It may be necessary to upgrade components on a new bicycle. It is difficult to find a truly ideal bicycle, both in terms of performance, comfort, price of the bike, and its components. Most new bikes come with standard and general accessories, which are considered suitable for more people.
While the main components usually follow the price and genre of the bike, and these specifications are most often the main decisions when choosing a bicycle. So it feels a little strange if you just bought a bicycle you have changed the frame, upgraded the groupset, and other main components. Even though it’s a personal choice, something might go wrong when choosing a bike.
In contrast to the supporting components, some of which are not even included in the bicycle specification information, some only use makeshift components, and without a brand. Not all of the components below need to be replaced, but they will likely need to be adjusted as they are more generic.
One more thing that is important to note on the new bike is that the new bike is not perfectly tuned, which means that these components must be adjusted and tuned for optimum performance. That’s why most brands require dealers to have a workshop/mechanic to make initial adjustments according to user needs.
Especially those who buy bicycles online, not just assembling and installing handlebar and pedals, factory-assembled bikes need to be adjusted so that the position is comfortable and effective as needed. Some bicycle shops, for example, napkin.com, can be asked to make initial adjustments and check the availability of components for a new bicycle before it is shipped.
1. Change the type and size of bicycle tires
Tires are the shoes of a bicycle, the part that is in direct contact with the road surface. Changing tire air pressure is the cheapest and easiest way to change the character of a bicycle. And changing the tires used on the bike will also have a significant effect. Quality tires use better quality rubber, so they can provide lower rolling resistance and power efficiency.
Most newer bikes are fitted with tires that are for all-area, or perhaps modest. Even though choosing the right tire, according to the right area will increase performance and comfort. Besides being able to upgrade with higher quality tires than the default tires, we can choose the tire width according to the cycling area we want.
Many people prefer to use mountain bikes for use on asphalt roads. MTB tires are usually 2.2 “and up in width, changing to a thinner size (approx. 1.5”) will make cycling on asphalt easier and faster. Or vice versa, tires for racing bikes or folding bikes that are used on relatively bumpy roads/gravel, you can see the possibility of using wider tires so that they are more efficient and comfortable.
Including the selection of the site and type of rubber (wet or dry) according to the road, we are going to go through
2. Convert to tubeless tires
Most modern tires already use the tubeless-ready or tubeless easy (TLE) feature. Tubeless tires can also be used with inner tubes. non-tubeless rims/wheels are cheaper, and the workmanship is simpler and faster, which is probably why this is the choice we most often encounter on new bikes.
There is no need to upgrade to tubeless rims, now it’s as easy as many kits/tools to convert rims with inner tubes to tubeless. And we can find many of these conversion tutorials with materials that are quite cheap (duct tape) and easy to get.
The process may be a little more troublesome because it requires liquid sealant, rim tape, and maybe a compressor or tire booster. You can take it to a garage that has more complete equipment, with a cost of less than 50,000, we can get tubeless tires. With the advantage of tires that are more anti-leak, while also reducing rolling resistance.
3. Upgrading the bicycle saddle
A saddle or bicycle seat is indeed personal, it can depend on the level of comfort you want or your posture. So the default saddle may not always match what we want. Although indeed, a new saddle or a new bicycle, sitting in the saddle for a long time will feel pain, numb, etc., because they are not used to it.
There is no need to rush to upgrade the saddle unless we already know the ideal saddle shape according to our preferences. Narrow and hard saddles can improve leg movement to help speed the bike, but they are less comfortable. Saddles that are too soft and wide, comfortable to sit on, but not very energy efficient, and may find it easier to get scratches in the groin.
A good saddle will improve blood circulation, and what is important is an ideal position to maximize leg muscle strength. The ideal saddle height will prevent your legs from bending when you ride a bicycle.
4. Replacing the standard pedal
There are several models and brands of bicycles, especially expensive bikes, the new bikes do not have pedals. Because many people immediately replace/upgrade the pedals on their new bikes. Especially for those who wear cleats (bicycle shoes), because there are too many types of cleat interfaces (flat vs clipless), the default pedals may be replaced.
Even though you don’t use cleats, the built-in pedals (plastic, PVC, nylon) cost under 100,000, sometimes the important thing is there and can be driven. The pedals are easy to slip, and we often find stiff rotation on this free pedal. Especially for those who want better pedal performance; nylon pedal, alloy, with 1-5 bearings, tread/serrations that are more biting, folding pedals for folding bikes, can easily improve performance. And in appearance, using non-standard pedals will make a bicycle look different from similar bikes.
The price of pedals varies from hundreds of thousands to millions of rupiah, indicating the variety of pedals according to their needs and quality.
5. Handgrip / Bar tape
In addition to the saddle and pedals, the handlebar or handlebar grip is the part where there is direct contact between the body and the bicycle. So we need to make sure the area of body contact with the bicycle can be comfortable, and everyone can have different tastes. Some like rubber, foam (foam), leather, cloth, and so on. Coupled with a choice of grip/bar tape contours that are plain, rough, or even shaped.
There are lots of choices, grades, patterns, materials for bar tape, and hand grips to choose from. The price of handgrip and bar tape is also relatively cheap, it can make us more comfortable and a cooler bicycle.
6. Brake and Shifter Cables
The price of cables and casings can be from thousands to hundreds of thousands per meter. Most of the cables are black, the wire is not visible, is in the frame (internal cable routing), and is not in the specifications of the bike, so it is difficult to tell the difference. And the price of bicycles can be reduced by installing cheap cables.
Not many pay attention to the cables used in the / RD shifters or bicycle brake cables (mechanical or hydraulic). What distinguishes cheap and expensive cables is the quality of the casing, more flexibility, elasticity, more resistance to scratches, weather and impact, and sometimes the color. Performance is determined more by the inner cable, Bowden / rope/wire.
A bicycle cable upgrade is a great choice for better shifting and braking, especially on a cheap bike. Quality cable rope will reduce friction, responsiveness, harder to break, harder to stretch, good lube/grease, harder to rust, compressionless, coated, and guarantee stable brake or shifter pulling performance for long-term use.
7. Stem to change the body position & bike geometry
Often our posture and height are between two sizes, it could be S or M, or it could be M or L, etc. The proportion of posture that is different from the average person, or the type of bicycle used is different from its designation, for example, racing bikes are converted/used for gravel, mountain bikes are used on asphalt, etc. And it is difficult to find a truly ideal frame and structure geometry. Apart from positioning the saddle (high / low-forward / backward), another easy, cheap, and effective way is to change the stem. Changing/resizing the frame and handlebar may be more expensive and troublesome.
The bicycle stem has a variety of lengths and short, including the angle for the height of the handlebar. By changing the shape and size of the stem, the hand position, including the body position, will be different when cycling. Changing the stem will help to adjust a few cm, to better get the ideal riding position, be it for comfort or performance.
If you want it to be more aero / fast, we can upgrade the longer stem so that the body is lowered. If you want to relax more, you can use a shorter stem or change the angle of the stem more upward, so that your body position can be more upright.
And the size of the frame/handlebar and others must also be close to what we want. If the frame size doesn’t match the criteria/posture, changing the stem won’t help much either.
Upgrade a bicycle only when needed, if you don’t know the character of a bicycle, first enjoy the new bicycle as it is. If you feel that the bike is underperforming, increasing your ability and upgrading your knee and leg muscles will happen automatically as you ride more regularly.