Making a Specialized Allez Sprint into a climber

I’m not a very good climber, but keen to improve. I’m currently riding a specialized allez sprint comp, which while a good bike wasn’t purchased for it’s climbing chops. In fact, I live quite near several 20+ minute fairly steep climbs (pitches exceeding 10% for at least a mile or 2).

I’m running stock everything on it except wheels, there I picked up a set of used deep carbon mavics, great but also not the lightest. Correct that, it’s pretty darn heavy. by my unscientific stepping on the scale with and without it test, it’s north of 20 lbs with the saddlebag, varia radar, and cages. (without bottles).

Weight aside, I have a specialized crux cross bike that even with gravel tires feels more nimble/surefooted going up. Here’s my question: on a limited budget what are some things I can do to either reduce weight or just improve ride feel on the steeps? In no order of importance, here are some things I’ve been thinking about trying.

  1. new chainrings, just switching to ultegra could save 200-300 grams, and I could simultaneously go compact, so that I’m not grinding at <70 rpms on the climbs anymore.
  2. Easy gains, get rid of the heavy saddlebag (I probably don’t need 3 co2s, tubes, and patches, and I bet I could find an emergency kit that is less than 1/2 the weight).
  3. nuclear option: try to find a used/few years old etap groupset on ebay. I would save a lot of weight, but it would be $$ and I actually really like the 105’s performance. Plus, while I’ve taught myself a lot about bike maintenence, installing a new groupset seems daunting.

The other option is just to accept that this will never climb like, for example, that supersix evo I test rode and just save pennies for an N+1 a year or two down the road. Now that thing felt good pointed uphill!

Are there any other things you all have done that have made your bikes feel more “climby”?

The things you’re looking at won’t make much of a difference TBH. I’d suggest two options:

  1. Look into a set of second hand lightweight wheels. If you can get a hold of a set of Shimano Dura Ace C24 they will transform it.

  2. Get a set of fast road tyres for your Crux and use that on the hilly routes.

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+1 for the idea of grabbing some road tires for the crux. Other than being a 1x, that frame feels money going up. And discs help coming down. Hadn’t thought of that.

I had a rim brake sprint allez a couple years back and had no issues riding it in the mountains. Sounds like a compact crank with a good cassette would be a good thing to have on the bike. Yeah a few lbs make some difference while climbing but its not like going from what you have to an S-works SL6 will save you 10 minutes.

Also saddle bag, you don’t need 3 Co2s for sure, that will save a touch of weight. eTap probably the last thing to change since you make it seem like money is an issue, plus I also don’t think it was that great…

Good tires, latex tubes, compact crank, take a bit out of the bag and that will help for sure.

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Sram red crank, sram force brakes, s works aluiminum stem, and carbon bars will shed a ton of weight off that set up.

I did the same

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haha now I’m tempted to go shopping again. oops

I have a rim brake Allez Sprint, it’s ~7.3kg IIRC (~16lbs) w/bottle cages. Full DA w/Rotor cranks. Roval wheels.

If you’re at 20lbs, you’re doing it wrong :smile: Ditch the saddle bag or at least some of it’s contents. I only carry 1 CO2 and 1 tube. DA or Ultegra might save you some more weight but is it worth the cost. No shame in going compact if that is what is needed. You will be more comfortable and probably faster from not grinding. I’m riding 52/36 w/11-28 here. I know plenty of guys running 50/34 w/11-30 or bigger.

I live in Taiwan. It’s 85% mountains. I have multiple 1hr climbs 5min from my front door. The difference between my Allez Sprint and SWorks Tarmac SL5 is negligible.

Recently, I have been thinking about SRAM AXS on the Allez Sprint. Not sure how much weight that would save. Hell, it might add weight :smile: The attraction, aside from wireless, is the X-Range gearing. 48-35 w/10-28 or 46-33 w/10-33 are both quite appealing with all the climbing here.

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  1. 3 co2 cannisters? GTFO with that third one. That’s what the bailout call is for.
    2 tubes, 2 cannisters
  2. patches are for people without phones.
  3. ETAP - not worth the money (says the guy who’d still be on 9spd if I hadn’t broken a shifter because of cheap)
  4. Lose 2kg from the motor, for less money. Go uphill faster.
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1 lb = 2 watts up a 7% grade, IME.

Bang for the buck? Not much.

If you just ride your Allez Sprint up a hill, it is now a climbing bike :wink:

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Thanks for the responses. Well if anything, this thread has made me feel better about not buying anything and getting rid of one of my apparently ridiculous 3 co2s :slight_smile: although a sram red crankset would still be pretty bling.

I think a lot of the weight must be coming from that overly packed saddlebag, and point taken that the weight is negligible anyway. I think the most helpful thing to do is just get a smaller chainring and ditch the grinding. If there’s one thing that a lot of erg work and indoor training can leave me weak in since I don’t make an effort it’s grinding at 60 rpm for 30 minutes at threshold…

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Go tubeless! Then you could have 2x Co2, plugs and nothing more in your saddlebags or even better, your back pocket :grinning:

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Take a look at some of the hill climb mods people make.

  • stripping saddles
  • chopping drop bars
  • drillium

I have an Allez Sprint, and it is a lovely climbing bike, stiff and direct.
As mentioned above, you only really save about 5w every 1kg you drop, so when you are climbing, its probably at a level you won’t notice (other than a handleful of seconds at he top of the climb).

Things that will improve the feel of climbing:
Lighter wheels - improved feeling of acceleration, so feels a little less sluggish when you are getting out the saddle and kicking up those pitches.

If your saddle bag isn’t really secure, it can swing about and make the climbing experience worse.

If you are regularly on +10%, then having compact rings make sense.
Using the various calculators available online:
At 10%, with a combined rider and bike weight of 90kg, you need to be pushing around 280w to maintain a speed of 10.5kmph. That would be grinding at 60rpm in a 39/28, and around 69rpm in 34/28.
A 32 cassette at the back will let you go the same speed around 79rpm, which is a more comfortable in the saddle spin.

Also practice riding out the saddle. I’m quite comfortable grinding out 60rpm for 10m+ to keep my watts in check, but some people find it hard to be out the saddle longer than 30s. Up steep pitches, to stay in the saddle without blowing your legs, you’ll need a lower gear ratio.

I’ve owned both a Supersix and Allez sprint, both with Sram Red, and although the supersix was a little more comfortable, I prefer the Allez in almost all areas/uses.

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It’s threads like this that make me want to just say F it and blow money to make my Allez a super bike but then I take a deep breath and realize my partner would strangle me in my sleep. So that may be several years away.

But like people have said, 3 CO2s might be overkill. I have a small pump that mounts to the side of my bottle cage that I like. Not sure of the weight but I can’t imagine it’s much more than 3 cartridges and the inflator. Also, unless you’re doing 100+ miles in the middle of nowhere on gravel roads then 3 tubes is probably like 2 too many.

Climb more and see if you can drop some fat. Those two rhings will make your bike more climby.

Shh, it’s easier to spend money than do the work :slight_smile:

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Thats true.

Which is why my Allez Sprint has Full Sram red eTap with 11-28 duraace Ti cassette, carbon Deda Superzero 38cm bars, Speedplay Titaniums, Reynold assault clinchers with latex tubes and Continental GP Force/attack tyres. sub 6.8kg in size 49.

My goto storage is a Lezyne Road Caddy saddle bag, with an inner tube, a couple of patches, CO2 inflator and some compact tyre levers.

My thoughts were, if my bike is already as light as it will realistically go, then I’ve only got myself to blame!

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I’m with you. There’s nothing more tempting than just turning my baby Allez into a superbike. Why do you think I’ve started this thread? :roll_eyes: but, convincing the SO that $2000 was so cheap for a new bike that I can afford $3k more parts for it is probably a losing battle…

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I just don’t tell my SO. Stuff just “appears.” It’s gotten to the point where she says…“what’s that?” me:…“stuff.”

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