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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I've been riding for almost 2 years now and have gotten more and more hooked. I bought a used '04 specialized allez sport to start off, and have gotten to the point now where I want to start upgrading the components. Would love a new bike (like everybody else would) but I can't justify the price.

So here's the stock component list, what would be the most bang for my buck to upgrade (as far as weight/performance goes). I'm currently borrowing a buddy's old (heavy) shimano road pedals and am about to buy some keo sprints. I was also thinking I wanted to go from a triple ring crank set to a double. Any advice is extremely appreciated

HEADSET Intellaset, 1 1/8" integrated threadless, alloy cap, alloy cone spacers and washer
STEM Specialized Pro, 3D forged alloy, 31.8mm bar clamp, 4- position adjustable
HANDLEBARS Specialized Pro, racing drop, 31.8mm diameter
TAPE / GRIPS Body Geometry, thin Bar Phat, black cork ribbon
FRONT BRAKE Dual pivot, forged alloy, w/ multi-condition pads (no name brand)
REAR BRAKE Dual pivot, forged alloy, w/ multi-condition pads (no name brand)
BRAKE LEVERS Shimano Tiagra, STI
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Tiagra, 31.8mm clamp
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano New 105, long cage
SHIFT LEVERS Shimano Tiagra, STI, flight deck compatible
CASSETTE Shimano Tiagra, 9-speed, 12x25t
CHAIN Shimano HG 73
CRANKSET Specialized Comp, five arm, polished arms
CHAINRINGS 52Ax42Ax30S
BOTTOM BRACKET Shimano BB-UN-25, square taper, 68mm shell, 118mm spindle
PEDALS Composite body, alloy cage, Cr-Mo axle
RIMS Alex AT-400, 700c, double wall alloy, machined sidewalls
FRONT HUB Specialized, 28 hole, forged alloy, double seals, alloy QR
REAR HUB Specialized, 32 hole, forged alloy, cassette, double seals, alloy QR
SPOKES DT Swiss, 2.0mm (14g) stainless, black, alloy nipples, L282/R282mm front, L293/R291mm rear
SEAT POST Specialized carbon fiber, 27.2x350mm
SEAT BINDER Forged alloy, w/ Cr-Mo binder bolt

Thanks!
-Jonathan
 

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A few pointers and questions

envirocrat said:
Hello,

I've been riding for almost 2 years now and have gotten more and more hooked. I bought a used '04 specialized allez sport to start off, and have gotten to the point now where I want to start upgrading the components. Would love a new bike (like everybody else would) but I can't justify the price.

So here's the stock component list, what would be the most bang for my buck to upgrade (as far as weight/performance goes). I'm currently borrowing a buddy's old (heavy) shimano road pedals and am about to buy some keo sprints. I was also thinking I wanted to go from a triple ring crank set to a double. Any advice is extremely appreciated

HEADSET Intellaset, 1 1/8" integrated threadless, alloy cap, alloy cone spacers and washer
STEM Specialized Pro, 3D forged alloy, 31.8mm bar clamp, 4- position adjustable
HANDLEBARS Specialized Pro, racing drop, 31.8mm diameter
TAPE / GRIPS Body Geometry, thin Bar Phat, black cork ribbon
FRONT BRAKE Dual pivot, forged alloy, w/ multi-condition pads (no name brand)
REAR BRAKE Dual pivot, forged alloy, w/ multi-condition pads (no name brand)
BRAKE LEVERS Shimano Tiagra, STI
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Tiagra, 31.8mm clamp
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano New 105, long cage
SHIFT LEVERS Shimano Tiagra, STI, flight deck compatible
CASSETTE Shimano Tiagra, 9-speed, 12x25t
CHAIN Shimano HG 73
CRANKSET Specialized Comp, five arm, polished arms
CHAINRINGS 52Ax42Ax30S
BOTTOM BRACKET Shimano BB-UN-25, square taper, 68mm shell, 118mm spindle
PEDALS Composite body, alloy cage, Cr-Mo axle
RIMS Alex AT-400, 700c, double wall alloy, machined sidewalls
FRONT HUB Specialized, 28 hole, forged alloy, double seals, alloy QR
REAR HUB Specialized, 32 hole, forged alloy, cassette, double seals, alloy QR
SPOKES DT Swiss, 2.0mm (14g) stainless, black, alloy nipples, L282/R282mm front, L293/R291mm rear
SEAT POST Specialized carbon fiber, 27.2x350mm
SEAT BINDER Forged alloy, w/ Cr-Mo binder bolt

Thanks!
-Jonathan
I'll start with brakes. Don't swap the calipers, they are dual pivot and work fine, switch out the brake pads for Kool Stop Salmon colored pads.

I would continue to ride the Tiagra shifters till they fail and then go to 105 10 speed along with a 105 cassette. If you want to stay with shimano drivetrain I would look at the external BB Tiagra compact or double combo and the 105 double FD. I say wait as the Shimano 11 speed stuff is due out soon and I suspect that prices and availability of the 10 speed stuff will be better.

Upgrade the wheelset, there are some great bang for buck sets out there like a Mavic Open Pro/Ultegra from Performance <$240 shipped if you hit the right sale. Or something under $350. And a nice set of clincher tires.

The reality is that all the perceived gains in buying lighter components is not going to improve your performance, the parts I have pointed out will improve the bike performance. It is kind of hard to give pointers, what don't you like about the bike and do you live in an area that is very hilly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the replies.

The brake pads have been replaced many times over. I'm not sure what's on there right now.

I forgot to add a few things. The previous owner replaced the rear shifter with a 105, and I recently had to get a new cassette and chain, so I got ultegra parts.

Is this the wheel set you're talking about? http://www.performancebike.com/shop...category_ID=5320&CFID=582260&CFTOKEN=59175099 or is this the back wheel of the set?
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/profile.cfm?SKU=19029&subcategory_ID=5320

OK, so I have a couple of dumb questions. Please forgive me as I have no idea about componentry.

1) Do the wheel sets come with hubs, or is it just rims and spokes?
2) If I replace the crankset with a double ring: a) what would you recommend; b) do I have to replace the shifter/derailleur setup b/c I've gone from 3 to 2 front gears?

Thanks
 

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It's really easy to spend too much money on upgrades. A new bicycle costs far less money than the sum of its parts.
Upgrade only the parts that wear out. Wheels you can transfer from one bike to the next.

Al
 

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envirocrat said:
So here's the stock component list, what would be the most bang for my buck to upgrade (as far as weight/performance goes).
Jonathan: I'm going to take a slightly different approach. Rather than going for the bang for the buck approach, I'm goint to tell you what I think I would feel the most in terms of ride quality. Unfortunaltey this is a fairly pricy upgrade since it needs to be coordinated.

1) As mentioned before, wheels. You can get Dura Ace/Open Pros for $300-350? at Performance and other on-line shops. Ultegra/OP's would be just fine too. Pretty easy to find if you shop around and wait for deals/coupons. I THINK you can get a 9 speed cassette to mount on a 10 speed hub. Probably lighter, better hubs, you'll definitely appreciate new wheels.
2) Get a new Ultegra shifter, rear derailleur and 10 speed cassette at the same time. The crispness, speed and quiality of your shifting will go up 100%. Some people will argue that you can go with 105 stuff, and that's fine too. But if you are upgrading these, just go to 10 speed while you're at it.
3) You have mentioned pedals and this is a personal choice that I don't think is a weight issue. See if you can borrow different sets and see what you like.

IMHO, forget the brake calipers, front der, seatpost binder bolt, bar, stem, etc... These probably won't make your ride that much happier, and if they have been working for years, they will continue to do so. For the crankset, this is more of a discretionary upgrade to me. I'd spend money on the 3 sets of items above before the crank. When you upgrade that, upgrade to a compact so your gear rations won't be changed quite so much as going to standard cranks. In terms of saddles, handlebars, these are all items I assume you've dialed in.
 

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You didn't mention tires.
If it came with some cheap tires, replace them with some 200 grams clinchers like 4000's, Pro 3 Race or other high end tires.
You can probably shave 100 grams (almost 1/4 lb).
Also, take a look at the tube. Some of the cheap tube wegh more than 100 grams each.
Swap them out for some Michelin/Conti ones that weigh about 50 grams but I'd stay away from Latex tubes. That could be another 100 grams.
 

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1) Wheels.....Ultegra hubs, Open Pro rims (black or CD), 32/32 or 32/36, depending on your weight.
2) Fit.....Are you bunched up? are you too stretched out?...Now is the time to think about changing stems, to adjust your fit.
 

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Yep, those are the ones....

envirocrat said:
Thanks for all the replies.

The brake pads have been replaced many times over. I'm not sure what's on there right now.

I forgot to add a few things. The previous owner replaced the rear shifter with a 105, and I recently had to get a new cassette and chain, so I got ultegra parts.

Is this the wheel set you're talking about? http://www.performancebike.com/shop...category_ID=5320&CFID=582260&CFTOKEN=59175099 or is this the back wheel of the set?
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/profile.cfm?SKU=19029&subcategory_ID=5320

OK, so I have a couple of dumb questions. Please forgive me as I have no idea about componentry.

1) Do the wheel sets come with hubs, or is it just rims and spokes?
2) If I replace the crankset with a double ring: a) what would you recommend; b) do I have to replace the shifter/derailleur setup b/c I've gone from 3 to 2 front gears?

Thanks
I bought a set of those this spring in silver. At the time I think they were selling for $225 for the set, maybe $200? And then I had a coupon for 20% off or free shipping on orders over $75. I took the 20%. shipping was $34. So I got a quality wheelset for that price. When you consider the rims cost about $60 each, hubset about $185, spokes and nips, $?, and someone to build $150, $234 was a smokin' deal. The biggest thing positive with these wheels is longevity. If you are a recreation rider or a budding racer, these are great low maintenance training wheels.

No need to replace the shifter, use the left shifter extra positions as a trim feature to avoid any chain rub on a narrower FD. The double crank and FD, you go with a compact I would suggest getting a compact FD, you go with a standard 39/53 double stay with the double FD. What the compact double will give you is a lower yet wider range gearing like you have with your triple, if you live in a non hilly area then go with a standard double. With a compact, the bolt pattern is 110mm (standard double is 130mm in Shimano)and alot of people customize what chainrings they like to ride because there is a wider variety of #of teeth choices on rings. Alot of people don't like the 34 ring and get a 36 or 38. Few people I know change out the 50 to something lower.

Additionally, those Open Pro/ Ultegra wheels will accept 9 or 10 speed cassettes, those wheels should be around for the next upgrade if you don't trash them. Another positive, parts for those are readily available in any shop worth it's weight. Break a spoke, easily repaired. Rock solid and if you again are worried about weight, do some comparisons, just beware some sets are weighed w/o skewers to appear lighter than others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

My buddy agreed with you all that I shouldnt worry about upgrading the brakes and shifters as long as they work fine, and that a new set of wheels would be a good investment. However, he said it didn't make much sense to buy the ultegra/open pro's as they weren't much better than what I have now.

He recommended the easton EA90sl b/c nashbar has a good price on them currently:
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...&pagename=Shop by Subcat: Road Wheels - Pairs

what do you guys think about those wheels?
 

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I'd look at the Neuvation (sp?) as they're rated very high in customer service, and some of the lightest wheels on the market. Not to mention, the prices are excellent! I agree wheels would be your biggest upgrade, and yes - lighter tires too!
Some people have said doing that makes it feel as if you've got a whole new bike.
 

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Hmmmm....I looked back at your specs

envirocrat said:
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

My buddy agreed with you all that I shouldnt worry about upgrading the brakes and shifters as long as they work fine, and that a new set of wheels would be a good investment. However, he said it didn't make much sense to buy the ultegra/open pro's as they weren't much better than what I have now.

He recommended the easton EA90sl b/c nashbar has a good price on them currently:
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?...&pagename=Shop by Subcat: Road Wheels - Pairs

what do you guys think about those wheels?
Specialized hubs? Who actually makes them, because Specialized does not mfger components. Alex rims? If I have a choice between Alex rims and Mavic, just take a look at the weld between the 2 rims. I was overly impressed with the quality of the workmanship when comparing my Mavic rims to my DT Swiss R1.1. In my wheel future the rims will be either Mavic or Velocity.

Opinions will be all over the place with wheelsets, The Open Pros/ DA or Ultegra wheelsets have been the gold standard for quite a few years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I went ahead and ordered the EA90 sl's b/c I found them on clearance for $399 and didn't want to miss the deal.

http://hi-techbikes.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=1456

Next month I'll get my new pedals and then I'll be done. Unfortunately, my lbs told me my front brake will have to be replaced today (something wrong with the bolt or something, all i know is is that it was crooked and rubbing the wheel). I'll take it somewhere else to get a 2nd opinion probably

Thanks for all the help.
 
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