I am blogging as I sit in my UPGRADED first class seat on my flight home! I guess if I have to travel I might as well enjoy my big cushy seat, free drinks (which I am not partaking in at 8 a.m.) and all the Twix I can eat!!
Enough bragging…what I really want to talk about is updgrading components on my bike!
B did most of the research when he bought me this bike back in December of last year because neither of us really knew anything about bikes and he
has alot of free time on his hands is very good about doing extensive research before we make big purchases. I knew I wanted a carbon frame and something that I could ride for several years, without wanting to upgrade the entire bike a year later. We heard good things about Felt and I really liked the idea of a women’s specific bike. The ZW-6 is apparently very popular so we were unable to get “last year’s”2010 model and we even had to drive to Charlotte just so I could test it out. Then when B ordered my bike, it took 6 weeks for it to arrive!
The awesome mechanic, Scott, at On On Tri got me fitted and set up originally and has since spent HOURS with me giving me riding tips, teaching me to change a tire, talking maintenance, etc. Recently on one of my many trips to the shop, I started talking to Scott about upgrading gear components. I had recently ridden Char’s rode bike and rented a Fuji for a long ride on a trip to Jersey and noticed how incredibly smooth the shifting on those bikes were compared to mine. And they both had one thing in common….Shimano Ultegra gears. When I told Scott that I wanted to upgrade to “pre-owned” Ultegra’s (I have 105’s), he explained to me that it was most definitely NOT the gears that I was having a problem with, but my shifters. You see, the ZW-6 comes with generic shifters that are actually not even the Shimano 105 shifters and they are stiff and make shifting seem “clunky” and slow. So we agreed that the best thing for me to do was to upgrade just the shifters. I originally thought I wanted the Ultegra shifters, but Scott also informed me that the only difference between the 105’s and Ultegra’s is that the Ultegra’s have a carbon fiber shifting lever, which is apparently just for aesthetics.
Soooo….for about $400 (including the labor to change them out), I feel like I am riding a BRAND NEW BIKE! It makes such a difference in the shifting…so smooth and clean.
The other thing I did was upgrade the tires. I was also still riding the tires that came with the bike, so I moved into more of a “race tire”. I decided on the Continental Triathlon tires. I raced on these last weekend and will ride them until my next race then get another set and use those only for racing and put these back on for training rides. I think I paid a little too much for them by purchasing the at the bike ship ($75 per tire), so I the next I will purchase online.
I am super happy with how it turned out and hopefully won’t feel the need to upgrade anything else any time soon!