically, and these bikes now occupy what was Dura-Ace mechanical and are in the 5500-7000+ range. 105 occupies the old Ultegra price point and hovers around 3-4K when attached to carbon frames. The difference depends on brand, with some brands like Look you’re not only getting the newest highest end frameset and carbon wheels with Ultegra but I think you get a frame made in EMEA vs Taiwan other brands you only get a different group and some meh carbon wheels with the Ultegra up charge.

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Weight has little impact on speed. Aero has a much larger effect unless you’re in the Alps.

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Thanks for the input, all. I can definitely add some clarifications. I’m looking for an endurance road bike. While I love the idea of a hyperlight speed weapon, I’m 75 kg with an FTP around 3.5 w/kg. It would make more sense to spend $5k on a coach than a fancy bike I’m not fast enough to benefit from.

Why a Triban 520? I would like a disc brake bike in order to use my lovely carbon wheelset. I like the idea of switching to 105 from Apex. My Norco is nice, but doesn’t fit super well. I want a shorter seat tube while keeping top tube the same length. I also don’t mind the extra stack height. I also hate the direction the bike industry is going from a cost perspective, and I’m not sure I’ll ever do better as far as value goes.

I have a full parts bin and can lower the weight of the Triban to just above 9kg without too much trouble. I know Aero is more important than weight most of the time, and would like the option to use deep Aero wheels in the future. Because the Norco has canti brakes I’m not keen on using carbon wheels. The ones that have aluminum tracks are expensive and not wide enough. I’m not interested in a carbon brake surface. Physics is an issue there.

As for the Canyon… I’m in Canada and it’s double the price of the Triban. For that extra money I get hydraulic discs and that’s about it. Which is why I’m mad at where the market is at.

The Triban is definitely not perfect. It has weird brake mounts, an aluminum steerer tube, and… That’s basically all I don’t like about it. The geometry is almost identical to a Canyon Endurace (1 deg slacker head tube, slightly lower stack), and it reviews really well apart from the weight. I imagine that new seat, wheels, seatpost and cassette will deal with the weight.

I definitely have looked at building my own bike before. It does seem like a legit option in this situation as well. There are quite a few Taiwanese frames for under $1k. I would need to buy shifters, but I think I could do a full build for under $1500. I’ll try pricing out a build and see what I can come up with. If anyone has specific frame recommendations, please send them over!

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Tideace

Haven’t used a road frame, but a kid in the valley has been racing on one for a few years. I had no issues racing hard on their mtb hardtail. Also weigh 75kg.

I know you want to make the bike as light as possible, but 9kg is just plain heavy. Worry more about fit, comfort and ride quality than a weight that is weighty.

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Postmount is not weird. It is just not the flat mount format adopted by the majority making potential upgrades difficults.

I understand more the wish to upgrade if the norco doesn’t fit you.

Most affordable bikes have very cheap and heavy seatpost/saddle/stem/handlebars and wheels which is where most of the weight can be gained. But unless you already own much lighter parts purchasing them will make the overall price of your bike much higher and you can’t really expect to save money from selling the original ones.

I f you want to stay on a budget I’d rather look at the used market before impulse buying and unless your are riding in the mountains I would maybe even stick to rim brakes. The 30y old specialized Epic Allez I rode last sunday is already lighter than the bike you mention and would cost a fraction of the price you mention in the used market. I didn’t felt hampered by the bike in my group ride surrounded by modern aero super bikes, actually In the last 10km when the no drop rule was out of place I ended up in the first group of 5 riders who dropped everyone in the last 2 climbs. Not bad for an old bike. Surely you can findhigh end rim braked bikes of the last decade for the same price as that Triban. If you can strip most of the Norco’s groupset you can even look at framesets only and score some really nice ones.

A quick search showed me a 1100€ carbon canyon endurace on ultegra, pretty close in canadian dollars to the price you would pay for that Triban and surely a nicer ride.

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OP wrote 1350 CAD, Canadian maybe ?

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Sorry, I realize not everyone is familiar with CAF (Canadian Dollars). In Western Canada.

For reference, 1350 CAD is around 1025 €, 870 £, or $1040 USD.

I spent some time looking at used bikes in my area. I guess because of the bike shortage, the available options are quite limited. To get a carbon road bike for this money I’m looking at bikes that are nearing 15 years old for the most part. The best one I’ve seen was a Felt with 105 5700. That was $1500.

It’s certainly in part due to the bike shortage, but the pricing here is a bit out of control. We don’t have bike to work schemes, and most people only bike for fun, so the used market isn’t great. Canada also has decent duty on bicycles, which pushes things higher.

While I can’t change the geometry of the Norco, I did look at a 105 upgrade. It’s around $550 incl. tax. I think in that case I’d rather go for Sensah 2x11. I can get a setup for around $220. Going to do some test rides and see if the geometry really makes a comfort difference. If it does, I think I can sell my Norco for more than the Triban, which would work out nicely.

all-around bike
What kind of roads do you ride and thus consider allround? 30 mm clearance and disc brakes would be my choice, perhaps fenders? Does the Triban have QR’s of thru axles? The last would be my choice. It adds in wheel choices, handy in the second hand market and future upgradebility

Giant Contend AR/Canyon Endurace/Merida Scultura Endurance that’s the bikes I’d look at. More than your Triban. Don’t know which brands are available in Canada.

On the Triban: the upgrades you mention. I’d hesitate to do something on shifters/crank. This frame wouldn’t be worth the hassle to me. Of course because of living elsewhere my references are different.

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+1 on the Endurace. Mine is fabulous at the nearly 5 year mark, have gravel and road wheels, and it can do anything (unlike its rider - sigh).

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Thanks all for the continued feedback. I have done a bunch of research into different options now, and I think the general consensus RE: not getting a new bike at all is correct. I think I would be quite happy with the Triban, but I don’t think it’s actually going to fit too differently from my Norco when I look at the actual geometry I ride with, and while it would be nice to be able to use my carbon wheels, it’s not a good reason to buy an entirely new bike that isn’t an upgrade elsewhere. The same logic applies to the Endurace. I’m sure it would be a slight upgrade, but probably not actually very much for the cost to my door, which would be almost $3000.

The short term plan is to have some fun with marginal gains on my Norco, train myself, and have fun with the bike I have. My wife and I will have kids in the next year or two, so I’d like a new bike before then, and I think that means I’ll save up some money specifically and build a new bike this winter. There are some very solid looking frames on AliExpress, and I’m going to try for a nice all-rounder. Looks like I can complete the build for around $1100 CAD, since I already have most of the parts, and will end up with a way better bike than the Triban or Endurace as a result. Then I can decide to either set my Norco up for my wife, or sell it off to pay for the new bike.

In the mean time, here is what I’m thinking with the Norco:

  • Latex tubes
  • Internally routed handlebars (not stem)
  • New brake/shifter cables
  • New brake pads

The other “upgrades” are with me. Going to wear an aero jersey when trying to ride fast, make sure my drivetrain and bike are clean, will work on my flexibility and aero position, and work to train my 2-5 minute power which is both my weakness and the relevant power band for most of the segments I enjoy riding in my city. I also sewed up my helmet strap so it doesn’t move around :wink: . Apparently it saves a couple watts at 40 kph and is way less annoying now.

I looked into some rim brake aero wheels, but don’t think it makes sense right now. It’s definitely a relevant upgrade, but a very expensive one compared to all of the above, and for the dollars per watt. My current wheels are obviously slower, but improving my position will make more difference and is free.

So, thanks again for all of the input. If you have any other tips, please feel free to fire them over. Otherwise, thanks for the help!

Rider >> bike. Most of the stuff you’re fussing about won’t make you materially faster, if that’s the goal. With an off the shelf bike, most ppl will replace the saddle, bar, stem, then perhaps add a 2nd set of wheels. More than that and it’s likely better to have chosen a different bike. FWIW, I’d trade all marginal gain bits for a saddle and bibshorts combo that’s good for 6+ hrs.

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