Want the best of the best?
Upgrades are a way of life for us cyclists. Even if every part of your bike is perfect we just can’t help ourselves lusting after the next best thing.
You know the sort of thing, you’ve just shelled out on a new set of forks when the next edition comes along that saves 0.5 grams of weight and reduces friction by 0.08 of a percent. Your head screams ‘WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!” whilst your heart whispers seductively telling you that a new fork is EXACTLY what you need to make you a better rider. We’ve also pretty much all done the internet wishlist, when you search for those parts you would upgrade to if money was no object.
Inspired by the release of a pair of 24 carat gold leaf-covered carbon tri-spoke wheels from Spengle, we’ve taken it one step further and chosen ten other mega expensive upgrades that most mere mortals would spit their tea over and utter ‘How much??‘. The sorts of upgrades that Bill Gates or the Sultan of Brunei would buy if they were mountain bikers.
1. THM Clavicula M³ MTB crankset, £792.87 (no chainring)
Renowned in the roadie world for their über light carbon cranks and forks, the Clavicula M³ MTB is THM’s modular mountain bike specific carbon crankset. A swappable carbon spider allows the use of everything from SRAM Eagle single chainrings all the way up to a Euro-tastic triple. Weighing in at just 340 grams for the arms, the Clavicula is still the lightest production crankset on the market.
2. CeramicSpeed 3D Printed Hollow Ti pulley/jockey wheels, £699.26
No, that price is not an error. Nearly seven hundred pounds for a pair of jockey wheels. Of course, these aren’t just any normal jockey wheels. CeramicSpeed 3D print them out of titanium, while this in itself isn’t anything new (Charge were doing it years ago), these are hollow printed. The Danish brand then add to the exotic construction with top end ceramic bearings for an unparalleled spin. CeramicSpeed claim that these are some of the most durable jockey wheels they have produced and are suitable for riders who ride in ‘demanding conditions’ or ride a lot. Sadly for SRAM users these are Shimano only currently. But worry not as CeramicSpeed produce some ‘regular’ coated titanium jockey wheels for SRAM Eagle users. For once, SRAM is actually cheaper than Shimano as they come in at a reasonable £497.36.
3. SRAM XX1 Eagle derailleur tuned by HOPP Carbon Parts £702.93
Fed up of your SRAM XX1 Eagle derailleur not being light enough or just not unique enough? Fear not, HOPP Carbon Parts offer a complete upgrade package to shed 60 grams off the already light XX1 derailleur. Weighing just 196 grams, almost every major part is swapped out for a carbon equivalent. You can either buy the parts yourself or thanks to R2-Bike you can buy a whole new, ready built version.
4. Trickstuff Direttissima brakeset £694.18
Pretty much the most powerful brakes you can purchase. Trickstuff’s Direttissima is the pinnacle of German design and exquisite engineering. CNC machined to be as functional as possible, the four piston design is suitable for use over any discipline. Trickstuff machine all the pieces themselves and offer about as many different colour options as there are colours in the world.
5. AX-Lightness Rigid stem £436.30
Probably of more interest to the XC racers amongst us thanks to the shortest length being 70mm. But where the Rigid does become interesting is the weight. How does 68 grams for the 70mm stem sound? And that’s complete with bolts! AX-Lightness claim the Rigid is stiffer than most aluminium stems thanks to its full carbon construction. They are also happy to recommend it for offered use, as long as you fall inside their 100kg weight limit.
6. Thomson Titanium HB-E113 Riser handlebar, £399
Thomson were the daddy of seatpost brands. Before dropper posts took off everyone had a Thomson Elite seatpost thanks to its bombproof but light design. Thomson are still going strong and amongst all of the aluminium goodies they also dabble in other materials. Like this titanium handlebar. It’s bang up to date with a 780mm width, 15mm rise and 8 degree backsweep. Thomson claim that it will last a lifetime and offer an unparalleled ride quality.
7. Berk Composites Lukna saddle £349.26
The biggest selling point of Berk composites new Lukna saddle is its 68 gram mass. That’s very light. But then there isn’t an awful lot going on with the Lukna. Its full carbon fibre construction might look like it will be agony but the tuned flex ensures that it moves with your body and actually provides a large amount of support. Probably not great for enduro or downhill, one crash might spell disaster; but for XC racing it could be spot on.
8. BOS Deville 35 £1600
French suspension gurus BOS spend most of their days making components for WRC rally cars. In that sport a BOS suspension unit costs around £30,000 per wheel, so MTB suspension is what they do for fun. Distilling that level of expertise into a mountain bike fork means that these Deville 35 are about as tunable as a fork gets. In fact you almost need a degree in physics to get a handle on just what you can do with them.
9. CeramicSpeed ceramic coated headset bearings, £130.21 each
Headset bearings can be some of the worst components on your bike, always wearing out thanks to dirt and water getting into the lower race. Why not swap them for some super slick ceramic bearings, like these from CeramicSpeed? These are the high end coated versions with an extra durable bearing race to help eliminate any contaminants. The hardness of the bearings and race coating should pound dirt into dust and keep things running smoother for longer.
10. Enve M730 rim, £1100 each
You could buy two complete Calibre Bossnut bikes for less than a pair of Enve M730 rims. Or one of our 2018 Trail Bike of the Year winners for less than the price of a wheelset. But the Enve M730 is one special rim.
Handmade in Ogden, Utah. Each rim is subjected to rigid quality control to make sure that they are some of the strongest and safest rims on the market. The 7 series range of rims also gets Enve’s unique Protective Rim Strip to practically eliminate pinch punctures. We rode them and rated them highly, but they are pretty expensive…