My apologies if a “real world” question is outside the scope of the Zwift forum… but you are my only bike community so far
I am looking at my Zwift bike, and wondering if I need to upgrade some parts when I put it back on the road in 4 months. 90% of my IRL riding is on various mountain bikes, but I’ve hooked up my only road bike to learn how to use the drops etc.
I am a fan of older gear, and the “make due with what you’ve got” approach… so my 1999 Cannondale R300 will be the ride for the upcoming summer season.
It is (honestly) in great shape mechanically/cosmetically. A talented mechanic friend and the local bike shop have been very kind to the bike.
My question is the wheels. The front is a Mavic CXP11 (France). The rear was dented and replaced by an entry level Alexrims DA22. Both have new Schwalbe One tyres, tubed, 700x23C. These tyres are slick, with no treads.
In a normal year, I may only put 100km on the road bike, in perfect “coffee shop” weather, with no attempt at riding for performance/training.
This year, I would like to ride considerably more now that I have been on Zwift, and use the bike regularly to improve my conditioning.
My questions are about safety:
The brakes seem very ineffective compared to the disks on my MTBs. While this is to be expected based on tyre setups, my road friends stop considerably easier than I can as well. I think a set of Kool Supra2 (Salmon) pads would be much better than my (probably dried out) stock pads. Thoughts? The old pads aren’t cracked or glossy… but they are… old.
Wheel upgrades. While I’m not looking for the bling factor, would a more modern rim & tyre set be safer? I’ve read of folks fitting a 28C tyre in that frame. My road friends say the larger tyres can be run at a lower pressure, and dampen some of the vibration that these CAAD3 frames are known for.
I’m not against investing in wheels, or a new bike… but it would primarily be for safety reasons while I go play in traffic.
It’s taken me 53 years to hit the road, so if it takes me an extra 5 minutes to get somewhere with the existing gear, then so be it. The most significant performance gains need to come from the engine first!
I would, however, like to have the best chance of coming home upright.
Thanks again for your input.