|All the Christmas upgrades for my bike|
Santa was very good to my road bike this year, so I thought I'd take you through the upgrades I finished today!
Back in 2009, my lovely wife signed us up for the MS150, a charity bike ride in support of Multiple Sclerosis research. With very little experience, training for the 150 mile 2 day ride ignited a passion for cycling that remains strong three and a half years later. After completing the first ride on our old mountain bikes (NEVER AGAIN!), we purchased road bikes for a local bike shop at the end of the season.
I ended up with an '09 Specialized Allez, a good aluminum frame starter bike with Shimano 105 components and a carbon front fork. It's served me well for 3 seasons, but as I looked at everyone else's carbon frames, I of course got the itch to upgrade. That said, I couldn't justify spending a bunch of $$$$ on a brand new bike, when my Allez was only 3 years old. Instead, I decided to to upgrade my current ride with a new set of wheels, something that I could carry over to my dream bike whenever I ready to pony up.
As I started researching wheel sets, I quickly realized that this may not be the affordable upgrade I had imagined. My goal was to find a set that was significantly lighter than the high spoke count Mavic CP22 rims that came on the Allez, yet still maintaing the durability of an alloy rim. I looked at all the usual suspects like Mavic, Easton, and Zipp, but to get the kind of weight savings I was looking for, I would likely have to spend well over $1000, much more than I wanted to. Just when I was about to give up, I found a small custom wheel builder is South Carolina called Boyd Cycling. After reading a bunch of reviews and checking some cycling forums, Boyd's slogan of "High Perfromance Wheels You Can Afford" became very appealing. I settled on their Vitesse model, a wide, aero rim with high-strength spokes and quality hubs. At only 1522 claimed grams for their 24/28 spoke version (extra spokes to support a big guy like me), I couldn't believe the $570 price tag! I immediately sent my wife the link as a subtle Christmas hint.
Fast-forward to Christmas, and my wife "surprised" me with with the set! The rest of my Christmas haul was very bike friendly too, including new water bottle holders, new bottles, and a brake set I couldn't resist, among other items.
|My bike before the upgrades|
|The Bontrager RL cages Mark got me, even matching my frame!|
|Old cheap cages: 134 grams|
|New cages: 69 grams, a 65 gram savings|
|Thanks Dan for my new Camelbak bottles!|
|Love the self sealing nozzles!|
|Old bottles weighed in at 150 grams a pop|
|New bottles: 118 grams each, a 64 gram savings|
I used my favorite tube, Vittoria Ultralite, up front. I love this tube because it's 20 grams lighter than a standard tube, but is made of rubber, and available online for cheap.
|Vittoria Ultralite tube at 86 grams (Vittoria clames 80)|
|Check out the sealant that sprayed out when I aired down the tube|
|Rear Boyd next to old Mavic|
|Love the lazer etched logos!|
|Old front Mavic weighed 1262 grams with the tire mounted|
|New front Boyd comes in at 1049 grams, a 213 gram savings|
|Old rear Mavic weighs in at 1619 grams with tire mounted|
|New Boyd rear comes in at 1226 grams, a 393 gram savings|
|The new FSA brakes next to the old generic stoppers that came with the bike.|
|They look good mounted, and the black finish goes with the rest of the 105 components on my bike|