If you have been riding for a while you probably already have all the essentials, but maybe its time to start upgrading the bike you’ve got. Upgrades like clipless pedals and shoes, lighter/stiffer wheels, carbon components, and even high performance tires can change everything about the way your bike rides and performs.
Clipless Pedals and Shoes
Clipless pedals are the first major upgrade you can add to your bike to increase performance. Contrary to what the name suggests, clipless pedals actually work with a shoe and cleat to clip your feet into the pedal. Here are some of the benfits of the clipless pedal system:
• 360 degree pedal stroke– Being clipped in allows you to pull up on the pedal on the back side of your pedal stroke.
• Consistent fit– Clipping into the pedals insures that the ball of your foot will be directly over the spindle of the pedal everytime resulting in the best possible comfort and highest possible power output.
• Better bike control– Without clipless pedals your hands do all the work in controlling the bike. Being clipped in gives you two more solid points to control the bike and send it the direction you want it to go.
While clipless pedals help you get more power to the drivetrain, wheels are your direct connection between your bike and the ground. Being the largest moving part on your bike, reducing the weight and aerodynamics of a wheel will give you the most performance advantage for your dollar. Everything from shape, size, material, and spoke setup can change the performance of a wheel, and some wheels are even set up to run tubeless, just like a car tire. Here’s a quick break down:
• Aero Wheels– These wheels have a deeper rim, sometimes made up of carbon to save weight, that can slice through the air and create a slick aerodynamic profile for the entire bicycle.
• All-Around Performance– These wheels take advantage of performance parts like light weight rims, stiffer materials in the rim and hub, aluminum aero spokes and ceramic bearings to give you peformance going uphill, downhill, and everything between.
• Tubeless– Tubeless wheels can be either of the wheels above to give a certain performance profile but with the advantage of running without tubes. Without a tube there is no pinch flat, giving you the ability to run far lower pressures than a tubed tire as well as giving you a lighter weight rim.
Tires and Other Components
There are several other upgrades you can do to your bike to cut weight, add comfort, stiffen your ride to enhance power output, and grip the road better in all conditions. Here’s a few more ideas to help you along the way:
• Performance Tires– Higher quality rubber and higher TPI (thread per inch) count can give you a lighter weight wheel to spin, better grip on the road, and even more puncture resistence than a standard tire.
• Drivetrain Components– There are several ways to upgrade your drivetrain. Anything from lighter weight cranks to a stiffer, lighter bottom bracket, even different gearing to suit your needs.
• Carbon Components and Accessories– Carbon is everywhere in cycling, and for good reason. Carbon is lighter and stiffer than any metal alloy with vibration dampening qualities that rival steel and titanium. Components like seatposts, handlebars, and stems can be made of carbon fiber so you can extend the performance of carbon beyond your frame. For the die-hard carbon enthusiasts there are even superlight carbon fiber saddles and water bottle cages, the sky is the limit.
With companies like Giant, Cannondale, Shimano, PRO, Speedplay, Giro, Fizik, Fabric, ENVE, HED, Rolf Prima, Zipp, Ritchey, WTB, Continental, Vittoria, Maxxis and many more, we’ve got the aftermarket upgrade you’re looking for. Talk to one of our sales associates about the right path for you.