If you don’t have a separate winter and summer bike and you’ve been riding your bike through the lovely Irish winter, it will have received a fair amount of abuse from the weather. As we head towards the summer it might be an ideal time to start thinking of how to treat your bike and get it performing better, faster, more comfortable and look good for the club rides!
Upgrading your bike will entirely depend on your budget, but even the smallest upgrade can make a massive difference to your pride and joy. Every upgrade can enhance your bike and change your cycling experience completely.
Here’s our list of upgrades that we think will make the most difference to your bike and breathe new life into it.
The most important weight on a bike is the rolling weight, it’s the wheels that you have to get moving and keep moving so it makes sense that the lighter they are, the faster and easier your cycling will be. There are a few things to consider however; if you’re into cycle touring or downhill mountain biking, lighter is certainly not better, you will be looking for strength to weight ratio. The more spokes you have in your wheels will increase the strength. If you’re a racer then the lighter the wheels the faster you will be, but not only the weight, the size of the wheel will make a difference. A deep wheelset is an ideal choice for most racers as it makes your bike go faster on the flat. That’ll make your life easier when you’re attacking the bunch or just trying to hang on to them!
It’s time to remove the Turbo tyres and worn down road tyres off the bikes and give the bike a new leash of life with some durable, fast rolling and low weight tyres. Invest in a new set of tyres for the season and you are guaranteed to see better strava times due to the levels of innovation and testing these tyres go through! When it comes to the winter months, don’t go shredding up your summer tyres again and put back on your older and heavier tyres to save you money throughout the season.
3. Clipless Pedals:
Firstly let’s talk about why they are called clipless pedals. Clipless pedals are pedals that you actually do clip into, binding you to the bike, so why the confusing name? The term clipless actually in this instance is referring to that fact that they don’t have toe clips, hence clipless.
Now we have got over the name, over the Winter and previous season, our road pedals and cleats have probably started to wear down quite significantly which has the potential to slow you slightly due to lateral movements under your foot. In a sport where every second counts, it doesn’t hurt to invest in new pedals and cleats every season to ensure that your feet are secure in the pedals for when you need to sprint.
For new cyclists, clipless pedals and the shoes that go with them are something that we’d highly recommend using. They can transform your cycling, making you far more efficient as you have more control of the bike, you can also pull up on the pedals rather than just pushing down.
4. Bar Tape:
Removing your old bar tape and replacing it with new tape can make all the difference when it comes to the aesthetics of your bike as well as how it feels for the rider. New bar tape will come with the added benefits of being grippier on your gloves and a lot more comfortable than your previous worn down tape. It also allows you to customise the look of your bike, bar tape comes in a variety of colours allowing you to change not only the feel but the look of your bike.
If you’ve had your bike for a few years now it’s highly likely that your drivetrain has seen thousands of miles and is due an upgrade or replacement parts as its been worn down. New parts on your drivetrain can completely revitalise the beating heart of your bike as it will provide you with new found efficient shifting. If the parts don’t seem worn, then a fresh set of cables could be a good option, it will make your shifting far easier for the coming season.
To avoid unnecessarily forking out on new parts due to wear and tear, we suggest that you regularly service and clean your bike every 200 miles or 2 weeks depending on which comes first. Regular Maintenance will keep your bikes componentry in a lot better condition by increasing the longevity of the lifespan – this couldn’t be more true for when it comes to looking after your drivetrain! If you’d like to know how to service your own bike check out our courses or if you’d rather have your bike serviced for you have a look at our various service packages. Follow us on social media for regular tips and tricks on maintaining your bike too.