If you’re an avid mountain biker, you’re well aware of the high cost of quality gear and equipment. The initial investment for a decent mountain bike can be pretty steep, and that’s just the beginning and that is especially true if you plan to buy an e-bike online. Once you’re out on the trails, you’ll quickly discover that there are numerous upgrades and accessories that can enhance your ride, but many of them come with a hefty price tag. Fear not, however, because there are a number of upgrades you can make to your bike that is both affordable and effective. Here are 10 cheap mountain bike upgrades that will take your ride to the next level:
Zip Ties for Cable Management
C-clips may be standard cable fasteners, but they can come loose and leave your cables hanging. Instead, use zip ties. These colourful and slim ties not only secure your cables but also add a pop of colour to your ride. Choose an accent colour from your bike’s components to really make them stand out.
Electrical Tape for Chainstay Protection
When your chain slaps against your frame, it can cause scratches and damage to your bike’s paint. Protect your chainstay with electrical tape. The high-quality 3M tape won’t leave a residue when removed, and it comes in a variety of colours. When the tape gets chewed up, simply replace it for a fresh look.
Neoprene Chainstay Guard
Another way to protect your chainstay is with a neoprene guard. These can often be found for free when you order other bike gear online, or they can be purchased for just a few bucks. The velcro fasteners make them easy to remove and clean.
Standard grips are hard to remove and replace when servicing your bike, and they can slip around when they get dirty. Lock-on grips are much easier to work with and secure in place with screws. They come standard on high-end bikes, but you can purchase a set for around $13.
Aluminum Bar Ends
Bar end caps are usually made of plastic or rubber and can be difficult to remove for servicing. Aluminium bar ends are more durable and come in a variety of colours for a personalized touch. The universal sizing makes them easy to install on any bike.
Synthetic or Dry Lubricant
To keep your drivetrain running smoothly, you’ll need to lubricate it after a few rides and cleanings. Synthetic or dry lubricants offer better protection than cheap bike oil and are still affordable.
Grip Tape for Shifters
Slippery shift levers can be a problem in muddy conditions. Use skateboard grip tape to make grip pads for your shifters. It not only provides a grippier feel, but it can also be found in a variety of colours to match your bike.
Colored Cable Ends
The little caps at the end of your shift and brake cables prevent fraying but are usually boring silver. Replace them with multi-coloured cable ends for a finishing touch that other riders will notice. They can be easily squeezed on with pliers or crimpers.
Removing the Dork Disc
The plastic spoke guard on your rear wheel, also known as the dork disc, is there to protect your spokes if your chain shifts off the cassette. However, a properly maintained drivetrain won’t have that problem, and the dork disc can just rattle around and collect dirt. Removing it can make your bike look cleaner, but it should only be done if you understand the implications.
Aluminum Valve Stem Caps
Valve caps may not be necessary for most bikes, but they can protect your valve stem on tubeless wheels. Anodized aluminium caps are both functional and attractive and come in packs with a variety of colours to choose from.