Quick Guide to Bicycle Upgrades
Everyone started as a casual cyclist. But trust us when we say this: you might be doing random city cycling today, but sooner or later, you’d look for more adrenaline-packed rides–tougher terrains, longer distances, and more challenging roads. Because of this, you’d want to upgrade your bike to get a better fit, aerodynamics, and overall functionality.
However, upgrading your bicycle can be tricky, especially for beginners. Some upgrades are essential for better rides, while some can cause more inconvenience. To help you with this, here’s a quick guide on bicycle upgrades to have a better and more fun riding experience.
What to do before upgrading your bicycle?
Before buying new accessories, installing new parts, or modifying your bicycle, make sure that it’s first inspected by a bicycle professional. Installing the wrong accessories won’t just cause damage to your bicycle but can also cause fatal road accidents.
Aside from this, make sure you know the kind of bicycle you have. Commuter, road, mountain, gravel, and hybrid bicycles have different gears and functionalities. Not just because an accessory worked for a friend meant it would work for you. Researching your unit is a must.
Lastly, observe proper pacing on doing upgrades. Make sure you give yourself enough time to adjust and monitor your riding experience on your recent upgrade before heading into a new one. When upgrading your gears, it’s best to always ride with a top-post bag with basic repair accessories, so you can easily adjust or repair your gears should you encounter any problems on the road.
What are the essential bicycle upgrades you need to do?
If you’re considering getting into long-distance rides and riding through challenging terrains, upgrading your tires is a must.
Some bicycles sold in the market come with cheap tires to make their units more affordable. While they may take you to points a and b, riding with them on a long-distance ride or through challenging terrain would be dangerous.
For road bikes, it’s best to switch to a set of tubeless tires. Removing the inner tubes will give you better comfort and speed on your ride. On the other hand, if you have a mountain bike, it’s best to go for gravel bike tires as they give you more control through their wider and grippier form. Just don't forget to bring a mini travel pump during your adjustment period.
2. GPS Tracker
While comfort, speed, and style are three major reasons why people upgrade their bikes, remember that you should also consider your safety on the road. Improving the performance of your bike to ensure you’re less vulnerable to road accidents is the best way to upgrade your ride.
One of the best bicycle upgrades for road safety is a GPS tracker. The compact but capable device can instantly turn your unit into a smart bicycle. In finding the right GPS tracker, ensure you get one with smartphone connectivity, proximity alarm, and geofencing for advanced tracking capabilities.
Advanced GPS trackers available in the market today are also excellent anti-theft devices. This is especially important for upgraded bicycles, as they tend to be more prone to bicycle theft than regular ones.
3. Handlebar Tape
Your handlebar is one of the fastest areas of your bicycle to be worn down. While other people easily dismiss it as a less essential part of your bicycle since it’s not technically a part of your bike’s running mechanism, a worn-out handlebar can affect your maneuvering. Thus, making you prone to accidents.
To avoid this, it’s best to get handlebar tape. Not only does it make your handlebar more comfortable, but it also provides improved shock absorption and grip. You can even add your own style by personalizing your bars with cork or leather for a more aesthetic look.
4. Seat post
Your seat post significantly affects your pedaling power. When your seat isn’t at the right height or position, you might be unable to apply enough force on your legs to increase your speed and ride through steep roads. Not only that, but a low-quality seat post can also be very uncomfortable.
When upgrading your seat posts, make sure you have already identified the perfect saddle height for you. It’s best to switch to carbon posts instead of alloy ones, as the latter is more susceptible to damage. You can also look for seat posts with leaf-spring designs, as they can give you higher flexibility and adjustability. This way, you can easily adjust your seat depending on the riding speed or technique you’d want to do.
5. Bike Lights
Next on our list are bike lights. An advanced set of front and brake lights can significantly improve your riding experience, allowing you to ride on almost all kinds of roads, heightened road visibility, and increase road safety.
Most cyclists only look for brightness when looking for a bicycle light. However, there are already many smart bike lights available today, which you can choose from. Some of the top brake lights available today already have advanced drone-powered accelerometers for more accurate speed detection. On the other hand, the best front lights for cyclists come with anti-glare cut-off line and ambient technology for optimal light projection.
Upgrading your saddle heavily relies on your comfort and preference. Look for saddle seats with pressure-relieving cut-outs, as these kinds are the most comfortable.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to upgrade your bike for racing, it’s best to get a saddle with an aerodynamic riding position. These kinds tend to have shorter noses to allow you to exert more pressure on your pedals.
Some saddles tend to be bulky and wide. If you’re considering going into long-distance rides where you’re expected to use various bicycle accessories and have saddle bags, look for a compact yet comfortable saddle.
Last but not least is chainrings. Chainrings significantly affect your riding performance, allowing you to make the most of your power pedaling.
When you’re used to riding on straight roads and aiming for heightened speed, it’s best to get chainrings with bigger rings and more teeth. On the other hand, if you have a mountain bike, you wish to upgrade. It’s best to get a 28-30ft chainring for an easier climb.
Upgrading your bicycle has never been easier.
Thanks to the rise of various cycling technologies and innovations, upgrading your bicycle has never been easier. Your overall riding experience can literally be improved with a small GPS tracker. However, remember that upgrades on your bikes would only be effective if you allotted time and effort to do your research. Make sure you know your gears, you have determined your riding style, and you’ve decided on your riding goals before doing any modifications to your gears.