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Matt Sklar | 05.31.2018

Mountain bikes are amazing machines that allow riders to explore deep into the wilderness and to kick up the adrenaline levels. Their price tags, however, can quickly climb into the thousands of dollars. Rather dump out the dough for a brand new bike, there are many upgrades that you can make to you current bike. While some upgrades, like lightweight carbon fiber wheels, may cost a pretty penny, there are lots of smaller and cheaper changes that you can make that will help dial in your ride. Check out our guide to mountain bike upgrades for any budget for more information.


The first areas of focus when upgrading your mountain bike should be the areas of contact between you, the rider, and you bike. Upgrading your bike pedals, whether they are flats or clipless, will give you a fresh grip and a sold connection to your bike, all while potentially shaving some weight off of your rig. Some riders prefer the efficiency and precision of clipless pedals, while others prefer flat pedals.


Your hands are the next bike-to-rider contact point to focus on with grips and handlebars. These are one of the most affordable upgrades you can make to your bike. What kind of handlebar grips you prefer comes down to personal preference. We recommend that you try out several different styles of bike grips and see what works best for you. Plus grips can add some color and style to your ride, if that’s what you’re into.

Handlebars and stem

The size of your mountain bike handlebars and stem are super important to the way your bike fits. While starting with a properly fitting bike is step number one, dialing in your bars and stem will help you personalize your fit. Changing the length of your mountain bike stem changes the effective reach, putting you in a more crouched or more upright position. In general, wider handlebars will give you more steering control.

Chamois and bike shorts

While these two are not bike components, they’ll make a huge difference in the comfort of your ride. Chamois bike liner shorts come with padded protection to keep your backside happy even after miles on the trail - they’re a must-have for every mountain biker. Likewise, shorts and pants not made for mountain biking tend to wear out quickly in the backside and don’t provide the same level of padding or protection. Mountain bike shorts are durable enough to stand up to the wear and tear of your saddle, as well as the occasional crash you might take.


Swapping out the rubber, your mountain bike tires that is, is a great way to shed some rotational weight and better equip your mountain bike to handle the terrain you ride. More so than almost any other cheap mountain bike upgrade, new tires have the ability to change the feel of your bike. Different types of tires will perform better on different kinds of trails, so this is a great opportunity to customize your bike for your local trails. Finding the right balance of weight, width, and tread can be a bit tricky. Check in with your local bike shop to get an idea of what might work best on the trails you ride the most often.


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We are evo -  a ski, snowboard, mountain bike, surf, wake, and skate retailer based in Seattle, Washington, USA, with stores located in Seattle, Portland, and Denver. We also offer trips to remote locations across the globe in search of world-class powder turns, epic waves, and legendary mountain biking through our evoTrip Adventure Travel Trips.

evo explores the collaboration between culture and sport by seamlessly joining art, music, streetwear, skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking and wakeboarding. Our aim is to bring all things relevant to the urban, action sports lifestyle into one creative space. Whether it is on the website, on the phone or in our stores, our aim is to make all who come into contact with evo feel welcome and excited about their experience.


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