14 of the best bike upgrades

Specialized S-Works Power with Mirror Saddle

A close-up of the Specialized S-Works Power with Mirror Saddle, £390
Specialized S-Works Power with Mirror Saddle, £390

This 3D-printed saddle is formed with thousands of honeycomb-like polymer struts, allowing densities to be fine-tuned to reduce pressure points – something completely unachievable with a traditional foam saddle. It is mounted on a top-spec carbon-fibre shell and lightweight rails, and is offered in two sizes. £390, specializedconceptstore.co.uk


CeramicSpeed OSPW

The CeramicSpeed Oversized Pulley Wheel System in motion, €469
CeramicSpeed Oversized Pulley Wheel System, €469

This simple customisation not only looks great, it is claimed by the makers to offer a 2.4-watt saving over a standard equivalent. The large pulley wheels improve drivetrain efficiency by reducing friction, which in turn allows for smoother pedalling. Made of aluminium, with a carbon cage and ceramic bearings, they’re particularly long-lasting. €469, ceramicspeed.com 


Favero Assioma DUO Power Meter Pedals

Favero Assioma DUO Power Meter Pedals, €569.67
Favero Assioma DUO Power Meter Pedals, €569.67

A power meter built into each of these clip-in pedals transmits data to your cycling computer for real-time metrics and analysis once you’ve dismounted. Being a sealed unit, there’s minimal chance for water or debris ingress, which significantly helps longevity. Fitting what looks like regular pedals (or switching them between your bikes) is very simple, and they weigh little more than standard SPD-SL pedals. You’ll get 50 hours of use from a single charge before re-powering by attaching the magnetic charging connector to the pedals. €569.67 for the pair, cycling.favero.com


Princeton Carbonworks PEAK 4550 Wheelset

Richard Carapaz riding on the Princeton Carbonworks PEAK 4550 Wheelset during the Tour de France
Princeton Carbonworks PEAK 4550 Wheelset, from $3,000

Owning a single wheelset for all rides inevitably means making compromises, primarily between weight and aerodynamics. This race-ready all-rounder was the choice of INEOS Grenadiers in the 2021 Tour de France. Stiff, lightweight, yet still good in crosswinds, it’s a go-to for all rides – and rather handily is available in all configurations, including rim and disc brake. From $3,000, princetoncarbon.com


Fizik Vento Solocush 2.7mm Tacky 

A yellow roll of Fizik Vento Solocush 2.7mm Tacky, €39.90
Fizik Vento Solocush 2.7mm Tacky, €39.90

This high-quality bar tape has a non-slip (tacky to the touch) surface, giving good grip even in the wet, and the 2.7mm thickness combined with generous length (allowing for considerable overlap when fitting) makes for a very comfortable ride. It’s also lightweight and comes in more than a dozen colours. €39.90, fizik.com


Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt GPS Bike Computer

The Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt GPS Bike Computer attached to a bike, £264.99
Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt GPS Bike Computer, £264.99

Intuitive to use and simple to set up, pair this with a smartphone to seamlessly sync routes from Strava (or customise data pages) for turn-by-turn instructions via its detailed maps. Smaller than some alternatives with a 2.2in colour screen, it doesn’t hog your cockpit yet it’s still sufficiently sized to view data and directions at a glance. £264.99, eu.wahoofitness.com


Exposure Lights TraceR MK2 ReAKT + Peloton

A red Exposure Lights TraceR MK2 ReAKT + Peloton, £65
Exposure Lights TraceR MK2 ReAKT + Peloton, £65

An anodised aluminium housing means this small light is very robust and tips the scales at just 35g. In low-light mode, its integrated battery has a life of up to 24 hours, and the 75-lumen maximum brightness is more than sufficient for long-distance visibility. Rather brilliantly, this version also auto-adjusts its brightness to the light conditions – ideal for early morning rides – and also automatically dims when another bike is tucked in close behind, to avoid dazzling the rider. £65, exposure-use.com


Silca Sicuro Titanium Bottle Cage V2

A cyclist reaches for the Silca Sicuro Titanium Bottle Cage V2
Silca Sicuro Titanium Bottle Cage V2, £65

When it comes to classic looks and functionality, little stacks up to this titanium number. At 30g, it’s lightweight and holds bottles securely in place, and the 25-year warranty means a long time of riding. £65, silca.cc


Continental Grand Prix 5000 Tyre

A Continental Grand Prix 5000 Tyre
Continental Grand Prix 5000 Tyre, from £30

A piece of kit that has built an almost unrivalled reputation in the cycling community – it’s a fantastic all-rounder, with impressive puncture protection and good grip even on wet, wintry roads. This conventional clincher version requires use of an inner tube; alternatively there’s the more recently released Grand Prix 5000 S TR for those who prefer tubeless designs. From £30, sigmasports.com


Sidas Ultra Pro Footbed

Two views of the Sidas Ultra Pro Footbed
Sidas Ultra Pro Footbed, £175

A custom-moulded footbed may seem a tad frivolous. But these are popular with both amateur and pro riders for good reason: unlike support for running and walking, the objective with a cycling footbed is to remove as much movement in the shoe as possible, locking the feet firmly in their natural position, helping with pedalling and comfort. That said, the success of the custom sole is largely down to the experience of the technician, and there are few better than Covent Garden-based Cyclefit, a specialist for around 20 years. £175, cyclefit.co.uk


Abus AirBreaker Helmet

A cyclist adjusts his Abus AirBreaker Helmet
Abus AirBreaker Helmet, from £160

Developed with team Movistar, this top-end helmet offers great ventilation while maintaining aerodynamics for speedy descents. It’s also lightweight, meaning you’re set for a Gran Fondos. From £160, sigmasports.com


Assos Equipe RS Rapidfire Chronosuit S9

The aerodynamic Assos Equipe RS Rapidfire Chronosuit S9
Assos Equipe RS Rapidfire Chronosuit S9, £390

If you’re looking for one of the easiest gains to your speed, check out this aerosuit which, compared with wearing a normal jersey and shorts, could gain you around 15 watts. The Swiss brand is known for producing high-quality apparel – albeit with a price tag to match – and this all-in-one is constructed with compressive fabrics and a tailored fit for a second-skin feel and aero advantage. £390, assos.com


Rule28 Aero Socks

A pair of Rule28 Aero Socks worn by a cyclist
Rule28 Aero Socks, £24.99

Cyclist’s socks are often used to make a statement, and for those who want a pro look, make sure you get them extra long. One thing you might not associate with socks is an aero advantage, but this brand claims theirs offer a significant 12-watt saving over a standard pair. £24.99, rule28.com


SILCA HX-One Home Essential Travel Kit

The SILCA HX-One Home Essential Travel Kit in its beechwood carry case
SILCA HX-One Home Essential Travel Kit, £139

This exquisite set of eight hex wrenches (2mm to 10mm) also packs in six Torx bits and four screw bits (a one-stop-shop set of pro-level tools) – all housed in a beechwood carry case. £139, silca.cc

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