Upgrading wheels - moving cassette, etc.
I'm considering upgrading the wheels that came stock on my bike (specialized allez - 09). I'd like a lighter set. My interests are mainly distance riding, as well as speed and performance like everyone else. But distance first.
My question is, if I buy new wheels, is it trivial to get the rear ready to go? What tools exactly would I need, and is this intuitive? I only have one cassette and all, so I'd need to move over... whatever I'd need to move over.
I do have a toolkit (nashbar basic) that includes a chain whip and a "cassette lockring tool", but I'm wondering if there is anything else beyond this.
What do I need to know? What will I have to do beyond tire and tube?
"Distance" and "lighter wheelset" are kind of contradictory. All things being equal, a heavier wheel is likely to last longer than a lighter wheel.
Also, lighter is nice for rides with a lot of stops and starts, and of course long climbs, but for grinding along in a flattish landscape they won't make much difference. A change of tires to some with a nice low rolling resistance is likely to do more. But it's your money.
Doing a wheel swap does sound trivial, and sometimes is, but there are still a few traps waiting for the unwary. Is the OLD (over-locknut-distance) the same for both wheels? Does the new wheel come with a rim strip? What type of valve is it drilled for? If it's a freehub, will it be compatible with the cassette you're planning to use? Solid axle or QR? Rim diameter of course. If rim widths, and you're using rim brakes, then you'll have to adjust the brakes accordingly.
But if all of the above is sorted out, then you should be OK with chain whip, lockring tool and whatever you need to move the tube + tire over.