bicycle upgrades

Revamp Your Bicycle on a Budget: Four Affordable Upgrades to Consider

| Armando

Enhance your cycling experience with some budget-friendly upgrades that will elevate your ride to new heights. Riding a bicycle is a great way to stay healthy and make lasting memories, but with these easy-to-implement changes, you can take your journey to the next level.

As you become more familiar with your bike, you can begin to invest in these upgrades that will enhance your ride. Don’t know where to start? Check out this blog post for four affordable suggestions that will improve the essential components of your ride.

We prioritize function over fashion, so you can rest assured that each upgrade will be practical and immediately available without breaking the bank. By focusing on the key contact points of your bike that are utilized during every ride, we guarantee that these upgrades will make your journey more comfortable, no matter your level of cycling experience.

Top 4 Budget Bike Upgrades to Consider

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Handlebar Grips

Our handlebar grip of choice: ODI Elite Grips

It’s not uncommon for stock handlebar grips to fall short in terms of comfort and grip. They can often leave your hands feeling numb and slippery, which can extend to your forearms and affect your ride.

To remedy this issue, we suggest upgrading to a more suitable pair of grips. By doing so, you can provide your hands with the cushioning they need to avoid numbness while riding. Moreover, this can help prevent finger cramping that stems from keeping your fingers curled for extended periods.

A variety of brands, materials, and colors are available when it comes to handlebar grips. To ensure a comfortable and secure fit, it’s best to try out different options before making a purchase. Most local bike shops offer this service, allowing you to make an informed decision about your investment.

Purchasing new handlebar grips can be an exciting experience that not only improves your bike’s appearance but also enhances your overall riding experience.


Bike Saddle

Our bike saddle of choice: WTB Koda ($50)

Like handlebar grips, stock bike saddles are often uncomfortable and fail to accommodate all riders. These saddles lack proper cushioning, room, and adaptability, making it difficult for riders to stay comfortable while cycling.

The glutes and seat bone areas are particularly vulnerable, as they can lead to knee pain, numbness, and even rashes if not equipped with the proper saddle.

To ensure a longer and more comfortable ride, it’s essential to invest in a well-padded, functional bike saddle. A good saddle should provide enough padding to engage your glutes and seat bones throughout the ride, while also allowing for free movement of your legs and glutes.

Make sure the saddle has the correct padding that stays out of the way of your body’s movement while cycling. It should also provide enough room for your body to move freely without causing discomfort.

When choosing a new saddle, it’s important to consider your individual needs and preferences. Test out different options to find the one that feels most comfortable for you. With the right bike saddle, you can enjoy a more comfortable ride and prevent discomfort and pain in vulnerable areas.


Bib Shorts

Our Bib Shorts of choice: CEROTIPOLAR Cycling Bibs

The groin area can be a significant source of discomfort while cycling, even if you have invested in a new saddle. This area can cause uneven pain sensations, forcing the rider to constantly change positions to relieve the pain, and may even lead to a hunching body position off the bike.

To address this issue, we recommend investing in bib shorts that provide an inner padding layer to complement your bike seat. This padding helps ensure the area remains well-seated and numb-free while cycling.

Bib shorts do not require you to wear underwear underneath, and they offer several benefits over regular cycling shorts, such as a more secure fit and the ability to prevent chafing.

By investing in a good pair of bib shorts, you can avoid discomfort and pain in the groin area, both in the short and long term. Additionally, bib shorts can provide added support and comfort during longer rides, allowing you to enjoy the experience without worrying about discomfort or pain.



Our tires of choice: Maxxis Tires

The tire setup of a bike is often overlooked but can greatly impact the riding experience.

Many casual riders adopt a set-and-forget approach, assuming their tires will withstand all conditions and last a lifetime. However, this can be dangerous, and sticking with the stock tires deprives riders of a firm and nimble sensation when riding their bikes.

We recommend investing in a new tire setup within a reasonable time frame. Constant rolling, braking, and wear and tear can quickly wear out tires, shortening their shelf life.

Depending on your riding style, the tires should provide a reasonable balance of rolling resistance and grip to ensure consistent forward motion while avoiding too much retention or wiping out due to a lack of ground contact.

Investing in the right tire setup can also enhance safety and reduce the risk of accidents. Your local bike shop can help you find the right tires that complement your riding style, ensuring you have a smoother, safer, and more enjoyable ride.


BONUS: Everyday Carry Kit

At some point during your ride, you may encounter mechanical issues that require immediate attention with the right tools to fix them. Riding without the proper tools can lead to ruined rides and even the risk of injury.

As a good cyclist, you should be able to solve mechanical problems to avoid getting stranded. Common mechanical issues, such as a flat tire or a loose screw, can easily be fixed within minutes.

Every cyclist should invest in an easy-to-carry, practical kit with the necessary tools to address and prevent mechanical issues. The kit should include at least one tire tube, two tire levers, a bike pump, and a multitool kit.

In the event of a flat tire, the kit should allow you to install a new tire effortlessly. If you encounter a loose screw, your multitool should be able to tighten it to ensure a safe ride. Properly maintaining your bike helps mitigate any unfortunate events while riding.

Multitool of choice: Crankbrothers M13

Bike Pump: Crankbrothers Klic HV

Tire Levers: Pedro’s Tire Levers

Inner Tubes: Continental MTB Bike Tubes

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Regardless of the type of bike you have, these upgrades can satisfy all budget levels and enhance your riding experience without significant compromise. These upgrades prioritize the main issue of contact points instead of performance or aesthetics and provide a blueprint for those unsure of where to start upgrading.

As you keep riding, you will become more familiar with your bike and know which parts need upgrading, regardless of their price, characteristics, or functionalities. We hope these upgrades help you develop a more intentional approach when upgrading your bike and avoid feeling overwhelmed by ever-changing bike trends.

We can assure you that these affordable upgrades go beyond aesthetics and provide tangible benefits that you will feel right away.

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