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Best cost effective upgrades for a budget bike

rumbatazrumbataz Posts: 796
edited November 2015 in Road beginners
So I'm turning my attention to my old budget hybrid bike and wanting to give it a bit of a spruce up so that I can get a few more years of riding out of it. Given that I only paid £400 for it many, many years ago, it has proven to be a tough little bike and a bit of a bargain.

Over the years I've upgraded the tyres from stock to Schwalbe Marathon Plus London tyres, the seat post to a Thomson Elite and the saddle to a Charge Spoon Saddle. I've also got some mini toe clips on order to make Winter cycling a little more safe and secure.

Everything else is stock on the bike. I've focused on 'touch points' where I'm in contact with the bike or the bike is in contact with the ground.

What else could be improved for little cost? My thoughts were the bar grips and the steel pedals. Anything else I ought to consider that wouldn't cost a huge amount of money but would be a noticeable upgrade?

Posts

  • Depends on what kind of upgrades you are looking for. For example, changing out your tyres to something like the Continental 4 Seasons should see an increase in speed and comfort, but then they aren't as puncture resistant as what you have now. You can also have a look at some better brake pads, which depending on what you are using now, could make a big difference in stopping power. Swissstop and kool stop are both good makes.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Mountain bike pedals like nukeproof electrons are light weight and have plenty of grip. I use them on my road bikes as i don't get on with being clipped in and have never lost grip even in driving rain. No need for toe clips. Mudguards is another option but you may already have them.
  • rumbatazrumbataz Posts: 796
    Depends on what kind of upgrades you are looking for. For example, changing out your tyres to something like the Continental 4 Seasons should see an increase in speed and comfort, but then they aren't as puncture resistant as what you have now. You can also have a look at some better brake pads, which depending on what you are using now, could make a big difference in stopping power. Swissstop and kool stop are both good makes.

    The brake pads are whatever was originally fitted to the bike. I'll definitely take a look at getting better ones.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Why Marathon Plus?
    Wont be cheap but (as has been said) I would put more ridable Continental 4 Seasons tyres on. Maybe with self sealing tubes, or carry a sealing/inflation device if you are that bothered about punctures.

    Ergo grips/bar ends would make a big difference too.

    Has the bike been serviced lately? New cables and chain/cassette will feel good if it has not.
    Especially if you upgrade those pads too.
  • rumbatazrumbataz Posts: 796
    Why Marathon Plus?
    Wont be cheap but (as has been said) I would put more ridable Continental 4 Seasons tyres on. Maybe with self sealing tubes, or carry a sealing/inflation device if you are that bothered about punctures.

    Ergo grips/bar ends would make a big difference too.

    Has the bike been serviced lately? New cables and chain/cassette will feel good if it has not.
    Especially if you upgrade those pads too.

    Bike has just been serviced and a new chain and cassette was fitted. The cables were checked by the LBS and deemed to be okay for now. The Marathon Plus tyres were a monumental upgrade to what was there before! I'll look into the Contis too.

    The bike has a straight oversized handlebar. Would I need specific grips for it? I think I should be able to improve the feel with better grips but I don't know which ones would fit.
  • geodegeode Posts: 25
    [quote="Carbonator Ergo grips/bar ends would make a big difference too.[/quote]

    +1

    I fitted Ergon GP2 grips to my XC mtb and it's made a massive difference to the comfort.
  • rumbatazrumbataz Posts: 796
    Are handlebar grips a standard size in terms of diameter of handlebar they fit onto?
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