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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got bit by the cycling bug two years ago and started riding and buying mountain bikes. I got tired of being stuck inside any time it rained due to wet trails so I ended up buying an 07 Kona Jake CX bike on sale for a screaming price at my LBS. I mainly ride it around town to the store and also a four mile each way commute to my second job.

Unfortunately, there are a few problems with the Jake

The shifters (07 Sora) suck
The rear derailleur (07 Sora) sucks
The rear cassette is only 8 speed (despite Kona saying it should be 9)
The fork is heavy (steel)
I ride the bike more on the road than the trails (wheels are over built)
and finally, I have an REI dividend and a 20% off coupon and I want to get the most bang for the buck out of it.

I am eventually going to hop on a real road bike, hopefully around November when my LBS clears out the 09 models.

That being said, I am most inclined to upgrade the wheels on this bike and then throw them on whatever I get later in the year, assuming they are lighter. REI has a few nice sets of wheels for cheap that will go well with my member coupon and then my dividend. I see 105 and Ultegra shifters/derailleurs go past on Chainlove as well as the other internet retailers for cheaper than I can get them on REI. The fork isn't a huge deal right now. I'll probably be buying another CX bike in two years that is a lighter build, which also makes me hesitant to upgrade anything but the wheels unless something breaks.

Based on weight alone (pair)

Shimano RS20 1773 grams
Easton EA50 SL 1697 grams
Mavic Ksyrium Equipe 1770 grams

Price (pair after discount)

Shimano $240
Easton $300
Mavic $349


It would appear, based on weight and price alone, that the Shimano set is the best value. However, knowing almost nothing about road wheels/bearings/spoke setups I have no idea if this holds true.

My budget is a bit tight at the moment and I will need a new cassette as well as tires and tubes to accompany these wheels.

Any helpful hints? Is this post too confusing? Pie?
 

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I have a friend that has the Forté Titan wheels from Performance and he loves them. I know they're nothing special to anyone on this forum but I think they are comparable in weight to the sets you listed and only cost around $150, which can be 120 if you wait for a 20% off special.
 

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Of the three options you've listed I'd go with the Easton's first, and Shimano's second. But IMO Baker has a good alternative with the OpenPro's. Even with Ultegra hubs they're bullet proof. A plus is that they use loose balls for bearings (preferred by many of us 'mature riders'), a minus is some weight, but not much.

I believe Performance and/ or Nashbar carry the OpenPro's and Easton's, and as stated run sales frequently.
 

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Save your money...

...and get a new bike. By the time you figure out that the only thing left to upgrade is the frame...and you need to upgrade the frame, because you need something lighter and more responsive...you'll have already spent the equivalent of what you needed in upgrades to a get a whole new bike...
 
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