Forte Pro Lite

forte pro
Forte Pro Lite

A Forte Pro Lite weighs only 189g, saving up to 141 grams over an OEM wire bead tire, or 282g worth of rotating mass for a pair. The Forte Pro+ is significantly heavier and less supple. 23mm wide, and with a 120 TPI casing, these have the almost paper-thin supple sidewalls you would expect from a high quality high TPI racing tire and come in lighter than the advertised 205g. I’m not sure they have any flat protection though. At $19 each, and saving 7.4g per dollar, it represents a exceptional value, moderate cost upgrade. They can be purchased from Performance Bike.

wire bead
Wire bead 23mm

Overview:

Price: $19 [Moderate Cost]

Value: 7.4g/$ ($0.13/g) [Exceptional Value]

✔ Recommended with caveats

They seem to be on clearance, being replaced by the new Forte LCR tire. They may also not have any flat protection.

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Rubino Pro Slick 25mm

rubino pro slick 25
Rubino Pro Slick 25mm

A Rubino Pro Slick 25mm weighs only 239g, saving up to 91 grams over an OEM wire bead tire, or 182g worth of rotating mass for a pair. Vittoria advertises them optimistically at 225g. These are the Pro Slick version, the non-pro version not only has a heavy wire bead, but also a lower TPI casing. Although advertised as a 150 TPI tire, the sidewalls feel thicker than you would expect, although they are still very soft. It may have to do with the way they apply rubber. They make a good all-round tire. The 25mm version is not as wide as expected, and does not seem to be a full 2mm wider than the 23mm version. At $20 each, and saving 4.6g per dollar, it represents a excellent value, moderate cost upgrade. They can be purchased from one of the various UK based webshops.

wire bead
Wire bead 23mm

Overview:

Price: $20 [Moderate Cost]

Value: 4.6g/$ ($0.22/g) [Excellent Value]

✔ Recommended with caveats

Heavier than advertised, and not as supple as the TPI would imply. Not a full size wider than the 23mm version. Still a good all-round economical tire.

Rubino Pro Slick 23mm

rubino pro slick 23
Rubino Pro Slick 23mm

A Rubino Pro Slick 23mm weighs only 225g, saving up to 105 grams over an OEM wire bead tire, or 210g worth of rotating mass for a pair. Vittoria advertises them a bit optimistically at 215g. These are the Pro Slick version, the non-pro version not only has a heavy wire bead, but also a lower TPI casing. Although advertised as a 150 TPI tire, the sidewalls feel thicker than you would expect, although they are still very soft. It may have to do with the way they apply rubber. They make a good all-round tire. The 23mm version however, appears to have some molding defects, with a very distinct seam on only one side of the center strip. At $20 each, and saving 5.3g per dollar, it represents a exceptional value, moderate cost upgrade. They can be purchased from one of the various UK based webshops.

wire bead
Wire bead 23mm

Overview:

Price: $20 [Moderate Cost]

Value: 5.3g/$ ($0.19/g) [Exceptional Value]

✔ Recommended with caveats

Heavier than advertised, and not as supple as the TPI would imply. The batch of 23mm which this came from seemed to have a minor molding defect. Still a good all-round economical tire.

Veloplugs

This rim-strip alternative weighs 7g for 44 pieces, saving up to 31 grams over rim tape. Velocity, the makers of Veloplugs, touts many advantages to Veloplugs including extreme blowout strength, easier tire mounting and easy spoke access. Obviously these aren’t for tubeless. They come in two sizes, red and yellow, which fit different size holes, and may or may not fit your rims. If the fit is particularly loose, it’s not unheard of to drop a veloplug while changing a tube. However, when they work they are great, the issue with Veloplugs are mostly compatibility issues. You get 72 in a set. At $12 saving 2.6g per dollar, it represents an good value, moderate cost upgrade. They can be purchased online or through your LBS.

rim tape
One rim-strip

Overview:

Price: $12 [Moderate Cost]

Value: 2.6g/$ ($0.39/g) [Good Value]

✔ Recommended with caveats

Compatible with most, but not all rims. Be sure to buy the appropriate color or the hole size.

Hylix Stem (31.8)

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Hylix 100mm w/ Ti bolts

This 100mm stem weighs only 99g, saving up to 61g over an OEM stem. These are junk. Fit and finish issues all over, poorly machined, the steerer clamp seems to be overbored, and the bottom of the clamp isn’t flat, applying unequal force on the headset. There’s no particular reason to buy this stem, especially not at full price. Kalloy UNO stems are better quality, and a well established brand. The only reason to buy this stem is because sometimes you can win an auction for one with Ti bolts for the price of Ti bolts.

stem
Stock Stem

 

Overview:

Price: $27 [High Cost]

✘ Not Recommended

Poorly made, get an UNO ASA-105, 7050, or “7” stem instead.

 

Wellgo MG-8 SPD

mg8
Wellgo MG-8

These pedals weigh only 242g for a pair, saving up to 122 grams over Shimano PD-M520. The pedals are significantly lighter than the entry level Shimano PD-M520 which are often used as first clipless pedals, or any Shimano SPD pedals for that matter. However, they are single sided, require some practice and are not as easy to use as double sided SPD pedals. They also use an inboard bushing like many cheaper or lighter pedals, and will eventually wear out, but being made by Wellgo, are otherwise completely functional pedals. The sources for these pedals at low cost are drying up. You can get an ugly painted version from Pricepoint for $30, but they are otherwise $45 on eBay. Aawyeah seems to have recently sold out. At $30 saving 4.1g per dollar, it represents an excellent value, high cost upgrade. It can be purchased on Pricepoint and eBay, and formerly Aawyeah.

m520
Shimano PD-M520

 

Overview:

Price: $30 [High Cost]

Value: 4.1g/$ ($0.25/g) [Excellent Value]

✔ Recommended with caveats

Some may find single sided pedals awkward, and the bushing will eventually wear out, especially if you don’t maintain them. Supplies seem to be limited. At $45, they’re only a good value.

 

Zeray SPD

zeray
Zeray SPD Pedals

These pedals weigh only 274g, saving up to 99g over entry level Shimano PD-M520. These are junk. Advertised as 250g and having ball bearings, it seemed like a promising replacement for single-sided Wellgo MG-8. I don’t know if there’s multiple versions, but the ones I received had an extremely crude bushing system, not ball bearings. One pedal was tightened so it couldn’t spin at all. When loosened, it would bind up during one part of the rotation, and have play on another part of the rotation. Maybe it would wear in and smooth out. I didn’t bother to find out.

m520
Shimano PD-M520

 

Overview:

Price: $30 [High Cost]

✘ Not Recommended

Junk pedals. Very low quality internals that use poorly made bushings.