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Wheelset upgrade questions

Old 08-08-19, 10:24 AM
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p4k9
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Wheelset upgrade questions

I bought a basic Specialized Allez, the one with Claris groupset. Iím thinking about upgrading the wheels. Would the Shimano Dura-Ace WH-R9100 C24 be a decent upgrade? Could I use my current cassette? Any other recommendations around the same price or less would be welcome.
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Old 08-08-19, 10:56 AM
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You can use your current cassette. It's really nice to have a backup set of wheels ready to go though.
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Old 08-08-19, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by p4k9 View Post
I bought a basic Specialized Allez, the one with Claris groupset. Iím thinking about upgrading the wheels. Would the Shimano Dura-Ace WH-R9100 C24 be a decent upgrade? Could I use my current cassette? Any other recommendations around the same price or less would be welcome.
I looked up the wheelset you mention and the 'base' Allez on the Specialized website. It looks like you are considering putting an $800 wheelset on an $800 bike.

If so, I'm not sure that you need to spend that much if you really want different wheels. What are you trying to achieve by buying new wheels?



And, yes, you can probably use your existing 8 speed cassette on a new wheel if you have the proper spacers. Verify with the vendor re: this before purchase.
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Old 08-08-19, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
I looked up the wheelset you mention and the 'base' Allez on the Specialized website. It looks like you are considering putting an $800 wheelset on an $800 bike.

If so, I'm not sure that you need to spend that much if you really want different wheels. What are you trying to achieve by buying new wheels?



And, yes, you can probably use your existing 8 speed cassette on a new wheel if you have the proper spacers. Verify with the vendor re: this before purchase.
The best upgrade you can do is a change of wheelset, if you're really trying to min-max the bike, an $800 wheelset on an $800 bike would be a great upgrade. In my honest opinion however, I would upgrade to 11 speed 105 and a new wheelset.
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Old 08-08-19, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
I looked up the wheelset you mention and the 'base' Allez on the Specialized website. It looks like you are considering putting an $800 wheelset on an $800 bike.

If so, I'm not sure that you need to spend that much if you really want different wheels. What are you trying to achieve by buying new wheels?



And, yes, you can probably use your existing 8 speed cassette on a new wheel if you have the proper spacers. Verify with the vendor re: this before purchase.
You’re right, $800 wheels on an $800 bike. There’s nothing wrong with the wheels I have I was just looking for something faster and lighter. I’m just wondering if I’d be able to feel the difference between my stock wheels and these. Nothing like spending money and not getting anything out of it.

Last edited by cb400bill; 08-08-19 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Removed Shruggy.
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Old 08-08-19, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by firebird854 View Post
The best upgrade you can do is a change of wheelset, if you're really trying to min-max the bike, an $800 wheelset on an $800 bike would be a great upgrade. In my honest opinion however, I would upgrade to 11 speed 105 and a new wheelset.
Thatís good advice. Thanks! Would I need to upgrade the whole groupset ? Or could I just do the rear system?
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Old 08-08-19, 02:03 PM
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Iím gonna be a contrarian. I have the same Allez and you honestly donít need to sink any money into it. I do some racing and it keeps up fine with everyone else, assuming your fitness and group riding abilities are good. Save your money for something like a power meter to train
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Old 08-08-19, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
Iím gonna be a contrarian. I have the same Allez and you honestly donít need to sink any money into it. I do some racing and it keeps up fine with everyone else, assuming your fitness and group riding abilities are good. Save your money for something like a power meter to train
Thatís exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you!
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Old 08-08-19, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by p4k9 View Post
Thatís good advice. Thanks! Would I need to upgrade the whole groupset ? Or could I just do the rear system?
Unfortunately I'm no bike mechanic so I'd have a hard time telling you. When it comes to my bike, I built it up from an Eomonda ALR frameset, number 1 priority was powermeter, one of the cheapest dual sensing options I could find was the FSA powerbox alloy. My 2nd was groupset, I wouldn't go less then 105 period, because it's simply some of the best value you're going to find. Next priority were wheels, pretty much the best value option you're going to find are light-bicycle wheels, I considered them heavily, but eventually ended up spending a bit more and getting Aeolus 5s. As a side note, I personally would recommend something in the 50mm range, the Dura-ace c24s are nice, but I'd go C50s if I was planning to stick with Shimano.

So... If I were in your situation, I would probably get a single sided discounted powermeter, or one from ebay, upgrade to latest Shimano 105, and get some GP5000 Continental tires.

Then, after I obtained more money, I would probably get some Bontrager Aeolus Comp 5 TLR Disc Road Wheels. A setup like this with your frame would be some of the biggest bang for your buck.
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Old 08-08-19, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by p4k9 View Post
Thatís good advice. Thanks! Would I need to upgrade the whole groupset ? Or could I just do the rear system?
Your 8 speed Claris brifter will not work with a 10 or 11 speed system. You will need at least 1 new brifter to shift the new rear der,, new RD, new chain, new cassette, maybe a new RD cable and housing. new bar tape. $200 or so if you shop around. Microshift components are a little cheaper than name-brand

You may be able to keep your FD and the associated brifter if 10/11 speed chain will fit the existing chain rings. You might also be able to do this upgrade using your existing wheels.
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Old 08-08-19, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by p4k9 View Post
I bought a basic Specialized Allez, the one with Claris groupset. Iím thinking about upgrading the wheels. Would the Shimano Dura-Ace WH-R9100 C24 be a decent upgrade? Could I use my current cassette? Any other recommendations around the same price or less would be welcome.
Wheels are a VERY good upgrade, esp going from heavy stock wheels to lighter rims. Lower rotating mass makes more difference than non rotating mass.

That said, the first place to upgrade is tires and tubes. Look for lower weight and lower rolling resistance, but decent puncture resistance. Check out https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/
Lighter weight high quality tubes will also lower rotating mass and resistance
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Old 08-08-19, 03:43 PM
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Since your bike isn't 11s, which generally required folks to get new wheels, you should be able to pick up a pretty nice set of 10s wheels at a good price.

RS80 rims are the same laminated carbon/ally as Dura-Ace. They were 10s, see what you can find used, but watch out for rim wear and rough bearings.
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Old 08-08-19, 04:14 PM
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The best upgrade isn't wheels but tires.

The OP's bike comes with 370 gram Specialized Espoir Sport tires. He could save well over a half pound rotational weight and improve ride quality tremendously just by swapping tires.

It doesn't even have to be expensive tires. The discontinued Vittoria Pro III tires were as low as $14 each and weigh only 235 grams.

Throw in some Continental Race or Race Light butyle tubes for another $20. These are just examples of what's out there.

The bike would ride and feel completely different with nice supple tires and light tubes. The whole thing might cost $50 or maybe $75 max and he would have nice tires to put on new wheels if he still wanted them.




-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 08-08-19 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 08-08-19, 04:40 PM
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I agree somewhat with TimothyH in this. Wheels can make a difference, but if you mate them with heavy flat resistant tires and tubes, you won't gain much. Lighter, supple tires along with lightweight inner tubes can make a noticeable difference. Since tires wear out anyway, and you have to buy new ones sometime, this is a very good first step. Unless, that is that you have a fear of flats. Lighter weight tires have less puncture protection, so depending on where you live, this can be a worry. Where I live, the biggest problem is pinch flats for which puncture resistant tires provide no help, so it doesn't matter for me if I ride on lightweight tires, the only downside is that they wear out a bit faster. Lightweight wheels are a portable upgrade, if you buy a newer, better bike you can still use them by transferring them to your new ride. How recently did you buy your bike? It is easy to catch upgrade fever, but you have to be rational about it. If the thought of upgrading groupsets is starting to look feasible, you may have bought the wrong bike to begin with, especially if you are thinking about buying wheels that sell for the whole price of your bike. Start with tires and tubes. go from there.
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Old 08-08-19, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
The best upgrade isn't wheels but tires.

The OP's bike comes with 370 gram Specialized Espoir Sport tires. He could save well over a half pound rotational weight and improve ride quality tremendously just by swapping tires.

It doesn't even have to be expensive tires. The discontinued Vittoria Pro III tires were as low as $14 each and weigh only 235 grams.

Throw in some Continental Race or Race Light butyle tubes for another $20. These are just examples of what's out there.

The bike would ride and feel completely different with nice supple tires and light tubes. The whole thing might cost $50 or maybe $75 max and he would have nice tires to put on new wheels if he still wanted them.




-Tim-
Every word of this. Not just the bold parts, but especially them.

A $200 pair of tires will save about the same number of watts as a $2,000 pair of wheels.

The problem is you can only do this once. Most folks giving advice in here have been using light and supple tires for so many years, they tend not to be on our radar as a potential upgrade, I probably didn't phrase that well.
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Old 08-08-19, 09:07 PM
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+3 - optimize tires first.

I was surprised last weekend at how many folks were doing a century ride or longer on gatorskins.
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Old 08-09-19, 10:41 PM
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Shimano used to have an Ultegra version of their Dura Ace wheelset. It was the same rim and spokes, different hub. Those where half the cost of Dura Ace wheels. Here is a link from the Shimano website.

https://bike.shimano.com/en-US/infor...explained.html
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Old 08-10-19, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Every word of this. Not just the bold parts, but especially them.

A $200 pair of tires will save about the same number of watts as a $2,000 pair of wheels.

The problem is you can only do this once. Most folks giving advice in here have been using light and supple tires for so many years, they tend not to be on our radar as a potential upgrade, I probably didn't phrase that well.
That makes sense to me. Iím going to hold off on the wheel upgrade for now. Iíll wear these tires out and when Iím ready Iíll look for better tires and tubes. I appreciate your insight.
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Old 08-10-19, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bikebreak View Post
Wheels are a VERY good upgrade, esp going from heavy stock wheels to lighter rims. Lower rotating mass makes more difference than non rotating mass.

That said, the first place to upgrade is tires and tubes. Look for lower weight and lower rolling resistance, but decent puncture resistance. LINK REMOVED
Lighter weight high quality tubes will also lower rotating mass and resistance
Great website! Thanks for that resource. I really didnít think about the tire tube aspect as much as shiny metal wheels. I guess making sure my tubes were properly inflated would make a difference too. Iíll have to keep a better eye on that before each ride.
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Old 08-10-19, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
+3 - optimize tires first.

I was surprised last weekend at how many folks were doing a century ride or longer on gatorskins.
Yes! Or in my case make sure theyíre properly inflated before each ride. It really makes a difference
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Old 08-10-19, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
Shimano used to have an Ultegra version of their Dura Ace wheelset. It was the same rim and spokes, different hub. Those where half the cost of Dura Ace wheels. Here is a link from the Shimano website.
Ahhhhh, another option! I really donít know what wheels Iíd buy. I just used the dura-ace because they seemed awesome. Maybe itís not the wheels so much as the hub. I need to research more but first Iíll get some lighter tires and tubes. Everyone here has been such a great help and I really appreciate it.
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Old 08-10-19, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
I agree somewhat with TimothyH in this. Wheels can make a difference, but if you mate them with heavy flat resistant tires and tubes, you won't gain much. Lighter, supple tires along with lightweight inner tubes can make a noticeable difference. Since tires wear out anyway, and you have to buy new ones sometime, this is a very good first step. Unless, that is that you have a fear of flats. Lighter weight tires have less puncture protection, so depending on where you live, this can be a worry. Where I live, the biggest problem is pinch flats for which puncture resistant tires provide no help, so it doesn't matter for me if I ride on lightweight tires, the only downside is that they wear out a bit faster. Lightweight wheels are a portable upgrade, if you buy a newer, better bike you can still use them by transferring them to your new ride. How recently did you buy your bike? It is easy to catch upgrade fever, but you have to be rational about it. If the thought of upgrading groupsets is starting to look feasible, you may have bought the wrong bike to begin with, especially if you are thinking about buying wheels that sell for the whole price of your bike. Start with tires and tubes. go from there.
Thats great advice! Tires and tubes, but I have to wear what I have out first. And youíre totally right about upgrade fever. Maybe a better helmet first and some more shorts. 🤣
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Old 08-10-19, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
Iím gonna be a contrarian. I have the same Allez and you honestly donít need to sink any money into it. I do some racing and it keeps up fine with everyone else, assuming your fitness and group riding abilities are good. Save your money for something like a power meter to train
I agree with most of this, but I wouldn't recommend a power meter at this point.
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Old 08-10-19, 07:29 AM
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Tires for absolute sure. The Espoir Sport are terrible tires-- slow rolling, low thread count, heavy, and as much puncture resistance as a birthday balloon.

A 700x25 Espoir weighs almost as much as one of my tubeless 700x35 Pirellis.

The OP could buy some very nice tires and a complete 105 groupset for about half the cost of those DuraAce wheels.
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Old 08-10-19, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by p4k9 View Post
Maybe itís not the wheels so much as the hub.
Rims are about performance, hubs are about durability, spokes are about both. Shimano rear hubs, of any level, are the most durable IMO.
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