Allez 16 2012 - worth upgrading?

by daleyexpress   August 21, 2012  

I bought a 2012 Allez 16 a few months ago.
After doing quite a few miles (for me) and completing the 160k Wiggo Sportive, the road bug seems to have bitten quite hard!!
So now I am looking at something lighter (including myself) and nicer.
Question is it worth upgrading the Allez? If so where do I start? Or should I just chop it in and get something else? I have about £500...
Cheers

16 user comments

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you could get some braccianos (http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=29086) and some top quality tyres for an outlay of about £300

it'll feel like a different bike Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7312 posts]
21st August 2012 - 21:46

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If I'm right in thinking, It came with the 2300 groupset?

What I'd do, Is swap out the wheels like Dave said, But not quite so expensive ones. Just looking on chain reactions, I'd get a set of Shimano RS20, Mavic 2012 Aksium WTS or Pro-Lite Merano

So around £200, leaving you £300 to get a new front and rear derailleur, a new crankset and then some carbon bits, like handlebars and seat post.

The only problem, is with it being 8 speed, not much of a choice in upgrading unless you did the whole bike to a 9/10 speed.

If you are happy with the bike as is just now. Just get wheels. Put a bit of money aside here and there and save for an Ultegra groupo or new bike Wink

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/SearchResults.aspx?Search=groupsets+-...

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posted by Gkam84 [8798 posts]
21st August 2012 - 22:20

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I'd not bother upgrading. Not that the allez isn't a good bike - it is ,but sell it and you should get at least 250/300 depending on the nick which gives you a budget of around £800 and that will buy you a big upgrade without all the labour and hunting around.

If you do go for the upgrade I'd second Dave's choice of the Braciano's as I have them on my best bike and they are great wheels.

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posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
21st August 2012 - 22:30

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Well done on completing the 160km route, from what I've read it was pretty tough.

Don't underestimate the Allez. £500 won't get you much if you're swapping bikes, and TBH a marginally lighter bike won't really make a difference except to your wallet.

Wheels and tyres are the one area you will feel a difference. Shimano RS80/Ultegra, Braccianos, Ksyrium and Fulcrum 3s are ones that spring to mind but even the relatively modest Mavic Aksiums or Shimano RS10s would be a worthwhile upgrade, but the 'engine' is where by far the most potential lies.

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posted by Simon E [1941 posts]
22nd August 2012 - 0:02

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Get some tasty finishing kit.

Also Tyres and crankset, which is underratd as an upgrade option, especially if you have a crap pedal stroke.

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
22nd August 2012 - 0:11

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Cheers everyone!
Sounds like wheels/tires is the way to go. I will do some research. What are the Hope ones like? The reason I ask is I have some on my mountain bike, and they've been great.
Thanks Simon, the Ride With Brad was ace.
It was on local roads, which I am not sure was a good or bad thing as I knew what was coming...
I am quite aware that getting the miles in, riding more hills (not that I have a choice round here), and shifting some of my own weight, will have a considerably bigger impact that 0.5lb off my bike...... but I do like nice bits of kit Wink don't we all??

posted by daleyexpress [5 posts]
22nd August 2012 - 6:49

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don't forget that most wheels you'll buy after market as an upgrade will be better than what's specced on the next new bike you buy, unless you're spending a packet. so even if you do go for a new bike down the line, you haven't thrown that money away.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7312 posts]
22nd August 2012 - 8:26

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You can get Hope Pro3s built on Mavic Open Pros for a good price on chain reaction (280 ish). That's what i'd get actually with your budget, my dad just got a pair and they're very nice. They do have a very loud 'freehub tick' if that bothers you. Ride lovely and they'll last for ages.

posted by MattT53 [126 posts]
22nd August 2012 - 10:54

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Simon E wrote:
Don't underestimate the Allez. £500 won't get you much if you're swapping bikes, and TBH a marginally lighter bike won't really make a difference except to your wallet.

I sill think selling up is the way to go - looking at this sites review of £900+ bikes you could get a cannodale CAAD 8 with full 105 for 899 which is close to what you'd have if you add the £500 to what you make from selling the Allez.
And that is a big upgrade , not just a lighter frame but more and better quality gearing and brakes, as well as a new warranty.
I admit I'm a complete hypocrite as I generally upgrade but its a slippery path to spending a fortune!

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posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
22nd August 2012 - 12:47

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I have an allez 24 2010/11 and have done some upgrades and held back on others. for the record I also have a top of the range tarmac to give a bit of balance.

1) tyres: if you have not already done so, some conti 4000s and supersonic tubes makes it a completely different beast

2) wheels, I have considered this, however have resisted, despite having two sets of wheels for the tarmac (aero and stock mavics) but have resisted so far. I am tempted to get some carbon aero clinchers from ebay (which a few friends have and are very similar to ones I have brought from a UK brand that also use Gigantex rims and novatec hubs). As Dave said, and others second; a new set of wheels will make a huge difference, but get them right (and get them light)

3) the drivetrain is the part that annoys me most, the sram red on the tarmac has me sometimes changing gear just to hear it, the allez has me sometimes struggling at the wrong cadence just to resist another change (I have the 24!) so an upgrade to shimano 105 may be an idea, merlin cycles sometimes has them cheap. if only partial is the way forward, getting rid of the awful square taper crank and putting a 105 hollow bb and crank in will strip half a kilo from the bike and also make a huge difference.

hope this helps

roadie come mountain biker come single speeder and back again

posted by cborrman [84 posts]
22nd August 2012 - 13:13

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The OP has only had his bike a few months, I think there's plenty of potential there to be explored. In the circumstances I'd hold off and upgrade to something in the £1k bracket later. He may also have a clearer idea of what he wants, which is always a good thing.

10 speed doesn't get you anywhere faster (or fitter) than 8 speed, even though the marketing folk would have you believe otherwise. I recently bought a nice secondhand Giant TCR (carbon, 105) alongside my 5 year old SCR 2 (alu, Tiagra triple) and the difference is less obvious than I had expected.

Of course if you're looking for an excuse to blow £900 on another bike then you might as well just go ahead and do it.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1941 posts]
22nd August 2012 - 13:20

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in short, an allez with decent wheels and shimano 105 is all the bike anyone really needs, and with a bit of scraping and patience you could get both on the allez for £500. However lifting a tarmac up with one finger has its appeal...

roadie come mountain biker come single speeder and back again

posted by cborrman [84 posts]
22nd August 2012 - 13:44

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cborrman wrote:
in short, an allez with decent wheels and shimano 105 is all the bike anyone really needs, and with a bit of scraping and patience you could get both on the allez for £500. However lifting a tarmac up with one finger has its appeal...

Being a similar position I can concur completely.

My father upgraded his Allez with some planet x wheels. Very light for the price. His allez rides very well. The only downside some have is with needing to replace the bearings fairly quickly but he isn't one to use his road bike in bad weather (the mtb comes out then) so he hasn't had that issue.

posted by Super Domestique [1598 posts]
23rd August 2012 - 9:06

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Thanks again everyone for some very useful insights

Basically what I am trying to understand is if the Frame and Forks of the Allez are worth sticking some money into. From what I have read here and in reviews, it is.

I have been through the whole "enough bike for anyone" with my mountain bike, which is why I ride a Specialized Pitch Pro with a few choice upgrades (wheels, bars, stem, saddle, etc), and think I will apply the same logic to the Allez.

So I am on the lookout for wheels and 105 bits.

BTW, anyone want to buy a Pitch??...

posted by daleyexpress [5 posts]
23rd August 2012 - 10:58

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upgrade it, im notknown as a specialized fan but even i will concede its a great platform to build around. from what i know it has the same geometry as the tarmac with a 0.5cm elevation on the head tube? super light wheels changea bike completely. i run vision 30's but the planet x al30 are superb! you could get them and used 105 for your budget easily

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
23rd August 2012 - 23:13

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Looks like it has all been said, but I just must add.

I've had an Allez 2010 for coming up to two years. I had 2300 for just over a year and then went with 105/ultegra and had an R500 on rear for a while as well as an aksium on the front. R500 got replaced by DT Swiss 1850.

As I got stronger I started to feel the flex in the frame, or probably more in the fork - it cracked from an indirect crash and got replaced with the new model as you get on 2012 Allez. The difference the fork made was very big and practically changed the bike - felt a lot more direct and stiffer all around. I also rode it with some Ksyriums and it just felt fantastic combined with the new fork.

I've also had a Canyon CF 2012 since June and while undoubtedly stiffer/more direct I still have a soft spot for the Allez as it is just such a good bike and fits me so well.

Bearing in mind that the 2012 frame is meant to be stiffer and more better etc, I would wholeheartedly recommend you stay with your bike! Upgrades to get would be the chainset - maybe 105 or better SRAM Force as the BB is many times better than shimano and FWIW lighter and maybe stiffer - it surely felt a lot stiffer than 4500 Tiagra - can also be had for a very similar price to 105 ~ £150 with BB from JeJames. Wheels to get would be the Braccianos as they should really transform the bike.

Main reason I went to 105 shifters from 2300 was that my thumb was starting to feel like a nerve was being pinched from the small down shift paddle always pressing on the same place. To be honest, I have not been that impressed with 10spd - it sound cool initially, but REALLY, it just means more expensive cassettes and chains.

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posted by koko56 [319 posts]
26th August 2012 - 0:14

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