Top 10 affordable upgrades for your bike
Personalise your bike with a few quick, colourful and affordable upgrades
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
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/
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
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/