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5 Great Road Bike Upgrades For Under $50

5 Great Road Bike Upgrades For Under $50

– Have you got some
spare cash laying around and you fancy upgrading
something on your bike? Or maybe, a loved one asks you, what would you like for your birthday? What can I get you for Christmas? And you’re struggling
for some inspiration. Well, here’s five great
upgrades that you could make for under $50, under 45
euros, or under 40 pounds. Let’s have a look at them. (intense tones) (upbeat music) Okay, in at number one then, a firm favorite, new handlebar tape. New handlebar tape is like
when you’re going riding in a fresh pair of socks. It gives a nice appearance and also, it’s going
to be comfortable too. And when you got it on the bike, while it’s not up any
grubby old hand prints, or certainly not for the first ride, there is a huge variety, though, of different options available out there, from very basic and minimalistic tapes to something way more comfortable with some decent amount of cushioning. The world is your oyster
when it comes to bar tape. I’m not even going to start on colors. Well, I am a little bit. There is something out
there to match near enough every single bike on the market and if that doesn’t satisfy you, well, why not get something that
really clashes, perhaps. (upbeat music) Number two on my list, then, and Dr. Oliver Bridgewood’s
absolute favorite, the latex inner tube. They do come as standard in
some tubular ties out there, but well, not everyone out there uses them on a day-to-day basis. You are going to save some
weight by having them, about 40 grams per inner tube compared to a standard butyl tube. They do also offer a slightly
more comfortable ride because they are more supple
than a standard tube too, and that’s also going to
help you with your cornering because they’re going to
adapt to the carcass of a tire when you’re leaning it into a bend. Also, we’ve got a lower
rolling resistance in there and then, the last thing
which I’m going to mention, it’s not a positive,
it’s a bit of a negative, the tubes themselves are more porous, so that means that air is
going to escape overnight, for instance, but well,
you check your tire before every ride anyway. Don’t you? (upbeat music) Bottle cages, then, often
take ’em for granted, but it’s worth mentioning them because there is a huge variety of different products out there. So, if you’ve got a
subpar one on your bike, it’s likely you know about it because you’ve probably
lost a bottle somewhere along on one of your rides and if not, it’s Sod’s law
that it’s going to happen when you’re hurtling
down that bumpy descent and you don’t want to
have to go back up it. Many years ago, the variety
was heavy and sturdy or lightweight and flimsy. These days, you can get
lightweight and also sturdy too. You want that bottle cage
to have a nice firm grip so that you don’t lose your
bottle when you’re out riding. So what I recommend is
a water bottle cage, which has got a nice, firm grip, but not so firm that you have to stop at the side of the road
and wrestle a bottle out when it comes to having a drink. (upbeat music) Now, if you follow our
Monday Maintenance videos, which I’m sure you do,
you will know full well the importance of the
correct tool for the job and well, bike tools I see
as something of an investment because so many of them are specialists and they are going to
last quite some time. So if you’re using a free Allen key or a little spanner from IKEA, throw that away right now ’cause it’s not going to be up to the job and it could well be
damaging your component. Instead, why not get yourself
a decent little multi tool, which will do the job, and
they are built specially for bicycles and also to get
in those small little crevices that we sometimes have to. Of course, the ideal thing will be the individual specialist tool, but well, why not get yourself something
that will see you through ’til you can get your complete toolkit. (upbeat music) Right, my final one, decent tires, something I always recommend to someone when they’re talking about
upgrades on their bikes. We’ve got a number of
different reasons why. Firstly, puncture protection. Less likely to get a puncture
with them, for some reason, over even the cheapest, heaviest, oldest, thickest tires out there. It’s just the way the compounds
work and their flexibility. Now that flexibility also helps when it comes to ride quality too because they’re going to
give you a nice lively fill. When you get out of the saddle, you do notice the difference
between a decent tire and one that’s not that good indeed. One of the reasons behind this actually is the carcass of the tire, they’ve got more threads in there, which means that it can
adapt to everything it finds when you’re traveling along. Also, grip has to be
considered and mentioned as a real benefit too
because a decent tire will have had loads of R&D gone into it so the compound and also the tread pattern is going to be designed in such a way to enhance your ride quality and then, when we’re talking
about ride quality too, how would you like to not
put in quite as much effort, but to go the same speed? Well with a decent tire, generally, you’re going to have
less rolling resistance, which is always nice. (upbeat music) There we are then, five upgrades that aren’t going to break the bank, under $50, under 45
euros, under 40 pounds. Let me know in the comment
section down below, what would you recommend if you were sat here
right behind this desk? Get involved. I absolutely love reading your comments. And don’t forget, too, to
subscribe to the GCN Tech channel by clicking that subscribe button and also, don’t forget the
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100 comments on “5 Great Road Bike Upgrades For Under $50

  1. Better upgrade the cyclist himself, especially during winter. So a few months of subsciption to Zwift/Sufferfest/TrainerRoad.

  2. Ha ha ha! I had that exact neon purple fizik tape on my commuter (red). Looked great but got dirty and didn't clean up well. In the end black is best for everyday use, and brighter colours if you ride once a week etc.

  3. There is nothing like a new set of tires or new bar tape to start off the season. I am a big fan of latex tubes added to open tubular tires. The feeling is sublime…

  4. A question for you, Jon, a serious one: How does a tube affect rolling resistance? I honestly don't get it. The tire, sure. Even the rim. But the tube? I need enlightenment.

  5. My 2020 contend 3 came with white bar tape and i love it but i went on two rides before getting grease on them dose anyone have advise on cleaning white bar tape?

  6. great video. The only thing I would add is a saddlebag with a toolkit integrated — $45 as I recall. have a great week.

  7. I have Decathlon bartape for over 2 years now without any noticable wear.
    A bargain with incredible quality.

  8. I find a good set of tires a good upgrade, but a real good set of tires that will increase performance is more than $50.

  9. I saw your videos on different tubes/tubeless/tubular tyres and different inner tubes (including latex inner tubes) i am thinking, what would happen, if you put tubeless sealant in latex inner tube in regular clincher tyre. Do we get the benefit of smooth ride, puncture free and dont have to worry about inflating them before every ride? (as the sealant should fill all the porous latex) ?

  10. i did not know those allen key from ikea or any hardware store were bad for component another reason to like multitool.. they are already godsend invention for almost everything

  11. – Bought latex for me and my GF. The hassle is totally not worth the rolling resistance difference with butyls. But latex is much more comfy indeed.
    – I have lots of bike special tools. Three toolsets/multi tool including the lightest Topeak Mini-6 (60 grams). Having only 3 Allen wrenches (4, 5 & 6) is way lighter to carry on the saddle.
    – Love these under 50 upgrades (Dura chain, bartape, bottles & cages)
    P.S: Somebody’s been relying on analytics data $$$$$$$ vs. £££££££££ 😆. Surprised that they’re the higher percentage of your active followers.

  12. How about replacement sprockets for your cassette?
    Not all sprockets do wear evenly because we all have our favourite gear on the flat.
    There is no need to replace the complete cassette.

  13. i bought a whole bike for £40 the other night, I think I must have been drunk or something and I went on ebay and ended up with a 'trackatak professional' 26" mtb from the 90's with plastic brakes and then learned what a BSO or 'Bike Shaped Object' is ….

  14. Some safety lights, a high viz vest, a smartphone protection compatible with wahoo or Garmin mounts, a frame pouch for storing keys, a CO2 set, etc.

  15. I use tire liners and they work amazing at preventing flats but do they harm rolling resistance and comfort ? It seems like a rougher ride with them.

  16. Something I've been wondering for some time : what was Ollie's PhD thesis about? Where did he do it? I don't think he has a presenter video so it'd be nice to hear about it some day.

  17. The GCNs cheap bike to super bike apparently never gets driven, what you see on the brake flanks, which are still in perfect condition. Makes me a bit sad.

  18. Multitool? Really?

    If you want to work on your bike at home, buy a set of Wera hex keys and 3, 4 and 5mm Bondhus t-handled hex keys. You get those for about £50. The Wera set on its own is about £22 and worth every penny.

  19. Clean very well your drivetrain and then lube your chain with the finest chain lube you can get your hands on. #gainsssss 👍🏻

  20. A gp5000 tyre YES EXACTLY THAT – they're 36 quid for 1 so ya fkd if you need 2 as you won't have the other and have to wait to save up – what stupid advice from the brilliant GCN

  21. Great! Now all I need you tell me is where to get a pair ot GP5000's for £40. Can't wait, and thanks in advance 🤗

  22. I would add a mini chain tool and a few master links to the the saddlebag. Every year I come at across at least one cyclist who has broken their chain, far away from home, and cannot otherwise make it back. Many multi tools have a chain breaker built in. Carry a master link not only for your bike but for others who may need an 11 speed or another dimension of chain. They cost only a few dollars.

  23. Rear light, saddle bag, lock, garmin mount, cadence sensor, bottles, brake pads, cables, new shorts or jersey that are on offer and new cleats for your shoes. Or just keep the money, do a few more miles and have a extra cafe stop.

  24. the time trial world champion allowed to have rainbow stripes on his road bike ( non time trial) as well as his team jersey ( in road races)

  25. I have to ask, si vous plais, why would you buy a latex inner tube for a tubeless tyre, it very much defeats the purpose of tubeless does it not.

  26. New chain, was the first on that popped into my mind. But some lube set would do a great job too or cables and hoses if they are really badly stuck or loose. New break pads.. (if you use rim breaks)

  27. Jon, I need help. I am transforming my old 26" hardtail into a (hang on, bandwagon approaching) gravel bike of sorts. I have a mix of shimano 105 and tiagra components available that I can use, but my problem lies with the front mech – it was bottom pull on the original road bike set up, but the hardtail routing for the cable is top pull. Any ideas? Atb Andy Britton

  28. So you're saying that we have to buy a different set of allen keys for every single different object they're gonna get used on? So there must be one specific allen key for the bike, one for the car and one for the ikea chair?

  29. The best upgrade was ditching the 'ye olden' concept of bottles, and switching to camel-back. It is both aerodynamically superior and much more comfortable to operate.
    The second best was wend wax.

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