So I bought this road bike for 40 bucks and I’m thinking of upgrading the drivetrain since it feels a little rough

I just have no idea how to, this is the bike: https://i.sstatic.net/ZUi2d.jpg

And this is the group set I want to get : https://i.sstatic.net/FdYVP.jpg

  • Matt's answer is great - start with a deep clean of the chain and transmission. I wonder if the chain is really silver/chrome.
    – Criggie
    Aug 10, 2020 at 8:31

1 Answer 1


Looks like a nice, well maintained bike, however its 1980's or 90 era geometry means its not worth pouring money of a new group set into making it better.

From a learning experience on bike maintenance you may be better to get the bike running smoothly by working on what you have, replacing bits that are worn might be a better starting point. If you dead keen on the new group set, be aware its still an old frame so the geometry is 'wrong' by todays standards.

My approach to this bike would be :

  • Service headset and wheel bearings, clean and lube chain and lube shifter and brake cables. Check the tires for damage, and brakes are working well enough. Get out and ride it before spending more money.

If I was enjoying the bike, and it was still a bit rough....

  • Check derailleur hanger alignment
  • Check Bottom Bracket for wear, replace if needed
  • Replace shifter and brake cables - probably inner and outer, but could be convinced to keep outers if they not showing signs of age.
  • Check chain for wear, if worn, replace chain and rear cassette.
  • Check chain rings - from picture they look OK, but hard to tell.
  • Check the wheels are true.

All these things are covered on this site in various questions, and Parktool has a great "how to" site for DIY maintenance. You will need some tools, but a you can get bike tools kits that are good enough for a careful DIY mechanic, containing all you will need, especially for this era bike, quite cheaply.

  • 2
    The rear cassette appears to be 7 speed already, and the bars are wearing STI brifters. Assuming that's orginal, going to 9 speed sora is definitely possible. The main blockers will be whether OP's wheel hub takes a 8/9/10 speed cassette or if its limited to 7 speed, and what the OLD is on the rear dropouts.
    – Criggie
    Aug 10, 2020 at 8:34

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