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So expensive

Old 09-06-20, 10:30 PM
  #1  
ryan_rides
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So expensive

So... I bought my first ever bike with brakes and gears this year. I started cycling through BMX. Then I transitioned into riding single speed Fixed gear/track bikes. Never ran brakes on any of my bikes (except when I was a bike Messenger in downtown Miami). I've been hit 13 times in my life. Twice this year. Once in February and again in July. The accident in July totally destroyed my track bike. It was also a hit and run. A few of my friends helped me get a new 2021 Specialized Allez. The basic model. My LBS had it in stock at the time and I really needed another bike asap because I dont own a car. Getting a bike online worth buying was almost impossible. I love cycling and I get miles in. I'm not new to cycling by any means. I am new to having to spend SO damn much to upgrade these parts to gain speed. My bike is heavy. Easily weighsf 4 pounds more than my previous bike. I really want to get an entire new groupset(one by sram-rival) and new lighter and better wheels but that in itself is $2,000 +++++. So I'm forced to wait longer for more gains in speed and performance bike wise because I have to save so much more money. Is it worth getting not as expensive parts first? Or waiting to get the best?
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Old 09-06-20, 10:46 PM
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Most people will say to just ride your bike. Fix stuff that breaks.

Weight will make some difference on hills... but are there any hills in South Florida?

If you really want to do a custom build, then I'd start completely from scratch with a bare frame, and then get the components you want to build it up. But, try out your new road bike for a while before you plunge into the upgrades.
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Old 09-06-20, 10:53 PM
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If you've never had brakes or multiple gears and all they involve on a bike before then yeah, those things have weight.

How much are you shifting?
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Old 09-06-20, 11:15 PM
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If you haven't been riding a road bike for very long, you've got a lot more speed to gain in many ways that are cheaper than spending that much just for a groupset (which is almost always more expensive than a full bike due to OEM discounts that bike manufacturers enjoy).
  • Faster tires (and latex tubes if you don't convert to tubeless) to decrease rolling resistance.
  • Tighter fitting clothing to reduce drag. Pretty much anything faster that puttering around or on a Cat 2+ climb, aero drag is more significant than weight, of which your body is the biggest wind blocker.
  • Better position -- maybe you already have a good position as an experienced rider, but again it's all about minimizing frontal area and you can work on improving this without buying anything
  • Keeping your components in good condition. Don't let your watts disappear due to friction loss, keep them clean and well lubed/waxed
  • Work on your power. I guarantee that as long as your Allez wheels are true and your tires aren't flat, spending a few hundred on a powermeter and working on your engine will bring you more speed than switching to Sram Rival. Even if you're in good bike shape, chances are if you've always just ridden by feel your whole life, you haven't come close to tapping out your potential.
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Old 09-06-20, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
If you haven't been riding a road bike for very long, you've got a lot more speed to gain in many ways that are cheaper than spending that much just for a groupset (which is almost always more expensive than a full bike due to OEM discounts that bike manufacturers enjoy).
  • Faster tires (and latex tubes if you don't convert to tubeless) to decrease rolling resistance.
  • Tighter fitting clothing to reduce drag. Pretty much anything faster that puttering around or on a Cat 2+ climb, aero drag is more significant than weight, of which your body is the biggest wind blocker.
  • Better position -- maybe you already have a good position as an experienced rider, but again it's all about minimizing frontal area and you can work on improving this without buying anything
  • Keeping your components in good condition. Don't let your watts disappear due to friction loss, keep them clean and well lubed/waxed
  • Work on your power. I guarantee that as long as your Allez wheels are true and your tires aren't flat, spending a few hundred on a powermeter and working on your engine will bring you more speed than switching to Sram Rival. Even if you're in good bike shape, chances are if you've always just ridden by feel your whole life, you haven't come close to tapping out your potential.
Yeah I will be getting new tyres soon. Probably GP 5000 Idk. Wont run Latex tubes cause I dont want flats. I have kits and also I'm currently losing body weight. #keto I think my bike fit and position is pretty good. I feel comfortable on my bike and still aero. Always take good care of my bike. A power meter is something that I'm on the fence about. I've been using strava which just gives me avg speed and time and miles obv. I have been noticing that I think my right leg versus my left leg is stronger and I've been trying to actively be aware and try to put more power with my left leg. Over 7 years ago I fractured my patella on my left knee and over 3 years ago I broke my left foot. The difference in strength inst that much but I notice it. I have been riding more often and riding longer miles. I just know that having a lighter bike overall and having better components make riding a lot more enjoyable.
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Old 09-07-20, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
If you've never had brakes or multiple gears and all they involve on a bike before then yeah, those things have weight.

How much are you shifting?
I know they have weight but my frinds with their S-works Tarmac's bikes weigh sub 16lbs... My previous Track bike weighed 17lbs on the dot. My Allez weighs atleast 20lbs which is heavy as hell. It's an aluminium frame with a full carbon fork. The components are heavy. Facts. I weigh 180lbs. I was 190 almost 3 months ago. The rotating weight and the rolling resistance is a lot and I can feel it. I would understand If I had a steel road bike but I don't.
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Old 09-07-20, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ryan_rides View Post
Yeah I will be getting new tyres soon. Probably GP 5000 Idk. Wont run Latex tubes cause I dont want flats. I have kits and also I'm currently losing body weight. #keto I think my bike fit and position is pretty good. I feel comfortable on my bike and still aero. Always take good care of my bike. A power meter is something that I'm on the fence about. I've been using strava which just gives me avg speed and time and miles obv. I have been noticing that I think my right leg versus my left leg is stronger and I've been trying to actively be aware and try to put more power with my left leg. Over 7 years ago I fractured my patella on my left knee and over 3 years ago I broke my left foot. The difference in strength inst that much but I notice it. I have been riding more often and riding longer miles. I just know that having a lighter bike overall and having better components make riding a lot more enjoyable.
Every word @surak wrote is spot on. I'll cosign the notion that a power meter is a much better investment than a new groupset. I wouldn't generally recommend one to somebody who's new to road, but if you have sram money burning a hole in your pocket, a PM will definitely pay more dividends (if you put the work in). A used PowerTap is cheap. On that note, new wheels won't make you appreciably faster, but they can lighten your bike and most people consider that a better upgrade than a groupset when yours works.

GP 5ks are excellent tires. Depending what you have on the bike now, that can be a significant improvement in speed and ride quality.

It's probably better not to worry about a leg imbalance and focus on overall fitness instead. Especially when it's caused by an injury.

@RChung likes to point out that there are two ways to get faster on a bike: make more power, and need less power. Tires, position, and fitness are where it's at.
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Old 09-07-20, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ryan_rides View Post
I know they have weight but my frinds with their S-works Tarmac's bikes weigh sub 16lbs... My previous Track bike weighed 17lbs on the dot. My Allez weighs atleast 20lbs which is heavy as hell. It's an aluminium frame with a full carbon fork. The components are heavy. Facts. I weigh 180lbs. I was 190 almost 3 months ago. The rotating weight and the rolling resistance is a lot and I can feel it. I would understand If I had a steel road bike but I don't.
My bike carbon aero bike weighs just under 20 lbs. I win p/1/2 races on it.

Weight really isn't a deal breaker when compared to other factors, especially when it comes to dollars to speed.

Get a powermeter if you're serious about getting fast.
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Old 09-07-20, 05:37 AM
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Strong, heavy, expensive, choose two.
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Old 09-07-20, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ryan_rides View Post
So... I bought my first ever bike with brakes and gears this year. I started cycling through BMX. Then I transitioned into riding single speed Fixed gear/track bikes. Never ran brakes on any of my bikes (except when I was a bike Messenger in downtown Miami). I've been hit 13 times in my life. Twice this year. Once in February and again in July. The accident in July totally destroyed my track bike. It was also a hit and run. A few of my friends helped me get a new 2021 Specialized Allez. The basic model. My LBS had it in stock at the time and I really needed another bike asap because I dont own a car. Getting a bike online worth buying was almost impossible. I love cycling and I get miles in. I'm not new to cycling by any means. I am new to having to spend SO damn much to upgrade these parts to gain speed. My bike is heavy. Easily weighsf 4 pounds more than my previous bike. I really want to get an entire new groupset(one by sram-rival) and new lighter and better wheels but that in itself is $2,000 +++++. So I'm forced to wait longer for more gains in speed and performance bike wise because I have to save so much more money. Is it worth getting not as expensive parts first? Or waiting to get the best?
ride till broke then get the fix upgraded or not. Just keep the ride alive
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Old 09-07-20, 07:23 AM
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I have a base model 2018 allez, believe me when I say it’s perfectly fine and there is nothing about it holding you back. Sure, i have thought about stuff like wheels and 11 speed, but wheels are going to get me maybe 5mins over 100 miles, I’ve come to believe they’re somewhat overrated for recreational cyclists. And in races or group rides, if you’re drafting then wheels likely don’t matter so much. Any limitations are due to my training. The only thing I changed was going for continental 4K/5k tires. As was said above, if you want to get faster, get a power meter and have more structure with riding instead of paying for marginal gains.
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Old 09-07-20, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by ryan_rides View Post
I know they have weight but my frinds with their S-works Tarmac's bikes weigh sub 16lbs... My previous Track bike weighed 17lbs on the dot. My Allez weighs atleast 20lbs which is heavy as hell. It's an aluminium frame with a full carbon fork. The components are heavy. Facts. I weigh 180lbs. I was 190 almost 3 months ago. The rotating weight and the rolling resistance is a lot and I can feel it. I would understand If I had a steel road bike but I don't.
A typical higher end steel frame is about 4 pounds compared to an aluminum frame which is about 3 pounds.

Weight matters most when climbing and some when accelerating. Yes I know the lighter a bike is the more fun it is and the easier it is to whip around.

I'm 200 pounds and I have an 18 pound ti bike and a 21 pound steel bike. I can go faster on flat ground on the steel bike because the position is a bit lower.
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Old 09-07-20, 11:22 AM
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It says you live in South Florida. If that’s where you ride, the bike weight matters very little. Just ride what you have.
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Old 09-07-20, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Pirkaus View Post
Strong, heavy, expensive, choose two.
It's supposed to be "strong, cheap, light". Ever hear of Rivendell? Definitely strong, heavy, and expensive.
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Old 09-07-20, 06:55 PM
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On the flipside, when I first saw the listings for track bikes, I thought "so cheap".
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Old 09-07-20, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Pirkaus View Post
Strong, heavy, expensive, choose two.
I'll take heavy and expensive, please!
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Old 09-07-20, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
If you haven't been riding a road bike for very long, you've got a lot more speed to gain in many ways that are cheaper than spending that much just for a groupset (which is almost always more expensive than a full bike due to OEM discounts that bike manufacturers enjoy).
  • Faster tires (and latex tubes if you don't convert to tubeless) to decrease rolling resistance.
  • Tighter fitting clothing to reduce drag. Pretty much anything faster that puttering around or on a Cat 2+ climb, aero drag is more significant than weight, of which your body is the biggest wind blocker.
  • Better position -- maybe you already have a good position as an experienced rider, but again it's all about minimizing frontal area and you can work on improving this without buying anything
  • Keeping your components in good condition. Don't let your watts disappear due to friction loss, keep them clean and well lubed/waxed
  • Work on your power. I guarantee that as long as your Allez wheels are true and your tires aren't flat, spending a few hundred on a powermeter and working on your engine will bring you more speed than switching to Sram Rival. Even if you're in good bike shape, chances are if you've always just ridden by feel your whole life, you haven't come close to tapping out your potential.
This is spot on. I would put your body position as likely the #1 way to gain speed because the rider contributes the vast majority of aerodynamic drag. The compromise is that a fast, low position isn't always comfortable, which can make it hard to hold that position for long periods.

After that, there are a number of aerodynamic things you can improve, with tight fitting clothing being a huge one. Go on Youtube and check out the "Win Tunnel" videos from Specialized. They test and quantify a lot of different aero items.

Do a bunch of the little improvements and you'll definitely add some "free" speed.
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Old 09-07-20, 09:38 PM
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Just imagine how disappointed the OP will be after spending $XXX dollars on "upgrades" only to find out he doesn't get noticeably faster. Removing four pounds of bike weight over a Florida 50k might save what? 30 seconds? Less?

As has been said here and many times previously, if speed is your sole concern, make more power or need less power. The bike itself is a small portion of the equation, so long as it fits.
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Old 09-08-20, 12:59 AM
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So what you all are saying is that I should save my money and just buy the Specialized Allez Sprint Disc? By no means will I choose to remain to ride a bike with crappy parts and not upgrade them. Thatís ridiculous. Iím not disagreeing with the fact that a power meter can help me train. Why would I put a power meter on a bike with Shimano Claris? Would you take your Toyota Yaris to a dyno?
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Old 09-08-20, 01:13 AM
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I have a left side 4iiis power meter on a 105 crank arm. My bike came with 105 parts and now I have an extra crank arm.

If it fit on a bike with Claris parts I would put it on the bike. It might look strange but I don't care. I'd put it on a bike with Ultegra parts. I'll hope to put it in my next bike if it still works.

And, yes, I'd take a Yaris to the dyno if the engine were my legs.
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Old 09-08-20, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I'll take heavy and expensive, please!
Sounds like most modern disc brake bikes!
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Old 09-08-20, 02:02 AM
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Swapping to better tyres with a lower rolling resistance will make more of a difference to speed than a new groupset, and to an extent, new wheels. And it's far cheaper. Working on the engine (you) will make the biggest difference. I can achieve similar speeds on my 105 equipped aero bike that weighs about 7.5kgs and my tiagra equipped CX bike weighing in at closer to 10.5kgs. The CX bike just takes a little bit more effort, but it's not due to it's weight, groupset, or wheels. It's more to due with geometry and tyre choice. And I'm not that strong of a rider, just your average mid-pack club rider. Now neither of those bikes can compete with my TT bike when it comes to pure speed. But again, it's not due to groupset or wheel choice, but the fact it's a TT bike, and made for speed.
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Old 09-08-20, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ryan_rides View Post
I've been hit 13 times in my life. Twice this year. Once in February and again in July. The accident in July totally destroyed my track bike. It was also a hit and run.
Sorry to hear. If you're getting hit a lot, perhaps, having an expensive bike is not a good option for you especially when you seem to have a tight budget. Not going to work out.

If you need to get faster, simply train better. Workout your training plan / strategy, and invest time on training research. This alone can make you a lot faster than throwing $$ on the bike could in the same period of time you save enough money for upgrades. Remember, you are the engine and most of the aero package. The weight savings is only a small % of the total weight of the bike PLUS you riding on it.

Also work on how you should avoid getting hit. I know Florida has some really horrible/chaotic/dangerous traffic conditions. Same in my city. The key to dealing with such traffic conditions is situational awareness. Always have 360 degree awareness of the road space near you at all time. How you do it, is up to you. Some use bike or helmet mounted mirrors, some use proximity warning gadget with radar I suppose.
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Old 09-08-20, 04:48 AM
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I've got a sub 6.5kg bike with aero tubulars, and sure, it feels like a total weapon. But in reality it's not that much faster than your bike.
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Old 09-08-20, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ryan_rides View Post
I started cycling through BMX. Then I transitioned into riding single speed Fixed gear/track bikes. A few of my friends helped me get a new 2021 Specialized Allez. I am new to having to spend SO damn much to upgrade these parts to gain speed. My bike is heavy.
Tell us more about the track bike.

Other than that, the Specialized sounds like a pretty good upgrade over the other two already.
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