single best upgrade

gergusmcbergus
gergusmcbergus Posts: 57
edited November 2009 in Road beginners
Hi I am still quite new to cycling so I aplogise for what may seem like an obvious question to some.
I ride a Spcialized allez double 09 and love it.
I haven't yet purchased any upgrades for the bike, the only thing I have brought for it other than lights and bottle cage is Look Keo clip in pedals, which will arive in the next few days.
Other than that the bike is as purchased.
What would you say is the single biggest upgade I could make to my bike for a faster, more efficient ride
Thanks
like a rolling stone
«1

Comments

  • brownbosh
    brownbosh Posts: 602
    Decent tyres and tubes.
    Or if you have £150 or more a wheel upgrade.
  • Thanks
    Currently ride on Alexrims wheels and Specialized Mondo tyres which came with the bike
    Are these any good?
    like a rolling stone
  • ride_whenever
    ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    no

    the whole rolley bit is the best place to start, wheels, tyres and tubes. A nice set of handbuilts are the way forward on an allez.
  • Without wishng to sound completely stupid, could you give me more infrmation on handbuilts?
    How much of a differece would I see with a new, better quality wheels tyres and tubes?
    like a rolling stone
  • MikeWW
    MikeWW Posts: 723
    Don't do it unless you have money to burn
    Is the saddle comfortable-if not replace it
    Other than that just ride(fast) and often

    The only thing that will make any noticeable difference is your fitness

    Bling wheels look great and by all means replace the tyres with say Michelin Pro3's when you have worn them out
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    FWIW "BUYING" things(i.e. upgrades) is very highly overrated. In basic terms YOU
    need to get stronger legs and better lung capacity. There is not a frame, wheel, or any other component that will give you these legs and lungs. You can spend, literally, thousands and thousands on all make and manner of bike "parts". None of which,
    contrary to all the claims of advertisers, will turn you into a faster racer. By this I mean you can't buy power, speed, and conditioning. That comes from you. If you must upgrade,
    spend the money on a coach and learn how to train instead of buying wheels and such.
  • Hey guys thanks for the advice.
    I appreciate that spending loads on your bike in upgrades won't make that much difference, and the fitness and strength of the rider has a far greater impact, but this is why I asked if there was a single best upgrade to make to my bike, as I'm not interested in spending loads and upgrading everything, was just curious if there was one obvious thing which I could buy a better version of in order to improve my riding.
    like a rolling stone
  • MikeWW
    MikeWW Posts: 723
    There isn't to be honest
    If you do want to improve join a local club and get a training programme together
    I'm a novice and a bit old but started riding with faster people and it's a great incentive to get better. Very similar bike to yours and I have never remotely felt that the bike was the limiting factor
    At some point I may buy a bling bike but it would only be because bling bikes are nice. You have a decent bike that is more than credible

    If the saddle is not comfortable then change it and make sure you have the clothes to allow you to ride all year round. Other than that just enjoy riding, eat well and rest adequately
  • I think tyres are worth it, a pair of Continental Force/Attack's would be the best thing you could buy. Then get the miles in :)
  • gkerr4
    gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    I think tyres are worth it, a pair of Continental Force/Attack's would be the best thing you could buy. Then get the miles in :)

    I agree tyres are - not necissarily continentals, but upmarket tyres do make a difference - lighter and better feeling as well as more comfortable and less puncture prone - which can only be a good thing!

    after that - well yes, wheels - but there is a lot to be said for makeing sure the contact points are sorted - the bars and stem - are the setup right? bars the best shape to make sure you are comfortable? - the saddle comfy? - after 10 miles? what about after 100?
    (though sadly the saddle thing can be quite expensive as you can end up 'trying a few' before you find one your bum likes!)
  • Baytt
    Baytt Posts: 102
    I think tyres are worth it, a pair of Continental Force/Attack's would be the best thing you could buy. Then get the miles in :)

    +1 on tyre upgrade and +1 for Continental Force/Attacks, great combo
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,234
    Tyres and wheels, only thing I've ever bothered upgrading on bikes in the past. Other upgrades can make your bike 'nicer' and possibly slightly lighter but wheels are the thing that can make a difference. I was always grateful for the advice of club mates to get some decent wheels when I first started.
  • Wulz
    Wulz Posts: 100
    Would folk have a bit of a giggle if they seen someone with a grands worth of carbon wheels on an otherwise standard trek 1.5?

    Im a bit of a tart for stuff like that , but wonder if id just be better putting it towards a better bike. Problem is i love the trek, but would i love it so much more with VERY nice wheels on?

    I wonder....

    Willie
  • skyd0g
    skyd0g Posts: 2,540
    One of the best upgrades I've made to my bike is the brake holders & pads. The original blocks were little better than blackboard rubbers, :shock: so I changed them to Kool Stops. 8)

    It doesn't make me go any faster, but at least I now have the confidence that I can now stop when I want to! :wink:

    Tyres will be next on my list, after Winter and a good few more miles in my legs. :D
    Cycling weakly
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    I think tyres are worth it, a pair of Continental Force/Attack's would be the best thing you could buy. Then get the miles in :)

    Nah, Vittoria Open Paves
    I like bikes...

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  • TommyEss
    TommyEss Posts: 1,855
    Ride the wheels that came with the bike for a while to get your fitness up - you'll want cheapish wheels on this time of year anyway.

    Ride hard over the winter, build yuor legs up, and then look at some new wheels come spring time.

    Tyres, on the other hand, are a good upgrade for now - they'll improve the ride, and give you better grip through the grotty weather.

    Remember that a lot of the high end ones people talk about are not really that good for winter miles - they cut up very easily, so you'll trash upto around £80 of tyre in a month or two.

    So steer clear of things like Continental GP400S, Michelin Pro Race 3 and Schwalbe Ultremos for now, and consider things like Continental Gatorskins, or GP 4 Seasons if you're feeling a bit plush.
    Cannondale Synapse 105, Giant Defy 3, Giant Omnium, Giant Trance X2, EMC R1.0, Ridgeback Platinum, On One Il Pompino...
  • balthazar
    balthazar Posts: 1,565
    Get a quality small mobile tool kit in a seatpack: a good multitool, chain link, tube, patches, and a crisp £20 emergency note. After that, invest in appropriate and high quality clothing. Wearing comfortable, new, well fitting clothes, rather than holey old gear, will have a much greater effect on how much you enjoy your rides than how racy your wheels look.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,234
    Would folk have a bit of a giggle if they seen someone with a grands worth of carbon wheels on an otherwise standard trek 1.5?

    Who cares if they do? If you are happy with an aluminium frame and the components (Tiagra?) then it makes sense to upgrade the wheels. The bonus is that if you do upgrade to a new bike the wheels are easily transferable.
  • I think tyres are worth it, a pair of Continental Force/Attack's would be the best thing you could buy. Then get the miles in :)

    Nah, Vittoria Open Paves

    Puncture too easily, don't roll as well and I'd be surprised if they gave the same confidence as decent tyres on a Fireblade.
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Puncture too easily, don't roll as well and I'd be surprised if they gave the same confidence as decent tyres on a Fireblade.

    Granted I wouldn't use them in Manchester, but my Open Corsas didn't puncture in North Wales. Research seems to show the Vittoria Open Tubs are some of the best rolling tyres out there, only really beaten by the superlightweights and the expensive Veloflexs.

    Attack/Force don't come in green either.
    I like bikes...

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  • ride_whenever
    ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    dennisn wrote:
    FWIW "BUYING" things(i.e. upgrades) is very highly overrated. In basic terms YOU
    need to get stronger legs and better lung capacity. There is not a frame, wheel, or any other component that will give you these legs and lungs. You can spend, literally, thousands and thousands on all make and manner of bike "parts". None of which,
    contrary to all the claims of advertisers, will turn you into a faster racer. By this I mean you can't buy power, speed, and conditioning. That comes from you. If you must upgrade,
    spend the money on a coach and learn how to train instead of buying wheels and such.

    There is a chunk of this, but my mate who is pretty fit did appreciate a set of new wheels quite a lot, but that was probably due to the old ones flexing like no ones business, never staying true, and having knackered races.

    Not to mention, on the tyre front, you can probably gain 2-3mph from a set of tyres, how much would a coach cost to gain that much? Probably a bit more than the 50 odd quid! Whilst the engine is important, there is an aspect of the bike that matters too, otherwise the pros would still be riding steel bikes with downtube shifters!

    A set of wheels could well either be a lot lighter, or what i'd suggest is a set that are a little bit lighter but a lot stiffer and more reliable. I hate it when things go wrong when i'm out riding.
  • TommyEss
    TommyEss Posts: 1,855
    Yes but spending a grand on wheels for a bike that cost ~£750 is plainly ridiculous!

    Why didn't you just by a £1700 bike?!

    And why does everyone seem to think a set of deep rim carbon fibre wheels is the answer to going faster.

    They're not that light, the braking performance is terrible, they're shite in a crosswind and heaven forbid you break a spoke out on a ride...

    For the pros, with a support car following them, and calves made of cast iron, they're fine - but for us mere mortals - not worth it.

    If you're riding a pretty basic aluminium frame, then yes, and upgrade on the wheels is on the cards at some stage - but if you're just getting into cycling, you may as well ride the standard wheels into the ground and then upgrade - think of it as weight training.

    Then, when you finally do upgrade, you'll be fitter AND the wheels will be lighter - you'll feel the difference then mate!
    Cannondale Synapse 105, Giant Defy 3, Giant Omnium, Giant Trance X2, EMC R1.0, Ridgeback Platinum, On One Il Pompino...
  • Harry182
    Harry182 Posts: 1,169
    TommyEss wrote:
    If you're riding a pretty basic aluminium frame, then yes, and upgrade on the wheels is on the cards at some stage - but if you're just getting into cycling, you may as well ride the standard wheels into the ground and then upgrade - think of it as wait training.

    There, fixed that for ya.
  • daveclow
    daveclow Posts: 164
    i was in the same situation only a few months ago. have an allez and heard that wheels/tires upgrade was recommended. so i swapped for these:

    3997452669_7bd669bb0f.jpg

    mavic askium wheels, with michelin krylian tires.

    weight wise, ive not saved alot, 100g maybe. the biggest difference is the tires. they are much faster rolling than those mondo's they supply with an allez. this combination gave me 3mph extra when rolling down this big hill on my route :) went from 28mph to 31mph. (that could have been differences tire pressures though lol)
    id say tires are definitely worth it. i have more confidence in the new set.
    other than the minor weight saving i achieved with my £150 for the wheels, the other bonus is the bladed spokes... and they look cool :)
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Tires. sp. see me after class.

    write out 500 times:

    Tyre is the rubber thing round the wheel, tire is what I do pedalling up hill.


    Do it now before Dennis logs on!!
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,234
    And why does everyone seem to think a set of deep rim carbon fibre wheels is the answer to going faster.

    Has anyone said that :? Decent wheels doesn't necessarily mean deep rim carbon fibre does it? IMO a well built set of wheels using high quality hubs is what makes the difference.
  • daveclow
    daveclow Posts: 164
    edited October 2009
    sorry sir wont happen again. :)
  • TommyEss
    TommyEss Posts: 1,855
    Wow - that's really fucked up the screen - cheers - and I bet you did Ctrl+V didn't you?!

    As for the carbon rim comments - it was more aimed at the guy who said he wanted to pu £1k carbon wheels on a Trek 1.5
    Cannondale Synapse 105, Giant Defy 3, Giant Omnium, Giant Trance X2, EMC R1.0, Ridgeback Platinum, On One Il Pompino...
  • As you're still fairly new to cycling and considering the time of year, there's no need to rush to upgrade what you've got. You'll find that clipless pedals will help you get more power to the back wheel.

    You could get better tyres that are suited for autumn and winter riding and then maybe get a better set of wheels come next spring. That way you'll hopefully have got fitter and better wheels will make more sense then.

    Dunedin397
  • brushed
    brushed Posts: 63
    Best single upgrade in terms of spending money is to get your riding position checked ie saddle height, saddle setback, reach to bars, bar height relative to saddle, width of bars, shoe pedal interface, getting yourself in a position that is comfortable but allows your muscles to fire properly.

    Then work on your core stength and flexibility.

    These will pay dividends long term when all those bling upgrades have worn out.
    FCN 4 summer
    FCN 6 Winter

    'Strong, Light, Cheap : choose two' Keith Bontrager