Have questions or want to discuss cycling? Join Now or Sign In to participate in the BikeRide community.

New: Take part in the May Giveaway for DERUIZ LAVA e-bike worth $1699


Specialized Allez E5: upgrades recommendation?
#1
Hi, so a fellow redditor brought me here.

I own a Specialized Allez E5 2018 model. Entry-level. Shimano Claris. Rim brakes. Nothing exceptional, but it gets the job done for my first century ride (see pic for specs).

I want to upgrade my bike, but I have no idea what I should start first. Your help and replies are much appreciated! Thanks.

P/S: A redditor thought it'd be good for me to precise my goals. Riding 3x per week is the minimum. Where I am is a combination of both flats and hills and it's always sunny and windy here. I mostly ride alone and I normally do 60+ km per ride. I don't do gravel.

[Image: Capture-d-cran-2021-06-01-14-52-21.jpg]
  Reply
#2
Shimano Sora is the cheapest upgrade from the Claris set. It can get you into 9 speed too, which is sure to give the bike a new feel. The levers will typically run you like $100—and the mechs will run about $50 & $20. Sora cranksets run about $100 right now too. Many cheap NOS Ultegra 9 speed cassettes out there for like $50 these days.

Nothing says new bike like a set of new tires too. Continental Ultra Sport III for good and cheap. Gatorskin to get you into the Black Chili technology (plus they are renowned for their toughness). Pirelli P Zero Velo if you want to try something exotic and fancy.

Just those two things, and some new handlebar tap, should give you the feel you're looking for.
  Reply
#3
(06-01-2021, 06:16 PM)ReapThaWhirlwind Wrote:  Shimano Sora is the cheapest upgrade from the Claris set. It can get you into 9 speed too, which is sure to give the bike a new feel. The levers will typically run you like $100—and the mechs will run about $50 & $20. Sora cranksets run about $100 right now too. Many cheap NOS Ultegra 9 speed cassettes out there for like $50 these days.

Nothing says new bike like a set of new tires too. Continental Ultra Sport III for good and cheap. Gatorskin to get you into the Black Chili technology (plus they are renowned for their toughness). Pirelli P Zero Velo if you want to try something exotic and fancy.

Just those two things, and some new handlebar tap, should give you the feel you're looking for.

Thank you kind sir for your reply. I use big gear for training most of the time. So a quick, stupid question: will upgrading from 8 speed to 9 speed make a huge difference? Thanks!
  Reply
#4
(06-02-2021, 02:02 AM)mhwsz Wrote:  
(06-01-2021, 06:16 PM)ReapThaWhirlwind Wrote:  Shimano Sora is the cheapest upgrade from the Claris set. It can get you into 9 speed too, which is sure to give the bike a new feel. The levers will typically run you like $100—and the mechs will run about $50 & $20. Sora cranksets run about $100 right now too. Many cheap NOS Ultegra 9 speed cassettes out there for like $50 these days.

Nothing says new bike like a set of new tires too. Continental Ultra Sport III for good and cheap. Gatorskin to get you into the Black Chili technology (plus they are renowned for their toughness). Pirelli P Zero Velo if you want to try something exotic and fancy.

Just those two things, and some new handlebar tap, should give you the feel you're looking for.

Thank you kind sir for your reply. I use big gear for training most of the time. So a quick, stupid question: will upgrading from 8 speed to 9 speed make a huge difference? Thanks!

Actually, yes―it can make a big difference if you get a road cassette running like 11-21 or 11-23.

You will get 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23; providing 5 working gears (intermediate gears).

Or you will get 11-12-13-14-15-16-17-19-21; providing 6 working gears!

Compared to 8 speed, where you only get like two, that's a big jump.
  Reply
#5
(06-01-2021, 03:19 AM)mhwsz Wrote:  Hi, so a fellow redditor brought me here.

I own a Specialized Allez E5 2018 model. Entry-level. Shimano Claris. Rim brakes. Nothing exceptional, but it gets the job done for my first century ride (see pic for specs).

I want to upgrade my bike, but I have no idea what I should start first. Your help and replies are much appreciated! Thanks.

P/S: A redditor thought it'd be good for me to precise my goals. Riding 3x per week is the minimum. Where I am is a combination of both flats and hills and it's always sunny and windy here. I mostly ride alone and I normally do 60+ km per ride. I don't do gravel.

[Image: Capture-d-cran-2021-06-01-14-52-21.jpg]
You certainly can change anything you want in any order to upgrade the bike. I would concentrate on areas that you do not find meeting your needs (comfort, fit, braking, shifting, handling). Your upgrade may only require one new (or used) component, or might involve a combination of parts. Comfort is usually changed primarily by installing a different saddle if the bike already fits you well and is set-up for your riding style; tires and/or tire pressure, and cushion bar tape are other variables. If fit seems slightly awry, you may need a different bar(width, drop/rise), bar stem (length, angle), and/or cranks (length). Shifting is primarily improved with a better rear derailleur. Braking performance can quite often be improved just by replacing the pads with better ones (usually larger rim contact area and better pad material formulation). Handling can be affected by your bars/stem, and/or tires (and pressure). Having only a 50T large chainring may affect you during descents, I run a 52-55T large ring (52-53 on hills primarily [e.g. New England], 54-55T on flats with minor hills [e.g. Florida]). Going from 8 to 9 speed doesn't help much unless you are going with a size change to the largest and/or smallest cogs. I ride 5 to 10 speed rear clusters and the biggest performance factor is having the correct gearing for your riding conditions and your ability. Most improvements by installing higher level components is through a small loss of weight and not really by any great degree improved function. This is common for Shimano, SRAM, and Campy. I am not saying the parts are the same, but the most difference in performance is found by jumping at least 2 steps higher in a particular manufacturer's product hierarchy. It is all about personal preference (aside from budget) that will determine your needs.
Good luck!
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#6
(06-03-2021, 01:33 AM)Jesper Wrote:  You certainly can change anything you want in any order to upgrade the bike. I would concentrate on areas that you do not find meeting your needs (comfort, fit, braking, shifting, handling). Your upgrade may only require one new (or used) component, or might involve a combination of parts. Comfort is usually changed primarily by installing a different saddle if the bike already fits you well and is set-up for your riding style; tires and/or tire pressure, and cushion bar tape are other variables. If fit seems slightly awry, you may need a different bar(width, drop/rise), bar stem (length, angle), and/or cranks (length). Shifting is primarily improved with a better rear derailleur. Braking performance can quite often be improved just by replacing the pads with better ones (usually larger rim contact area and better pad material formulation). Handling can be affected by your bars/stem, and/or tires (and pressure). Having only a 50T large chainring may affect you during descents, I run a 52-55T large ring (52-53 on hills primarily [e.g. New England], 54-55T on flats with minor hills [e.g. Florida]). Going from 8 to 9 speed doesn't help much unless you are going with a size change to the largest and/or smallest cogs. I ride 5 to 10 speed rear clusters and the biggest performance factor is having the correct gearing for your riding conditions and your ability. Most improvements by installing higher level components is through a small loss of weight and not really by any great degree improved function. This is common for Shimano, SRAM, and Campy. I am not saying the parts are the same, but the most difference in performance is found by jumping at least 2 steps higher in a particular manufacturer's product hierarchy. It is all about personal preference (aside from budget) that will determine your needs.
Good luck!

Thanks, mate. I think I'll definitely focus on comfort (tires) and shifting. Stay safe!
  Reply


Possibly Related Threads...

Forum Jump:

[-]
10 Latest Posts
E-Bike
Today 01:49 PM
How many kilometers do you get from bike...
Today 02:16 AM
Bobbing seems to make my bike go faster
Yesterday 09:26 PM
What are your thoughts on E-bikes?
Yesterday 08:01 PM
Help with finding a small frame ebike
Yesterday 07:48 PM
New Member
Yesterday 05:35 PM
Help with a wheel please !
Yesterday 12:06 PM
HELP ID My Vintage Sears Roebuck Bicycle...
05-14-2022 11:26 PM
Entry level triathlon bike recs?
05-13-2022 04:06 PM
Hubless fatbike
05-13-2022 01:04 PM

[-]
Join BikeRide on Strava
Feel free to join if you are on Strava: www.strava.com/clubs/bikeridecom

[-]
Top 5 Posters This Month
no avatar 1. Jesper
25 posts
no avatar 2. ReapThaWhirlwind
23 posts
no avatar 3. tran thanh
18 posts
no avatar 4. ichitan
6 posts
no avatar 5. Criminal
5 posts