Here are nine upgrades that will transform your ride and protect your purse
You don’t need to remortgage your house to spruce up your pride and joy. The best mountain bike upgrades guaranteed to be good for your bike.
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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 / longer flat pedals pins
New cleats can return SPD shoes to their former glory, bringing back that positive connection and making you feel faster. And for flat pedal riders, a set of fresh (and longer) pins for your flats can really up the grip and feel factor.
6. Gear cables and outer
Cables stretch over time and water and grit can get inside the outer too, making even the poshest of shifters clunky. Swap them out for a Shimano mtb gear cable set.
7. Plastic pedals
A good set of flat pedals costs around £100 but slash that spending with these El Plastique pedals from Superstar. You get grippy pins, a stiff body and a light 334g weight.
8. Rotor power
If your brakes still lack bite after replacing the pads you may need to up-size your rotors. Box-fresh trail bikes typically arrive with a 160mm disc at the rear; try upgrading to 180mm.
9. 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.