We can’t all have a Pro Bike. What are the peons in the lowest amateur ranks riding?
Peon Pro races and trains on a 2004 Specialized Allez Elite, a bike he received two and a half years ago on his company’s cycle to work scheme (via an Ebay auction). He also rides a singlespeed Langster when commuting to work and for training during the winter.
The Specialized 54cm frame is made of A1 Premium “Aluminum” and provides a stiff yet compliant ride, suited to Peon’s limited power and unknown sprint ability. An experienced cyclist may find the frame limiting, but Peon is unable to afford a new one so tells himself, at an ever increasing frequency, that he doesn’t really need a carbon frame.
The drivetrain consists of the original 9-speed Shimano 105 groupset that came with the bike, upgraded to a KMC 9-speed chain and Ultegra 12-25 cassette. The chainrings are standard 39 and 53 options, with worn teeth as you would expect from such an old bike. Peon “powers” the cranks with a set of Look Delta pedals. These came with the bike and he never got around to changing them or trying anything else.
Up front, Peon has a 110mm FSA OS-190 LX stem (seemed like a good idea at the time) and recently upgraded to some 42cm FSA Omega Compact handlebars which he loves. With his previous bars (used for almost 2.5 years) he was unable to comfortably:
- be in the drops
- change gear or brake when not on the hoods
The new bars have completely changed this, which means he can now descend slightly faster than a very slow snail. The stem is adorned with the ubiquitous Garmin Edge 500 mount.
Peon has come to the conclusion that his arse doesn’t really care what kind of saddle he uses, so he recently purchased a Fizik Arione on Ebay because it was cheap and the colour scheme matched the rest of the bike. He hasn’t raced on it or ridden it further than around the block yet, but is hopeful that it will be comfortable in the long term. If it isn’t, at least it looks good.
Concave, almost non-existent braking surfaces on the original ALX330 wheels forced an upgrade recently and Peon stretched to a pair of Ultegra RS80 C24 wheels. At 1521g these are “crazy light” compared to what he was used to. The wheels are shod with GP4000s which he happily rides everywhere and they’re stopped by Swissstop Green brake pads.
At 9kg, the bike isn’t one of the lightest bikes out there, nor is it very close to the UCI minimum weight limit, but it gets him by and Peon figures it’s probably cheaper and more worthwhile to lose a couple of kilograms from his belly than couple of grand from his bank account.
Atop this bike Peon was dropped on lap 4 of 13 in his first race and sprinted to a very unexpected victory in his second. More information and details are available in the gallery below.