By James Bracey
Upgrades are a way of life for cyclists. Even if every minute part of a bike is perfect, we just can’t help ourselves lusting after the next best thing.
You know the sort of thing: you’ve just shelled out on a brand new wheelset when the next edition comes along that sheds 0.5 grams of weight and saves you 1 watt over 200 miles at 45 mph. Your head screams "what are you thinking??" whilst your heart whispers seductively telling you that this new wheelset is exactly what you need to make you a better rider. We’ve also pretty much all done the internet wishlist, when you search for those parts you would upgrade to if money was no object.
Well we’ve taken it one step further and chosen the sorts of mega expensive upgrades that most of us can only dream of. We're not just talking about wheels and frames here - but the sorts of niche upgrades that Bill Gates or the Sultan of Brunei would buy if they were cyclists.
We've included links to retailers, should temptation be too much. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item. This doesn’t affect the amount you pay.
THM Clavicula SE crankset, no chainrings €1149 (about £967.35)
Renowned in the cycling world for their über light carbon components, the Clavicula SE is THM’s latest, modular road bike carbon crankset. A swappable carbon spider allows the use of every style of chainring combination and there is even a SRM power meter compatible version.
What sets this apart from even THM's other cranksets is the carbon bottom bracket axle. A feature that enables THM to get this crankset down to a paltry 293 grams including the spider; making the Clavicula SE the lightest production crankset on the market.
Lightweight Fernweg Evo 63mm Disc Schwarz Edition £7778
Engineered for the optimal blend of aerodynamics, stability and weight, the Lightweight Fernweg EVO Tubeless Disc Brake Wheelset has Schwarz Edition black graphics that'll complement any bike setup. The 63mm deep full carbon rims make the wheels ideal for time trials and general riding when the terrain is hilly or the conditions blustery. Developed to be used primarily with a tubeless setup, you can benefit from smooth, fast-rolling and improved comfort.
Also available at Sigma Sports, you can go gawp at these here
CeramicSpeed Oversize Pulley Wheel (OSPW) System £1264.75
By now most of you will be aware of the super large rear derailleur cages and pulley (or jockey) wheels that seem to be prevalent in World Tour races. Designed to enhance drivetrain efficiency there are quite a few options out there. CeramicSpeed are one of the originators of the technology and are still at the top of the game.
Its latest oversized systems utilise 3D printed titanium jockey wheels, just like the parts seen on the new Hope track bike. They of course run on ceramic bearings and are enclosed in a carbon reinforced composite derailleur cage.
There are models retailing at closer to £400 out there, too..
Berk Composites Lukna saddle €440.00 (about £370.44)
The biggest selling point of Berk composites new Lukna saddle is its 68 gram mass. That’s very light. But then there isn’t an awful lot going on with the Lukna. Its full carbon fibre construction might look like it will be agony but the tuned flex ensures that it moves with your body and actually provides a large amount of support.
Check the website out, here
THM Fibula road brake €1230 (about £1,035.54)
The THM-Carbones Fibula Road rim brake is just as sensationally light as its predecessors (only 120 g), but now also compatible with modern wider rims. Thanks to an adjustable cam, it can be used for rims from 19 to 30 mm without having to change the pivot point and without affecting the lever setting. This is ideal if you use a bike with several wheels and tyres up to 25 mm wide. In addition, the Fibula is the first to be made with the Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) process, which improves product tolerances, consistency and stiffness-weight ratio and is more environmentally friendly than traditional carbon fibre processing. You can use the brake with brake levers from Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo.
Another one you'll find at Sigma Sports, for a casual £1100
AX-Lightness Rigid stem €499.00 (about £420.64)
Where AX-Lightness components stand apart from the competition is in terms of weight. How does 68 grams for the 70mm stem sound? And that’s complete with bolts! Don't worry if 70mm sounds too short, the German brand also makes the Rigid stem in lengths up to 130mm.
AX-Lightness claim the Rigid is stiffer than most aluminium stems thanks to its full carbon construction. They are also happy to recommend it for everything up to mountain bike use, as long as you fall inside their 100kg weight limit that is.
CeramicSpeed wheel and headset bearings from £59.01 to £712.39
Wheel and headset bearings can be some of the worst components on your bike, always wearing out thanks to dirt and water getting into the races. Why not swap them for some super slick ceramic bearings, like these from CeramicSpeed? These are the high end coated versions with an extra durable bearing race to help eliminate any contaminants. The hardness of the bearings and race coating should pound dirt into dust and keep things running smoother for longer.
Ceramic Speed bearing kit at Wiggle for £399.99
MOST TalonUltra Di2 1K Carbon integrated bar and stem £750
The MOST Talon Ultra 1k Integrated Aero Road Handlebar routes all cabling internally to achieve excellent aerodynamics, whilst the torsional rigidity has been increased by 8% for better power transfer and steering precision. Despite these impressive improvements MOST has managed to reduce the weight of this handlebar by more than 10% down to a claimed 390 grams.
There is one pretty major caveat with the Talon Ultra 1K... it's only compatible with Pinarello's latest Dogma F12. If you don't have this frame but still want the same look you'll have to make do with £650 MOST Talon Aero system.
Sigma Sports stocks this one, too!
Speedplay Nanogram Zero pedal £699
Marketed as 'for race day only' these Nanogram pedals (at Merlin for £425...) take the standard Speedplay Zero platform and sprinkle the weight saving wand over their entirety. At just 65 grams per pedal, these jewel like components use copious amounts of titanium and ceramic bearings to achieve this minute mass.
They still retain the same practical adjustment and double sided design of the originals just bumped up to eleven.
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