Upgrades can uplift your old run-down road bike to looking and feeling brand new again or can give your new bike a boost that makes you want to ride it even more often. You can make it look better and even give it new functionalities. There are many different ways to treat your bike (or yourself!) but here are six top recommendations you may want to consider:
If you’re using flat pedals, why not give clipless pedals a go? They are a game changer. They make you feel really connected to the bike when you pedal and safer too. There are loads out there with different features and benefits: double-sided, super-aerodynamic or super-lightweight. If you are already using clipless pedals, how old are they or are they quite worn, is there a lot of play in them even though they’ve been tightened? This could be a sign you need to replace them as riding worn-out pedals can lead to knee injury and that’s not worth risking. When getting new pedals it’s recommended to go for a good quality choice because they will last you so much longer.
While on the subject, what about your cleats? This isn’t an expensive upgrade but, like your pedals, your cleats will wear depending on how much you ride, how much you unclip and stop and clip in again and generally walk around in them. Check for rubber wearing off or deterioration where you actually clip them.
If you’re looking to save bike weight, then get yourself a new pair of wheels. This is going make a dramatic difference to how your bike feels. A new set of road bike wheels isn’t cheap but there’s a selection of great high-performance wheels accessible for a reasonable price and it’s going be worth it because these will make the biggest overall improvement. Lighter, stiffer and more aerodynamic wheels will make a huge difference to the road bike’s performance. If you do lots of riding on hilly, punchy climbs then you could opt for a lightweight wheel or if you’re doing lots of riding on flat, fast roads maybe a deep section wheel is for you.
While you’re riding in all kinds of weather, especially on grubby country lanes, the elements can take its toll on your road bike. Particularly in the winter months, you can find your brake pads have become quite worn and for your own safety it is a good idea to check for wear every now and again. When your brake pads need to be replaced (which you should be able to tell by the wear indicator on the pad), all you need are a couple of allen keys and some new pads, that’s it. You don’t even have to remove your wheel from the bike. Don’t just replace them, upgrade them.
You can also get a higher performance brake pad for rim and disc brakes – they give you better stopping performance less rim wear and less noise. Just make sure you get the right compound for your wheel.
The only parts on a road bike that actually touch the ground are the tyres – this is a cracking upgrade and it’s a simple but effective one. It’s like getting a pair of new shoes – they’ll give you that spring in your step – and as far as price goes, this is the best ‘bang for your buck’ upgrade you can do. If you move to tubeless, even better. Most bikes come with standard 23 mm tyres fitted. Why not upgrade to a 25 or even a 28 mm pair as wider tyres tend to be more comfortable. Not only that, they have less rolling resistance. You may also have had your road bike in storage or even worn out your tyres on an indoor trainer – either way, maybe when you commission it for outdoor use, that’s a good time for an upgrade. Consider things like weight, tread pattern and puncture resistance. A ‘weekend warrior’ will need a different tyre to a city commuter and maybe in spring, when the sun comes out, why not treat yourself to some cool tan sidewalls for the summer. Don’t forget to keep your old tyres because you never know when they might come in useful.
Whether road cycling is your A to B transport, you just do it for fun, you’re a keen racer or you just love stats, you could benefit from a bike computer. It can store all your data from time, speed, distance, heart rate, power, calories burnt…but bike computers aren’t just for pros. They’re great for day trips too – you can plan a route and you can even save your home location so you don’t get lost. There are various bike computers available – it all depends on how much you want from it and how much riding you do. A dedicated head unit is a good choice but there are various apps that can help track your basic metrics so, if you’re not sure whether or not to invest in one, maybe try out one of the apps first. You’ll soon be hooked!
There’s one more road bike upgrade which is arguably the best, particularly when it comes to looks. Yes you guessed, it’s a gold chain. It’s going be so bling but when everybody sees your bike they will be envious for sure.
Whichever road bike upgrades you decide on, you’ll definitely enjoy and benefit from the remodelled version.