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From wheels to bar tape, handlebars to saddles, here are 10 good upgrades for under £200

[This article was last updated on November 30, 2017]

Recently we rounded up some upgrade products for your road bike that cost under £500, now we’re going to lower the price and look at six products for under £200 that you might be interested in.

- 10 of the best upgrades for under £500

There are many reasons you might want to upgrade part of your bicycle. A component might be worn out or, worse still, broken, so it needs replacing, and this can be a good time to upgrade to a superior component. You might simply be wanting to save some weight on your bike, make it faster with an aero upgrade, or inject some more comfort. Here are 10 worthy upgrades for your road bike.

Saddle: Fabric Line — £54.99

Fabric Line saddle - 4.jpg

Fabric Line saddle - 4.jpg

Not getting on with the shape of the saddle that came on your bike? Maybe it’s time to try a different shape? The Fabric Line is a very comfortable saddle, with a curved shape and the recessed channel helping to relieve pressure, and the flex in the plastic base along with the foam padding makes it a very comfortable place to sit for many hours.

Read our review

Tyres: Continental Grand Prix — £21.99

Continental Grand Prix tyre.jpg

Continental Grand Prix tyre.jpg

Bicycle tyres can be surprisingly dear, but Continental's mid-range rubber bucks that trend. They’re a really good all-round tyre with decent grip, and rolling resistance that's almost as good as the more expensive GP4000S II and slightly better puncture resistance.

Handlebar: Genetic Flare Road Bar — £29.99

Genetic Flare Road Bar.jpg

Genetic Flare Road Bar.jpg

Handlebars come in a vast array of shapes and sizes, which means if you don’t find the handlebar that came with your bike very comfortable, you can easily change them. These Genetic Flare bars provide a compact shape with flared and anatomic drops that are pretty comfortable. The small degree of flare offers a bit more control when in the drops, and the anatomic shape means you have loads of options for where to place your hands.

Read our review

Brake Blocks: Kool Stop Dura 2 Dual Compound brake blocks — £11.99

Kool-stop Dura Dual.jpg

Kool-stop Dura Dual.jpg

At some point, your brake blocks will wear out and will need replacing. Sometimes, you might be wanting a bit more power than your regular brake blocks can provide. There are many aftermarket brake blocks available so you don’t just have to automatically replace yours with original manufacturer equipment. The dual compound design of these Kool Stop blocks provides great braking performance in a range of conditions, especially when it’s wet, and are noticeable better than many original brake blocks fitted to new bikes.

Read our review

Saddle bag: Lotus SH-6702 M Commuter Saddle Bag — £10.99

lotus-sh-6702-m-commuter-saddle-bag.jpg

lotus-sh-6702-m-commuter-saddle-bag.jpg

Fed up with filling your jersey pockets with a spare tube, pump, tyre levers and multi-tool? The best solution is to invest in a small bag that attaches to the bottom of the saddle and can house the essentials, keeping them safely stored away from the elements and your jersey pockets free for more food. This Lotus bag (it has never in common with the car manufacturer) is easy to fit it to the bike and the size is just right for the essentials.

Read our review

Bottle Cage: Tacx Deva — £8.95

Tacx Deva Bottle Cage.jpg

Tacx Deva Bottle Cage.jpg

If your new bike came with no bottle cages, you’ll be want to add one or two if you want to do any rides longer than an hour, to avoid dehydration. There are plenty to choose from, Tacx makes some really good ones and this affordable composite cage hold water bottles securely with a nice firm hold - no bottle ejection to fear here.

Read our review

Handlebar tape: B’Twin Microfibre Handlebar Tape — £5.99

BTwin Microfibre bar tape.jpg

BTwin Microfibre bar tape.jpg

Replacing worn or uncomfortable bar tape can transform the appearance and ride comfort of your bike, and here’s an affordable bar tape from B’Twin that looks good and lasts well. It’s also available in a wide range of colours so you can match it up to your bike if you’re that way inclined.

Read our review

Wheels: Novatec 30 aluminium clincher wheelset — £169

Novatec 30 Alu Clincher wheelset - Main.jpg

Novatec 30 Alu Clincher wheelset - Main.jpg

Proving that wheels don’t have to cost a fortune, these Novatec 30 wheels offer a well-built rim that is tubeless-ready, should you wish to dump the inner tubes and go tubeless. The rims are laced via J-bend, bladed spokes to own-brand hubs that are compatible with Shimano 11-speed cassettes and are well sealed against the elements.

Read our review

Stem: ITM Ergal 7075 Alloy Stem — £32.99

itm-ergal-7075-alloy-stem-2.jpg

itm-ergal-7075-alloy-stem-2.jpg

The stem is quite an easy component to change, and you might want to do just that if you want to change the reach of the handlebars, to bring them closer to you or push them further away, or to alter the height of the bars. This ITM Ergal stem is a good low-cost option that looks good, is a sensible weight for the price, and is all head together with 4mm Allen bolts.

Read our review

Pedals: Shimano PD-R540 SPD SL — £24.98 - £29.99

Shimano PD R540a1.jpg

Shimano PD R540a1.jpg

If you’re looking to make the leap to clipless pedals, Shimano's entry-level SPD-SL pedals won’t break the bank and offer excellent performance that belies their low price. They offer lots of support and 6 degrees of float and the release spring tension can easily be adjusted.

Any upgrades you would add to this list?

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

6 comments

Avatar
Vejnemojnen [266 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

For the saddle, I recommend wiggle Cosine line, or even charge scoop-spoon.

 

THe handlebars are pricey, for less, you can change to pro plt compact or fsa wing pro compact, both are lighter-better shape and available.

 

These lists are not very good imho  1

Avatar
philwinr [9 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Those Lifeline tyres are terrible in the wet. Wheel-spinning away from lights and light in corners, they give no confidence. I took them off my bike and threw them in the bin.

Avatar
Nick T [1099 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

When did a 14 quid tyre become an upgrade

Avatar
Stu1903 [12 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
Vejnemojnen wrote:

For the saddle, I recommend wiggle Cosine line, or even charge scoop-spoon.

 

THe handlebars are pricey, for less, you can change to pro plt compact or fsa wing pro compact, both are lighter-better shape and available.

 

These lists are not very good imho  1

Just bought the PRO PLT Ergo bars and love them. Nice light bars whith shallow drop and flat tops. 

Avatar
Lazereyes [6 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
Vejnemojnen wrote:

charge scoop-spoon.

 

These lists are not very good imho  1

 

yup.

Avatar
STATO [544 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

why is road.cc just updating/editing year old posts?!?

 

The comments above dont even relate to the products listed anymore!!!