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Old 09-13-17, 05:08 PM   #1
raqball
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BMC Alpenchallenge ACO1 Upgrades

I have a 2017 BMC Alpenchallenge AC01 that came with 105 (5800 series) components. I've been slowly collecting upgrade parts as I find them on sale or for killer deals. The last of it, the crankset, arrived today and the upgrade will be done this weekend.

I am upgrading from 105 (5800 series) to the new Ultegra r8000 series. The 105 that came on the bike has a 50/34 crank that's 175mm and an 11-32 cassette.

New components to be added:

-Ultegra r8000 Crankset 50/34 175mm
-Ultegra r8000 front braze on derailleur
-Ultegra r8000 rear mid-cage derailleur (compatible up to 11-34 cassette)
-Shimano Ultegra CS-HG800 11-34 Cassette
-Shimano Ultegra CN-HG701 Chain

All in this ran me $398 which I'll consider a very good price all things considered.

I'll update the thread after the install / upgrade is complete.

Photo of bike with the 105 components on:



After this is complete my next (and maybe final upgrade will be the disc brakes and rotors.

Last edited by raqball; 09-20-17 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 09-13-17, 05:33 PM   #2
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D_mn! I thought, given the thread title, you were going to 'ask' "should I...?"

I would then have had the opportunity to say "doooooeeeeeet"!!!

Pics, and ride report, asap.
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Old 09-13-17, 06:09 PM   #3
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D_mn! I thought, given the thread title, you were going to 'ask' "should I...?"

I would then have had the opportunity to say "doooooeeeeeet"!!!

Pics, and ride report, asap.
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Old 09-13-17, 09:47 PM   #4
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I have a 2017 BMC Alpenchallenge AC01 that came with 105 (5800 series) components. I've been slowly collecting upgrade parts as I find them on sale or for killer deals. The last of it, the crankset, arrived today and the upgrade will be done this weekend.

I am upgrading from 105 (5800 series) to the new Ultegra r8000 series. The 105 that came on the bike has a 50/34 crank that's 175mm and an 11-32 cassette.

New components to be added:

-Ultegra r8000 Crankset 50/34 175mm
-Ultegra r8000 front braze on derailleur
-Ultegra r8000 rear mid-cage derailleur (compatible up to 11-34 cassette)
-Shimano Ultegra CS-HG800 11-34 Cassette
-Shimano Ultegra CN-HG701 Chain

All in this ran me $398 which I'll consider a very good price all things considered.

I'll update the thread after the install / upgrade is complete.

Photo of bike with the 105 components on:


I love the look of bike.


How much weight do you think you will save?
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Old 09-14-17, 07:36 AM   #5
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Not sure about a weight drop but I bet it will knock some off. My main reason for the upgrade was for smoother shifting. While at the upgrade I decided to replace the 11-32 cassette with an 11-34. I generally cycle in the city (flat'ish) but once or twice a week venture out and do some climbs. I climb fine with the 11-32 but figure going to 11-34 will only help as I am not getting any younger.
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Old 09-15-17, 07:46 AM   #6
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I've been pondering about upgrading the crankset and cassette too. I'm not sure whether to go for the Zayante or Ultegra. I'm a bit worry that if I start mixing and matching components I end up having problems. Since I took it to a Giant LBS for a service a few months ago it has never shifted better. It's sweet and smooth, can't complain. That Asian bike mechanic knows how to tune gears.

Are you changing the BB too?
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Old 09-15-17, 08:05 AM   #7
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I plan on using the same bottom bracket as I don't see why it won't be fine. The plan is to do the upgrade on Sunday so I'll report back afterwards.

I've always been a fan of Shimano so I am sticking with them. The new r8000 gear is pretty nice and it looks (if that matters) much better as well. The new r8000 components looks an awful lot like the Dura Ace gear which I've always liked the look of, just not the prices..

My next planned upgrade is for the new Ultegra r8000 discs and rotors. The BR-R8070 and the SM-RT800 to be specific. Hard to find in stock right now and I'll wait to find sales or killer deals before purchasing.

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Old 09-16-17, 09:11 PM   #8
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I went ahead and did the upgrade today. Everything fit fine and the shifting is buttery smooth. 1st ride tomorrow and I'll do a mountain climb to see how I like the 11-34 cassette.

The 11-34 cassette needed the included 1.85mm spacer since I have an 11-speed freehub. The spacer is included with the cassette.

The crankset went on fine and no issues fitting it with my preexisting Shimano BBR60 bottom bracket.

Shifting is fine with my preexisting Shimano SL-RS700 Rapidfire Plus

A quick ride as it was getting dark but shifting smoothness is a x10 improvement, at least. It shifts fast and buttery smooth. Tomorrow will be a 46 mile route with a mountain clime to see how I like the 11-34 cassette and test shifting smoothness.

Components upgraded from 105 - 5800 series:

-Ultegra r8000 Crankset 50/34 175mm
-Ultegra r8000 front braze on derailleur
-Ultegra r8000 rear mid-cage derailleur (compatible up to 11-34 cassette)
-Shimano Ultegra CS-HG800 11-34 Cassette (with the included 1.85mm spacer)
-Shimano Ultegra CN-HG701 Chain


Quick photos:








Last edited by raqball; 09-16-17 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 09-17-17, 03:56 PM   #9
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1st ride report with the new gear. I went on a 46 mile route that includes a mountain clime of about 3000 feet. Having the 11-34 cassette made a slight, but noticeable difference on the climb. I am very happy I changed from the 11-32 to the 11-34.

Shifting was super smooth and everything rolls nice and easy. The rear shifting is better but not night and day better. I'd peg it at about 30% smoother. Where I noticed the biggest gain in shifting smoothness was with the front derailleur. Shifting there is a huge improvement.

I felt like I had slightly more power to the crank over the 105 but can't really say that 100%. It could be a honeymoon phase where I want to convince myself it was money well spent or it could be an increase in stiffness and power of the Ultegra r8000.

One ride in, happy with the upgrade.

I've been using some 6+ years old Shimano PD-A520 SPD pedal but have a pair of PD-A600 pedals due to arrive on Wednesday. I doubt these pedal will make any difference at all but my old ones were in dire need of replacing.

Next upgrade will be the disc brakes. I've scrapped the idea of using the new Shimano BR-R8070 as they are flat mount and I do not believe any adapters are available for conversion to post mount. I think for the brakes I am going to go with Shimano XTR M9000 Race.



Full size image: https://s26.postimg.org/lburuopwp/DSC_0006.jpg
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Old 09-17-17, 07:08 PM   #10
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1st ride report with the new gear. I went on a 46 mile route that includes a mountain clime of about 3000 feet. Having the 11-34 cassette made a slight, but noticeable difference on the climb. I am very happy I changed from the 11-32 to the 11-34.

Shifting was super smooth and everything rolls nice and easy. The rear shifting is better but not night and day better. I'd peg it at about 30% smoother. Where I noticed the biggest gain in shifting smoothness was with the front derailleur. Shifting there is a huge improvement.

I felt like I had slightly more power to the crank over the 105 but can't really say that 100%. It could be a honeymoon phase where I want to convince myself it was money well spent or it could be an increase in stiffness and power of the Ultegra r8000.

One ride in, happy with the upgrade.

I've been using some 6+ years old Shimano PD-A520 SPD pedal but have a pair of PD-A600 pedals due to arrive on Wednesday. I doubt these pedal will make any difference at all but my old ones were in dire need of replacing.

Next upgrade will be the disc brakes. I've scrapped the idea of using the new Shimano BR-R8070 as they are flat mount and I do not believe any adapters are available for conversion to post mount. I think for the brakes I am going to go with Shimano XTR M9000 Race.



Full size image: https://s26.postimg.org/lburuopwp/DSC_0006.jpg

I'm glad I am too heavy right now for a bike like yours, as otherwise I think I would do something financially irresponsible and go out and buy one.


Your bike is really messing with my brain.
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Old 09-17-17, 07:10 PM   #11
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That is one sweeeeeeeeet looking machine!!
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Old 09-17-17, 07:20 PM   #12
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I'm glad I am too heavy right now for a bike like yours, as otherwise I think I would do something financially irresponsible and go out and buy one.

Your bike is really messing with my brain.
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That is one sweeeeeeeeet looking machine!!
Thanks! I am very happy with it.

I ride anywhere from 30-50 miles a day 6 days a week.. I'm retired so might as well ride, ride, ride!

I'll probably start looking for sales on the XTR brakes and hope to have everything secured by next Spring. The XTR brakes are pretty expensive so I'll be on the lookout for sales. I'll also snag new icetech rotors to go with them.

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Old 09-18-17, 09:14 AM   #13
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Thanks! I am very happy with it.

I ride anywhere from 30-50 miles a day 6 days a week.. I'm retired so might as well ride, ride, ride!

I'll probably start looking for sales on the XTR brakes and hope to have everything secured by next Spring. The XTR brakes are pretty expensive so I'll be on the lookout for sales. I'll also snag new icetech rotors to go with them.
Really, really nice, raqball!

Just curious: d'you know if the SL700 shifters use bearings rather than bushings? I know that on the mtb side XTR/XT do, and SLX down don't; that's one of the reasons they have a lighter/more consistent action. I currently have 10spd SRAM double-tap shifters, but will be going 11spd next bike -- or even 1x12 if, as is rumoured, Shimano is getting closer to releasing road 1x

XTR brakes will certainly complement everything else nicely on your bmc!!
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Old 09-18-17, 09:33 AM   #14
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Really, really nice, raqball!

Just curious: d'you know if the SL700 shifters use bearings rather than bushings? I know that on the mtb side XTR/XT do, and SLX down don't; that's one of the reasons they have a lighter/more consistent action. I currently have 10spd SRAM double-tap shifters, but will be going 11spd next bike -- or even 1x12 if, as is rumoured, Shimano is getting closer to releasing road 1x

XTR brakes will certainly complement everything else nicely on your bmc!!

AFAIK, they use bearings.

Edit: Just looked at the spec sheet from Shimano and it says: Multi-Bearing 2:2

Yeah the XTR brakes are pretty nice and Shimano is awful proud of them ($$$$$$$$).. I searched pricing for the XTR M9000 Race and will use Shimano XTR SM-RT99 Rotors. Total price = $495! = Yikes!

I found the rotors on sale at Amazon for $50 each so I'll probably snag those now and keep looking for sales on the XTR M9000's.

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Old 09-18-17, 09:36 AM   #15
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AFAIK, they use bearings.

Just looked at the spec sheet from Shimano and it says: Multi-Bearing 2:2
Excellent -- thanks! I thought so, but lazily asked you rather than check myself!
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Old 09-18-17, 09:50 AM   #16
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Excellent -- thanks! I thought so, but lazily asked you rather than check myself!
No problem. The brakes will probably be my final upgrade to the bike. After that I'll just hit maintenance mode. I'd like to have all the brake parts by spring. I just ordered the above mentioned rotors from Amazon so all that's left is to find deals on the XTR M9000 Race for the front and the rear. I'm crafty and use sales and coupon codes in combo when I can. I'd prefer to order from biketiresdirect.com as they allow sales and coupon use combos but they don't sell the XTR 9000's.
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Old 09-18-17, 09:59 AM   #17
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Side note but what water bottles are pictured there?I have a similar bike color and wouldnt mind throwing them on too
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Old 09-18-17, 10:06 AM   #18
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Side note but what water bottles are pictured there?I have a similar bike color and wouldnt mind throwing them on too
CamelBak Podium Sprint Green. I got them from Dicks Sporting Goods:

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p...cmlbkpdmchlbtt
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Old 09-19-17, 06:08 AM   #19
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AFAIK, they use bearings.

Edit: Just looked at the spec sheet from Shimano and it says: Multi-Bearing 2:2

Yeah the XTR brakes are pretty nice and Shimano is awful proud of them ($$$$$$$$).. I searched pricing for the XTR M9000 Race and will use Shimano XTR SM-RT99 Rotors. Total price = $495! = Yikes!

I found the rotors on sale at Amazon for $50 each so I'll probably snag those now and keep looking for sales on the XTR M9000's.
I'll ask the silly question Why don't you get XT brakes instead of XTR?
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Old 09-19-17, 06:50 AM   #20
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I thought about the XT M8000 but don't they have a ton of issues? Maybe Shimano has resolved them? I recall reading a lot of complaints with the M8000's but maybe that was just initial release issues.

I'll have to look at them again as they are probably half the price of the M9000.. I found a front and rear set of the M9000 for $330 so snagging them along with the rotors I ordered from Amazon would put the total at $430. Not bad really considering that's top dog brakes.

I'll look into the XT M8000. If Shimano fixed the problems then I'll have to make a decision. Do you have the M8000? If so any comments about them would be appreciated.

Edit to add: Yes it looks like the M8000 issues were only for the early release versions. I also see the M8000's are on sale just about everywhere for $89.. I could score the entire upgrade to the M8000's with RT81 Rotors for about $240 smack-a-roos!

I've also been reading about several issues with the M9000 (race edition specific) where breaking power is seriously diminished..

Decision time..

I did another mountain climb yesterday and I am really diggin the Ultegra r8000 upgrade. The 11-34 cassette is much appreciated by my scrawny legs!

My view from yesterday:


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Old 09-19-17, 06:00 PM   #21
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Very nice set up ! The new Ultegra components are really sweet, I see they finally got smart and adopted the "shadow derailleur" from the MTB crowd.

I did a smiliar upgrade on my FXS6, it came with 105 set up, and I didn't like the 50/34 front gearing. The 6800 series Ultegras were closing out so I got a great deal on a 46/36 front crank, 12/25 cassette and rear derailleur all at close out prices. It was cheaper buying the whole crank than buying a 46 tooth chain ring to fit the 105, and the derailleur was only $35 new, so why not. I really like the look of the r8000 set up you have though, and I want to get your front derailleur one day just so I have a full Ultegra set up. Thanks for sharing your photos.
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Old 09-19-17, 07:53 PM   #22
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I thought about the XT M8000 but don't they have a ton of issues? Maybe Shimano has resolved them? I recall reading a lot of complaints with the M8000's but maybe that was just initial release issues.

I'll have to look at them again as they are probably half the price of the M9000.. I found a front and rear set of the M9000 for $330 so snagging them along with the rotors I ordered from Amazon would put the total at $430. Not bad really considering that's top dog brakes.

I'll look into the XT M8000. If Shimano fixed the problems then I'll have to make a decision. Do you have the M8000? If so any comments about them would be appreciated.

Edit to add: Yes it looks like the M8000 issues were only for the early release versions. I also see the M8000's are on sale just about everywhere for $89.. I could score the entire upgrade to the M8000's with RT81 Rotors for about $240 smack-a-roos!

I've also been reading about several issues with the M9000 (race edition specific) where breaking power is seriously diminished..

Decision time..

I did another mountain climb yesterday and I am really diggin the Ultegra r8000 upgrade. The 11-34 cassette is much appreciated by my scrawny legs!

My view from yesterday:

I don't have the XT brakes as we speak, but it could be a future upgrade for me.


The main reason I asked about XT was because it is the "Ultegra" of the mountain bike world and seemed like the logical fit to your Ultegra drivetrain.


I recently bought another bike that came with Shimano M506 brakes that are still a fair way below what XT would be and I am shocked at how well they work and bring my 400lb carcass to a stop.


Now I do have an 180mm rotor on the front, but even so, I'd imagine XT brakes with ceramic pistons and better rotors would work unbelievable well on 160mm rotors of high quality.
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Old 09-19-17, 08:17 PM   #23
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I don't have the XT brakes as we speak, but it could be a future upgrade for me.


The main reason I asked about XT was because it is the "Ultegra" of the mountain bike world and seemed like the logical fit to your Ultegra drivetrain.


I recently bought another bike that came with Shimano M506 brakes that are still a fair way below what XT would be and I am shocked at how well they work and bring my 400lb carcass to a stop.


Now I do have an 180mm rotor on the front, but even so, I'd imagine XT brakes with ceramic pistons and better rotors would work unbelievable well on 160mm rotors of high quality.
Thanks.. Yeah I am still debating between the 2. I do mountain climbs and descents a few times a month so quality brakes are on my list. Right now I also have the M506 brakes (m447 calipers) and they do fine for the most part but they felt squirrely on the descent.

I'll probably end up going with the XT unless I can find a good price on the XTR.
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Old 09-20-17, 06:39 AM   #24
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Very nice set up ! The new Ultegra components are really sweet, I see they finally got smart and adopted the "shadow derailleur" from the MTB crowd.

I did a smiliar upgrade on my FXS6, it came with 105 set up, and I didn't like the 50/34 front gearing. The 6800 series Ultegras were closing out so I got a great deal on a 46/36 front crank, 12/25 cassette and rear derailleur all at close out prices. It was cheaper buying the whole crank than buying a 46 tooth chain ring to fit the 105, and the derailleur was only $35 new, so why not. I really like the look of the r8000 set up you have though, and I want to get your front derailleur one day just so I have a full Ultegra set up. Thanks for sharing your photos.
I am noticing the biggest gain in shifting smoothness on the front.. I got the r8000 FD on sale and with the use of a discount code combo for $37.99..

Rear shifting is smoother but the front is night and day better than with the 105. I also dig that the new r8000 crank stole to Dura Ace looks with the fat crank arms. Overall I am thrilled with the upgrade and it was well worth what I paid. I am also really diggin the 11-34 cassette.

My PD-A600 pedals are out for delivery so I'll slap those on this AM when they come then hit the road for today's ride. No climbing and I'll probably only do a 36 mile route.

Last edited by raqball; 09-20-17 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 09-20-17, 07:40 AM   #25
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I am noticing the biggest gain in shifting smoothness on the front.. I got the r8000 FD on sale and with the use of a discount code combo for $37.99..

Rear shifting is smoother but the front is night and day better than with the 105. I also dig that the new r8000 crank stole to Dura Ace looks with the fat crank arms. Overall I am thrilled with the upgrade and it was well worth what I paid. I am also really diggin the 11-34 cassette.

My PD-A600 pedals are out for delivery so I'll slap those on this AM when they come then hit the road for today's ride. No climbing and I'll probably only do a 36 mile route.
Not surprised re. front shifting -- it's mainly down to the complete re-design of the f/d (relative to Ultegra 6800 or current 105), first on Dura-Ace and now Ultegra. Every review/discussion mentions this.

You're right about XT8000 brakes as well; early problems that so far as I know have been resolved completely. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to go with XT.

Really nice bike, raqball!
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