10 cheap bike hacks

Not every upgrade has to be expensive

How To
Cheap Mountain Bike Upgrades

Each of these simple upgrades costs less than $10!

Bikes are expensive. While you’re trying to recover financially from a new (or new to you) bike purchase, here are 10 cheap upgrades courtesy of Seth’s Bike Hacks. that will satisfy your urge to tinker.

Here’s a recap of the video for those stuck at their cubicles who can’t watch video during the workday.

  1. Replace C-clips with zip ties. Try accent colors for extra pop.
  2. Use zip ties to secure loose cables to prevent rattling.
  3. Protect your chainstays with electrical tape, or better yet mastic tape. This heavy duty tape will protect your frame and reduce noise from chain slap.
  4. Replace your stock grips with lock-ons. They’re easier to mount and won’t slips. You can also replace the plastic bar end caps with metal caps if you want to add extra flare.
  5. Use quality chain lube to prolong the durability of your drivetrain
  6. Mount skateboard grip tape or sandpaper to your shifters and dropper lever to reduce the chance of your thumb slipping off.
  7. Replace the stock cable end crimps that came on your bike with something colorful
  8. Remove the dork disk. A properly maintained bike doesn’t need it.
  9. Order some aftermarket anodized valve caps.
  10. Carbon headset spacers look way cooler than the stock black spacers.

For more ideas like these, visit Seth’s Bike Hacks.

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  • Pete says:

    I can’t believe you say switch to lock on grips.

    The comfort of non lock on grips is much better typically, and once you get the technique down, are easy to install/remove.

    I agree you should replace your grips though, just like pedal and seat are all human contact points, very specific to each person.

  • JP says:

    Some decent suggestions, but ‘major style points’ for carbon spacers? Silly.

  • MS says:

    valve caps? who uses this today?

    • Tim McCorkle says:

      people who want air to go through the valve after Muddy Rides

    • Mike says:

      I do, for protection from dirt and mud. But not fancy ones, just transparent plastic.
      Seriously – if it can ensure that the valve core is clean and working, i’ll sacrifice those 2g of weight, especially when it doesn’t ruin the aesthetics.

  • jay says:

    “Replace the stock cable end crimps that came on your bike with something colorful”. There’s a an easier option for replacing old/reused cable end crimps (I did not care for colors myself). I’ve found that using small diameter heat shrink tubing worked great. Available at your local electronics store (few around) or online. Cheap and easy to apply.

  • NC Pete says:

    The pie plate or “dork disk” serves the purpose of keeping your chain out of there. If your chain breaks on the trail and the chain falls into that gap it will wrap around and could rip your rear derailleur off. I’ve seen it happen. Losing your rear derailleur is NOT a cheap upgrade. You can’t replace that with pretty colored zip ties.

    • Saris Mercanti says:

      @NC Pete

      Unless your limit screws are improperly adjusted, the only way your chain could fall into that gap is if you had a freak accident. There’s a reason you don’t see them on enthusiast-oriented bikes.

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