Better wheels or better groupset?

by Gary81   February 8, 2013  

I'm just about to buy my first road bike and after months of deliberation have settled on the Sensa Romagna at Merlin Cycles, gets great reviews and seems awesome value for money. I have one last question though....

My budget is 700ish, Do I go for...

A. Sensa Romagna Special with compact Shimano 105 5700, FC560 Chainset & 105 BR560 Calipers and stock Supra RA Comp wheels for £725

Or

B. Sensa Romagna custom build and downgrade the groupset to full Tiagra (only triple available) but upgrade the wheels to Mavic Aksiums for £705

I'm leaning towards B but want a second opinion.

Cheers Smile

17 user comments

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I got my Aksiums for £120 new they are good but not great wheels probably only marginally better than the Supra RA . The difference between 105 and Tiagra is about £200. Personally I would go for the 105 and upgrade the wheels at a later date

posted by ratattat [40 posts]
9th February 2013 - 0:08

4 Likes

A .... 105.

Lots of good wheels out there second hand relatively cheap .... go for better grouppo .... 105 just doesn't need upgrading - superb.

Discount bikes have American Classic Sprint 350 for £375 at the moment .... save up and you have yourself a very good bike!!

posted by Bobbys boys [81 posts]
9th February 2013 - 14:38

3 Likes

105 groupset on my ribble ultralight is sublime Big Grin

posted by stepho [102 posts]
9th February 2013 - 16:24

4 Likes

I recommend A.
Tiagra is fine but the fact its a triple would put me off. I always found setting up the triple trickier and it never stayed indexed for as long and the shifts were never as crisp, I changed my triple set up for a double 105, never been happier.

posted by bike_food [123 posts]
9th February 2013 - 17:20

3 Likes

The answer you are looking for is A. The 105 groupset will last a long time if you take care of it and it incorporates much of Shimano's best tecnology. Wheels are an easy upgrade that you can take care of yourself whenever you feel like it or can afford it. Upgrading the whole groupset will take you a long time and cost more than a decent set of wheels. Get the 105 and then look out for some wheels in the 300+ bracket on a deal from somewhere. Bobby's Boys and the rest have it spot on. 105 at this price is a steal, go for it.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [329 posts]
9th February 2013 - 19:39

6 Likes

Pretty sure I'll go with 105 then. Thanks for all the feedback. Smile

posted by Gary81 [2 posts]
9th February 2013 - 20:04

5 Likes

105 seems a fine choice

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1205 posts]
15th February 2013 - 13:16

3 Likes

Canyon Roadlite AL6.0 £869, FULL 105 black + Aksiums + better finishing kit + 1kg lighter. Big Grin

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
15th February 2013 - 13:39

6 Likes

My view is A too. If you go for A, upgrading the wheelset later is easy; if you go for B, upgrading from Tiagra to 105 later would be much more involved.

posted by Sadly Biggins [266 posts]
15th February 2013 - 14:40

4 Likes

SammyG wrote:
Canyon Roadlite AL6.0 £869, FULL 105 black + Aksiums + better finishing kit + 1kg lighter. Big Grin

+1 Big Grin

colhum1's picture

posted by colhum1 [98 posts]
15th February 2013 - 15:13

4 Likes

Although I understand the POV of specing a better groupset initially then upgrading the wheelset, it seems to me the advice here was a bit suspect - 'just blow the budget now or spend more in the future'. This option may not be open to him! We all know that lighter wheels will make you go faster than a lighter groupset.

Anyway looks like its a done deal now from the OP's reply, but it would be interesting to see how he's getting on with the new bike and let's hope those heavy wheels aren't slowing him down too much.

posted by 700c [587 posts]
18th February 2013 - 16:58

1 Like

700c wrote:
We all know that lighter wheels will make you go faster than a lighter groupset.

We may all 'know' that lighter wheels will help you go faster, but the effect is massively overstated on most cycling websites. I dare say the OP won't be held up at all!

posted by Chris James [215 posts]
19th February 2013 - 11:15

4 Likes

Chris James wrote:
700c wrote:
We all know that lighter wheels will make you go faster than a lighter groupset.

We may all 'know' that lighter wheels will help you go faster, but the effect is massively overstated on most cycling websites. I dare say the OP won't be held up at all!

@Chris James - then why even bother with the extra expense to upgrade the wheels later? Which is what many are suggesting here! Assuming a limited budget, you prioritise the wheels if you wanna go quicker. Simples!

posted by 700c [587 posts]
20th February 2013 - 19:55

2 Likes

700c wrote:
Assuming a limited budget, you prioritise the wheels if you wanna go quicker. Simples!

Sorry, Chris James is right. Prioritise training if you want to go quicker.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2062 posts]
20th February 2013 - 20:19

4 Likes

Simon E wrote:
700c wrote:
Assuming a limited budget, you prioritise the wheels if you wanna go quicker. Simples!

Sorry, Chris James is right. Prioritise training if you want to go quicker.

Lowly Worm has hit that nail squarely on the head. Well said, Sir!

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [329 posts]
20th February 2013 - 22:12

2 Likes

Training? No one's disputing the benefits of that, the post was about which component to spend money on? Thinking

posted by 700c [587 posts]
20th February 2013 - 22:20

4 Likes

The most crucial factor of cycling performance is training. If you dont join a good cycling training program, you can never become a successful cyclist. You can find many useful resources like books and magazines on effective cycling training online as well as offline. Most of these resources can be helpful, depending on your goals and experience.
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posted by paul2 (not verified) [132 posts]
1st July 2013 - 2:33

3 Likes