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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My one road bike, a 2001 Airborne Zeppelin, is set up with a ultegra triple, open pros, and I've always ridden Specialized Armadillos because I might get one flat in 1,000 miles. I hear comments about other tires or drive train options that make me wonder if I'd be agast with an different choice of say, wheels or tires. I would like to upgrade my wheels but with so many choices/prices it's hard to pin down something (Flit Wheels sounds interesting). I ride 100+ miles a week during the spring and summer and do a few organized rides. But, am I missing something or would a switch make a world of difference.
 

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dirthersh said:
My one road bike, a 2001 Airborne Zeppelin, is set up with a ultegra triple, open pros, and I've always ridden Specialized Armadillos because I might get one flat in 1,000 miles. I hear comments about other tires or drive train options that make me wonder if I'd be agast with an different choice of say, wheels or tires. I would like to upgrade my wheels but with so many choices/prices it's hard to pin down something (Flit Wheels sounds interesting). I ride 100+ miles a week during the spring and summer and do a few organized rides. But, am I missing something or would a switch make a world of difference.
I'm not sure whether the ride of Armadillos has changed in the years since I rode them (2000), but I noticed a very big difference when I switched to Panaracer Rolly-Polly tires. Much softer ride and much better cornering. If you switch to deep V rims, I think you will also notice them to be quite a bit stiffer.
 

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In a word, yes.

If you were to put on a set of nice racing tires with some latex tubes you would almost certainly notice a huge improvement in ride quality, traction, and cornering. You would also notice all the downsides that a tire at the opposite end of the durability vs. performance spectrum offers.

If you are a "competitive" rider, I would urge you to try some premium tires and latex tubes. If you are more of a recreational cyclist or commuter, stick with what works.

As far as drive train...Do you miss shifts? Is your set up dialed in and not ever shifting on its own, skipping, or otherwise drawing attention? If it is causing you no problems, the only benefit of a new DT will be weight savings and the pleasure of knowing you spent money updating your bike (if that is a "good" feeling for you, it probably will not last long, and you will then want more new stuff soon). If it is skipping or acting up, I would take a look and see if it is worn out, or simply in need of a little maintenance. Ultegra is quite durable and generally regarded functioning as well as anything pricier, "upgrading" to something that works better might be a challenge.

Wheels? Great wheels are great, but honestly if you are running a tire like the 'dillo, I do not think that you will notice much from a "better" wheel set. (nothing against the "dillo", it is a great tire for its designed purpose). Additionally, OPs on Ultegra hubs are hard to beat without spending a big chunk of cash...even then, unless you are loosing races by seconds, it might be hard to justify upgrading from OPs on Ultegra hubs...Though, it may be a brilliant idea to have your hubs serviced by a pro if it has not been done in a couple years.

Biggest bang for the buck (IMO) is going to be tires/tubes if you are searching for a step towards a "racier" ride.

Stiffer, lighter, and newer is basically what you will be paying for with a lot of upgrades. Great things to have on a competition level bike, but the highest return on investment for a lot of cyclists that already have a nice bikes usually comes from tires and tuneup (a real tune up....some shops call it an overhaul/rebuild). Service all bearings, replace all cables, check everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've never had any problems with my triple and part of it has to do with maintaining it's components. Most of my riding is in the foothills of the Cascades and the idea of a compact has crossed my mind but for the cassette I'd use there is a few redundant gears that I might find disappointing. My open pros have dura ace hubs tho, according to a mechanic who trued the wheels last year, "cheap" spokes (hard to true). The wheels are now 8 years old so it's time for an upgrade/rebuild soon. I might invest in a lighter wheels and see if my ride is more efficient and save my monies for a new ride next year. I might even go carbon...
 

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Yes in life ignorance IS bliss :D and No not in your case I suspect..
unless you believe it does after you get them...in which case it does make a HUGE difference.
 

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I agree that if your going to rock training tires that it would be a waste to spend thousands on nice wheels. You could do a Kinlin Xr270 with some Ulltegras. Or if you want a little carbonium BLING then you could get some Protech Composites carbon clinchers. They are less than half the price of a set of Edges and would make great all around wheels.
 
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