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I have a Kent Nazz gravel bicycle. I am planning on making it a project bike to learn with. But I also really like the bike and how it feels. I got a Poseidon X also and I actually like the ride of the Nazz better, probably because I'm mostly riding on bumpy side walks. I want to replace the rear derailleur and potentially bottom bracket, crankset and chain.

I've looked on the Shimano website and seen many options for rear derailleur. The current derailleur on the bike is what I have seen on line referred to as a Shimano flatface. I have had no issues with it but I want to know if a new slightly better entry level part would provide a better ride along with some of the other planned changes.

I am looking into the Tourney TX line for example as they seem slightly better. Should I simply look for a model that is a fit for a 2x7 drivetrain? I know there are long, medium and short cages. What should I select as far as this goes? Is there something else that I should consider?

As far as the crankset and BB I keep reading and hearing that these components are the least important in an upgrade. Why is that, given that they are a part of the drivetrain? I was looking into this crankset: https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/product/component/tourney-a070/FC-A070.html And for bottom bracket: SHIMANO Square Type Bicycle Bottom Bracket - BSA 68MM, Spindle: 127.5MM (D-EL) - EBBUN300B27B

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mo_maat is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.
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    Now that you've ridden your bike for a while - just as an experiment - drop by your local bike shop and test ride something in a similar type of bike. If you can feel the difference save the money you would spend on upgrades toward a better bike. If you can't feel the difference you can be happy with what you have. Don't fix anything that isn't broken. The crankset is important, it transfers the power of your legs to the chain - stiffness and strength matter.
    – David D
    Oct 10 at 19:57
  • Good feedback. I will eventually get there. But since I'm somewhat new to all this, I like to actually learn how to do all the maintenance and understand what actually matters and impacts performance and how to tweak stuff.
    – mo_maat
    Oct 11 at 3:02
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    I don't want to seem pedantic, but there's a big problem with bikes in the price range as the Kent Nazz: they don't publish the specs of the parts they're using, and they don't necessarily use "standard parts". Those bikes are actually very difficult to maintain/upgrade. So I would rather recommend: identify what you like with the Kent Nazz, and see how you can modify the Poseidon X to be closer to what you like with the Nazz. There are small changes than can be change the "feeling" of a bike (tires, stem, handle bars,...). The Poseidon X is a much better choice for the purpose you gave.
    – Renaud
    Oct 11 at 9:05
  • I understand. Makes sense... The Nazz is meant more for learning and experimenting. I think that I've narrowed the comfort on the Nazz to the tires, they're slicker and faster and I am riding them on the sidewalk as a commuter rather than on true "gravel bike" routes. There is also the fact perhaps that it is steel and therefore more forgiving. A better seat/seatpost on the Poseidon could help with that.
    – mo_maat
    Oct 11 at 15:12
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Unless you're making a big jump up the price list, the quality of a rear mech makes very little difference to your ride, as long as the current one is working properly.

The way the chain interacts with the rear cassette has a far greater impact. Those funny little waves on the side of the cogs in a higher spec cassette are there for a reason. Coupled with the right chain, you'll find changes are much slicker, especially under load.

Equally, a good shifter, with a good quality cable, will make gear changes feel smoother and easier.

As for the BB, it's a similar story. They don't really do much. A well maintained traditional cup and bearing BB can be just as efficient as a more expensive sealed one. And a high end ceramic BB might be a good investment for a 170 mile stage of the TDF, but us mere mortals will never notice the difference.

But don't let me put you off trying. That's half the fun of cycling. Just be aware that it's not necessarily going to pay big dividends.

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