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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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”?