Best Bicycle Upgrades – What To Upgrade First ?

Almost every cycling enthusiast, from time to time, tend to get a new piece of kit or equipment for improving, performance, looks on their bikes, or overall cycling experience. If you are looking to upgrade your bicycle, here are couple tips on witch cycling parts & gear should consider buying or changing:

Cycling shoes

In case not having them, this is the first thing you should upgrade. They are comfy and provide:

  • Correct foot placement
  • Energy saving
  • Efficient pedaling with steady cadence
  • Balance power ratio between left and right leg
  • More power output

Tires and inner tubes

Tires have huge influence on your cycling, because they transmit all pedaling energy on surface, providing you with speed and stability. Saving few ounces, by buying lighter ones, will make your bicycle more responsive, because it provides reduced rotating weight. Size of the tire has also big effect and always try to find compromise with stability (wide) and aerodynamic/rolling resistance (slim). Like tires, saving weight on inner tubes reduces rotating weight, but having light ones and cycling on bad road can often result in puncture.

Handlebars and bar tape

fancy handlebar tape

Many cyclists tend to change handlebars to reduce weight on their bikes. Although it may be good for the looks, but more expensive handlebar with small amount of weight reduction, may not be an upgrade that will increase your performance. Instead spending money on expensive material, try to find one that will fit you better. The right handlebar will provide great handling, more comfort and better body positioning, which means you will generate more power having less trouble with upper body. Bar tapes provides you with better grip and comfort. It may not be ‘great’ upgrade, but having new ones improves look of your bike. For lager riders with big hands, it is good idea to wrap extra pairs for more comfort.

Cables

Riding in poor conditions (rain/ bad road/snow) will slowly damage gear and brake cables, which will further reduce cycling performance. Result will be bad gear shifting and braking. Consider changing them at least once per year and buying expensive ones , from better materials, will further increase their durability as well as braking and gear shifting.

Saddle

cycling carbon saddle

They are made in different shapes/sizes and it is important for every cyclist to have appropriate saddle for good reach and maximum comfort. With buying expensive seat, made from light materials, you can reduce weight but that sometimes does not mean more comfort.

Cassette

If you have slightly worn-out cassette, unless it is damaged, buying new one will not give any increased performance. However, changing the sprocket ratio can be of the great value: For example, simple sprocket row change form 11-23T to12-27T will make huge difference, especially during climbs.

Wheels

cycling wheels

Image Source: Youtube – HigherGearBikes

This is not a cheap upgrade, but improvement that they can make is vast. To have great cycling performance, wheels need to be light, aerodynamic and stiff. For climbing and sprinting, lightweight and shallow rims will do, but for steady speeds and flats, go with slightly heavier deep-section rimmed ones.

What to upgrade the least?

Do not waste your money on seat tubes, frames and frame forks separately, that are made from lighter more expensive materials. Same applies on gearing system. If you do plan to spend money upgrading your bike with those parts, consider thinking is it better to save and buy a whole new bicycle. That way you will spend less money and even get a better ride.

What to upgrade the most?

The most efficient upgrade bicycle can have is the rider himself. Orderly planned cycling, weigh loss regime along with occasionally going to gym, will greatly increase your performance, so train hard, eat well and rest plenty.

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