With the number of Brits interested in taking up cycling almost doubling in the last two years, experts reveal how you can customise your bike to make it as unique as an artisan-made bespoke model, no matter what your budget.
Words: Theresa Harold
“For city riding, pick handlebars with a little lift and bend as your hands sit over the brakes for a quick response,” says Elizabeth Beaumont Colebrook, Beaumont Bicycle. (Handlebars, £29.99, veloduo.co.uk).
“Improve your grip by wrapping your handlebars in tape,” says Caren Hartley of Hartley Cycles. “Cork tape offers good shock absorption.” (Handlebar tape, £55, michauxclub.com).
“A shorter stem will bring the handlebars closer to you, improving your riding position,” advises Georgina Taylor of Brixton Cycles. (Nitto UI 85EX stem, £65, thecycleclinic.co.uk).
“Invest in a saddle that’s the correct width to support your sit bones – you’ll be so much comfier,” advises Hartley. (Saddle, from £110, brooksengland.com).
“Panniers – bags that connect to the racks – are great when you have a bit of weight to carry,” recommends Neil Davis of Tokyobike London. (Pannier, £130, carradice.co.uk).
“Leather saddle covers mould to your shape for maximum comfort,” says Emma Evans of South London Saddles. (Saddle covers, £80-£350, southlondonsaddles.com).
“A sat nav is often easier to use than a paper map, and they tend to have a longer battery life than smartphones,” says Sam Jones of Cycling UK. (Bike computer, £349.99, garmin.com).
Raj Kumar of Cyclotricity suggests converting your existing bike to electric with an E-Kit. “You’ll power up hills effortlessly.” (E-kit 250W, £431.99, cyclotricity.com).
James Marr of Bamboo Bicycle Club says, “A traditional bamboo frame better absorbs the bumps in the road.” (Bespoke frame building workshop, £588, bamboobicycleclub.org).
“Upgrading your groupset – the parts that make you stop and go – results in slicker gear shifting,” says Peter Muir, editor of Cyclist Magazine. (SRAM groupset, £659, highonbikes.com).
If you’re upping your training, put a device on your bike that measures your power output,” says Rose Goldman of Victor + Leap. (P1 Pedal Powermeter Set, £940, evanscycle.com).
Perfect for the first-time commuter. (Muddyfox Synergy26 Ladies, £80, muddyfox.com).
Designed by Olympian Victoria Pendleton. (Pendleton Somerby Hybrid, £252, halfords.com).
A classic Dutch-style bike with a chic retro headlamp. (Beg Bella, £725, begbicycles.com).