Most of us have experienced an urge to waste money on trendy rubbish. Some goods are worth the higher investment, though. Professional biker Richard Gasperotti explains which components we should not buy cheap.
No matter if you’re using classic rim brakes or the currently more widespread disc brakes, investment into high-quality materials might well safe your life. From brake pads or rotors of higher quality, you might expect more efficient braking force with longer lifetime and durability. While shopping online, though, it’s not easy to distinguish the low-quality and, thus, less reliable components from the good ones. I’d suggest to ask or consult the issue in the regular bike shop. Slightly more expensive braking pads are made of enhanced alloys featuring more efficient braking force despite lower pressure applied on the brake levers. Outstanding performance in all weather conditions is the other advantage worth to be mentioned. Different riding styles that span from commuting to downhill racing require various quality of components, though, and that also applies to brakes.
2. Chain and drive systems
Despite being overlooked by many riders, the chain remains one of the most indispensable components on your bike. The links smoothly running over the cassette teeth or a smoother shifting even when carrying heavy loads are the rewards when opting for the top quality chain. If lubed regularly, the first-class chain will have as much as the double lifespan of its average counterpart. On top of that, it is remarkably gentler on other parts like the chainring or the cassette. The most significant feature indicating the quality of the chain is the alloy it has been made from. A decent coating keeps the chain in use for a longer period, even with less lubing. The fine coating also reduces the risk of corrosion and friction with cogs of the drive system.
About 80 per cent of cycling time we spend sitting on a saddle. Besides pedals and grips, the saddle belongs among one of five contact points on a bicycle. Hence, its quality and the level of its comfort have a direct impact on your performance. Lower back pain, hip issues or groin pains are mostly caused by either choosing an appropriate saddle shape or position, and so you should pay attention to the process of saddle selection. Some bike shops even let you check what saddle suits you the best before you choose the right one and before you pay.
Whoever wants to control the bike should inspect his or her grips. These seemingly irrelevant pieces of foam, plastic or gel are responsible for handling in any tricky situation. Therefore, the right choice decides if you master the bike or become butter-fingers. In comparison with low-end grips, the better ones are designed from rubber of different characters to suit different segments of your palms and fingers. The most common design is the lock-on design that stays in place with one or two end clamps. Since everyone has different finger length, it’s advisable to try which grips would fit you best.
Pedals in a proper size offer sufficient support for your feet and help you not only to reach the desired performance but also allow for better bike handling. In the case of platform pedals, make sure that the pins offer enough grip with your shoe soles. Look for pedals designed around an axis with bearings that require no maintenance and offer long durability.
Similarly to the Formula 1 team bosses, even cyclists should pay attention to what tires to put on regarding the weather or surface conditions. The most relevant qualities to focus on are the rubber compound, tread design and tire construction. Ordinary tires enable you to enjoy an average ride yet once you encounter wet rocks, slippery roots or mud, you’d pray for tires offering you a remarkably better grip.