Save or Spend? Cycling Upgrade Hacks | Maintenance Monday

Save or Spend? Cycling Upgrade Hacks | Maintenance Monday


– Most of us upgrade or at least dream of upgrading our bikes. So, replacing individual
parts for ones that perhaps work better, look
better, or add new functionality. But not all upgrades represent good value. So, when moneys tight, this is where you think you should invest. It’s time for GCN’s, save or spend? Spend or save? Save or spend? Save. Right, first up, here
is a tip from the pros. Now many world tour
teams believe it or not, actually buy there own components. And so, they also look to save money. Therefore, when you have
a look at their bikes you may well find Ultegra
cassettes instead of Dura Ace or SRAM force instead of Red. So, yeah, there is a weight
penalty between the two. Maybe 60 grammes or so,
but that all important performance is similar. And then same thing
when you look at chains. Ultegra instead of Dura Ace. Yeah, there is still a weight penalty of 12 grammes, and you
do lose that low friction coating that you get
with a Dura Ace chain, but you also save
yourself a bunch of cash. What are we gonna do with it then? Where are we gonna invest it? Spend. Tyres. That’s where. The difference between
a run of the mill tyre and a great tyre is absolutely massive. Genuinely tangible performance benefits. Now a good tyre is likely to be lighter, so it will probably feel a bit more lively when you’re accelerating
or when you’re climbing. But we’re really talking
about rolling existence here. Great tyres roll much, much faster. We’re talking upwards of ten watts here. Per wheel. And, if you’re going to upgrade this area, you might as well try
a wider tyre, as well. Definitely a bit of a
trendy topic at the moment, but with good reason. Wider tyres, generally faster, definitely more comfortable. Save. For many years, and in
particularly mountain biking, bike brands would often put more expensive rear derailleurs on
bikes they were selling in order to make it seem like the specification was better. So they would then say, oh yeah, it’s got a
mix of Ultegra and 105, meaning that actually it
has a full 105 groupset but with a Ultegra rear derailleur on. In performance terms, zero upgrade. In terms of weight savings,
probably about 40 grammes. So, when it comes to
replacing rear derailleurs, and you do need to do
that from time to time, then personally, I would always replace like with like. And then with the money that I saved, I would then invest it elsewhere. Spend. A set of high end gear cables can make a big difference to your shifting. With their super smooth inners and outers. But, living as I do in the U.K. With average to poor riding conditions for about 359 days out of the year, I would personally generally shy away from expensive cables, unless I’m instructed to do otherwise. So, in case of Shimanos Dual
Race groupset is needing Shimanos Dual Race cables. And instead what I would do is invest in a massive stash of replacement less expensive cables. Meaning, as soon as my
current set deteriorate, I wouldn’t think twice
about whipping them off, sticking a fresh set on and keeping that performance tip top. And the same of course,
is true for brakes, as well as shifting. Save. Handlebars can seem
like a tempting upgrade. But, in terms of grammes
saved for cash spent, they’re actually not the best
value upgrade you can make. Having said that, I have
bought more handlebars in my time than I care to remember, but always the reason was
to actually get a shape that was more to my liking. Because an upgrade, for me, is getting my hands literally on a set
of compact road drop bars. I’ve bought compact wider
bars for my cross bike. I’ve bought compact narrow
bars for my road bikes. And always, in a less
expensive aluminium model. Yet, there is a slight weight penalty, so it’s not suitable for
your ultimate super bike, but they feel just as good. Save or Spend I tend to save by bulk buying standard bootile inner tubes. Now I personally feel
that having a slightly thicker inner tube makes
it more puncture resistant, and I also think that saving money here means that when you do get a flat tyre it’s just that little bit less depressing. However, light weight inner tubes are actually the best
value weight saving upgrade you can make. With a cost per gramme ratio
far in excess of anything else. Generally about 30 cents or
30 pence per gramme saved. As opposed to well in excess of a dollar, euro, pound per gramme. And then further more, many people feel that if you actually upgrade to a latex inner tube, you actually improve the ride quality of your bike and get lower rolling resistance. Spend or Save Many of you watching this will no doubt ride your bikes with flat pedals. And that’s often out of
choice with good reason. It’s convenient and it’s also easier. But, making the upgrade
to clipless pedals, which are slightly confusing in name because they clip your feet into them, is, we think, a good upgrade. Now, there’s a little
bit of contention there, but, like I said, all of us at GCN feel that clipless pedals
are a great upgrade. But, here is also a
point where you can save. If you’re already using clipless pedals, then you can take
another tip from the pros and use less expensive ones. Yeah, there is a slight weight penalty, but functionally,
they’re exactly the same. And the reason I say it, is because at the Tour de France this year, I noticed that Team Katusha were using
the cheaper Look Keo Max Pedals as opposed to the lighter,
more expensive Look Keo Blades. Last of all, Spend it. If you’re after performance,
ie you don’t just ride, you also train, which is, I
think an important distinction. Then a Power metre is likely
to get you better, faster. Now, they are of course
a significant investment, but the good news is,
they are getting cheaper. So this new Power2Max
NG Eco actually retails for less than 500 Euros. And that, remarkably, is with
cranks and rings as well. Of course, you do still need to put hard work in, but power
metre is pretty much guaranteed to make that hard
work actually do more for you. So, save or spend. Let us know what you think are the best value upgrades
you can make to your bike. Or, in fact, are you
more like Eddie Merckx who legend has it once said
that you shouldn’t buy upgrades, you should ride upgrades. Which is all well for Eddie to say, but let’s face it, he had
the pimpest bike going when he was racing. Now, do make sure you subscribe
to GCN following this video. That’s probably the best
upgrade you can make on the Internet if you’re a cyclist. And if you want some
more content right now then we’ve got how to
make your bike faster just down there, some great upgrades. Or how to make your bike look more pro, which is in itself also an upgrade. Just down there.