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Goodmorning

I have the base 05 Specialized Roubaix. My first road bike. (wishing I would have found this sport 20yrs ago). I love this bike, and while I don't have much to compare it to, curious if you experts would recommend any specific component upgrades to make it a better climber or faster bike.

I am training as a team captain for the Livestrongchallenge ride - goal to finish the century that day. I am following the 10//2 training program furnished by Nike/Lances coach. I live in Golden CO so nearly all of my riding is here in the foothills unless I transport my bike somewhere, but see no reason as biking from my home in the foothills is incredible. Needless to say, a lot of climbing.

Bike is stock. 105 fr/rr 27spd, 105 flight deck. Alex 290 wheels. I was most curious if a different crank up front would be better? Compact? Also, the LBS claim the wheels are decent, but wondering if there is a reasonable wheel upgrade that would make it roll more efficiently? Or at the end, do I leave as is, finish this season and look for a complete new bike upgrade over the winter?

Thanks in advance for all advice. I now have logged 270 miles in 3 weeks and look forward to every moment I can get out. For all you other riders out there - livestrong!!:thumbsup:
 

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Likely you would find no upgrade that doesn't bite your wallet that makes much difference. Your bike parts were determined to be a decent mix for that price range. No single component has a significant change in the performance of a bike.

Further amplification is in order. Light wheels make a difference in the feel of a bike. It feels like it can accelerate faster. Over a set distance, though, if you were to ride with your old wheels, then with the new wheels you would find your average speed did not change. Spending the cost of your bike on new wheels, then, would not give you a performance increase.

105 components are of sufficient quality that you will not get any performance increase by going to the next level up which would be Ultegra. In fact, brake/shifter sets won't make your bike work any better and certainly has nothing to do with going faster.

The gear train you have is a triple. Gears are there because our legs are of limited torque output. Basically you gear a bike for the terrain you ride; hills need lower gears and flats can get away with closely-spaced corncob cassettes. Basically you pick the gear that allows you to pedal at an optimum cadence. Having a different gear setup won't make you go faster.

Probably, and it's only speculation on my part, the one thing that would help you go faster is having your fit on the bike optimized.

Let me leave you with an anecdote. I rode a Giant OCR2, 2004 model for about a year. I put about 2000 miles on it. I purchased a custom-built carbon fiber bike as my new ride. The differences in bike were the carbon bike was 20 lbs; the Giant was 28 lbs. The weight was saved in frame and wheels. What affect it had on my performance: The regular ride I was doing at that time was a 20 mile circuit on a bike trail. I noticed I could ride maybe one mile per hour faster on my new bike. My average speed changed maybe by 5 tenths of a mile per hour. The cost to benefit ratio was not good. I could have bought 5 Giants versus my one carbon bike.

The major differences between bikes is what I'll call, "happiness factor." I was much happier with a full-custom bike that was built for me. Dimensions were customized for my short upper reach versus my legs. Being expensive it had bling appeal. Being on a unique bike that was expensive made me happier. Did it make me faster? Not really.
 

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+1

I paid good money for a professional bike fit, and was amazed at the difference. I could climb hills about 15% faster, the bike felt more comfortable, cornered better, and was much more stable at speed (40 mph+).

I wish I found a professional bike fitter when I first started riding 3 years and 8,000 miles ago. The difference has been greater than changing to a full carbon bike that was 2.5x the cost of my first bike.
 
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