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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off i'm going to say sorry for the stupid question!

Just bought a used 2003 fuji finest....i want to get into triathlons...is it better to build up a bike with a ok frame (ok being cheap) and good components or the reverse, good and super lite frame with ok components?

Doing triathlons to say in shape and some day do a ironman...so spending a ton of money isnt really big on the list....doing it for the story and for fun!
 

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I say good frame. The primary reason is that buying a good frame with low end components gives you the ability to upgrade piece by piece since usually the entire Shimano lineup is compatible from 105-DuraAce. Also, the worst components are still very good. This year's 105 is basically Dura Ace from about 3-4 years ago.

As for the rest of the components such as handlebars, wheels, stems, etc., a lot of professionals (eg. Dan Empfield) preach that you should consider your contact points separate from the drivetrain/frame. Basically saddles, handlebars, stems, wheels should all be changed anyway to suit your needs. So as you progress in the sport and realize what you want, you will almost certainly change these out anyway.

Finally, everyone on these message boards wants carbon fiber wheels, the newest DuraAce/SRAM Red, etc., but the truth is that most of this stuff are just fancy extras. A good solid frame and some decent components will take you many many miles...until you enter your first race, and then you will lose, and inevitably blame it on the wheels, components, etc.
 

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Lou3000 said:
I say good frame. The primary reason is that buying a good frame with low end components gives you the ability to upgrade piece by piece
And in doing so-you're going to spend a great deal more money than if you have just bought the level of everything you wanted in the first place.
 

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Marc said:
And in doing so-you're going to spend a great deal more money than if you have just bought the level of everything you wanted in the first place.
this is not true.You can look around a save some $$$, or maybe, you don't have that whole ammount of cash at the moment or not willing to spend it all at the same time.
I''ve built several bikes, with better components. or some specific components that I wanted, that could not get with a stock bike. for less than the stock bike's price.
 

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Bianchi-Campagnolo
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Lou3000 said:
Finally, everyone on these message boards wants [...] the newest DuraAce/SRAM Red[...]
Campagnolo Super Record, if you please. :D

I follow you. A good frame can outlast drivetrains. My previous started off with Record 8, but when things got quite worn after 6 years Record 10 was on the market. That I rode until the frame gave in. The 10 speed shall grace my wife's bike, I just have to tell Salsa that she'll get a compact crank.

Some folks like to swap (sell) everything every two years. Not me.
 

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The answer to this question is different for Tris - weight is not a big factor since most Tri courses do not have big climbs. Entry level components (e.g., Rival/105) is fine - priority should go to:

- frame that you can get a good aero and comfortable position - by far the biggest factor is your position in terms of reducing drag.
- aero front wheel. 60mm rim or greater (or used Hed3)
- TT helmet
- aero rear wheel
 

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I think in the short run you could get yourself into trouble if 2 months after purchasing a bike you want better stuff, but in the long run, it is a lot cheaper to upgrade components than a new frame. Especially considering that the jump from a crap frame to a great frame is a lot larger than the jump from crappy components to great components.

A cheap frame is probably worth 500-700. A great frame is probably 2000-3000

A cheap groupset is probably 300-400. A great groupset is probably 800-1200.

So in two years you can get plunk down $3100 for a new Cervelo R3 or you can spend $1200 over two years and have SRAM Red.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Aegis Aro Svelte, I found just the frame online, and its CRAZY cheap! Waiting for a call back on the year and condition...since i'm a little knew to this good investment...I'm not completely stupid thought, I know there's are good bikes and are far from cheap.

But just wanted to see how they are in the past year like 1999ish....
THANK FOR ALL THE HELP SO FAR!! def appreciated!!
 

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Lou3000 said:
A cheap frame is probably worth 500-700. A great frame is probably 2000-3000

A cheap groupset is probably 300-400. A great groupset is probably 800-1200.
BTW-Your "cheap frame" at that price point will most likely have a Parker Bros. warranty.

The only groupsets that dirt cheap are 9speed Sora or Tiagra. And they aren't worth the coin or the effort, IMHO. Even then I am skeptical-since most places do not sell those groups as groups-as anyone building a frame wants better components.

105 as a group retails for at least $700 IIRC. Dura-Ace shifters alone are a $700 MSRP proposition.
 

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You can get a Scattante road frame with a carbon fork for $300. I've never ridden one, but I know a guy who does and it is definitely a workable, albeit cheap frame.

As for components, I don't know about MSRP, but you can get a new SRAM Force Group for $1000 or less on eBay.
 

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TriJustin said:
Aegis Aro Svelte, I found just the frame online, and its CRAZY cheap! Waiting for a call back on the year and condition...since i'm a little knew to this good investment...I'm not completely stupid thought, I know there's are good bikes and are far from cheap.

But just wanted to see how they are in the past year like 1999ish....
THANK FOR ALL THE HELP SO FAR!! def appreciated!!
if that's the frame I think it is, it isn't the right geometry for a tri bike - it's a road bike with a 72 degree seat tube angle - wrong for a tri bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ah good to know!! Now for another entry level question....I know getting fitted for the bike is the best thing....but if i were to buy a frame what it the difference from a road to a tri frame?
 

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malanb said:
this is not true.You can look around a save some $$$, or maybe, you don't have that whole ammount of cash at the moment or not willing to spend it all at the same time.
I''ve built several bikes, with better components. or some specific components that I wanted, that could not get with a stock bike. for less than the stock bike's price.
But in your proposed scenario you already bought the stock bike and then the upgraded components so what you're saying doesn't add up.
 
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