New to cycling // 2014 Specialized Allez

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ProfessorChaos
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Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:10 am

by ProfessorChaos

My best advice would be just ride this bike, and save your money for now. An idea that might save you time and money doing upgrades would be to just upgrade to a Allez Comp Race down the road. This bike is probably one of the best bargains out. At the price of a groupset upgrade, and wheels you get a whole different bike. Maybe you can even trade in your current Allez. I rode one a few weeks back, and it was pretty dialed out of the box. 105, Praxis Cranks, and Roval CL40's are the high points. Swap a carbon seatpost, and bars, and you're set. The Smartweld Allez frame is a pretty huge step up in lightness, and ride quality as well. I have a Allez Comp from last year, and it came with the same wheels you have, and they are definitely a low point. I had a Force group from my old bike ready to go on it, and I rode the original wheels for awhile, but upgrading them was a huge difference. The original Axis wheels are heavy, and flexy.

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lrdunc
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

by lrdunc

ProfessorChaos wrote:My best advice would be just ride this bike, and save your money for now. An idea that might save you time and money doing upgrades would be to just upgrade to a Allez Comp Race down the road. This bike is probably one of the best bargains out. At the price of a groupset upgrade, and wheels you get a whole different bike. Maybe you can even trade in your current Allez. I rode one a few weeks back, and it was pretty dialed out of the box. 105, Praxis Cranks, and Roval CL40's are the high points. Swap a carbon seatpost, and bars, and you're set. The Smartweld Allez frame is a pretty huge step up in lightness, and ride quality as well. I have a Allez Comp from last year, and it came with the same wheels you have, and they are definitely a low point. I had a Force group from my old bike ready to go on it, and I rode the original wheels for awhile, but upgrading them was a huge difference. The original Axis wheels are heavy, and flexy.


I've thought about this or a similar plan...it is appealing, especially as I'm not particular tied to this bike for any reason. On the other hand, I sort of feel like sticking with this until I can put together something that I REALLY want makes more sense. I don't doubt what you're saying at all as I'm sure the Comp Race would be a big step up, but I can't help but feel like it wouldn't be as satisfying as going for something in a higher tier...

I'm glad to hear some feedback from someone with experience on these Axis wheels...I've tried to do some reading about them and can't seem to find much detail, which I suppose makes sense given that the majority of people probably swap them right out of the box. What did you swap yours out for originally?

At this point, I'm thinking that something like the Fulcrum Racing Zero set makes sense:

http://www.wiggle.com/fulcrum-racing-zero-alloy-clincher-wheelset/

by Weenie


dofman
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Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:42 am
Location: Quebec

by dofman

I've been there too a few years ago, bought an entry level allez, rode the sh*t out of it. Then bought a used frame from a shop owner and put it up together myself with ultegra parts and DA wheels. Resale value for this kind of bike is very good, you can't loose alot of money and it was a smart buy :) As for wheels, try to look in the used market around your area, you can saves alot of money and roll high end wheels for "cheap".

lrdunc wrote:Absolutely! Thanks for your response :)

When I bought the bike, my thinking was that it would be smart to buy very entry-level in order to make sure that I was going to enjoy cycling and want to stick with the sport over a longer period (of course, the fact that I can't afford a super WW-badass bike right now was a determinative factor anyway...). So, as I said initially, I can't complain as I was able to buy this bike new for (what I consider to be) dirt cheap. That said, I'm already kind of disappointed that I didn't hold out for something nicer (for example, maybe a used Tarmac?). Such is life...

But yes, I think what you're saying makes sense...pick up a wheelset that will drop some weight, be suitable as an all-around performer, hopefully will look / sound cool (come on, that's half the fun isn't it?), and might even be worthy of bringing over to my next bike if/when I upgrade?

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ProfessorChaos
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by ProfessorChaos

lrdunc wrote:I've thought about this or a similar plan...it is appealing, especially as I'm not particular tied to this bike for any reason. On the other hand, I sort of feel like sticking with this until I can put together something that I REALLY want makes more sense. I don't doubt what you're saying at all as I'm sure the Comp Race would be a big step up, but I can't help but feel like it wouldn't be as satisfying as going for something in a higher tier...

I'm glad to hear some feedback from someone with experience on these Axis wheels...I've tried to do some reading about them and can't seem to find much detail, which I suppose makes sense given that the majority of people probably swap them right out of the box. What did you swap yours out for originally?

At this point, I'm thinking that something like the Fulcrum Racing Zero set makes sense:

http://www.wiggle.com/fulcrum-racing-zero-alloy-clincher-wheelset/


By all means if you really want something better than the Comp Race, go for it. I will add, that despite currently owning all the other bikes in my sig, I have ridden my Allez more than any of the others this past year, I rode it a century last Sunday even. I have even thought about upgrading to a S-Works Allez at some point. The new Smartweld stuff is really that good. Don't just take my word for it, my best advice is when you are ready to buy a new bike go out and demo a bunch of bikes. It's the best way to make a completely informed decision. I bought a set of custom built DT/White Industries wheels off of one of my racing buddies to put on my Allez. They are still on the heavier side, but completely bomb proof, and much stiffer than the Axis wheels. I also have used my Spinergy Carbon Clinchers on my Allez, and that is a pretty awesome setup, those wheels are light, stiff, and super comfortable. One of these days I will try my Zipp 404's on the Allez, but I am waiting for Specialized's new tubies to become available to replace my flatted front on my 404's. I suspect that with the 404's it will feel very similar to the Comp Race Allez, except lighter. I don't have any experience with that particular wheel, but I have friends that have Fulcrums, and have had good luck with them. I hope that helps.

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lrdunc
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

by lrdunc

dofman wrote:I've been there too a few years ago, bought an entry level allez, rode the sh*t out of it. Then bought a used frame from a shop owner and put it up together myself with ultegra parts and DA wheels. Resale value for this kind of bike is very good, you can't loose alot of money and it was a smart buy :) As for wheels, try to look in the used market around your area, you can saves alot of money and roll high end wheels for "cheap".

lrdunc wrote:Absolutely! Thanks for your response :)

When I bought the bike, my thinking was that it would be smart to buy very entry-level in order to make sure that I was going to enjoy cycling and want to stick with the sport over a longer period (of course, the fact that I can't afford a super WW-badass bike right now was a determinative factor anyway...). So, as I said initially, I can't complain as I was able to buy this bike new for (what I consider to be) dirt cheap. That said, I'm already kind of disappointed that I didn't hold out for something nicer (for example, maybe a used Tarmac?). Such is life...

But yes, I think what you're saying makes sense...pick up a wheelset that will drop some weight, be suitable as an all-around performer, hopefully will look / sound cool (come on, that's half the fun isn't it?), and might even be worthy of bringing over to my next bike if/when I upgrade?


Glad to hear that regarding the resale value...and yes I'm definitely checking for used sets as much as possible. Problem I've experienced so far is that there don't seem to be many 25mm wide used sets out there at this point...

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lrdunc
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

by lrdunc

ProfessorChaos wrote:
lrdunc wrote:I've thought about this or a similar plan...it is appealing, especially as I'm not particular tied to this bike for any reason. On the other hand, I sort of feel like sticking with this until I can put together something that I REALLY want makes more sense. I don't doubt what you're saying at all as I'm sure the Comp Race would be a big step up, but I can't help but feel like it wouldn't be as satisfying as going for something in a higher tier...

I'm glad to hear some feedback from someone with experience on these Axis wheels...I've tried to do some reading about them and can't seem to find much detail, which I suppose makes sense given that the majority of people probably swap them right out of the box. What did you swap yours out for originally?

At this point, I'm thinking that something like the Fulcrum Racing Zero set makes sense:

http://www.wiggle.com/fulcrum-racing-zero-alloy-clincher-wheelset/


By all means if you really want something better than the Comp Race, go for it. I will add, that despite currently owning all the other bikes in my sig, I have ridden my Allez more than any of the others this past year, I rode it a century last Sunday even. I have even thought about upgrading to a S-Works Allez at some point. The new Smartweld stuff is really that good. Don't just take my word for it, my best advice is when you are ready to buy a new bike go out and demo a bunch of bikes. It's the best way to make a completely informed decision. I bought a set of custom built DT/White Industries wheels off of one of my racing buddies to put on my Allez. They are still on the heavier side, but completely bomb proof, and much stiffer than the Axis wheels. I also have used my Spinergy Carbon Clinchers on my Allez, and that is a pretty awesome setup, those wheels are light, stiff, and super comfortable. One of these days I will try my Zipp 404's on the Allez, but I am waiting for Specialized's new tubies to become available to replace my flatted front on my 404's. I suspect that with the 404's it will feel very similar to the Comp Race Allez, except lighter. I don't have any experience with that particular wheel, but I have friends that have Fulcrums, and have had good luck with them. I hope that helps.


Absolutely helps...thanks again for all your input :D

What's your feeling on the "25mm wide or bust" mentality (with respect to wheelsets)?

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lrdunc
Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

by lrdunc

Happy New Year to everyone...

Wanted to share that I pulled the trigger on a new set of HED Ardennes Plus SL wheels this past weekend and couldn't be happier so far. I got them from a friend at a deal that I couldn't pass up ($750). Under 200 miles on them.

I went on my first ride with them yesterday and immediately noticed an improvement over the wheels that came stock on the bike. These spin up much quicker and seem to maintain speed much more easily. Noticeably lighter, etc. Much more comfortable ride, too! I didn't do a lot of descending / hard cornering, but am looking forward to seeing how that feels as well...

Anyway, now I'm already looking for the best deal on Ultegra 6800. Question: I'm currently on a compact crankset. Should I move up to a mid-compact or stick with compact?

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lrdunc
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

by lrdunc

Here's a picture with the new Ardennes Plus SL set up:

Image

I've been scanning for a deal on Ultra 6800...think that I'll probably stay with the compact set up...

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lrdunc
Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

by lrdunc

Hi everyone -

Thought I would revive this thread to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who takes the time to share their insights / experiences here. Monday of this week was my official 1 year anniversary of cycling. I'm not smashing any records but I'm completely hooked and feel like I'm getting stronger. I rode just over 4,000 miles / 6,437 km my first year. I should be able to get over 5,000 miles / 8,046 km this calendar year, though I'm aiming for more.

I can definitely say that I have buyers remorse with respect to the Allez Sport. I wish that I had gotten something nicer. As it stands, the changes I've made:

HED Ardennes + SL wheels w/ Salsa ti skewers
Fizik Arione saddle
Speedplay Zero cromo pedals
Ultegra 6800 brakes
Thomson Elite post
Ritchey WCS 4 Axis stem, 130mm
Conti GP4000SII tires, 25mm
Lizard Skins tape

Image

So yeah - nothing special, but it has served me well up to this point. Right now I'm thinking about upgrading to a BMC TMSLR02 w/ Ultegra, rather than doing a full Ultegra upgrade on this bike. Thoughts?

Anyway, I've learned more about cycling from these boards than from any other resource (or many other resources combined!), so thank you again for continuing to dump all of your experiences and knowledge here to guide noobs like me :beerchug:

mrtrinh
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:43 pm

by mrtrinh

lrdunc wrote:Hi everyone -

Thought I would revive this thread to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who takes the time to share their insights / experiences here. Monday of this week was my official 1 year anniversary of cycling. I'm not smashing any records but I'm completely hooked and feel like I'm getting stronger. I rode just over 4,000 miles / 6,437 km my first year. I should be able to get over 5,000 miles / 8,046 km this calendar year, though I'm aiming for more.

I can definitely say that I have buyers remorse with respect to the Allez Sport. I wish that I had gotten something nicer. As it stands, the changes I've made:

HED Ardennes + SL wheels w/ Salsa ti skewers
Fizik Arione saddle
Speedplay Zero cromo pedals
Ultegra 6800 brakes
Thomson Elite post
Ritchey WCS 4 Axis stem, 130mm
Conti GP4000SII tires, 25mm
Lizard Skins tape

Image

So yeah - nothing special, but it has served me well up to this point. Right now I'm thinking about upgrading to a BMC TMSLR02 w/ Ultegra, rather than doing a full Ultegra upgrade on this bike. Thoughts?

Anyway, I've learned more about cycling from these boards than from any other resource (or many other resources combined!), so thank you again for continuing to dump all of your experiences and knowledge here to guide noobs like me :beerchug:


Nice looking bike :) . What's your current budget? Personally I would save for the BMC rather than upgrading groupsets but that all depends on how much you love your Allez. If it's something you enjoy riding and one to keep it long term, upgrading to Ultegra or Force would still be cheaper than buying a new bike. I have a CAAD10 and dumped a lot of money in it (which I somewhat regret, enough to probably buy another bike). Luckily, I was able to find a supersix frame at a dirt cheap price and move everything over.

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lrdunc
Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:45 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

by lrdunc

Thanks! I'm not tied to this bike at all. It has been fine so far, but I don't have any sort of attachment to it. Hence my thought of just going with the BMC rather than putting any more money into this.

Is there anything else in that price range that you think would be a better buy?

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