The five best things to do to improve your ride. This is our small compilation of things that make a difference to every rider and the bike they love.
1. Get the widest tires that will fit on your bike. That's right, fill all of that empty space up. Wider tires are not only more durable, but they are more comfortable, they roll faster on rough roads, and they help provide more stability for descending. Everyone at the shop is running 27mm to 32mm tires on their road bikes and none of us are even considering going back to anything smaller. We stock a nice variety of road tires in 25mm, 27mm, 28mm, up to 32mm. Our current favorite is the Challange 27mm Paris - Roubaix Open Tubular. At 300 tpi, this tire really smooths out the road.
2.While we are on the subject of nice tires, why not put them on a set of hand built wheels? If you truly want to improve the ride quality of your bike, have us build you some wheels. When we hand build wheels, we can take into account your weight, riding style, road conditions, and budget. These wheels will roll faster, last longer, be easier to maintain, and be more comfortable than any machine built wheels, that come on most bikes today.
3. If you don't already have a compact bend handle bar, stop waiting and replace your old bar. Compact bend handle bars are so much more comfortable than a traditional deep drop bar. The idea is to have a nice flat place where your hand meets the shifter and to have drops that you can actually reach. You don't need carbon, an alloy bar works great. This is not expensive at all, expect $50 for a cheap one and $100 for a light weight bar.
4. Replace your handle tape with the new Brooks Cambium, Lizard Skins DSP, or Fizik Performance tape. You should do it at least once a year any way, just to keep sweat from building up between the bar and the tape. When you put new tape on all three of these wraps absorb shock and provide outstanding grip.
5.Replace your old velcro or buckle shoes with a BOA system shoe. A BOA closure system provides a custom fit, regardless if you have a wide foot, narrow foot, flat arch, high arch, or any other "problem" you can think of. You will be more comfortable, so you will ride longer. If you ride longer, you get faster.