Who else bought a mid-level bike solely to upgrade?

Who are you (no off-topic talk please)

Moderators: MrCurrieinahurry, maxim809, Moderator Team

dcj10
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2021 4:22 pm

by dcj10

My go-to ride is a 2021 56cm Specialized Aethos Expert. Colour is standard: gloss ice blue with teal tint and flake silver branding. Stock, this weighed 7.67 kg with pedals, mounts and cages added - which to me is not that light - but its proven to be a straightforward proposition to upgrade with off the shelf parts, as a number of people on this forum demonstrated already.

I got the Aethos dialed-in quickly with a longer 12cm stem. I could have gone with a 58cm frame, but the extra seat pin sticking out of the 56cm seemed to be particularly low hanging fruit, as I was hunting for maximum comfort.

Upgrades: nothing too exotic?
I've dropped around 1.3kg and got the Aethos down to 6.446kg - ready to ride - without fitting any 'esoteric' parts, unless you count the Mirror 3D printed saddle (not a WW decision anyway). It's been fun shopping, but it feels good to stop there. Returns are really diminishing now. Its already 2kg lighter in comparison to my previous ride (a 2019 Trek Madone SLR6). This bike is now a real peach to ride fast and hard. And its got really dialed-in comfort. The best bike I've ridden since I sold my Litespeed Ghisallo ML in 2007. Not my best-ever decision :(
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The ouch part
I managed to chomp through the internal battery cable dangling unseen by me in the BB area when fitting the new Rotor crankset, which is a superb bit of engineering, fitted by a knucklehead. Later I discovered the unscheduled chomp also took out the rear mech servo :oops: We don't talk about that now.

Wheel upgrade alone dropped close to 800g
The 2022 Aethos Expert costs a lot more and comes with a big upgrade: a tubeless ready carbon wheelset, so my main upgrade doesn't stack up the same on the 2022 model. The 2021 model came with an alloy DT-Swiss R470 wheelset weighing 1810g. I've ridden the Aethos with Zipp 303 and 404 Firecrest and Farsports, which are now my go-to wheels.
I'm running 28c tubeless Veloflex Evo TLR at low pressures (the roads here really are atrocious in places, in case that wasn't already clear!). There's a separate initial ride report on the Farsports wheels: viewtopic.php?f=113&t=168574

Other thoughts
Some facts and photos below. The individual weight savings don't quite 'cross-tally'.
I did weigh the Aethos in original spec using a hanging fishing-type scale, so maybe that's part of the discrepancy.
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BDOP 11-30 alloy cassette 116g. Is the change as crisp as the standard steel cassette? Its close enough for the weight saving to make sense Shimano 11-30 270g
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Alpinist Combo 269g noticeably smoothed out the ride. A decent computer mount was in the box, website had said not included. Specialised stock alloy bar stem c. 432g
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Rotor chainset 52-36 531g not inc BSA 30mm steel cups (+88g) Ultegra chainset 52-36 698g not inc cups (+76g)
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Farsports Wheelset 1015g exc. rim tape. Only 21 spokes, so can still hold on to speed well. Neutral handling, responsive, not fragile. Stock wheelset 1810g inc rim tape
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Looks with Zipp 303 Firecrest. Good compromise in handling and weight
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Looks with Zipp 404 Firecrest. On sportives with large fast moving groups, I'd use this wheelset
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Looks with Farsports. With this wheelset, the full 'joy-of-riding-for-riding-sake' benefits of the Aethos frameset are maximised (IME, obviously!)
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Main ride Aethos Expert 2021 https://weightweenies.starbike.com/for ... 0&t=169445
First reserve Pegoretti steel 2012 Ciavete paint viewtopic.php?f=10&t=168091

by Weenie


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MrCurrieinahurry
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by MrCurrieinahurry

Lovely choices to have

Basso Diamante super record EPS 12
BMC slr01 ultegra Di2

Formerly known as Curryinahurry

ghostinthemachine
Posts: 732
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 9:18 pm

by ghostinthemachine

Yes, several times.
Buy the lowest level complete bike which comes with the "best" (or good enough) frame.
Then upgrade with stuff I already have (wheels, bars, saddle, crank, etc) sell the cheaper bits (or put them in a training bike.
Throw a few bargains into the mix and you're set.

It's become much more important since people stopped giving me bikes. 😬

dcj10
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2021 4:22 pm

by dcj10

ghostinthemachine wrote:
Mon Apr 04, 2022 2:12 pm
Yes, several times.
Buy the lowest level complete bike which comes with the "best" (or good enough) frame.
Then upgrade with stuff I already have (wheels, bars, saddle, crank, etc) sell the cheaper bits (or put them in a training bike.
Throw a few bargains into the mix and you're set.

It's become much more important since people stopped giving me bikes. 😬
Makes so much sense. The Aethos feels rare only in that its one of the few new bikes from any major brand, where this philosophy is still possible.
Main ride Aethos Expert 2021 https://weightweenies.starbike.com/for ... 0&t=169445
First reserve Pegoretti steel 2012 Ciavete paint viewtopic.php?f=10&t=168091

dcj10
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2021 4:22 pm

by dcj10

CrankAddictsRich wrote:
Mon Apr 04, 2022 11:51 am
great looking ride.. I like the 303's best.
Yes I believe so too. The 303s seem like the most matched aesthetics on this frameset
Main ride Aethos Expert 2021 https://weightweenies.starbike.com/for ... 0&t=169445
First reserve Pegoretti steel 2012 Ciavete paint viewtopic.php?f=10&t=168091

dcj10
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2021 4:22 pm

by dcj10

MrCurrieinahurry wrote:
Mon Apr 04, 2022 12:06 pm
Lovely choices to have Image
Yes, they are lovely choices. On the topic of good fortune, I'd like to acknowledge the contributor wisdom on this forum, and the unsung volunteers who give their time to keep the thing running (thankyou MrCurrieinahurry and others). Heres the thing: Rotor, BDOP and Farsports - the most significant parts on my upgrade path - were not choices even on my radar before hearing about them on Weightweenies. I am sure I'm not alone here in recognising how important the community is to our enjoyment of cycling.
Main ride Aethos Expert 2021 https://weightweenies.starbike.com/for ... 0&t=169445
First reserve Pegoretti steel 2012 Ciavete paint viewtopic.php?f=10&t=168091

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MrCurrieinahurry
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by MrCurrieinahurry

Haha thats very kind

Basso Diamante super record EPS 12
BMC slr01 ultegra Di2

Formerly known as Curryinahurry

drumjdds
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Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2022 9:24 pm

by drumjdds

great choices, also digging the look with the 303s!

bruno2000
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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 4:11 pm

by bruno2000

What is your experience on riding with the zipp 404 on the aethos frame, also for climbing?
I have an aethos frame, building with Ultegr a12v group and same crank as yours.
Doubting on the wheels. I like the aero look of the Zipp 404 or the new Dura-ace C50 wheels as I live in a flat part of the country.
But also like to take my bike to do longer clinbing.

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Juanmoretime
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by Juanmoretime

Sometimes you buy a mid grade bike and then the weight weenie disease kicks in. You can't help yourself. When I bought my fat bike if was great. Now the only pieces left from the original purchase are the frame and fork. My Borealis Crestone also went from a 26 lb bike to a little over 20lbs for a size large.

Thomson
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:19 pm

by Thomson

I bought a low 105 caad 12 but the frame is minted and upgraded to dura ace group set zipp bars and stem and falcrum wheels. It was 8.5kg standard without pedals now it's 7.7kg with pedals. Target was sub 8. It's now sub 7.5kg

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StanK
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Location: Croatia

by StanK

Juanmoretime wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 12:26 pm
Sometimes you buy a mid grade bike and then the weight weenie disease kicks in. You can't help yourself...
Same here.
In 2017 I had a very nice mid-range aluminum Corratec with a 105 and I thought "I might try carbon" - if I can find it in my budget (aprox. 1k euros), second hand. And when I'm already buying, let be the lightest I can find.

The goal was not heavier than 7.5 kg, because Corratec was 8.5 kg. If I can't find one... well, I'll stick with the Corratec and I'll save some money too.
About a week later I saw an ad with what is now in my signature. Originally everything was Ultegra 6800 and the specs said 7.1kg. Wow. That's it. I almost couldn't believe it. And exactly within the budget (1k euros).

I bought it with no intention of turning it into a "real" WW bike, the purchase itself should have been the end of the story.
I was very pleased that it so light and it cost me less (for that weight) than I thought possible.
And then, a year later, the WW bug hit :D

dcj10
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2021 4:22 pm

by dcj10

bruno2000 wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 10:40 am
What is your experience on riding with the zipp 404 on the aethos frame, also for climbing?
I have an aethos frame, building with Ultegr a12v group and same crank as yours.
Doubting on the wheels. I like the aero look of the Zipp 404 or the new Dura-ace C50 wheels as I live in a flat part of the country.
But also like to take my bike to do longer clinbing.
404s looked terrific on my Aethos but I had the sinking feeling they were blunting the agility I was hoping to exploit.
As an experiment, I swapped them out for a set of 303s I already had. Immediately the 303s felt more lively and handled better.

As a further experiment I ordered a set of the lightest, shallowest wheelsets from Farsports.

Each time I've downsized the rim depth and weight, the Aethos becomes more responsive and fun to ride.
So much so, that the deep section 'look' I was after originally no longer holds any interest for me.

Enjoy your Aethos. It's certainly the best bike I've ever ridden, with a few well chosen upgrades.

Edit: as an afterthought I should mention also that I was hoping the 404s would help give me faster average speeds on my solo rides. That never happened, so I'm not losing out in any way by taking a different path.
Main ride Aethos Expert 2021 https://weightweenies.starbike.com/for ... 0&t=169445
First reserve Pegoretti steel 2012 Ciavete paint viewtopic.php?f=10&t=168091

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PinaRene
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:08 pm

by PinaRene

Well I have the same wheelsets ( Zipp 303S and 404 FC ) and used them both in Flandres last month. On the cobbles the 303 S was superb to the 404FC, but in the flats where I live ( Netherlands) both wheelsets feel almost the same with the same tires. The 404FC are not faster in any way I guess. Weight whse they are also almost the same with Veloflex Corsa TLR 28mm. I have exactly the same setup on both wheels with a Sram 11-30 cassette.

Btw : lovely bike you have !!

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