Bicycling Parts: Upgrading Your Bike
Date Posted:1 November 2017
The dedicated cyclist knows there are always more upgrades you can do to your bike: the question is just which one, in particular, you can afford at the moment! But until that massive paycheck comes in which allows you to do anything you want with your road bike, we’ll take a look at a few specific upgrades that go a long way in making your bicycle a better machine.
Headsets & Headstems
The headset of the bicycle is the parts assembly that enable the fork to rotate inside of the head tube of the bike’s frame. The head tube, which is the front part of the frame which the fork is passed through, is separated from the steering mechanism (the handlebars) by the headset. These headsets provide a variety of methods to decrease friction and increase smoothness, usually by sets of bearings that enable an easy, frictionless rotation of the stem. The headstem is the part that attaches the handlebars to the fork.
Bicycle handlebars are the steering mechanism for bikes, which also provide support for a large amount of a cyclist’s forward body weight. The handlebars are also utilized as a support for various components essential to a bicycle’s operation, like brakes, shifting mechanisms, and devices like GPS or biking computers. The handlebars can be configured in a variety of ways depending upon the riding style and the type of bike. Straight bars are used for strength in mountain biking uses, while road bikes can use curved bars to shape the rider’s shoulders and make him much more aerodynamic.
Brakes & Cable Sets
A bicycle brake, used to quickly stop the bike in the event of an emergency or planned stop, is one of the most important parts of a bike, and can easily be upgraded. Many types of brakes are in use, from rim brakes, which press on a wheel’s rim, to disc brakes, which are like a motorcycles in that calipers press on a rotating disc near the wheel hub. Bicycle brakes consist of several components: a lever which allows the cyclist to apply the brakes, a cable which transfers the force of the lever to the brake itself, and the brake itself which is usually a caliper set pressing upon a rim or disc. The friction resulting from applying this pressure converts the kinetic energy of the bicycle into thermal energy absorbed and spread by the calipers. Replacement cable sets can improve efficacy of braking, especially if the old ones have been used extensively. Replacement pads and calipers are also essential.
Chainrings & Cranksets
The crankset is part of the bicycle’s drive system that converts the pedaling action into a rotating chain, driving the rear wheel of the bike. The chainring interlocks with the chain in order to transfer the rotational power of the cyclist’s legs on the pedals to the rear wheel, where for road bikes there is usually a cassette or derailleur system that allows the rider to change gears for different riding conditions. Upgrading your chainrings (also called sprockets) is one of the most important upgrades that can be done for your bike. We have an entire category of replacement and upgrade parts for your entire driveline, including chainrings, cranksets, cogs, freewheels, lockrings, and various bolts and spacers that are essential to the assembly and upkeep of your bike.
If you’re looking to upgrade your bicycle, we’ve got the parts for you! We are more than happy to answer any questions you’ve got about making the absolute best performing bicycle for you!