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 great as it once did. Craving the new bike feeling, but can’t afford a new bike for 2020?
Follow our tips to Make Your Bike Great Again!
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. Wider wheels and tyres can hugely improve the ride feel of your bike. Wider wheels and tyres can also help smooth-out the terrible roads and make smooth roads feel even better.
3 Great Wheel Deals:
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.
3 Great Chainset Deals:
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.
3 Great Tyre Deals:
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 – it can even fool you into thinking you have a new bike…
3 Great Bar Tape Deals:
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. Leaving your worn chain and cassette for too long is a false economy. A badly worn chain will cause premature wear on derailleur jockey wheels and chain rings. A chain wear tool is a great addition to your tool box and takes the guess work out of replacing the chain.
3 Great Chain / Cassette Deals:
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. As we get older, saddle comfort can change as our bodies change.
3 Great Saddle Deals:
The strong springs in calipers and gears, together with thousands on miles of wear, combine to stretch cables. At the same time, cables get contaminated with rain and filth. Lubrication also 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. If you are replacing cables, use the old housing as a guide for length and routing.
3 Great Cable Deals:
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.
3 Great Groupset Deals:
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 and usual riding conditions. If you live in a flat, dry area and ride by yourself, they will take ages to wear down. On the other hand riding in a group in hilly, rainy areas will accelerate their wear hugely. Leaving blocks and pads to get really worn is not a good idea. As blocks and pads wear, tiny fragments of glass, grit, metal and other debris from the road will get pressed into the block / pad – this will score and grind into the rim / rotor and cause serious damage.
3 Great Block / Pad Deals:
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.
3 Great Tool Kit Deals:
Replacing worn parts, and maintaining your bike will keep it fun to ride and reduce the chances of your bike letting you down.