How to upgrade your Road bike.
During the Winter, our bikes are going to have been abused and battered by the typical British Weather but now that it's well and truly Summer, it's time to give them a bit of tender loving care before heading out onto the roads! So, why not treat yourself and your bike to a few upgrades that will make your road bike feel like new, perform better and look the part in your club rides.
Admittedly, upgrading parts on your road bike does sound like a costly investment - however, even the smallest of upgrades can make a world of difference when it comes to how your bike feels, looks and performs. Every upgrade can enhance your Road bike and change your road cycling experience completely.
Are you struggling to think of what to change? No worries - in this blog, we shall be going through our list of upgrades and components that will completely regenerate the feeling of your bike and get it ready for the season ahead!
Road cleats & pedals -
Over the Winter and previous season, our road pedals and cleats have probably started to wear down quite significantly which has the potential to slow you slightly due to lateral movements under your foot. In a sport where every second counts, it doesn't hurt to invest in new pedals and cleats every season to ensure that your feet are secure in the pedals for when you need to sprint.
Changing cleats might be a good opportunity to experiment with the amount of float you might want for the upcoming months. If you are unsure as to what the float of a cleat is - it is how much your feet can move on the pedals whilst you're clipped in. For most beginners, we are given 6 degrees of float but if you feel like that is too much then you can start to experiment with smaller floats.
Bar tape -
Removing your old bar tape and replacing it with new tape can make all the difference when it comes to the aesthetics of your bike as well as how it feels for the rider. New bar tape will come with the added benefits of being grippier on your gloves and a lot more comfortable than your previous worn down tape.
Why not consider colour matching your bar tape to the accent colour of your bike to really make your bike one of a kind?.
The last component that has direct contact with your body is your saddle which is vital when it comes to being in comfort during a long sportive. The key to having a comfortable saddle is not to pick the one that looks like it has loads of padding which is often a common misconception.
Getting the correct saddle for you involves measuring your sit bone and picking a saddle according to your sit bone width. We can measure your sit bone in our stores that offer Bike fitting services and then you can choose a saddle which you like.
It's time to whip the Turbo tyres and worn down road tyres off of our bikes and give our bike a new leash of life with some durable, fast rolling and low weight tyres. Invest in a new set of tyres for the season and you are guaranteed to see better strava times due to the levels of innovation and testing these tyres go through! When it comes to the winter months, don't go shredding up your summer tyres again and put back on your older and heavier tyres to save you money throughout the season.
Admittedly, upgrading your road bike wheels can come in at quite a hefty investment but it is definitely worth it if you have cash burning a hole in your pocket. Wheels carry a lot of rotating weight so by purchasing a set of high performing, low weight, Carbon Road wheels will make the biggest difference when it comes to performance. Pair these with your new fast rolling tyres and you have yourself the ultimate performance upgrade package where weight saving meets fast rolling and enhanced grip.
Tubeless conversions -
To finish off the wheel upgrade trilogy, if you upgrade either your tyres or wheels or both - converting your set up to tubeless could come in very beneficial when it comes to amplifying your protection against punctures whilst riding. Spend more time on your bike and less time on your knees fixing punctures! Want to convert your bike to tubeless? We have a whole blog on how to convert your set up alongside all the parts and tools you need. Read here.
Increasing your braking performance sounds like it wouldn't make much difference to your times but the later and the harder you brake, the faster you will be going round a course. If you don't feel the need to upgrade your brakes then feel free to use this blog as a way to check your brake pads before the upcoming season as having new brakes will make a lot of difference.
Have you had your bike for a few years now? It is most likely that your drivetrain has seen thousands of miles and is due an upgrade or replacement parts as its been worn down slightly. New parts on your drivetrain can completely revitalise the beating heart of your bike as it will provide you with new found efficient shifting.
If your drivetrain parts seem fine then it might be worthwhile replacing your old gear inner and outer cables with new ones for the season ahead to make shifting an effortless pleasure.