Top 10 affordable upgrades for your bike

Personalise your bike with a few quick, colourful and affordable upgrades

by David Arthur   December 17, 2012  

If you’re looking to add a dash of personalisation to your bike, here are 10 products that will be sure to make your bike stand out on the club run. And best of all, these are all affordable upgrades.

Coloured headset spacers

The default colour for headset spacers is black. But black is a bit boring, don’t you think? There’s a vast choice of replacement headset spacers, from weight saving carbon spacers to eye-catching coloured ones. KCNC do a nice line of spacers, in various sizes, in blue, red, gold and black. £2.99 from clee-cycles.co.uk

Bling seat clamp

British company Hope, better known for their disc brakes and hubs, do some very fetching seat post clamps. Available in sizes to fit all bikes and a choice of colours, including black, blue, gold, red, silver and gunsmoke grey. They cost £16 from  www.hopetech.com

Wheel quick release skewers

Sticking with the British theme, USE’s SpinStix wheel skewers will replace those bog standard skewers that came with your bike, and add a splash of colour as well, with a choice of silver, black, red and blue. They’re not just better because they’re coloured either, they’re available in titanium and weigh just 55g a pair. £44.99 from www.use1.com.

Fresh (and coloured) bar tape

There are few moments quite as good as when you’ve just fitted box fresh bar tape to your pride and joy. Bar tape gets grubby over time and brings down the appearance of your bike. Black bar tape is best for low maintenance (it hides the grime), but other colours are available. You just might have to replace it more regularly though, for the sake of appearance.

Fizik’s Microtex bar tape is high performance stuff with a shock absorbing padding and really nice feel to it. It’s also sold in loads of colours: white, black, blue, green, red, yellow, pink, orange and grey. £12.99 from www.fizik.com

Coloured hoods


Black is the most common colour for road bike components. The hoods are a prime example and until a few years ago, there was no other choice. Then Hudz came along with their replacement hoods with a dizzying range of colours. Available for SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo, and priced from £18.99 available at www.i-ride.co.uk.

Customised stem caps

Prime for a spot of customisation is an aftermarket stem cap. I’ve got a toolbox full of various stem caps, from event souvenir ones to various coloured caps. KustomCaps.com do a cool line in laser-etched caps, with phrases like “pain”, “shut up legs” and “king of the mountains”. You can also have your own message etched making them completely personal. And of course, there’s a ton of colour options. Priced from $7.99 at http://kustomcaps.com/

Bottle cages

A bottle cage is a thing of elegant simplicity. There are good ones and there are bad ones. And there are Arundel’s lovely carbon and classic steel cages. The Mandible is a stunning carbon fibre cage that not only looks great but is also light and secure. Meanwhile, the perfect accessory for a steel or titanium frame is their lovely Stainless Steel cage. Prices £20 to £45 from www.saddleback.co.uk

Cable housing


Jagwire’s Racer Cable Kits is a high performance upgrade for the standard cables and outer housings on your bike. And best of all they sell them in nearly any colour you can think of: there’s black, grey, pink, green, white, gold, red, blue, orange, yellow, Bianchi celeste, carbon silver, sterling silver and titanium. £32.99 from http://jagwireusa.com

Alternative Garmin mounts

If you’ve not got space on your stem for one of Garmin’s standard mounts, or you just would prefer it in a better place, then there are a raft of aftermarket mounts. And K-Edge’s CNC-machined aluminium mounts can be had in a few different colours.

Protective frame tape


Depending on the cable routing on your bike, it can be worth applying some protective frame stickers to any areas where the cable outer housing could potentially rub on the frame. A prime area is the head tube. Protective frame tape, like BBB’s Bikeskin Frame Protectors, are a very inexpensive way to protect your frame. Available in several colours, including clear and carbon. Costs £3.95 from http://bbbcycling.com/

 

11 user comments

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Im a fan of the jagwire housing, as good as the standard shimano and campag stuff but much cheaper, can be had for as little as £20 for full set in some places.

STATO's picture

posted by STATO [411 posts]
17th December 2012 - 13:18

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yeah +1 on jagwire racer cables

amazing

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
17th December 2012 - 13:33

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Can't believe you didn't find space for the custom name and flag decals from www.flandriabikes.com especially since they even have an option for the road.cc logo. Got them on my Dolan Mythos. They look reet flash

Timbo13's picture

posted by Timbo13 [272 posts]
17th December 2012 - 14:12

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good one Timbo10 we'll definitely add them in… David wasn't here when we featured them on the site

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
17th December 2012 - 20:46

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I'll have to get a stem cap for the trike, Maybe some decals from Flandria aswell.

Just need to name her now Devil

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8792 posts]
17th December 2012 - 21:51

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Gkam84 wrote:
I'll have to get a stem cap for the trike, Maybe some decals from Flandria aswell.

Just need to name her now Devil

Take a leaf from Ben Ainslie: Rita (which always reminds me of the Alton Towers ride Rita Queen of Speed)

Timbo13's picture

posted by Timbo13 [272 posts]
17th December 2012 - 22:51

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what about new tyres? You can get a set for under £15, even in red! And they might just improve performance.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [586 posts]
18th December 2012 - 9:01

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how about a glastonbury based firm for custom top caps instead of the american one! http://www.kapz.co.uk/ I used them to get a couple of presents for mates, top customer service as well as a good product!

posted by alwaysapleasure [16 posts]
18th December 2012 - 9:21

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Thanks for that alwaysapleasure those psychadelic ones look good.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
18th December 2012 - 10:12

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Timbo13 wrote:
Can't believe you didn't find space for the custom name and flag decals from www.flandriabikes.com especially since they even have an option for the road.cc logo. Got them on my Dolan Mythos. They look reet flash

I went for the pack of 20 and so sport them on helmets as well as bikes they give a real "pro" look.

onward ever onward

bikecellar's picture

posted by bikecellar [224 posts]
18th December 2012 - 20:30

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A wide array of blingy bits from these guys: www.pro-bolt.com

mr-andrew's picture

posted by mr-andrew [295 posts]
19th December 2012 - 13:34

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