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Upgrade Hierarchy?

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Old 07-30-07, 11:46 PM
  #1  
brianappleby
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Upgrade Hierarchy?

For the purposes of racing, is there a hierarchy of upgrading that will get me the most weight savings/speed gain for the dollar? My current bike is an Orbea Onix with full ultegra. Not a dream bike by any means, but not too shabby of a place to start either. I can't afford to replace everything, but if i can do one component at a time, what's the best plan of attack?

I would assume that wheels would make the biggest difference, but what else?


I'd like to add that my bike rides awesomely. The fit is dialed and the shifting is smooth. I'm just obsessing about the 1/3454th of a second i could gain by getting lighter brakes or an aero seatpost or something.

Thanks,
B.

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Old 07-31-07, 04:14 AM
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Wheels
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Old 07-31-07, 04:37 AM
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wheels, then maybe saddle? Cutting the seatpost excess?
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Old 07-31-07, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
Wheels
+1

Getting a really nice set of wheels will make a HUGE difference. The improvement in speed cannot be over-exaggerated
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Old 07-31-07, 05:04 AM
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Ultegra is more than enough for racing. Get some good wheels. The other stuff is just trivial and personal preference.
If I could suggest a powermeter somewhere in there too. That will help your racing 1000X more than Ultegra to DA or Cabron bits.
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Old 07-31-07, 05:50 AM
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Engine.
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Old 07-31-07, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by elgalad View Post
+1

Getting a really nice set of wheels will make a HUGE difference. The improvement in speed cannot be over-exaggerated
I think it just has been

I have some pretty heavy and spokey wheels and I see a lot of lighter and spokeless wheels behind me at the finish line. I've ridden some much lighter and low-spoke-count wheelsets, and while I could feel it swinging the bike, out of the saddle, I couldn't tell any difference in the saddle.

Then again, maybe my wheels count as nice wheels, in spite of their weight? Decent profile at 30mm, loose-ball hubs, adjusted to perfection.
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Old 07-31-07, 08:39 AM
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brianappleby
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Originally Posted by cslone View Post
Ultegra is more than enough for racing. Get some good wheels. The other stuff is just trivial and personal preference.
If I could suggest a powermeter somewhere in there too. That will help your racing 1000X more than Ultegra to DA or Cabron bits.
Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
Engine.
Done and done. I can't train any more than i already do, i have a coach and a PT.
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Old 07-31-07, 09:20 AM
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You can't realistically buy speed, you have to train. Just the fact that you asked the question tells me you are a newbie and you need to ride a lot more and worry less about parts. The bike you have is much more than you will ever need, and wheels are not going to make any difference.

The only thing you could upgrade that might make a difference is to go to sew-ups if you are racing technical criteriums as they handle much better in the corners.

Race as much as you can and go to as many training races/rides as you can. Experience in a peleton is a huge part of racing and the only way you get it is to do it.
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Old 07-31-07, 12:00 PM
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[QUOTE=San Rensho;4970994]You can't realistically buy speed, you have to train. Just the fact that you asked the question tells me you are a newbie and you need to ride a lot more and worry less about parts. The bike you have is much more than you will ever need, and wheels are not going to make any difference.

did u read the above post from the op? he already has a coach and powertap so I def. think hes not a newb and already rides alot maybe he just has some money burning a hole
-anyway I would go for wheels or tires-- tires are underrated and do make a big difference.
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Old 07-31-07, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by svbiker View Post
id u read the above post from the op? he already has a coach and powertap so I def. think hes not a newb and already rides alot maybe he just has some money burning a hole
-anyway I would go for wheels or tires-- tires are underrated and do make a big difference.
FWIW: I know a lot more Cat 4s with coaches and power meters than in the higher cats...

Nothing wrong with spending the money in the shiny bits, and they're not going to slow you down (other than potential reliability issues).

Assuming the coach and the PT are pointing the right direction, I think what's needed most is patience and lots and lots of racing.
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Old 08-01-07, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by brianappleby View Post
Done and done. I can't train any more than i already do, i have a coach and a PT.
More is not always better. Sometimes less is more.
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Old 08-01-07, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
FWIW: I know a lot more Cat 4s with coaches and power meters than in the higher cats...

Nothing wrong with spending the money in the shiny bits, and they're not going to slow you down (other than potential reliability issues).

Assuming the coach and the PT are pointing the right direction, I think what's needed most is patience and lots and lots of racing.
A buddy of mine (cat-2 guy) and I were joking that now that I'm a cat 4 I need to get a set of zip-404's. They seem to be part of the standard cat-4 kit around here.
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Old 08-01-07, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
I think it just has been

I have some pretty heavy and spokey wheels and I see a lot of lighter and spokeless wheels behind me at the finish line. I've ridden some much lighter and low-spoke-count wheelsets, and while I could feel it swinging the bike, out of the saddle, I couldn't tell any difference in the saddle.

Then again, maybe my wheels count as nice wheels, in spite of their weight? Decent profile at 30mm, loose-ball hubs, adjusted to perfection.
IMHO, unless you spend a lot of time doing soul-destroying hill-climbs, there are more important things to consider in a set of wheels than weight or spoke count. Aerodynamics is probably the biggest factor, as well as "flexiness" during sprint efforts. Things like hub smoothness and friction also add up to a big difference as well.

I ride on AC420's, which aren't particularly light (~1500 gms set), but have a decent aero profile (34 mm), bladed spokes, and hubs that are much smoother than my old wheels. They're also noticeably stiffer out of the saddle. I think these are the factors that add up to give a big benefit over less-aero, sloppy wheelsets.

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Old 08-01-07, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by elgalad View Post
IMHO, unless you spend a lot of time doing soul-destroying hill-climbs, there are more important things to consider in a set of wheels than weight or spoke count. Aerodynamics is probably the biggest factor, as well as "flexiness" during sprint efforts. Things like hub smoothness and friction also add up to a big difference as well.

I ride on AC420's, which aren't particularly light (~1500 gms set), but have a decent aero profile (34 mm), bladed spokes, and hubs that are much smoother than my old wheels. They're also noticeably stiffer out of the saddle. I think these are the factors that add up to give a big benefit over less-aero, sloppy wheelsets.

Yeah, that's my take too. I've been toying with the idea of building another set of Deep Vs with fewer spokes since my 36h is pretty much a tandem wheel. I might build them around a PT hub

My wife actually asked me if I wanted a PT for Christmas
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Old 08-01-07, 09:52 AM
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To the OP -- I have this same bike (I assume onix tdf with ultegra all around, FSA crank, & ksyrium equipes). It's easily the highest end bike I have owned, or will own for some time (and is my current dream bike). I cannot comment much on racing, as I have done all of one 1 race in the last 7-8 years, but I did notice in my 1 race a few weeks ago that I kept up with and beat many of the folks on more expensive equipment (including the guy with an ergomo and zipps in the C race), but was also beat by one guy runnning downtube shifters. And I know the equipes have been trashed by some as heavy and flexy, but I like them too. They roll well and have yet to need to be trued, in spite of more than a few potholes and bad street impacts.

All that being said, if I could do any upgrade I wanted on the bike, it would probably be to some more aero wheels. If I had real hills around here, I might consider eventually shifting a few components for weight. But for the time being, all that is in my future is more training.

But this was all about me, not about you. If you've got the money, go for some wheels.
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Old 08-01-07, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
A buddy of mine (cat-2 guy) and I were joking that now that I'm a cat 4 I need to get a set of zip-404's. They seem to be part of the standard cat-4 kit around here.
no kidding. i'm seeing a ton of zipps around here.
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Old 08-01-07, 12:24 PM
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anyone see any performance gains from upgrading shoes\pedals? seems like a fairly obvious place to shed some grams.
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Old 08-01-07, 01:00 PM
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404's if you want to spend $2k+ upgrading a $2k bike. Otherwise ride what you brung and learn how to race. Abillity and bikes are about equal for most of us. If you're not exceptionally gifted you have to be smart to be competitive. Race lots have fum and dont waste your money thinking it is going to make any big difference.
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Old 08-01-07, 04:44 PM
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wheels + "rotating motion"
i've been told that rotating motion is where you want to save weight, that things like frame/fork/saddle/handlebars/etc don't matter as much because, since gravity isn't always your friend like in downhill racing, you want as little rolling weight as possible dragged up a hill. for clinchers i've been told that lightweight tubes make a difference...not sure if any of this is true or not.
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Old 08-01-07, 05:32 PM
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It's true to an extent, but then you have to remember that the rims are some of the most important components. Some rims are much thinner than the ought to be, meaning you can brake through them fairly quickly. It's hard to see where you can upgrade your bike without going to very expensive exotica like Zipp and Schmolke...
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