Here's a quick summary of the bits I've upgraded on my bike since buying it, primarily aimed at anyone considering buying the same bike: -
- Tyres. Standard tyres that come with the bike are 700x25C. I changed these after about four months and put on 700x23C tyres and felt a noticeable difference in my speed. I'd recommend you do the same, you can spend anywhere between about twenty five quid and fifty quid for a set, depending on what you go for.
- Wheels. As standard these comes with Alex rims, which are budget rims for a starter bike. I picked up some Bontrager rims on e-bay for about £120.00 and they roll much better. I'm using them for the spring/summer and the Alex rims for winter.
- Pedals. Total no brainer. Buy some clips and cleats, don't stop with the standard pedals. You'll get some starter pedals and half-decent shoes for about £100.00 or less. I was looking on e-bay earlier and a guy was selling new Diadora road bike shoes for about £30 a pair, some basic Look pedals you can get for about twenty quid, so that would have been £50.00 for a basic set-up. Why they don't include some basic clip pedals on bikes nowadays, I don't know.
- Brake pads. It's taken me until now to realise that brake blocks are an easily overlooked part of the bike to a newcomer. You get caught in the "brake blocks are brake blocks" aren't they, that is, they're all the same. Answer = no they're not. Invest forty quid or so in some decent brake pads, the standard ones that come on the bike aren't that good. You'll see a noticeable difference in your stop speeds in dry and wet conditions.
- Saddle. The saddle that comes as standard is pretty comfortable, however as you build more miles, you'll quickly realise that an upgrade is money well spend. I got a Bontrager saddle on e-bay for about thirty quid and noticed that my ride comfort improved over longer distances. If you're just nipping about on the bike, you'll probably be happy enough with the standard saddle.