General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please Rss Feed  
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2013-11-20 3:55 PM

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Oakville
Silver member
Subject: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please

I had considerable improvements on my bike performance this past racing season and, with Black Friday approaching, I was wondering if any more gains are possible (aero or otherwise) through equipment upgrades.

I have a fairly loose budget of around $500, but could be convinced to increase it if the benefits make sense.

Here’s my current setup:

  • 2012 Felt B16 which is stock other than the upgrades below
  • FLO 60/90 wheels with Wheelbuilder rear cover
  • Profile Design “Aerodrink” bottle
  • Conti GP4000S tires with latex tubes
  • Adamo Road seat
  • Giro Advantage 2 helmet
  • stock cassette (11-25) with an alternate 11-28 from my Trek 2.1
  • stock FSA Omega Compact MegaExo 52/36T

I don’t think there are any “cheap” aero gains left for me, but let me know what you think.

I will be competing in mostly Sprint distance races next year with a few Olympics. The elevation in southern Ontario is typically fairly flat with a few courses described as “rolling hills”.

The elevation profile of the hilliest course is - http://www.mapmyride.com/ca/bracebridge-ontario/bracebridge-olympic-bike-course-route-199905672

One option is to get a power meter, but all of my training in the Winter will be on TrainerRoad and once the weather warms up in late Spring only my long ride on the weekend would be outdoors. I would definitely look into power if I start doing long course races, but don’t think it would add much for me in the Sprint and Olympic distances.

My last bike fitting was in March and I intend to have another fit done after a session of the Jorge Winter plan.

Any recommendations?



2013-11-20 4:05 PM
in reply to: Scott71

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Elite
6806
50001000500100100100
PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please

Yeah, sounds like you have most of the savings covered.  Are your cables tidy and out of the wind?  Single bottle behind the saddle vs one on the down/seat tube?

2013-11-20 4:17 PM
in reply to: Scott71

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Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please

Torhans VR bottle and mount, Felt version, use as a flat kit.  For sprint/Oly the profile design is all you need. 

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=266888&posts=11

2013-11-20 10:24 PM
in reply to: ChrisM

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470
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Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please
Originally posted by ChrisM

Torhans VR bottle and mount, Felt version, use as a flat kit.  For sprint/Oly the profile design is all you need. 

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=266888&posts=11




That's exactly what I'm looking for! I have a 2012 Felt B16 too but I've been using a horrible front strap bento box "thing". It's pretty bad since I have to strap it to the cables since I can't butt it against the frame due to the wiring going into the frame there. Are you able to fit all your junk in there like keys, phone, and flat kit?

As for the topic at hand...I don't know what to tell you for sure. I will say that getting a new crank doesn't add much. I installed an Ultegra crank for 100 miles and it shifted slightly better but nothing worth upgrading for. If you need a new crank, sure upgrade but otherwise I'd keep the FSA. I planned on getting a Stages power meter but it won't work with B16's due to the back brake. I just got my power meter 2 weeks ago (power2max crank system) and I think it will help me. It *should* help you with all distances since you can build workouts for zones instead of HR. I have two more optional tests to do and then I'm going to plan my workouts from there and retest every month and adjust zones as needed.
2013-11-21 4:54 AM
in reply to: 0

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Member
1214
1000100100
Pearland,Tx
Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please
If your willing to add a little bit more to your budget
Powertap Hub
+$300

-Hills Cheater!!!, Shortcut to Easy Century Cycling, no more guessing of your Zone 2

Edited by strykergt 2013-11-21 4:55 AM
2013-11-21 8:49 AM
in reply to: Blastman

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Oakville
Silver member
Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please

Originally posted by Blastman
Originally posted by ChrisM

Torhans VR bottle and mount, Felt version, use as a flat kit.  For sprint/Oly the profile design is all you need. 

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=266888&posts=11

That's exactly what I'm looking for! I have a 2012 Felt B16 too but I've been using a horrible front strap bento box "thing". It's pretty bad since I have to strap it to the cables since I can't butt it against the frame due to the wiring going into the frame there. Are you able to fit all your junk in there like keys, phone, and flat kit? As for the topic at hand...I don't know what to tell you for sure. I will say that getting a new crank doesn't add much. I installed an Ultegra crank for 100 miles and it shifted slightly better but nothing worth upgrading for. If you need a new crank, sure upgrade but otherwise I'd keep the FSA. I planned on getting a Stages power meter but it won't work with B16's due to the back brake. I just got my power meter 2 weeks ago (power2max crank system) and I think it will help me. It *should* help you with all distances since you can build workouts for zones instead of HR. I have two more optional tests to do and then I'm going to plan my workouts from there and retest every month and adjust zones as needed.

Yeah, the VR bottle will definitely be on my list as well!  The thread above refers to a cover for tool kit, etc. but I can't seem to find it online.

I had always assumed that the Stages powermeter was an option.  If you have to substitute a lower profile back brake then its not really a viable option.

 



2013-11-21 10:00 AM
in reply to: Scott71


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Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please
I have a 2013 B16 and am looking to make some upgrades. Is a new base bar worth it or at least one that is mid-range in price and not the $1,000 versions?
2013-11-21 10:09 AM
in reply to: Blastman

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Veteran
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Maine
Gold member
Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please
Originally posted by Blastman

Originally posted by ChrisM

Torhans VR bottle and mount, Felt version, use as a flat kit.  For sprint/Oly the profile design is all you need. 

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=266888&posts=11




That's exactly what I'm looking for! I have a 2012 Felt B16 too but I've been using a horrible front strap bento box "thing". It's pretty bad since I have to strap it to the cables since I can't butt it against the frame due to the wiring going into the frame there. Are you able to fit all your junk in there like keys, phone, and flat kit?

As for the topic at hand...I don't know what to tell you for sure. I will say that getting a new crank doesn't add much. I installed an Ultegra crank for 100 miles and it shifted slightly better but nothing worth upgrading for. If you need a new crank, sure upgrade but otherwise I'd keep the FSA. I planned on getting a Stages power meter but it won't work with B16's due to the back brake. I just got my power meter 2 weeks ago (power2max crank system) and I think it will help me. It *should* help you with all distances since you can build workouts for zones instead of HR. I have two more optional tests to do and then I'm going to plan my workouts from there and retest every month and adjust zones as needed.


I've been looking at a power meter as well for my B16.(2013) How do you like the power2max? I'm on the fence between the FSA and Rotor3D.
2013-11-21 10:46 AM
in reply to: Scott71

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Master
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Guilford, CT
Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please
You don't really "need" anything else for the bike. You are 99% of where you going to probably be assuming your body position is good.

I'd vote powermeter....or just a quick look at results and the fact you are focused on short course...as much as it pains me to say since I never swim and heavily favor the bike, I'd save it for some swim instruction. On short course and oly it looks like it is costing you much more than adding a little something to your bike is going to save...other than a nice 10% boost in FTP.
2013-11-21 10:48 AM
in reply to: 0

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Champion
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Knoxville area
Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please
lets see a picture of your ride.

- Cable routing and base bar choices (I don't think the B16 came with the Bayonet but not sure) are both low hanging fruit.

- Front brake

- brake levers

- Helmet upgrade

- Suit upgrade possibly

Edited by Leegoocrap 2013-11-21 10:50 AM
2013-11-21 11:01 AM
in reply to: Leegoocrap

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Master
1927
100050010010010010025
Guilford, CT
Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please
Originally posted by Leegoocrap

lets see a picture of your ride.

- Cable routing and base bar choices (I don't think the B16 came with the Bayonet but not sure) are both low hanging fruit.

- Front brake

- brake levers

- Helmet upgrade

- Suit upgrade possibly


I like that. Helmet and Suit could be good.

I was checking out the Castelli Bodypaint at one point and similar stuff. That could be big depending on what you currently race with.


2013-11-21 11:26 AM
in reply to: Blastman

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Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please
Originally posted by Blastman
Originally posted by ChrisM

Torhans VR bottle and mount, Felt version, use as a flat kit.  For sprint/Oly the profile design is all you need. 

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=266888&posts=11

That's exactly what I'm looking for! I have a 2012 Felt B16 too but I've been using a horrible front strap bento box "thing". It's pretty bad since I have to strap it to the cables since I can't butt it against the frame due to the wiring going into the frame there. Are you able to fit all your junk in there like keys, phone, and flat kit?As for the topic at hand...I don't know what to tell you for sure. I will say that getting a new crank doesn't add much. I installed an Ultegra crank for 100 miles and it shifted slightly better but nothing worth upgrading for. If you need a new crank, sure upgrade but otherwise I'd keep the FSA. I planned on getting a Stages power meter but it won't work with B16's due to the back brake. I just got my power meter 2 weeks ago (power2max crank system) and I think it will help me. It *should* help you with all distances since you can build workouts for zones instead of HR. I have two more optional tests to do and then I'm going to plan my workouts from there and retest every month and adjust zones as needed.
I just tape a tube levers and a c02 and put it in there so it doesn't rattle. I put phone etc in jersey pocket (read a story of a crash once where the rider was separated from the bike and couldn't move to get to the phone to call for help, since the. I keep it on my person) but those would fit in the VR as well
2013-11-21 12:01 PM
in reply to: ChrisM

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Expert
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20001000252525
Boise, ID
Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please

Originally posted by ChrisM
Originally posted by Blastman
Originally posted by ChrisM

Torhans VR bottle and mount, Felt version, use as a flat kit.  For sprint/Oly the profile design is all you need. 

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=266888&posts=11

That's exactly what I'm looking for! I have a 2012 Felt B16 too but I've been using a horrible front strap bento box "thing". It's pretty bad since I have to strap it to the cables since I can't butt it against the frame due to the wiring going into the frame there. Are you able to fit all your junk in there like keys, phone, and flat kit?As for the topic at hand...I don't know what to tell you for sure. I will say that getting a new crank doesn't add much. I installed an Ultegra crank for 100 miles and it shifted slightly better but nothing worth upgrading for. If you need a new crank, sure upgrade but otherwise I'd keep the FSA. I planned on getting a Stages power meter but it won't work with B16's due to the back brake. I just got my power meter 2 weeks ago (power2max crank system) and I think it will help me. It *should* help you with all distances since you can build workouts for zones instead of HR. I have two more optional tests to do and then I'm going to plan my workouts from there and retest every month and adjust zones as needed.
I just tape a tube levers and a c02 and put it in there so it doesn't rattle. I put phone etc in jersey pocket (read a story of a crash once where the rider was separated from the bike and couldn't move to get to the phone to call for help, since the. I keep it on my person) but those would fit in the VR as well

I keep my phone in my jersey as well. But make sure to put it in a plastic bag! I put my original iPhone in my back pocket and killed the screen with sweat. Ziploc bag from now on for me.

2013-11-21 1:02 PM
in reply to: Scott71

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Veteran
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Mission Viejo,
Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please
If you're comfortable in the aero position (even if not that comfortable in a sprint distance), maybe it's time to get a bit more aggressive in the setup. That can be very cost effective, as in zero. One spacer made a huge difference for me and did not hurt the comfort factor.
2013-11-21 1:22 PM
in reply to: Scott71

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Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please
OK, I’m gonna’ need some advice, as well.

Bear with me as I am new to this scene as I picked up triathlons in 2011 to celebrate my 50th birthday. So in order to do triathlons, I had to learn how to road bike which meant buying and riding my first bike in Gawd-only-knows-how-many-years. So, in order to learn how to road bike - in Boston rush hour traffic - I bought a Specialized Allez (or is it Allez Specialized?....duh) as it appeared that would be a good generic road bike to start with as a premium road bike would not be appreciated by a weenie like me……or is that a “Fred” rather than “weenie”? But, I’m coming along with the sport and no longer grind gears and throw chains! So, what could I do to upgrade the bicycle? Could I get aero bars for it in order to look cool, plus I hear that it’s more comfortable – sorta’ – when going greater distances? If you get aero bars, then you can also lean over to drink out of some sorta’ container that fits in between them (what’s that called?) so you can sip wine while riding. Are there any other gizmos and crap I could get that would help me in my proposed first HIM (that’s Half-IronMan – hey, I’m learning the special lingo, now!) next summer other than keep working out at near puking and stroke-inducing levels? I got a CO2 cartridge and bike computer (Cat Eyes or something like that) mounted on it which keeps me distracted as well as entertained.

Sorry if I’m being too ignorant of the scene, but I am learning as well as having a lotta' fun thus far.
2013-11-21 6:45 PM
in reply to: cdkayak

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Subject: RE: Off-season bike upgrades - recommendations please
Originally posted by cdkayak
I've been looking at a power meter as well for my B16.(2013) How do you like the power2max? I'm on the fence between the FSA and Rotor3D.


So far I like it but had it less than 2 months. Battery is supposed to last 400 hours and it's easy to change (have to install the one it comes with). I had the same issue with trying to decide FSA or Rotor3D. I ended up being a weight wennie and paying the extra money for a 100ish less grams and supposedly stiffer crank. I jumped on it since I didn't know for sure if they were going to to raise or lower their prices with their new model coming out in February. New model is more expensive but sounds like they are keeping older (current models), at least temporary. They did drop all their current prices last month so I wonder if they are still to sell their stock.


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