As cyclists, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of lighter, faster and more aerodynamic when it comes to bike parts. No matter what you have, there will always be something newer coming out that’s advertised as just what you need to take your performance to the next level.
While some bike parts like a saddle, quality wheelset, tires and bike lights can make a big difference in your performance, comfort and safety, not all upgrades are equally valuable.
Instead of wasting your cash on upgrades for your bike that you don’t really need, we’ve compiled a list of seven you can probably do without.
Some cyclists might argue carbon handlebars increase comfort and decrease fatigue in the hands and arms by dampening road vibration. But the cost difference of a set of carbon handlebars doesn’t make it a smart choice unless you’ve got money to burn — especially when you consider thicker bar tape and wider tires do a great deal to make your ride more comfortable, too and cost much less to upgrade.
In most cases, aluminum handlebars do exactly the same job as carbon handlebars while costing three times less. The weight difference between the two is not significant enough to justify the price for most recreational riders, and in a scenario when you happen to take a tumble, aluminum bars have a better chance of surviving. In fact, you can crack a carbon handlebar pretty easily by mistakenly tightening one of the bolts too tight.
High-End Option: Enve SES Aero Road Handlebar, $400
Cost-Effective Option: Specialized Expert Allow Shallow Bend Handlebar, $50