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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back in the spring I purchased a Fisher Rail. That cheap road bike was my introduction to road cycling and an increased passion for 2-wheeled machines.

The bike has a Shimano 2300 group on it. It isnt the smoothest shifting, but it works. I dont like the goofy thumb shifters, though. And that is where my question lies: Is it worth putting a Tiagra drivetrain on? I know I will have to change the rear der. and cassett..

My other option is just buying a completely new bike. I really like the look of the Cdale CAAD8 S6. That has a Tiagra group and better wheels and it looks like the CAAD9 has Shimano hubs.

I dont mind putting used components on the Rail, I just dont want to waste my time. I dont foresee me ever road racing, but I would like to do some more extended rides.
 

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Aside from the shifters, do you like the bike?

I don't think the ride itself will improve much without spending quite a lot. (On a new bike.) But if you're not set on replacing your entire drivetrain, getting better shifters and the appropriate cassette can be a really big upgrade without spending as much. It's still expensive, but not as much as replacing everything. 105 is a little nicer than Tiagra, and if you're only buying a shifter set, the price difference isn't as much. I have Tiagra on my 'cross bike, and it works fine but it doesn't have trim shifts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I do like the bike. I find that the geo fits me well. I cant complain about the ride; its pretty smooth. And, plus, it matches my mtb very well- both bikes are black Fishers of the same year. Its all about looking good..:cool:

If I can squeeze a 105 group, I will. And I feel like a lighter wheelset would make the bike perform better, too, but I dont know if I could justify that as my mtb might need a rear hub before next summer.. Im getting close to the number of miles of its reputed life.

The brakes are so bad either. A lot of people complain about the Promax brakes on lower end road bikes, but they seem to stop a 190# rider fine.
 

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You need to keep your old bike the way it is. You also need to buy the CAAD 8 or the CAAD 9. You will love them both. Buy the bikes, keep the bikes, enjoy the bikes. Have fun.
 

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Considering you've had the Fisher since spring, it fits well and (overall) you like the ride/ handling, I think it's definitely worth considering some upgrades.

Going to Tiagra 9 spd would be the cheapest option and get you some of the benefits you're looking for - namely upgrading the shifters for better ergonomics. Beyond the shifter upgrade, it would require a new cassette and chain. The remainder of the drivetrain should work fine with some fine tuning.

Going to 105 would be pricier mostly because of the added cost of the shifters (depending on where you shopped, of course). FWIW, this upgrade would bring you up to 10 spd and also require a change of cassette and chain.

Regarding wheelsets: Don't be misled into thinking that buying one of the CAAD's that you mentioned is going to get you an upgrade. The OEM wheelsets on those bikes isn't that much of an upgrade over what you now have. If a wheelset upgrade is the primary motivation to buy new, I'd suggest keeping your bike and making a more worthwhile upgrade, but that would cost at least $250. Also, just because a wheelset has Shimano hubs doesn't make it better than yours. There are low end Shimano hubs and high end, and of the bikes you're looking at, while the wheelsets are certainly serviceable and reliable, I wouldn't rate them any higher than midrange, at best.
 
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