First upgrade

Hi forum members,

I currently have a two and half year old:
Specialized E5 Premium Aluminium, Open Road Geometry, threaded BB, 12x142mm thru-axle, flat mount disc
Axis Sport disc wheels with 32mm Panaracer GravelKing tyres
Praxis Alba 2d 48/32T and Sunrace, 9-speed, 11-32t
Sora derailleurs and levers

I spend 90% of my time on mostly flat roads and then two/three times a year go multi-day bike packing.

The Internet says the best upgrade I can make (other than improving my fitness 😊) is wheels; second best is the groupset.

So, I’m thinking buy some lighter wheels, slightly narrower tyres and a new standard groupset to make the bike more ‘roady’. Also, keep the current Axis Sport wheels and fit fatter tyres with a 105 11-34 cassette to make the bike more ‘gravelly’ for the occasional bike packing expedition.

It’s the first time I’ve posted on the forum, the first time I’ve looked at upgrading my bike and would welcome people’s suggestions.

Cheers
Andy

Suggested ‘road’ set-up
HUNT 34 AERO WIDE DISC WHEELSET
SCHWALBE PRO ONE 25/28MM TUBELESS
Shimano 105 R7000 Chainset - 11 Speed - 39/53
Shimano 105 CS-R7000 Cassette - 11 Speed - 12-25

Suggested ‘expedition’ set-up
Same chainset as above
Shimano 105 CS-R7000 Cassette - 11 Speed - 11-34
PANARACER GRAVELKING SK PLUS TUBELESS - 700c x 38mm

Comments

  • PMark
    PMark Posts: 159
    You are probably better going for a 34/50 chain set, a 39/53 might not be so much fun when off roading. Plus i would go for something like a 11-30 cassette when on the road, if it is too different to your off-road cassette, you might have to change the chain every time you change wheels.

    But don’t forget you will need to change your shifters/cables/derailleurs as well if going 11 speed.
  • But don’t forget you will need to change your shifters/cables/derailleurs as well if going 11 speed.

    Thanks a lot, Mark - on the above, I was planning on going the whole hog and buying the full 105 groupset

  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,706
    I'm guessing what you have is a Diverge. I have the same bike, and the Axis Sport wheels aren't tubeless compatible, they don't have the right rim bed shape. You could still use them with wider tyres, but you'll need to use tubes. There are conversion rim strips, but they're very hit and miss, and I've never got them to work in a way I'm happy with.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    oxoman said:

    If your looking at getting hunts you might as well get some handbuilts from cycleclinic or DCR or someone else like that, they build better wheels in my opinion. I would go with marks suggested gearing as it would be a massive jump from your existing set up.

    This - the Hunts are pretty average and well, well overpriced. I'd avoid if I were ypu and go the Malcolm/A.N.Other route.

    Re general upgrades, I'd also start by makibg sure everything fits you properly - bar width, stem length, saddle comfy, etc then move onto other parts - no point having a new groupset if your position is out to tat.
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    Remember also that you can use a 10 speed chainset so if there is something mega bling going cheap in the sales that you fancy don't restrict yourself to 105.
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • the Axis Sport wheels aren't tubeless compatible, they don't have the right rim bed shape

    Ah, the best laid plans...
  • MattFalle said:

    oxoman said:

    If your looking at getting hunts you might as well get some handbuilts from cycleclinic or DCR or someone else like that, they build better wheels in my opinion. I would go with marks suggested gearing as it would be a massive jump from your existing set up.

    go the Malcolm/A.N.Other route.

    Re general upgrades, I'd also start by makibg sure everything fits you properly
    Cheers, Matt, I'll take a look at DCR/Malcolm/Cycleclinic. I had a bike fit a little while back, so all's good there
  • shortfall
    shortfall Posts: 3,288
    oxoman said:

    I'd recommend Malcolm at cycleclinic,s wheels. Absolutely bombproof and he stands by everything he builds. Currently have Borg 31s on my commute bike and got given some 22s for my CX bike.

    Agreed. He's also a small independent retailer who cares about service and his customers. If we don't support the good guys like him they'll disappear.
  • slowmart
    slowmart Posts: 4,489
    @OP keep the same size cassette for both gravel and road, it’s simpler and you use one chain. Buy a chain whip, lock nut tool so you can swap cassette between wheels so you run gravel or road specific wheel sets.

    If you are intent in running two different cassettes at the ratio you’ve described you’ll need a medium cage rear mech. The short cage goes up to 32 tooth but you may get away with a 34 with some fine tuning.

    A reset would be to look at the pre owned market, some nearly new bikes going on various platforms for a relative bargain as it’s heading towards winter.

    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • Thanks all for the advice so far:

    Avoid Hunt wheels: I couldn't find a Borg wheelset at the right weight/price and aren't too fussed about bespoke. I do like DCR Standard disc Wheelset, which gets me to ~450g weight loss over the Axis Sports at <£500

    Don't faff with multiple cassettes or go too 'roady' with the chainset: A compact front and 11-34 rear will provide higher ratios for flat roads, but also maintain the current lower ratios for hills, as per my current 48/32 and 11-32

    38mm tyres: Find some clincher tyres for the off-road set-up (or try and convince my 'financial adviser' that two new sets of tubeless ready wheelsets are essential).
  • dj58
    dj58 Posts: 2,221
    OP, If you want to keep your low 1 : 1 gear, go 50/34 and 11/34 or 32 if you don't use the lowest ratio on your road rides, though you may struggle on your loaded off road trips. Fit the new lighter wheels with 28/32mm tyres for road and keep the O.E. wheels with the 38mm for your off road rides.
  • Don’t buy upgrades, ride up grades. Failing that get some lightweight Hunt wheels, and decent rubber.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    Any Primes at CRC/Wiggle that take your fancy - I've just fitted a set to the S3 and am quite impressed tbh.

    #thriftyyetspinny
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644

    Don’t buy upgrades, ride up grades. Failing that get some lightweight Hunt wheels, and decent rubber.

    Nah. They're not very good and you can get better for your money

    #nah
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • Don’t buy upgrades, ride up grades. Failing that get some lightweight Hunt wheels, and decent rubber.

    Is that why you traded your btwin for a bianchi?
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    Tbf, he's not very quick on either of them, even if they did fit him. He could have bought a Gixer thou and he'd still be slow and have a heavy bike.

    #pies'n'lies
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • slowmart
    slowmart Posts: 4,489
    MattFalle said:

    Tbf, he's not very quick on either of them, even if they did fit him. He could have bought a Gixer thou and he'd still be slow and have a heavy bike.

    #pies'n'lies

    Glad to see you’re posting again.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    slowmart said:

    MattFalle said:

    Tbf, he's not very quick on either of them, even if they did fit him. He could have bought a Gixer thou and he'd still be slow and have a heavy bike.

    #pies'n'lies

    Glad to see you’re posting again.
    Ciao and grazie. I noticed it was a bit quiet on here so MF thought he would pop in and say hello.

    You all groovy as gravy I trust?
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.
  • mr_eddy
    mr_eddy Posts: 830
    My 2 cents worth:

    Best 'upgrade' IMO is a proper bike fit but assuming you have your position dialled in then I would go for the Hunt wheels or possibly some hand builds.

    If you are doing some bike packing as well then you need strong wheels. Personally I would consider 2 sets of wheels and don't bother with groupset upgrade just yet (apart from cassettes see below)

    Something like the Hunt's or Fulcrum 400DB for the road (these are 35mm deep and 1650g so a bit aero and light) - These can be had on offer for about £250 if you shop around

    Then I would get a set of Merlin GDA-1 32 spoke gravel wheels for bike packing - These are 32mm deep / 21mm wide (internally) and bomb proof - Ok so at 2000g they are not light but if you are bike packing that is of zero concern. Note these are £100 and come with easy to service Shimano hubs so a proper bargain!

    I would then just buy 2 cassettes something like a 11-28 or 11-30 for road (48/11 is still 35mph at 100rpm based on a average 32mm tyre) and a 11-34 or even if you can get one a 12-36 for touring - 32/36 is pretty low gear and if you are touring/bike packing you probably won't need more than 48/12 at the top end either.



  • MattFalle
    MattFalle Posts: 11,644
    Hunts are a waste of money - far better out there for the money. Don't get sucked into the marketing and clubbieness.

    Clubbies like "a proper bike fit" - its not really that difficult to set your bike up. Saddle up/down, fore aft. Stem length. Stem up/down. Handlebar width on shoulder measurement.

    Bear in mind if you are going the two cassettes route you may well need two chains so a)they fit and b)with wear they still work.
    .
    The camera down the willy isn't anything like as bad as it sounds.