Best Budget Road Bike Upgrades [Review] in 2020
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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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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
Best Value 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
Prime Picked 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
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 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.
Finding a road bike of your dreams is a hard one, especially if you’re a rider that loves to upgrrade thier 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.
Head of Content at Pedallers
Alex is Pedallers Head of Content and specialises in road bike accessories and general cycling. Alex scours the internet finding the latest product that matches the needs of cyclists across the world. Alex looks at the best bike set ups and sources the newest tech in the cycle industry. Whether its a buyer guide, product review or a general post about bikes, Alex is a trusted source for everything cycle sport.
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