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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 10-29-07, 01:35 PM   #1
mrbUSA
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Tarmac Upgrade Suggestions

Based on the spec's of my Tarmac, what are some suggestions to tweak it a bit? Assuming I had 4 or 5 hundred bucks to do so? I've had it since August and absolutely love it, and can't ride it enough. Not sure if I need anything at this point or if I should simply tweak it by riding the crap out of it. Any suggestions?
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...83&language=US

FRAME FACT 6r carbon, triple monocoque construction, compact race design, Zertz inserts
FORK Specialized FACT monocoque carbon fork; full carbon legs, crown and steerer w/ Speed Zertz
HEADSET Specialized Mindset Plus, 1 1/8" integrated threadless, cartridge sealed bearings, alloy 20mm cone w/ one 10mm and two 5mm alloy spacers
STEM Specialized Pro-Set lightweight stem, 3D forged alloy, 4-bolt 31.8mm bar clamp, 4- position adjustable
HANDLEBARS Specialized Pro, 7050 alloy, short-reach drop, ergonomic top shaping, 31.8mm
TAPE / GRIPS Body Geometry Bar Phat, cork ribbon w/ 2.5mm gel padding
FRONT BRAKE Shimano 105
REAR BRAKE Shimano 105
BRAKE LEVERS Shimano 105, 10-speed STI, flight deck compatible
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano 105, 10-speed, 31.8mm clamp, bottom pull
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Ultegra, short cage
SHIFT LEVERS Shimano 105, 10-speed STI, flight deck compatible
CASSETTE / FREEWHEEL Shimano 105, 10-speed 12-27t
CHAIN Shimano 105, 10-speed
CRANKSET Shimano 105, Hollowtech II 2-piece crankset
CHAINRINGS 52x39T
BOTTOM BRACKET Shimano 105, Hollowtech II
PEDALS Composite body test ride pedals
RIMS Mavic Aksium
FRONT HUB Mavic Aksium, 20 hole, Mavic QR
REAR HUB Mavic Aksium, 24 hole, Mavic QR
SPOKES Stainless 14g aero
FRONT TIRE Specialized Mondo Pro, 700x23C, aramid bead, 120TPI
REAR TIRE Specialized Mondo Pro, 700x23C, aramid bead, 120TPI
SADDLE Body Geometry Toupé Team, superlight foam, carbon reinforced base, microfiber cover
SEAT POST Specialized Pavé FACT carbon w/ Zertz insert, 27.2mm
SEAT BINDER Specialized, forged/CNC'd, double wedge
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Old 10-29-07, 01:52 PM   #2
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I have had mine since 9-29. The only changes have been Speedplay X-5 pedals and a second set of brake levers. Otherwise I'm content for now. I like the look of the Zipp wheels but that will have to wait for now. I'll be interested to see what other people have / would change.
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Old 10-29-07, 01:53 PM   #3
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Ditch the wheels
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Old 10-29-07, 02:40 PM   #4
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Wheels, tyres, finishing kit (i.e., bars, stem, post, seat)...

...then upgrade parts, as they wear out... or upgrade now, and sell off old parts to help fund new parts...

but for your price range.. since you say you are happy with everything.. i think wheels and tyres are a worthy upgrade.
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Old 10-29-07, 05:28 PM   #5
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Unless you like fixing flats get rid of those tires.
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Old 10-29-07, 05:52 PM   #6
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buy some clipless pedals and shoes!

replace those tires with Michelin Krylion Carbons
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Old 10-29-07, 05:59 PM   #7
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I will never understand why anyone would buy a nice bike like this and then immediately upgrade components. It is beyond me but it is done all the time. Why not just buy a nicer bike?
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Old 10-29-07, 08:48 PM   #8
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I will never understand why anyone would buy a nice bike like this and then immediately upgrade components. It is beyond me but it is done all the time. Why not just buy a nicer bike?
Ditto.

With that being said, the biggest improvement you can make is wheels but $400-$500 isn't gonna cut it. Just ride it, save up your money, then upgrade in a year to a nice 08 on closeout. Or if you can find someone to buy it now, look at some of the closeouts on 07's right now. You can buy an 07 Tarmac Pro on closeout for not a lot more than what you paid for that 07 Comp. There are even better deals on 07 S Works Roubaixs.
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Old 10-29-07, 11:15 PM   #9
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1) Ditch the tires; the mondo pros suck, prone to puncture, cuts and other damage. Pick up some michelin prorace 2s, michelin krylions, or continental gp4000s at probikekit.com for around $60-65 a pair, no tax and free shipping to the US. I had the mondo pros on my allez for maybe 1000 miles, and should have gotten rid of them much earlier.

2) While you're ordering the tires, order some look keo sprint pedals from the same source. They have them for around $90 list, but sometimes they put them on sale for less.

3) Buy some decent road shoes so you can use your new pedals. Figure you're going to spend $150-200 for these. Try them on at the store, as they really need to fit right, and different brands tend to fit a little differently.

Save up some money for a while and upgrade wheels, but figure you're going to have to spend more than $500 to get a big improvement.
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Old 10-30-07, 06:55 AM   #10
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I will never understand why anyone would buy a nice bike like this and then immediately upgrade components. It is beyond me but it is done all the time. Why not just buy a nicer bike?
There is no 'nicer' bike. There are many bikes like it but this one is mine. Besides my wife, my bike is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My bike without me is useless. Without my bike [and my wife], I am useless. I must hammer my bicycle true. I must ride faster than my competitor who is trying to beat me. I must win before he wins. I will... My bike and myself know that what counts during a ride is not the miles we cover, the noise of our intervals, nor the duration of the ride. We know it is the endurance that counts. We will endure. My bicycle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage. I will keep my bike clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will... My bike and myself are the defenders of winding road. We are the masters of our competitors. We are the saviors of my mental. So be it, until there is no competitor, but PEACE.
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Old 10-30-07, 08:06 AM   #11
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IMO, get good pedals, shoes, great bibs and cool weather clothes. Ride the crap out of it over the winter. You'll be due for tires at some point, then do the Conti GP4000's from PBK.

Come spring, consider wheels, or a new bike. You'll have earned it.
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Old 10-30-07, 08:24 AM   #12
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If memory serves me correctly, places like lickbike.com will be clearing out last years wheels at a low price sometime during winter. Save up your cash and wait for the clearance.

On my tarmac expert I tossed the tires 2 days after I purchased the bike. While I like most things specialized, their tires are crap.
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Old 10-30-07, 10:09 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by mrbUSA View Post
There is no 'nicer' bike. There are many bikes like it but this one is mine. Besides my wife, my bike is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My bike without me is useless. Without my bike [and my wife], I am useless. I must hammer my bicycle true. I must ride faster than my competitor who is trying to beat me. I must win before he wins. I will... My bike and myself know that what counts during a ride is not the miles we cover, the noise of our intervals, nor the duration of the ride. We know it is the endurance that counts. We will endure. My bicycle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage. I will keep my bike clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will... My bike and myself are the defenders of winding road. We are the masters of our competitors. We are the saviors of my mental. So be it, until there is no competitor, but PEACE.
Seek professional help.
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Old 10-30-07, 11:13 AM   #14
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I will never understand why anyone would buy a nice bike like this and then immediately upgrade components. It is beyond me but it is done all the time. Why not just buy a nicer bike?
I can only speak for myself, but when I bought my Lemond Zurich I planned for upgraded wheels from the get go (DuraAce 7801's). The bike has Ultegra components but I knew that wheels/tires would make a big difference. BTW, planning for this saved a bunch of $. I got a 10% "new bike purchase" discount on the new wheels plus $200 (if memory serves) for the original wheels. So that was $300 off the wheelset cost - took it from $980 to $680, not bad for a new set of nice wheels!
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Old 10-30-07, 11:39 AM   #15
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[QUOTE] I will never understand why anyone would buy a nice bike like this and then immediately upgrade components. It is beyond me but it is done all the time. Why not just buy a nicer bike?"

I don't think anyone goes to their LBS with the intention to under buy and then have immediate remorse. I do think it's inherent to anyone's hobby, sport, passion etc. Find a gun enthusiast who owns a single gun and that type of list can go on forever. It's the interest to try new things. It's fun albeit expensive. And by the looks of 99% of the posts here at the BF, buying, upgrading, improving etc. is all done in the name of the sport, hobby and passion. Otherwise why would all of you folks out there have so many opinions about components, tires, bibs, tubes, tools, frames, wheels rims? We all have our quirks, that's why God made vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
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Old 10-30-07, 11:43 AM   #16
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While I like most things specialized, their tires are crap.
My Specialized Armadillo Elites are fine with only 2 flats in about 3,000 miles through glass and metal shards ridden roads lol
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Old 10-30-07, 03:08 PM   #17
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Ditch the wheels
Being new to road riding- and never having ridden Aksiums- I can only report on a bike test Recently here in the UK. Forgotten what mag and even Bike- but similar 105 specced bike with Aksiums. The tester said that the bike just lacked a bit and felt mediocre. He Damaged a tyre and put on his own wheels to complete the test- Ultegra 600's. He said it transformed the bike.

My own experience is with a Giant OCR3. My first road bike and after 6 months- Felt the bike was lacking. My LBS loaned me a set of Krysium Elites and what a difference. Couldn't afford these so just got training wheels- 105 hubs and CXP33 rims. Gave a completely different ride and convinced me to get a better bike. So have to agree that a wheel change might be on the cards.The Aksiums will not be wasted- Use them as a wet weather wheel.
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Old 10-30-07, 03:24 PM   #18
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Conti Gator Skins. Haven't had any flats with them. I also have http://stanstiresealant.com/ in my tubes. Works better than Slime/Goo IMHO.
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Old 10-30-07, 04:17 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=mrbUSA;5546724]
Quote:
I will never understand why anyone would buy a nice bike like this and then immediately upgrade components. It is beyond me but it is done all the time. Why not just buy a nicer bike?"

I don't think anyone goes to their LBS with the intention to under buy and then have immediate remorse. I do think it's inherent to anyone's hobby, sport, passion etc. Find a gun enthusiast who owns a single gun and that type of list can go on forever. It's the interest to try new things. It's fun albeit expensive. And by the looks of 99% of the posts here at the BF, buying, upgrading, improving etc. is all done in the name of the sport, hobby and passion. Otherwise why would all of you folks out there have so many opinions about components, tires, bibs, tubes, tools, frames, wheels rims? We all have our quirks, that's why God made vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

+1.....most who says otherwise in this forum are either hypocrites or don't have the money for upgrade!
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Old 10-30-07, 07:06 PM   #20
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My Specialized Armadillo Elites are fine with only 2 flats in about 3,000 miles through glass and metal shards ridden roads lol
and mine flatted three times a week.
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Old 10-30-07, 07:18 PM   #21
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and mine flatted three times a week.
are you riding over a bed of nails? which one do you have and what PSI do you pump it up? I have the Armadillo Elites All-Condition Pros @ 110 PSI in rear and 100 PSI in front.
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Old 10-30-07, 07:26 PM   #22
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I don't think anyone goes to their LBS with the intention to under buy and then have immediate remorse. I do think it's inherent to anyone's hobby, sport, passion etc. Find a gun enthusiast who owns a single gun and that type of list can go on forever. It's the interest to try new things. It's fun albeit expensive. And by the looks of 99% of the posts here at the BF, buying, upgrading, improving etc. is all done in the name of the sport, hobby and passion. Otherwise why would all of you folks out there have so many opinions about components, tires, bibs, tubes, tools, frames, wheels rims? We all have our quirks, that's why God made vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
You are my hero. I love you man!
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Old 10-30-07, 08:10 PM   #23
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are you riding over a bed of nails? which one do you have and what PSI do you pump it up? I have the Armadillo Elites All-Condition Pros @ 110 PSI in rear and 100 PSI in front.
Both were 110 and it was mainly the front that flatted. Later the casing ruptured in the rear.
This was the worst performing tire I have had since a panaracer tserv last year. That one flatted once a week for 6 weeks before I gave up.
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Old 10-30-07, 08:12 PM   #24
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Ditch the wheels
I'm right there too. Aksiums are not an *entry level racing* such as rest of components, I'd try to go for the basic Ksyrium wheelset and better tires.

If you sell your current ones on Craigslist (about 200 dlls) you only have to come up with remaining 2/3 of the price.
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