Regularly riding your bike is great, we all know that. However there is a drawback. Bike parts get worn and after a lot of miles you bike might not quite feel as good as it once did. Craving the new bike feeling but can’t afford a new bike for 2018? Follow our tips to transform your ride and even trick yourself into thinking you have a new bike!
There are no other bike parts which can transform your ride as much as wheels. Lighter wheels are great for adding zippiness to your ride. Deeper section, aero wheels can add speed to your flat fast rides. The recent move towards wider wheels and tyres can hugely improve the ride feel of your bike. Wider tyres can be run at lower pressures without losing performance. Wider wheels and tyres can help smooth-out the terrible roads and make smooth roads feel even better.
Your bike’s chainset and bottom bracket are the business end of your bike. They are also the focal point when you look at your machine. A fresh chainset and new bottom bracket can brighten up your bike. Upgrading your chainset usually has the effect of reducing weight and gaining stiffness. Minimise your new chainset’s chainring wear by not letting chains and cassettes get too warn before replacing them.
Fresh rubber on your wheels can improve the ride and feel of your machine. Better quality tyres can improve the handling (and consequently your confidence in your bike too). Tyres with a higher quality, supple casing can give a livelier ride, most riders go for a mix of performance, puncture resistance and feel on the road.
Fresh bar tape is the best way to trick yourself into thinking you have a new road bike – handlebars are always in front of you as you glance down. Re-covering handlebars in a fresh layer of tape definitely provides a moral boost, and can even momentarily fool you into thinking you have a new bike…
Cassette & Chain
Keeping your drive train running smoothly and quietly is largely in the hands of the cassette and chain. As they get worn, gear shifts feel less precise and clicking noises tend to gradually increase. A new cassette and chain will give an instant lift to your bike’s performance and are quick and easy to fit.
Over time saddles can become ‘flatter’, or less comfy, as padding gradually loses its capacity to prevent a sore ar*e. However, the good news is there are a lot of saddles out there, and there could be one which offers more comfort than your current perch. Measure your sit bones to get the right saddle width, strategically positioned holes in the body of the saddle can prevent pressure build-up and long-term pain too.
The strong springs in calipers and gears, together with thousands on miles of wear, combine to stretch cables. As cables stretch gear changes become inaccurate and friction can build up as cables get contaminated or as lubrication dries out and gets ‘sticky’. Cables are one of the cheaper upgrades which can offer a tactile improvement to the way your machine handles and performs.
Fitting a new groupset can completely transform a bike. If your frame and wheels are in good condition, replacing the groupset can be a great way of breathing new life into and old bike. Beware of any potential compatibility issues such as fitting an 11 speed group onto a previously 10 speed bike. If the wheels are 10 speed only, you may need to budget for new wheels too, this is when you need to take a step back and weigh up the options.
Brake Blocks / Pads
Brake blocks and pads are the forgotten about but very essential bike components. Blocks and pads wear out and need replacing. How long they last depends how much use they have. If you live in a flat area and ride by yourself, they will take ages to wear down. On the other hand riding in a group in hilly areas will accelerate their wear hugely.
For long-term riders, you need your own tools, or at the very least a good friend with their own tools! Bike servicing is relatively straight forward and cheap to do. Essential tools for the home mechanic are; allen keys, chain tool, cassette remover tool, chain whip, pedal wrench, BB removal tool, spoke key, chain checker and cable cutters. Maintaining your own bike gives a greater understanding of how bikes work and how best to look after it. One benefit to living in the 21st century is that there is usually a whole raft of videos of people doing the same job as you on youtube. Pick out one with lots of great reviews and watch & learn.
Replacing worn parts, and maintaining your bike will keep it fun to ride and reduce the chances of your bike letting you down.
Check out our latest bargain road bike parts to update your ride for 2018…
DT Swiss R522 Wheels £109.99
Pro Griffion Saddle £19.99
Widget Premium Tacky Bar Tape £8.00
Shimano Brake Cartridges R55C4 Alloy Rims 2 pairs £8.00
Shimano 5800 11 Speed Cassette £33.95
KMC 73 11 Speed Chain £19.00
Continental Ultrasport Folding Tyre £7.99
Shimano 105 5600 10 speed Chainset £32.50