Reply To: Bikes 101 Follow-Up Questions

Jesse Worker


I have a few questions on what kind of retrofits and upgrades i should consider making to my commuter, a Surly Crosscheck (2013).

I checked the specs to get an idea of my groupset and ranges from Sora (front derailleur) to Deore (rear derailleur) to Tiagra (rear cogs). The cassette has been replaced once (though I did not check on whether they replaced at the same grade), other parts are the same. Would it make sense to upgrade any individual parts of the groupset? It would seem to me that rear derailleur, cassette and chain might make the most difference, but I don’t really know.

Would I benefit from buying higher quality wheels? Would lighter wheels help my time?

As far as tires, I ride on 28mm gatorskins. One of the NTP leaders suggested going down to 24mm and suggested a specific tire but i didn’t get the name. I wouldn’t be making this switch until the race, as I commute 70 miles a week on this bike and need tough tires. Any suggestions here?

As far as race prep, I would assume I should strip off the rack and probably the fenders too–is that right?

Any experience doing a tri on a Brooks saddle? It’s been comfy for me, but the water post-swim probably wouldn’t be great.