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Upgrading entry level Allez - is it worth it?

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Upgrading entry level Allez - is it worth it?

Old 07-28-14, 01:32 PM
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mx22
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Upgrading entry level Allez - is it worth it?

Hello,

Back 3 years ago when I went to my LBS to buy my first road bike, store manager told me to get something relatively inexpensive and ride it for year or two to see if I'll stick around. Sounded like a good advise at that moment and probably still is...

But here I am, 3 years later and it seems like pretty much everything on the bike needs to be upgraded. Not that it's broken, it's just I'm ready for better components. Sora/Tiagra that was fine when I started is just to clunky and shifting noise it makes annoys me (ok, maybe it needs to be adjusted, but that noise has been there ever since I bought the bike); 9 speed cassette is neither here nor there (I often find myself shifting up and down between two close gears), that in turn means new shifters; wheels are like anchors; I want a better saddle and etc, etc...

I'm fine with idea of upgrading the bike, but I'm afraid that final result will be a frankenstein compromised by it's frame that I will be ready to get rid of a couple of days after it's all done (and take a big hit on pretty much unused components). This is an A1 aluminum frame, not the E5 that trickled down from a higher tier bikes over the years. Is it worth sticking with it? I've been looking at Cervelo R3/S2 with 105 components and while original outlay will be much higher then upgrading, I will get a good/great frame that eventually I can upgrade with better components down the road or resell and still get a nice chunk of the original price back.

So have you been in a similar position and if you were, which route did you choose? And even if you didn't face this problem, I'd still like to hear your opinion out
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Old 07-28-14, 02:01 PM
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I have had 2 Allez bikes. One was a 12 Allez Comp Apez. It just did the job without problem. Lacked excitement so I exchanged it instead of the upgrade components route. I am so glad I did. Paid 287.00 more for the 14 Allez Race and that new Smartweld frame E5 is excellent. I go faster than my SL4 Frame sirrus and climb better too. And its not due to the riding position. I highly suggest a test ride on the Smartweld frames, at least get the Race model.
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Old 07-28-14, 02:10 PM
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First off, if your saddle doesn't work for you, get something else. I don't consider saddles an upgrade, that is a basic fit issue. Address that first. Second, get some new wheels. They can easly be transfered to another bike, should you decide to get something else later. If the rest of it is working fine, then keep it. You're not going to see improvements in performance for the group. Now, if you want to upgrade to treat yourself to some nice new parts and realize it isn't an upgrade to make you faster, then by all means, spend away. I did that myself last winter and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you accept it for what it is, an unnecessary indulgence that will not make you faster. Maybe it just makes you enjoy riding more because it looks better? If you can afford it, then great. If you can't afford it, don't.
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Old 07-28-14, 03:45 PM
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dleccord
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Is the Smart weld really that much different in feel than the regular Allez? I'm sure it's like going from the Tarmac Pro to S-Works.
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Old 07-28-14, 06:56 PM
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Sounds mostly like you want to upgrade because of shiny things...not because you need to, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Nicer wheels will be at home on pretty much anything you get, whether this bike or another, getting a new saddle should focus on fit/comfort first...but that'll also be at home on any possible bike. And taking the time to figure out which gear you're wanting and getting a new cassette, lil bit more reasonable than buying a whole new group...and then get your existing group dialed in to work right and stop making noises (which you'll have to do with a 10 or 11 speed group too, unless it's electronic). Beyond those upgrades, I wouldn't put any more money into your current bike.

Any new bike you look at should have at least 105 on it, and getting into the various scenarios of buying 105 or Ultegra, and then moving it to a new bike, it doesn't work out favorably IMO.

That said, cycling is about enjoyment, and if a new bike is going to increase that enjoyment or get you to ride more...go for it.
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Old 07-28-14, 07:51 PM
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mx22
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Originally Posted by vwchad View Post
First off, if your saddle doesn't work for you, get something else. I don't consider saddles an upgrade, that is a basic fit issue. Address that first. Second, get some new wheels. They can easly be transfered to another bike, should you decide to get something else later. If the rest of it is working fine, then keep it. You're not going to see improvements in performance for the group. Now, if you want to upgrade to treat yourself to some nice new parts and realize it isn't an upgrade to make you faster, then by all means, spend away. I did that myself last winter and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you accept it for what it is, an unnecessary indulgence that will not make you faster. Maybe it just makes you enjoy riding more because it looks better? If you can afford it, then great. If you can't afford it, don't.
I hear you, but a good saddle will cost almost half of what the whole bike is worth now (around $300 according to bike blue book). Upgrading to 105 shifters and cassette will cost more then bike itself, yet resale value will increase by less then $100... Hence the question, how good/bad is the Specialized A1 frame, is it worth keeping it or pretty much anything else is head and shoulder above it.
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Old 07-28-14, 08:12 PM
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Another option (not necessarily the best): If you decide to upgrade components and ride the frame into the ground and/or still decide you want to change the frame, you can always just buy a new frame. Then you won't be wasting those new components.
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Old 07-28-14, 08:13 PM
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Absolutely and without hesitation, buy another bike immediately. You've shown commitment for three years and new equipment will rejuvenate your mind. I'd keep your Allez for a backup/indoor trainer bike. Don't go into it thinking about resale value on the new bike. In three years you'll want another new bike and the cycle repeats. To be an even worse influence on you, I'll say you should get Ultegra as your entry point.
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Old 07-28-14, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dleccord View Post
Is the Smart weld really that much different in feel than the regular Allez? I'm sure it's like going from the Tarmac Pro to S-Works.
IMO it is, I'm 100% happen with how it rides. No question the Smartweld frames are overlooked in the roadbike world because its not carbon.
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Old 07-28-14, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 2702 View Post
IMO it is, I'm 100% happen with how it rides. No question the Smartweld frames are overlooked in the roadbike world because its not carbon.
I wonder how the Smartweld frame matches up to the CAAD 10, seeing that the CAAD is touted as the best alloy frame.
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Old 07-29-14, 12:46 AM
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i did this exactly with my '10 allez. i bought wheels first then i bought and ultegra 6800... i didnt give a damn that i was riding on my old beat up(read bent) frame... then i went the unpopular route and got a chines carbon frame..... and i couldnt be happier! ... its gonna be hard for me to ever buy a complete bike again from an lbs
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Old 07-29-14, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazy Dog View Post
Absolutely and without hesitation, buy another bike immediately. You've shown commitment for three years and new equipment will rejuvenate your mind. I'd keep your Allez for a backup/indoor trainer bike.
^^^This^^^

You've found that resale value of your bike isn't too much. Get new and use existing for rain or back-up. If you sell it on CL, or worse trade it to the LBS against another, there will be a time you bang your head that you didn't keep it.

N+1
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