Here are eleven upgrades that will transform your ride and protect your purse.
Mountain biking can be a very expensive sport with some bikes costing as much as a car. However you don’t need to remortgage your house to spruce up your pride and joy.
Watch: Five essential tips for setting up your bike
The tyres that come fitted to off-the-peg bikes are usually not the best. Quite often in fact, they’re awful. Even if they bear the name of a well-reviewed tyre, chances are they’re a cut=price version made of sketchy, slippery rubber and a unsophisticated carcass.
Stem, handlebars or grips. Possibly try changing all of them in fact. Off-the-peg bikes often come with stems that are too long and bars that are too narrow and grips that just don’t suit your hands. If possible, get your bike shop to swap the bits at time of purchase and haggle for a good deal.
Are we sitting comfortably? If not, begin with a new saddle, like the Fabric Scoop. It’s a great all-rounder with enough padding to cosset your behind.
4. Brake pads
You don’t have to get down to the metal backing for brake pads to fail; they pick up contaminants and wear unevenly too. Replace with some organic pads.
5. Fresh cleats
New cleats can return SPD shoes to their former glory, bringing back that positive connection and making you feel faster.
6. Gear cables and outer
7. Plastic pedals
8. Chain retention
A noisy chain is a distraction, but a chain that leaps off the ring and gets jammed in the BB is serious. Get a dangler-type chain retention device like Bionicon’s C-Guide.
9. Rotor power
10. Go tubeless
This is easier – and cheaper – said than done. But if you’re plagued by pinch flats, tubeless is a Godsend. Going tubeless at least means shelling out for a pair of decent tubeless tyres and may also involve purchasing a tubeless conversion kit if your current rims aren’t tubeless ready. And even then you’ll be faced with the task of getting the system to inflate and seal.
11. Go 1x
Ditch the double (or triple) chainrings up front and move to a single ring system with a narrow-wide chainring. Move to a wider ratio cassette at the back. Sorted. Lighter, neater, quieter.