Our previous blog post "Top Ten Weight Weenie Upgrades for Road Bike" is proving to be a very popular article. We did however, receive plenty of requests for a more "budget-conscious" list. So here we go again, the best bang for buck upgrades for your road bike;
1. Fairwheel V2 Carbon Bottle Cages
Everyone loves a nice lightweight bottle cage but it can be difficult to find one that strikes a good balance between price, aesthetic and function. Thankfully, these cages from Fairwheel Bikes find a very happy medium in all three categories. At $54.99 AUD each, these cages won't send you broke, and they're both aesthetically pleasing and functional (ie: don't drop or scratch your bottles). Available in choice of 3K or UD carbon, matte or gloss finish.
Typical OEM bottle cage - 50g (x2)
Fairwheel V2 Cage - 22g (x2)
Weight Saved - 28g (x2)
2. Berk List Padded Carbon Saddle
Without a doubt, the Lupina and Dila are the two flagship saddle models in the Berk range. Handmade in Slovenia, these super lightweight saddles are both strikingly beautiful and amazingly compliant. But they don't necessarily have to be expensive. The "entry-level" model is called the List Padded, and it's based on the popular Lupina shape, minus the cutout. A slightly different technology is utilized for production, offering some cost saving for a very minor weight penalty (106g vs 90g Lupina). Available in two widths and rated up to 100kg rider weight. At $269.99 AUD, it offers a handy saving over the Lupina, perfect if you don't need the cutout.
Typical OEM saddle - 250g
Berk List Padded Saddle - 106g
Weight Saved - 144g
3. Kalloy Uno Stem + CCACHE Black Ti Bolt Kit
Beyond dialling in your reach and fit, a good stem can really affect how your bike handles. The Kalloy Uno is a very well regarded alloy stem in the weight weenie community, praised for its stiffness to weight ratio. We've sourced the stealth version (factory removed decals) from Fairwheel Bikes in the most popular lengths/angles. Also why not add the black titanium bolt kit too, for some extra ninja flair. We've tested the Uno on our own bikes and can attest, this stem lives up to all expectations.
Typical OEM stem - 150g
Kalloy Uno Stem with Black Ti Bolt upgrade - 99g
Weight Saved - 51g
4. Easton EC70 Carbon Handlebars
Easton's exhaustive list of handlebars range from entry-level alloy (EA50) to high-end weight weenie carbon (E100). Our pick of the bunch would definitely be the EC70 mid-range series. Essentially the same shape as their top-tier bars, with a mid-level carbon layup, the EC70 Road bars weigh in at a very respectable 220g (42cm). Also available in EC70 AX (with a flared drop for gravel bikes) and EC70 Aero (for those that like to go FAST!). Being carbon, these bars have the handy side effect of being more compliant (comfy) than stock alloy handlebars. Pricing starts from $199.99 AUD, a total no-brainer.
Typical OEM alloy handlebars - 300g
Easton EC70 Carbon Road Handlebars - 220g
Weight Saved - 80g
5. Carbon-Ti X-Plug Expander
Featured on the Top-Ten list but still manages to make it onto this "bang-for-buck" list due to the re-usability factor.
Known for their insanely beautiful carbon-titanium-blend chainrings, Carbon-Ti from Italy also make a very neat expander plug for your fork. A seemingly forgotten part, this is an easy way to save 30 grams off your bike. The X-Plug tends to be more "re-usable" than other ones so you can keep this headset expander for other builds down the track too.
Typical OEM compression plug - 45g
Carbon-Ti X-Plug Expander - 14g
Weight Saved - 31g
6. Tune DC130 Quick Release Skewers
Tune reckon the DC130 is easily "their most copied" product. Jump onto your favourite e-auction site and you'll find plenty of lookalike skewers available for a fraction of the price. However budget-conscious riders should beware any cheapo no-name skewers - they can fail unexpectedly and are therefore actually quite dangerous. When you think about how much a repair bill or dentist bill can add up to, the price tag for the original Tune product seems well worth it.
Typical OEM QR skewers - 120g
Tune DC130 QR Skewers - 37g
Weight Saved - 83g
7. Zipp Tangente SL Tubes
Anecdotally, reduction of rotational mass is generally regarded to produce the most perceivable effect - which is why most people suggest upgrading your wheelset first. But you have thought about upgrading your tubes? We've seen some stock inner tubes weigh in excess of 125g! Cut an easy 100g from your rotational mass with this cost-effective upgrade ($30 AUD for two tubes).
Typical OEM tube - 125g (x2)
Zipp Tangente SL Tube - 74g (x2)
Weight Saved - 49g (x2)