Elevate Your Ride: The Best Gravel Bike Upgrades for Better Performance!

Many of our customers and staff have opted to upgrade their gravel bikes, including this recent modification to Mike’s Merlin Malt G2X making it a flat bar gravel bike!

To enhance your gravel biking experience and take your ride to the next level, consider these top-notch upgrades that promise improved performance, comfort, and style!

Up first we have the…

Dropper Seatpost

  • Increased manoeuvrability on technical descents, improved control, and the ability to quickly adjust saddle height for varying terrains.

Carbon Handlebars and Stem

  • Reduced weight, improved shock absorption for a smoother ride, and increased stiffness for better handling.


  • Improved stopping power, especially in wet or muddy conditions, and enhanced control on descents. Weight savings, better shifting and a smoother ride.
  • Installation might require technical expertise, and high-performance brake systems can be pricier.

Carbon Wheelset

  • Reduced rotational weight for quicker acceleration, improved responsiveness, and enhanced overall bike performance.

Electronic Shifting System

  • Precise and consistent shifting, customization options, and potential reduced maintenance compared to traditional cable systems.

Tubeless Tyres

  • Enhanced puncture resistance, lower tyre pressure options for better traction, and a smoother, more comfortable ride.

Tubolito’s Lightweight Inner Tubes

  • Prefer the trusty inner tube over tubeless? No problem! You can still make some gains in performance with your tube choice…
  • Much lighter than a standard tube and around 75% smaller to take up the least amount of space in your pack or jersey.
  • As robust as a standard butyl tube
  • Removable valve stem maximise space saving.
  • Same rolling resistance as a latex tube.

Terrain-Specific Tyre Tread

  • Tailored tread patterns for optimal performance on gravel surfaces, improved grip, and enhanced rolling efficiency.
  • You can make sure you have enough grip or the right amount of tread to reduce rolling resistance depending on your terrain choice.
  • Your tyre tread choice can make a great deal of difference in your confidence on the gravel bike as well as your average speed!
  • Finding the perfect tyre for your riding conditions may take some experimentation and comparisons, be sure to read up on the recommended terrain for each one!


  • Enhanced comfort on long rides means reduced fatigue, and minimized pressure points for a more enjoyable experience.
  • Saddle preference is highly subjective, and finding the perfect fit may require trying out different models.

Handlebar tape the ultimate low cost upgrade?

  • As well as a good opportunity to colour co-ordinate your machine, well-cushioned bar tape can alleviate achy wrists through reducing road buzz vibrations.

Flat Bars?!

As mentioned at the start of this blog, flat bars can be an option perhaps for those who prefer the confidence on more challenging terrain which a pair of flat handlebars provide. Some argue flat bars make a gravel bike turn into a mountain bike, but whatever you want to call it after this mod, the choice is yours…

Mike’s Tips to consider for this modification of the Malt G2X:

“You might want to fit a shorter stem with your bars, the shifter I used was 11 speed XT 8000 (will work with GRX Rear mech.)

If you are not running 11 speed then I suspect a new rear MTB mech (or grx rear mech) and shifter will needed.

Any MTB post mount disc brake will work (cable or hydro), you will need flat to post mount adaptors sized to the rotors being used.”

Upgrading your gravel bike can be rewarding, enhancing both your bike’s aesthetics and performance. As you consider these upgrades, keep in mind your riding style, preferences, and the terrains you frequent.


  • Alex Cowie

    Outdoor Leadership and Coaching BA (Hons) Keen cyclist, runner, and outdoor enthusiast. I have been cycling since I was very young and always had a love for the outdoors. I have completed many long distance events including ultra marathons such as the Chester 100, Berkeley Marathons UK and Gravel Century rides.

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