BikeRadar Bargains: Top cheap road bike upgrades — UK deals

Essential upgrades you really don't want to miss out on

It's easy to get lost in all the different shiny, lightweight components you could get to upgrade your road bike, so for this week's BikeRadarBargains we've put together a list of items that we think will make the biggest difference to your ride.

From grippy gold standard Continental GP4000S II tyres, to a Stan's tubeless upgrade, new Lizard Skins bar tape, a smooth-running and creak-free Wheels Manufacturing PF30 bottom bracket, new brake and gear cables and some high performance Ultegra pedals you should find something to update your bike.

If you're after a more substantial upgrade you could also check out our BikeRadar Bargains articles for road wheels and groupsets.

Continental GP4000S II tyre set with free inner tubes — £109.99 £61.99

Continental GP 4000S II tyres are pretty much the gold standard
Continental GP 4000S II tyres are pretty much the gold standard

A set of good tyres can absolutely transform your ride. We recently covered the best deals for high performance road tyres, but the venerable GP4000S II remains one of the benchmark tyres to beat.

In his recent review Ben Delaney described them as "the Goldilocks performance road clincher" and this tyre remains almost an industry standard.

Stans No Tubes Road Tubeless Tyre Kit — £32 £28.99

Upgrade to tubeless with the Stan's road conversion kit
Upgrade to tubeless with the Stan's road conversion kit

Road tubeless has been here for a while now and Stan's is arguably the originator of the technology in mountain bikes. Pick up its road tubeless kit to convert your tubeless-ready wheels. While there isn't a huge discount on this, we've had a look around and this is one of the cheapest conversion kits available.

If you need tubeless tyres as well, then we've also spotted the Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tyre set with a 42% discount at BikeDiscount.de. This includes a set of our favourite road tyres and everything you need to get them up and running on your tubeless rims.

Lizard Skins DSP Bar Tape — £33.99 £22.99

Get some grippy bars with the Lizard Skins bar tape
Get some grippy bars with the Lizard Skins bar tape

Bar tape can quickly end up looking tatty, but it's a key contact point on your bike. Lizard Skins features on many a pro's bike and we've also rated it as one of the best options to buy. Refresh your bike and improve your control with this simple and easy upgrade.

Wheels MFG PressFit 30 Threaded Angular Contact bottom bracket— £99.99 £74.99

Creaks be gone with this threaded PF30 BB from Wheels Manufacturing
Creaks be gone with this threaded PF30 BB from Wheels Manufacturing

It's pretty much universally accepted that PressFit bottom bracket standards suck.

Luckily there are a lot of brands out there making funky threaded solutions that help to stop creaks. This one from Wheels Manufacturing is a favourite at BikeRadar, featuring premium Enduro bearings for long-lasting smooth-running performance.

Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 road brake and gear cables — £44.99 £28.99/£26.49

Upgrading your gear and brake cables can make a massive difference
Upgrading your gear and brake cables can make a massive difference

Re-cabling your bike can make a world of difference to the feel of shifting and braking, but skimping out and getting budget cables is unlikely to make a huge difference, so we'd always recommend going for the highest quality you can afford. 

These Dura-Ace 9000 gear and brake cables will no-doubt make a huge difference to your bike and will also typically last much longer than cheaper sets. 

Shimano Ultegra R8000 SPD-SL Carbon Pedals — £149.99 £93.89

Shimano Ultegra pedals are great performers
Shimano Ultegra pedals are great performers

We get on very well with Shimano road pedals and the Ultegra items hit the sweet spot for price vs performance. There are lighter options and there are cheaper options, but in our opinion these are pretty much the best all round option.

If you're after a cheaper option or only just starting out with SPDs, why not take a look at the budget R550 alternative. You'll add a little weight and a slightly less refined cleat mechanism, but still retain the high-end looks with the composite body of the pedal.

Other upgrades

We've focussed on affordable options here but there are two other significant places that will make a huge difference to your bike. Why not check out our BikeRadar Bargains articles for road wheelsets or groupset upgrades.

Whil it may involve some investment, upgrading these parts could absolutely transform your ride.

These are the top 5 road bike upgrades that you really don't want to miss out on
Jack Luke

Staff Writer, UK
Jack has been riding and fettling with bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork and thinks nothing of bivouacking on a beach after work. Also fond of cup and cone bearings, skids and tan wall tyres.
  • Discipline: Long days in the saddle by either road or mountain bike
  • Preferred Terrain: Happiest when on a rural road by the coast or crossing a remote mountain pass. Also partial to a cheeky gravel adventure or an arduous hike-a-bike.
  • Current Bikes: Custom Genesis Croix de Fer all road adventure wagon, Niner EMD 9.
  • Dream Bike: A rigid 44 Bikes Marauder, all black please.
  • Beer of Choice: Caesar Augustus
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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