Of course you can always go out and spend over £400 on a Garmin, but do you really need to? As long as you know where you’re going then you can do a pretty good job tracking your fitness with a basic wireless cycling computer like the B’Twin Count 8 that will measure your speed, time, distance, and, importantly, average speed for just £15.99.
The other option is to use your smartphone combined with an app such as Strava. You might not be too keen at first about strapping your smartphone to your handlebars, but there are plenty of mounts that will keep it securely in place and protect it from the wind and rain.
Even if you don’t see the need to upgrade your wheels, you’re still going to have to buy some once in a while as braking tracks wear out or you’re involved in a big stack – in which case you don’t want to be spending thousands of pounds on a new pair of carbon hoops.
If you’re just after something round and aluminium then a pair of B’Twin Triban 700 wheels will do the trick for just £60, with 32 spokes at both front and rear for a seriously solid pair of training wheels for rough roads.
For most people sunglasses are an essential piece of cycling kit, helping to keep the sun, wind and bugs out of your eyes. However they’ve also got a reputation for being astonishingly expensive if you choose to go for one of the big name brands.
If you’re budget isn’t quite in triple figures, then something like the Moab Pack sunglasses offer the same UV protection as top-end offerings, while (very importantly) looking good too.
4. Turbo trainers
When it’s time to put away the sunglasses, you might need a turbo trainer to keep your fitness up through the winter months. The turbo trainers that get all the publicity are generally the all-singing, all-dancing direct drive ones, but if you just want something to jump on for an hour after work or when the weather is truly apocalyptic, then you don’t need to spend the earth.
Something like the B’Twin In’Ride 300 turbo trainer has all the basics covered with six different levels of resistance to choose from depending on how hard you want to work, and a sturdy aluminium base that will hold firm even when you’re doing vigorous sprint efforts.
If you’re looking for a pair of high performance cycling shoes with stiff carbon soles, then prices approaching or even over £300 are not uncommon. The thing is that there’s really no need to spend so much, especially if you want to combine performance with comfort.
The B’ Twin 700 Carbon road shoes are an exceptional pair of shoes, offering a super-stiff carbon composite soles for excellent power transfer and a low 280g weight. Just watch out for the narrow fit.
For something that everyone needs and that isn’t particularly exciting, tools can be astonishingly expensive. The thing is that if you’re not using them everyday, and just need some basics for the occasional bit of tinkering and routine maintenance, you don’t need to splash out on workshop-grade kit.
Something like the B’Twin 500 14 Piece Tool Kit will have all the basics (Allen keys, torx keys, chainwhip, pedal spanners, etc.) covered for just £27.99. It might also be worth spending a similar amount of money on a bike stand to make getting at those hard-to-reach areas of your bike just a little bit easier.
Last but by no means least, bikes. If you’re looking for a bike that is suitable for all types of riding and maybe even a bit of racing, then you might think you have to splash out on a lightweight carbon-fibre machine. However, what a lot of the big brands don’t tell you is that you will often get a better bike with better components if you choose an aluminium frame, especially if you’re spending less than £1,500-£2,000.
Take the Ultra 720 AF for example, which is our 2016 Best Value Bike of the Year. It offers a complete Shimano Ultegra groupset with an aluminium frame that is the match of most carbon frames under £2,000. If your budget doesn’t quite stretch as far as the £1,050 Ultra 720 AF, then the £650 Van Rysel 540 with Shimano 105 is an exceptional bike for the money.