Every ounce of effort makes its way through to your back wheel via your drive train, and as a moving part it's the part of you bike that takes a pounding every time you step on a pedal.
As spring hit Melbourne I realised winter had not been kind. It was new drive train day.
I love getting new bits for my bike.... especially cool stuff, wheels, new bars, trying out new tyres. But when it comes to the drive train I tend to overlook replacement. Chatting to the riders on my morning bunch ride, I found it was much the same story, it's always talk of, 'I would love to try these wheels' or 'have you seen those new hubs'. Never do you hear, 'I can't wait to get a new cassette...'
I'm running Dura-Ace on my bike right now. It's awesome and is yet to let me down. Even better, I've had plenty of K's out of it from constant cleaning of my bike. I actually thought that it was running pretty much as smooth as when I had bought the bike, but then I jumped onto a review bike running 105 and suddenly realised that my Dura-Ace groupset was in urgent need of replacement.
So off to Essendon Cyclery for an installation of a new Shimano chain, chainrings, cassette and jockey wheels. Rolling out I felt like I was on a brand new bike. What a change. I should have done this sooner.
When it comes to replacing your drive train there's plenty of options, especially if your bike came off the rack with a non custom build. It's a great time to think about what riding you've been doing and how you have been going. Are you grinding up those hills... go for a wider range cassette, drop down to compact chain rings. Or perhaps you've got all weight conscious and what to drop some weight from your bike so you can take the 'opportunity' to up the spec a bit... or maybe you're looking for some performance gains. I'm sure you can think of a way to justify it.
Given the volumes of cash people are dropping on road bike now I'm thinking that it's definitely worth the outlay to keep your bike feeling in top condition. So now that we have hopefully seen the last of the bad weather have a close look at your bikes moving bits and ask yourself, is it new drive train day?