When I asked about the best accessory people have bought in the past 12 months Trevor mentioned a blog post he had written about some new upgrades to his bike. His post was exactly what I was hoping to hear about when I asked the question. At a cheap cost of around £30 he achieved extra speed and enjoyment – even better he made all the little upgrades himself. As I liked the post so much I asked Trevor if I could re-post it on London Cyclist and he said yes. Here it is..
Everyone I spoke to about it told me that changing my tyres would make a huge difference to the efficiency of my bike. It made sense, but how could I be sure until I tried it for myself?
And so when I rode to work this morning on my transformed bike I was interested to see just how it felt. Okay, so it’s not exactly a representative training ride, as I was only on the road for seven and a half minutes, but boy what a difference. It just feels so much better: smoother, swifter, swooshier. (Swooshier? Is that a word?) I notched up an average speed of 14.2 mph without really putting any effort at all. Now that may not be my best average, but the difference in feel is well worth it even if I find that it doesn’t translate to an increased speed. Seriously, if you have a mountain bike but only ever ride it on the road, you’ll do yourself a huge favour by ditching the knobbly tyres.
I’m also feeling pretty chuffed that I did all the work myself. I fitted a pair of Continental City Contact tyres:
[Ed: Just £16 each]
And a set of mudguards. Not just silly clip-on mountain bike jobs, either, but a proper set of full mudguards. These ones, to be precise:
And managed to adjust my gears so they’re not slipping like they were before, which feels like a real achievement for me. I’m not especially mechanically minded, and I don’t like getting my hands greasy, but the thought of paying someone else to do this work was just a bit too much and so I pulled my sleeves up, got my hands greasy, and jolly well did it myself.
And I must mention Chain Reaction Cycles, the site where I bought the tyres and mudguards, whose service was second to none, prices excellent, and free delivery. Top marks.