There are many ways to make your bicycle better, but this doesn’t mean that you have to go broke, especially if you just spent a considerable amount for a new bike, so here are 11 cheap bike upgrades that will help you improve your ride and give it a custom look.
1. Organize the cables with zip ties
Brakes and gears have cables that can get messy, and will make noise while riding, get yourself some zip ties to organize these cables, just make sure they have enough space to move around; you can even get zip ties in any color, to fit the look of your bike and give it a neat look.
2. Lock on grips
The handlebar grips that come with regular bikes can get loose when they get dirty, swap them for some fresh lock on grips, these are secured by screws, making them easier.to remove for service and will stay on no matter what. Moreover, the collar of the grips can be used as an emergency valve core stem.
3. Custom handlebar caps
Regular handlebar caps are usually black and made from plastic or rubber; for a few bucks you can get aluminum caps, they come in many colors, so you can match them with the colors of the bike, giving it a stylish look.
4. Grip tape
While riding in wet or muddy conditions, levers can get slippery, apply some grip tape and feel the difference, you can order tiny pads or get a roll and cut it to the size you need, in addition this can be useful for many other things that need more grip.
5. Custom valve stems caps
Give a twist to the usual valve stems by using anodized aluminum caps, another way of making your bike more customized.
6. Colored end crimps
If you need to replace the cable crimpers on your bike, get some colored ones, these are usually inexpensive and will be appreciated by other riders who pay attention to detail.
7. Crank boots
Cranks get often beat up and scratched, you can protect them with crank boots, usually made from rubber, plastic or alloy, which will prolong the life of the components.
8. Neoprene chainstay protector
This is often given for free with other purchases, or can be bought for a low price, it locks with Velcro or a zipper which makes it super convenient to remove for cleaning it.
9. Tubless upgrade
Most of modern bicycle are tubeless ready, all you need for the setup are a specific valve stem, tubeless sealant and tape for the rim, they’re cheap and the pros are improved resistance to punctures, the option of riding with a lower tire pressure for better grip, and of course the reduced weight of the inner tube
A good saddle can make a difference, especially on long rides and is essential for bikepacking, everyone has a saddle that is more comfortable and there are even lady specific ones, your buttocks will thank you.
11. Wider handlebar
A wider handlebar is especially useful for mountain biking, this gives you a more stable position, thus enabling you to ride more aggressively; furthermore it will give you more precise steering for narrow passages and make sharp turns easier to handle, this might not be super cheap but the improvements are definitely worth the price.
These ideas were put together from different sources such as youtubers, blogs and personal experience; if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments and you might see it in the next list of cheap upgrades.
Enjoy your ride!