The usual way to upgrade your existing bike is to fit better wheels and components to the frame. Handsling's Pete Christensen went for another option.
Aware of the groupset shortages and keen to save cash, he ditched his old gravel frame and fitted the parts to a brand new Handsling CEXevo carbon frame.
The result is a lighter and more responsive bike that rides like a dream on the lumpy roads and off-road trails of his daily commute. The best bit - he got an upgrade in a couple of days and saved a chunk of cash.
Old Stead Struggles
Pete bought his Vitus Substance back in 2018. The steel frame came with carbon forks, SRAM Apex 1x groupset and 650B WTB Frequency i23 alloy wheels with Pirelli Cinturato 45mm tyres.
The bike was tough as nails, but weighed more than 12kg. He's a strong rider, but was finding the bike slow and sluggish, especially on hills. It was time for a change.
Pete bought a size 56 CEXevo carbon frame in Blueberry weighing 1.5kg.
Although not a trained technician, he completed the build himself over two days, stripping down the Vitus and transferring the parts over to the Handsling.
His only purchases were an HSCER ceramic bottom bracket, a new chain and bar tape. The 650B wheels worked well proportionally.
Fully built and on the scales, the bike weighed in at just over 9.5kg. The frame costs £1,499.99, which worked out cheaper than a new SRAM groupset and a wheelset.
New Bike Day
In Pete's words: "The first time turning the pedals it just felt so much faster. It was completely different on the hills, way more nimble and easier to get up to speed. I didn't need the bottom couple of gears for sections I used to struggle on."
The ongoing parts shortage facing the industry is forcing us to re-think how we improve our bikes. Pete has shown that a change of frameset is a fast and cost effective route to a big upgrade.