6 Equipment Upgrades for 2015
At the moment cycling websites are filled with articles like “Team Y’s Bike for 2015” and “See What Team X Will Be Riding This Year”. While it would be nice to pick up a new bike every January, that isn’t feasible for everyone – especially if you don’t get it handed to you at team camp.
If a new bike isn’t in the budget this year, there are a few items you might want to consider picking up to make your ride (or riding in general) feel like new – that won’t break the bank. Here are the 6 upgrades that might be worth making for 2015.
As your contact point with the road, tires take a beating. They get worn down (if your tires look more square than round now, it’s time for a new set!), cut up, and full of glass. Putting a new set of tires on your bike will make it ride smoother, give you more confidence and likely leave you standing on the side of the road changing a flat a little less.
New Drivetrain Components
This can be a little pricier than a new set of tires, but if you’ve put in some miles on your bike, the difference will be noticeable. By new drivetrain components, we mean a new chain, cassette and front chain rings. While your mechanic can always help you decide whether its time to replace these parts, you can also do an inspection yourself. It’s particularly easy to tell if you might need new front chain rings. Take a look at the teeth on your large chain ring. If any of them are particularly bent or look worn down, this might be your 2015 upgrade.
While not really on your bike, your cleats are still one of your points of contact to your bike. If yours are worn out, you’ll likely feel like your feet are sliding around more than you want. A new set will set you back about $30 and keep you clipped in securely – so the power goes straight to the pedals!
New Cables, Chain, Brake Pads
If it has been a while since you’ve had a good tune-up and you’ve put in a few miles on your bike, chances are you could make your bike feel new again with a good tune-up, clean and a few new parts. New cables and a new chain will make your shifting feel crisp again. New brake pads can make the bike feel like new again too. In general, a thorough cleaning will make a huge difference. Quite a bit of dust and grit can get caught in the nooks and crannies of your bike over a year.
New Bar Tape
A fresh wrap job can do wonders for the appearance of your bike. Mechanics on professional cycling teams hate dirty bar tape and it’s a point of pride for many mechanics and cyclists to have clean tape on their bikes. If your tape has gotten grimy over the past year, throwing a new roll on will make your bike look like new again.
New Computer/Power meter
A new Garmin or power meter will set you back more than a new roll of bar tape, but it can give you a new world to explore on your bike. If you haven’t used anything beyond a basic cyclo-computer before it can be pretty interesting to see some of the stats behind your ride. Even without a power meter, you can take motivation from seeing how many metres you’ve climbed or at what % grade your local grind of a climb tops out. If you have the budget for a power meter (and they are becoming more reasonably priced) you’ll likely forget your bike isn’t new. With even more data to look at and collect, you’ll feel like you have a new toy. Odds are you’ll be wanting to hop on your bike more than ever – especially if those numbers aren’t quite as high as you’d been imagining!
If you don’t think you need any new parts, a general tune-up and good clean can still make a big difference.
Do whatever you need to, to get out there and Ride More!