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Old 08-06-07, 07:39 AM   #1
newbeginnings
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What would you change on a Specialized Allez Elite Double?

I'm going Sea to Sea fully supported and am starting to worry that I don't have a "granny gear." Anything else I should look into changing?
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Old 08-06-07, 12:21 PM   #2
adun111
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Are you planning on taking a trailer with you? What is your cassette range?
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Old 08-06-07, 12:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by newbeginnings View Post
I'm going Sea to Sea fully supported and am starting to worry that I don't have a "granny gear." Anything else I should look into changing?
If by "Sea to Sea" you mean a 10+ week trans-America tour, I'd probably want to swap out, uh... everything?

Seriously, for a tour of that length a road bike with a standard double is just not going to work, and the expenditure of the changes is anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of a new touring bike. You would want:

- low gearing, preferably a triple that extends down to the low 20's in terms of gear inches
- wide tires
- fenders
- an upright riding position
- long wheelbase (for better handling while loaded)
- cantilever brakes (optional, but provides for more stopping power than calipers and wider tire clearance)
- bar-end shifters (also optional, but handier in many ways for touring)

Swapping out the gearing and tires alone will run you more than $300. And are you going to swap all the old parts back on when you're done?

So if you're talking about a long tour, I'd seriously consider getting a Surly Long Haul Trucker "complete," Jamis Aurora or Novara Randonee....
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Old 08-06-07, 01:01 PM   #4
newbeginnings
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Hmmm, to the guy at the bike shop who told me it would be fine. Yes, we're going from Seattle to New Jersey over 9 weeks. I don't have to haul anything. Will be using it in triathlons afterwards. I'm not worried about the riding position - it's very comfortable (but then, I'm also very flexible )
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Old 08-06-07, 01:27 PM   #5
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oops, somehow posted to the wrong thread

Last edited by iain.dalton; 08-06-07 at 01:28 PM. Reason: somehow posted to the wrong thread; moderator, would you please delete this?
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Old 08-06-07, 01:36 PM   #6
adun111
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If you're fully supported then you're nearly good to go. Maybe swap out a mountain derailleur and get an 11-34 cassette on the back.
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Old 08-06-07, 02:28 PM   #7
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Hmmm, to the guy at the bike shop who told me it would be fine. Yes, we're going from Seattle to New Jersey over 9 weeks. I don't have to haul anything. Will be using it in triathlons afterwards. I'm not worried about the riding position - it's very comfortable (but then, I'm also very flexible )
Hey don't be mad, they were right
You are not carrying anything, just ride and enjoy.
have you done with the bike some 2-3 hrs with triathlon team? Did you climbed some mountains?
I think this is the most important thing. Some riders will go with compact crank and 28 big cog at the back and will climb like a goat. If you have experience with it, you can go now.
If you don't have climbing experience, you will need to put 12-34 cassette at the back. This will let you tackle the mountains with comfort.
Oh, and I just remembered...
If I was going to this trip supported, I would take my MTB. If there is a good single in the way?!
And my guitar, no, no, make it two guitars, one classic and one acoustic. You never know what your audience like best.
Ah, and I will take my laptop, uh, no, no, no, the screen is toooo small. Just take the desktop computer with the 21'' screen
And a few friends, just for cheering me up.
Do we have more room in the car? Yep?! Yoo hoo, cold beer. And a refrigerator - the XL one
Good luck with the trip.
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Old 08-06-07, 03:53 PM   #8
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H'm... Well if you're not carrying your stuff, maybe the Allez will work. Then again, I really have no idea what bike would really work well for touring and for a time trial. The optimal bike configurations for those two purposes are very different, especially if your goal in the triathlon is to compete rather than merely complete.

Even without carrying your gear, I'd still be concerned about the gearing, position and all-day comfort. If you already have the Allez and really want to tour on it, I'd consider the following:

- get the gearing as low as possible without swapping out the cranks. Maybe change from the 52-39 to a 42-30, and switch back after the tour. Plus the cassette swap (12-28, 12-32 something like that)
- if your bike didn't come with one, look into the Specialized carbon seatposts with the Zertz inserts
- put the widest kevlar-belted tires on that you can
- raise the handlebars to at least level with, if not 1" higher than, the saddle

Then take the bike for 2 consecutive days of at least 50 miles with gobs of hills. Then decide if it's the right bike for the tour....
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Old 08-06-07, 04:02 PM   #9
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Hey don't be mad, they were right
Oh, and I just remembered...
If I was going to this trip supported, I would take my MTB. If there is a good single in the way?!
And my guitar, no, no, make it two guitars, one classic and one acoustic. You never know what your audience like best.
Ah, and I will take my laptop, uh, no, no, no, the screen is toooo small. Just take the desktop computer with the 21'' screen
And a few friends, just for cheering me up.
Do we have more room in the car? Yep?! Yoo hoo, cold beer. And a refrigerator - the XL one
Good luck with the trip.
Actually, I AM taking my laptop since this is for work
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Old 08-06-07, 04:05 PM   #10
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There's a bit of miscommunication here:

"fully supported" = he's not carrying anything and doesn't need a touring bike
"fully self-supported" = he's carrying everything
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Old 08-06-07, 04:10 PM   #11
newbeginnings
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There's a bit of miscommunication here:

"fully supported" = he's not carrying anything and doesn't need a touring bike
"fully self-supported" = he's carrying everything
That's what I thinnk. The correct statement would be "fully supported" = SHE's not carrying anything and doesn't need a touring bike.
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Old 08-06-07, 05:20 PM   #12
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I would at least use the widest tire that can fit under your calipers, 28-32mm. If you don't want to swap out your crankset for a triple or a compact double, you should at least throw on a cassette with a 32 or 34 tooth max cog and a proper mountain derailleur. Otherwise, as long as you're comfy on your bike during long rides, you should be fine. Sounds fun. Enjoy.
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Old 08-07-07, 12:28 PM   #13
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I'd recommend a triple chainring. What's the steepest hill where you live? I mean the crazy steep section where you sometimes have to get off and walk. Imagine riding up something that steep that lasts for half an hour. Imagine something almost that steep that lasts all day (like when you're climbing mountain passes.) If you have a low enough gear ratio to be able to deal with that without too much pain you're good to go. If not, it might be time to go to a triple, or a wider range cassette, or both.

On the other hand, I wouldn't recommend going to a ridiculously low setup that doesn't have a good high gear as well. I just set up a new touring bike. I got a 26-36-46 crankset, with a very large gear in back (36 teeth? I don't remember and I'm not going out to the garage to check.) It should make those extreme climbs with a full load much easier. However, when riding it around town, I notice that the highest gear isn't very high. That's a worthwhile tradeoff on a bike intended for fully loaded touring, but it wouldn't be all that great for a supported tour. I'm thinking about those glorious days when you have a long stretch of level or slightly downhill road, and a good tailwind, and you can fly along at top speed and tick off the miles. Those days are wonderful, and I wish my new bike had a higher top gear for them. If you're going to be supported, you may have some wonderful days like that - especially since you'll only be carrying yourself! Enjoy!
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Old 08-07-07, 01:08 PM   #14
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You don't let us know your bike fitnes level. If you are a strong recreational road bike rider the bike is fine where it is. IF your not used to climbing steep long hills with a 42 front and 25 rear sproket you will be in trouble.

I have the triple front Allez Elite 2007 and I love it. Very comfortable bike for up to 5-8 hours a day for me. The nice thing about having a triple front is that you can have a middle chain ring that is large enough to use at decend cruising speeds.
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Old 08-07-07, 03:05 PM   #15
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Since you're posting this in a hard-core touring thread, I'm sure most people are probably going to say you're crazy for attempting this. However, if you're fully supported, and just doing light or 'credit card' touring - and in very good shape - you'll probably be fine with a road double 53/39 and a 12-23 or a 12-25 rear cassette.

I completed a 2500 km 'credit card' tour (staying in cheap motels) a few years ago on my Cannondale R600 (56 cm) from Toronto to Eastern Canada with a 53/39 and 12-23 with 700x25C wheels/tires. This was a ~19.5 lb bike with about 19 lbs of stuff in 2x small rear panniers. The only regret I have is not having a 25 rear gear for getting up some of the steeper grades in New Brunswick (start of the Appalachians) but there was never a point where I felt like I was going to die or had to get off the bike and walk. I won't lie, the road race geometry and aluminum frame is certainly going to beat you up a bit more than a nice laid back steel touring bike, but I prefer getting that 100-150 km done in the morning and having the rest of the day to take it easy and see the sights.

I think the key is going to be your fitness level. You need to maintain a minimum cadence if you want to avoid injury, probably in the realm of 80-95 rpm. With a 53/39 & 12-23/25 combo you should probably be targeting (as I was) avg speeds in the realm of 25-30 km/h which doesn't leave too much time for 'smelling the roses'. If you want the option to take things easy, are going to be pretty loaded up, and/or are not in optimum health, you'd probably benefit from the switch to a triple or compact and/or switching out to a 12-27 or even a mountain cassette and new RD in the rear, if that's feasible for you.
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Old 08-07-07, 03:57 PM   #16
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Honestly, for a tour of that length, even if I wasn't carrying anything, I wouldn't go with the Allez. A much better choice would be the Sequoia or Roubaix. A more relaxed position for 8+weeks of cycling is a lot better than in a fully hunched "How Lance Rides" position, and both bikes ain't exactly slugs as far as performance is concerned.
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