The 10 Best Road Bike Upgrades

Road bike upgrades come in all shapes and sizes, from something small like new bar tape to a big upgrade such as a set of carbon wheels. Either way, adding a new component to your pride and joy can be extremely rewarding. It often improves the aesthetics of your bike and gives it that ‘pro’ look.

Big upgrades such as new wheels or a better groupset have the biggest impact on performance but are also the most expensive. Luckily there are also lots of small improvements that will make your bike stand out on the road. Carbon bottle cages, a high-quality Garmin mount and carbon headset spaces will all help to reduce weight and improve appearance. But which are the best road bike upgrades if you’re looking to keep costs down?

10 Affordable Road Bike Upgrades:

  1. Fizik Performance Soft Touch Handlebar Tape
    £12.99 Buy now with Probikekit

    Fizik Performance Soft Touch Handlebar Tape

    Tatty handlebar tape is the worst. You can have a top of the range, all-singing-all-dancing bike but if your bar tape is dirty or torn it ruins the whole aesthetics.

    One of our most popular products is Fizik’s Performance Soft Touch tape, available in both black and white. If you prefer a more tactile bar tape then check out Superlight Tacky from Fizik.

    It’s a fairly inexpensive upgrade but it’ll do wonders for your bike.

    Buy now with free delivery
  2. AbsoluteBLACK Chain Catcher
    £12.49 Buy now with Probikekit

    AbsoluteBLACK Chain Catcher

    Chain catchers – they’re fairly inconspicuous, but that doesn’t change the fact they serve a very important purpose. Even if your front derailleur is set up perfectly your chain can fall off the inside ring when shifting off the big ring on bumpy terrain.

    Not only do chain catchers save you the inconvenience of having to stop and put your chain back on, they also protect your frame. If your chain jams between your rear stay and chainset you’ll most likely damage the paintwork or worse, the top layer of carbon fibre.

    Stick a chain catcher on your road bike and make dropping your chain a thing of the past.

    Buy now with free delivery
  3. Silca Latex Inner Tube with Extender and Speed Shield
    £22.00 Buy now with Probikekit

    Silca Latex Inner Tube with Extender and Speed Shield

    Valves sometimes rattle, it’s a common problem on deep section carbon wheels, an annoying one. You can use a piece of electrical tape to stop this but doing so looks cheap and messy. Silca offers a neat solution to this problem – The threaded extender kit with speed shield.

    The speed shield protects your rim from valve nut damage, eliminates valve stem rattle and improves aerodynamics. Only choppers ride around with a bike that rattles and squeaks, don’t be one. Get yourself an extender kit.

    road bike upgrades, the silca valve extender and speed shield.

    Buy now with free delivery
  4. Profile Design Steerer Tube Gap Cap - Suits 1-1 1/8 Inch
    £14.39 Buy now with Probikekit

    Profile Design Steerer Tube Gap Cap - Suits 1-1 1/8 Inch

    A touch of glossy carbon fibre here and there can really give your road bike that added bling factor. It’s easy to overlook your steerer cap, even though it sits directly under your nose all day…

    A decent steerer tube bung is crucial if you want to avoid having a headset that creaks as your ride out of the saddle. A new steerer cap is purely an aesthetic upgrade but if you look down at your handlebars while suffering on a climb you may as well look at something pretty.

    Buy now with free delivery
  5. Shimano Road Gear Cable Set With PTFE Coated Inner
    £22.99 Buy now with Probikekit

    Shimano Road Gear Cable Set With PTFE Coated Inner

    Ok so this is a bit of a boring one but not half as boring as hearing someone moan about their gears not working properly. Cables stretch and wear over time which leads to sloppy gear shifts.

    This PTFE coated gear cable set from Shimano helps to reduce friction which ensures crisper shifting. If you know what you’re doing then adding new gear cables is a quick ten-minute job that will keep your bike in tip-top condition.

    We also offer Campagnolo cables for those that don’t use a Shimano groupset.

    Buy now with free delivery
  6. K-Edge XL Garmin Mount - 31.8mm
    £41.49 Buy now with Probikekit

    K-Edge XL Garmin Mount - 31.8mm

    I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “buy cheap, buy twice”, the saying couldn’t be truer for cycling componentry. There are so many cheap parts out there which may save you money in the short term but you’ll inevitably have to replace them. K-Edge mounts are well built and will last you a lifetime.

    Cycling computers can be expensive, so why would you secure it to your bike with a flimsy, plastic mount? I’ve been using a K-Edge XL mount for over 5 years and it still works perfectly to this day.

    We also offer TT mounts and K-edge Wahoo mounts.

    k-edge xl garmin mount, the perfect road bike upgrade

    Buy now with free delivery
  7. PRO Saddle Bag
    £16.97 Buy now with Probikekit

    PRO Saddle Bag

    Saddlebags, love them or hate them, you can’t deny that they’re great for carrying spare inner-tubes, money, tyre levers and a multi-tool while out training.

    The PRO saddlebag is arguably one of the best out there. It’s durable, affordable and available in a range of sizes.

    If you’re not sure which saddlebag is best for you then check out our recent post; The 10 best Saddlebags for Road Cycling.

    Buy now with free delivery
  8. SKS S-Guard Rear Mud Guard
    £6.99 Buy now with Probikekit

    SKS S-Guard Rear Mud Guard

    This isn’t so much a road bike upgrade, more of a temporary addition for when the weather isn’t great. Full-length mud-guards are fine in winter but you can’t ride with them all year round. For those summer days when you need a bit of protection from rain and road spray, the SKS S-Guard is perfect.

    It’s tougher than competitor products and can be zip-tied to your saddle rails to reduce the risk of it falling off while out riding.

    Buy now with free delivery
  9. Elite Custom Race Resin Bottle Cage
    £6.99 Buy now with Probikekit

    Elite Custom Race Resin Bottle Cage

    Investing in a good pair of bottle cages may be one of the best road bike upgrades you can make. Most new bikes come with a set of cheap cages that don’t securely grip your bidon. The last thing you want on a long ride is to watch your bottle bounce down the road after bouncing out of its cage.

    The Custom Race Resin bottle cage from Elite is extremely popular among road riders as it’s light, sleek and very affordable.

    elite bottle cage

    Buy now with free delivery
  10. VEL Headset Spacer Kit - 1 1/8 Inch
    £7.49 Buy now with Probikekit

    VEL Headset Spacer Kit - 1 1/8 Inch

    Last but not least, carbon headset spacers, a similar component to steerer caps. They don’t have a huge effect on performance, although they will save you a few grams, they’re largely for improving aesthetics.

    Stems look best ‘slammed’, but if you must add spacers then make them carbon ones. The Vel headset spacer kit comes with a number of different sizes to suit every rider.

    Buy now with free delivery

Browse a great range of cycling components at ProBikeKit!

Johnny Bowles

Johnny Bowles

Writer and expert