Five Valuable Upgrades For Road Cyclists

There is a seemingly endless supply of equipment and kit for cyclists available on the market. While the latest upgrades are continually tempting us, the unfortunate lack of ‘money-growing trees’ means we need to choose our upgrades wisely. To help you make the most effective purchases, we’ve compiled a list of our most popular upgrades which offer optimum bang for your buck.

1. Shoes

Cycling-specific shoes are one of the most effective upgrades a new road cyclist can make. By binding your feet to the pedals, quality cycling shoes enable you to ride with greater confidence on corners, up and down steep gradients and at a higher speed. Cycling shoes also increase pedalling efficiency, due to a stiffer sole which increases power transfer across the foot and into the pedal stroke.  This additional output becomes even more pronounced with a comfortable and super stiff carbon sole. One of the best upgrades you can make is a quality pair of cycling shoes.

2. Bib Shorts

Keeping your behind happy is vital for long-term comfort on the bike. One way to ensure this is to invest in a pair of quality cycling-specific bib shorts. Typically, a good pair of shorts will have an anatomical chamois pad which is cleverly shaped and more breathable than found on entry level shorts, this protects your delicate areas over distance more effectively. Similarly, the main body of fabric on a better pair of shorts will be a superior quality lycra, which ensures better pad stability, effective sweat wicking and reduces skin chafing. Investing in a quality pair of shorts doesn’t have to cost the earth – the Pearson range are all hand made with quality lycra and an antibacterial, anatomical chamois pad. If you are looking to increase your comfort on the bike, a quality pair of bib-shorts is one of the best upgrades that you can make.

3. Bar Tape

Fortunately, one of the best and most effective upgrades for your road bike is the cheapest. While bar tape is probably one of the most frequently overlooked upgrades, this component can make a tremendous difference to the comfort of the front end of your bike. If you’re riding on rougher surfaces or across long distances, thicker gel tape can help cushion your hands and dampen the vibration which travels through your arms from the bars. Similarly, the texture of your handlebar tape can offer increased grip, giving you greater confidence across all riding conditions. If you’re looking to improve your comfort and confidence on your bike, a well made handlebar tape is an effective, economical upgrade.

4. Wheels

While new wheels are one of the most expensive upgrades, they also make the most significant difference to the ride quality of your bike. If you choose to upgrade to a lightweight wheelset, your bike will feel more agile and quicker uphill. On the other hand, if you decide to upgrade to an aerodynamic wheelset, your bike will become more efficient on flat and rolling terrain. Occasionally, you can find wheelsets like our carbon Pearson Hoopdrivers, which offer the metaphorical Holy Grail of cycling technology - lightweight and aero. With a wind-cheating rim profile and at a svelte 1500 gram weight, Hoopdrivers are well suited to both steep pitches and flat terrain. We appreciate that a new wheelset certainly isn’t the cheapest upgrade, but if you’re asking for a single component that’ll make the most difference to the ride quality your bike - a new wheelset is your answer.

5. Bike Fit

Proper set up is vital. To a certain degree, if your bike doesn’t fit properly, it doesn’t matter how much you spend on upgrading your equipment, the difference will be negligible. The concept and process of bike fit has revolutionised the way that we think about how our bodies interact with our equipment. By using method and experience gathered from over three thousand bike fits, our technicians can assess your biomechanics, adjust your position and make your bike fit like a glove. Equally, if you are thinking about a new machine, this process is invaluable to help select the correct size, shape and style.

If you want to get the most out of your equipment, enhance comfort, increase efficiency, prevent injury and enjoy your riding infinitely more, a bike fit with an experienced technician is one of the best upgrades you can make.