What are the best fixed gear bike components upgrades to make your bicycle ride or feel better?
There is no doubt that one of the best feelings a cyclist can have is the “New bike day” but we also know that unless you have the best sponsorship deal there just so many bikes you can add to you N+1, so the second best thing to do is definitely upgrade “1’s” we already have.
Truth be told upgrading a bike can sometimes be as expensive as a new one depending on the components and bling we wanna add to it but we don’t always have to break the bank in order to get that satisfaction, even if temporarily.
One of the best and cheapest upgrades we can do is definitely on the contact points, new handlebar with the right measures can completely change the feeling and bike handling we get, complete it with the right bar tape or grip and you are all set. New saddles, especially matching the bar tapes, are also a life-changing when it comes to bike upgrades. Let’s be honest, unless you went for a high-end complete bike chance are the original saddle is not the best one so spending a few bucks on that might hurt your wallet but can save your bottom. Paddles are the last contact point but really should not be ignored, going from a platform to lipless paddles will increase so much the power transfer, big part due to the usually harder shoes, that you will feel like you are dopping with each pedal stroke.
If you have the chance to spend a bit more money on the upgrade cutting some bike weight is usually the way to go, so changing those components to a carbon fiber equivalent can make a big difference.
The real money, at least in my point of view, and real gain comes on the upgrade of two very important components on the bike, the crankset and wheelset and each one can cost as much as a cheap bike.
The crankset is where your power transfer will be more significant and the right balance between durability and stiffness can be hard (A.K.A. expensive) to achieve.
Last but not least going for custom wheels or even a high end will set you off a couple of hundred Euros, Dollars or even Pounds but the difference can be noticeable. While most basic wheelset will get the job done a good investment in this department will be a game changer. Better bearings, stiffer spokes, and good rims will make a strong and light combination.
In the end, it all depends on how much we want to invest and how much we want to get out of it, the most important of course, is to keep those bikes spinning.