Best Budget Road Bike Upgrades [Review] in 2020
Last Updated on September 29, 2020
This guide has been written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
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Significant performance boosts don’t have to cost thousands. But what changes give the biggest bang for your buck when you’re on a budget? Road bike upgrades come in all shapes and sizes, from something small like clipless bike pedals to a big upgrade such as a set of carbon wheels. Either way, adding a new component to your pride and joy can be extremely rewarding. It often improves the aesthetics of your bike and gives it that ‘pro’ look.
Big upgrades such as new wheels or a better group set have the biggest impact on performance but are also the most expensive. Luckily there are also lots of small improvements that will make your bike stand out on the road whilst not breaking the bank. Carbon bottle cages, a high-quality garmin mount and carbon headset spaces will all help to reduce weight and improve appearance. Here is our list of what we find the best upgrade options.
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The Selection of Best Budget Road Bike Upgrades
Anjoy Ultra Light Full Carbon Fiber Bicycle Bike Water Bottle Cage Holder for Road Bike
Top Choice Item
Anjoy water bottle holder is made of 100% of incredibly strong, lightweight, non-deformable and corrosion resistant carbon fiber. This carbon cage holds the bottle very steady, even on some pretty bumpy gravel rides. The bottle holder’s upper part has a protruding design to help hold the bottle firmly. The carbon holder is easy enough to grab water and restack the bottle. The design of the bolt holes is also excellent: enough room for a larger headed hex screw and recessed enough so the screw head does not mangle your bottle. Great for road, mountain, hybrid, touring & electric bicycles allowing you to enjoy comfortable travel experience in outdoor travel.
Advanced 3k carbon fiber material
Weighs around 30g
Ideal for road and mountain bikes
May not fit smaller water bottles
Latest deal: Anjoy Bottle Cage
EC90 Full Carbon Fiber Road Bicycle Handlebar Road Bike Handle Bar
Prime Picked Item
The ec90 handle bar brings in a full carbon fiber construction along with being strong and light. Not so much to save weight but to get you in a more comfortable position. The ec90 design which is available in carbon just fits the hands better. Carbon bars are a welcome upgrade on near-any sub 2-grand bike’s alloy bars. Not only are they usually lighter weight, carbon bars also help damp vibrations, aka road buzz, transmitted through the front wheel and fork, so they contribute to a more comfortable ride. This style is one of the standard mold of modern road racing bike, its tortuosity is especially made to fits the brake system, and in the position of the brake system, we prayed it with a layer of granule paint to increase the friction between the brake handle and the handlebar, providing you a safer and comfortable riding.
Ultra lightweight approx. 300g
Easy to install and unload
Exquisite workmanship, beautiful and stylish
30 days return policy
Not as durable as aluminium handle bars
Latest deal: EC90 Carbon Handle Bar
leggera Carbon Fiber Road Bike Saddle 90g
Best Value Item
The more time you spend on your bike, the more you will appreciate the added comfort of a saddle upgrade. Saddle upgrades are important because a saddle needs to be fit to the individuals sit bone width, and riding style. With leggera’s beautiful, european-inspired design sure to complement the styling of any bike, you can achieve light weight, aerodynamic performance, and striking aesthetics, all at a reasonable price point. The saddle is third party-tested to comply with iso and cen standards. The center channel and sculpted rear provide enhanced blood flow in the nether regions, whilst cradling your sit bones. Masterful carbon layup results in a design with high torsional stiffness for optimal power transfer, but vertical compliance to quiet “road buzz” and smooth out jarring shocks through the seatpost.
Light weight: 90 grams
Easily adjustable via rail index markings
Beautiful european-inspired design
Matte 3k carbon fiber weave
Not rated for more than 100kg riders
Latest deal: leggera Saddle
Sumind 11 Pieces Bike Carbon Fiber Headset Spacer
Multi-size sumind headset spacer package contains 7 different sizes, 1 mm, 2 mm, 3 mm, 5 mm, 10 mm, 15 mm, 20 mm, small size of spacer headsets let you have a more precise height adjustment. The spacer supports automatic cutting, smooth edge, have a delicate texture and are durable to use. Sumind spacer is made up of woven carbon that looks nice and has excellent quality. Headset spacer’s are resistant to corrosion, harder than aluminum alloy headset spacer, and lighter than aluminum alloy.
Diameter is larger than stock
Latest deal: Sumind Headset Spacers
Superteam 50mm Clincher Wheelset 700c
Wheels while the most expensive upgrade, give you some of the biggest gains as they improve aerodynamics and are usually lighter than most wheel sets found on original bikes. The 50mm road bike wheels and its disc provide the perfect platform for anything from a 23c to 50c road, gravel, or cyclocross tire. Superteam wheelset is constructed with premium toray t700 carbon fiber. The best strength to weight ratio with no expense spared, this incredibly stiff and aerodynamic 50mm carbon clincher is just as at home on your road race bike as it is on your gravel rig. Whether you’re sprinting for primes or tackling a 200-mile gravel epic, the superteam are the deep road bike wheels that are up for the challenge.
Graphene brake track
Latest deal: SuperTeam Wheelset
Best Budget Road Bike Upgrades Buyers Guide
A road bike is a great investment for those who love cycling. However, most road bikes, especially cheap ones, come with low-quality components. This means that some parts like the wheels, handlebar, the seat may not be reliable enough. Instead of saving money to buy a new bike, the best thing you can do is to replace them with better ones. Doing this will also boost the performance of your road bikes. Some of these upgrades may very cheap but they can make really make a difference.
What to look for in budget upgrades for your bike
The single biggest upgrade you can make in your comfort, and even performance, is to get a professional bicycle fit. Get your seat height placed properly, your reach set up, and your bars at the right width, and you’ll be surprised how much of a difference it’ll make.
You’d also be surprised how much energy your body wastes just fighting against a bad fit. Nowhere else in the bike world will you gain so much in increased comfort or performance.
Upgrades make for a new love for your road bike
The sole point of the actual connection between the rider and the bike is the shoes and pedals, and shoes play a big part in many aspects of your riding: efficiency, power, comfort, endurance, and control. If you’re feet ever bother you while riding, it is certainly time for this upgrade, but even if they don’t you might be surprised how much better new high-quality shoes perform.
So you’ve had your bike fit, but you’re still a bit uncomfortable? Getting the right saddle for both your body type and riding style makes a big difference, too. Things to consider when buying a saddle include how wide your sit bones are, how upright you sit, and how much you like to move around while you ride.
If you’re having issues with your hands and arms getting sore, maybe look into a new set of handlebars.
The newer wing-style handlebars, compact drops, and bends designed to accommodate the shapes of new brake and shift levers can do wonders for comfort. As can bar gel pads underneath lizard bar tape.
Some of the most important accessories every bike should have include;
Cheap Road Bike Accessories
Bike lights– Bike lights are very important at night because they enhance your visibility when cycling. They also prevent accidents because other road users can see you.
Bicycle Rack- For those who use the bike to carry heavy loads, a bike rack will be an important upgrade to your bike. However, you need to look for a sturdy one that is able to support the weight of your luggage.
Bike Mirror- A bike mirror allows you to see what is happening behind you. It is usually connected to the handlebar although there are others that are attached on the helmet.
Phone Mount – This will allow you to carry your phone in a more secure and convenient manner.
Speed sensor– If you would like to track your speed when cycling, you should look for Wahoo RPM Cycling Speed and Cadence Sensor, Bluetooth/ANT+. This device features a lightweight design and it also provides accurate speed data. Again, it is 100% wireless and compatible with third party cycling apps.
Bike Tires– Bike tires wear out faster as compared to any other part of your bike. When buying new tires, you need to look for the most durable tires and those with the highest customer reviews.
Handlebar Bag– A handlebar bag allows you to carry your items in a more secure manner. When searching for the best, you need to ensure that it can accommodate different items you may require when cycling.
Repair Tool Kit- You will also need to have a reliable bike repair tool kit such as the Venzo Bike Bicycle Repair Tool Kit. With this set, you can repair your bike anywhere without taking it to a bike shop for maintenance. If you are searching for a cheaper option, PRO Bike Tool Bike Multitool 8 in 1 Reliable Compact and Lightweight Repair Kit will be an awesome choice.
Cleaning Set– When cleaning your bike, there are various items you will require. Anndason 8 Pieces Precision Bicycle Cleaning Brush Tool Including Bike Chain Scrubber is among the top-rated cleaning sets you should have.
Handlebar grips– These ones allow you to hold the handlebar properly without slipping.
Brake Calipers – If you want to boost the performance of your brakes, you need to look for quality brake calipers but you need to ensure that they are compatible with your bike.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best helmet for cycling?
A bike helmet is one of the most important safety gears you must always have when cycling. KINGBIKE Ultralight Bike Helmets CPS & CE Certified with rear Light is among the best.
Which are the best cycling gloves?
It is not easy to determine the best cycling gloves since they come with different designs. If you are searching for top-rated, stylish, durable and affordable cycling gloves, you can find them in our list of reviews
Finding a road bike of your dreams is a hard one, especially if you’re a rider that loves to upgrade their road bike on a budget but, one thing you may overlook to improve comfort is your tires. If you’re riding something with a really low thread count, or something that has an overabundance of flat protection, you might be missing out. As you get into a tire with a higher thread count, it’ll conform better to the things you ride over, allowing you to roll not only smoother but faster as well. Because they won’t flex, really flat-resistant tires and low thread count tires kind of “run into” things as opposed to rolling over them, giving you a harsher, slower ride.
Content Manager at Pedallers
Alex is a cycling expert at and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.