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Add some colour to made your bike shine in the summer sun

[This article was last updated on July 16, 2018]

Adding a couple of coloured components or accessories can really improve the look of your bike, particularly at this dingy time of year. We’re not suggesting you go all Timmy Mallett about it – less is often more – but consider these six easy ways to pimp up your bike.

1 Fit some new handlebar tape — £2.49-£44.99

Lizard Skins Bar Tape.jpg

Lizard Skins Bar Tape.jpg

Replacing old, worn out handlebar tape can make a big difference to your comfort and it’ll also make your bike look a whole lot neater and more appealing to ride – mechanics sometimes fit new tape to pro racers’ bikes to give them a little psychological boost (true!). Lizard Skins DSP (read review) is very grippy and it’s available in loads of different colours for £27.99. 

2 Saddle up — £12.99-£224.99

Saddle colours

Saddle colours

If you’re on the wrong saddle, you’re not going to enjoy your cycling to the max – that’s obvious. You don’t have to spend a vast amount to get a good saddle, you just need to find one that’s the right shape for you. Charge’s Spoon is a popular option that's available in a variety of colours for £24.99.

3 Replace your headset cap —£16.95-£74.95

Kapz union jack.jpg

Kapz union jack.jpg

Kapz offers all kinds of headset caps, including full colour custom designs so you can personalise your bike. This engraved Union Jack model might be pricy at £32.95, but it comes with red, silver and blue headset spacers.

4 Get new bottle cages — £3.99-£47.99

Tacx Deva Bottle Cage

Tacx Deva Bottle Cage

Bottle cages can start to look shabby over time, especially after a few months of wet weather when grit can get in there and scratch away at the surface. The polyamide, carbon and glass fibre Deva bottle cage from Tacx is available in a bunch of colours to match your bike, priced at £12.99 each.

5 Add a new computer mount — £40

k-edge-mount.jpg

k-edge-mount.jpg

Every bike computer comes with a mount in the box, but you can often get a better one aftermarket – or at least a better looking one. K-Edge’s mount for the Garmin Edge 1000 / 800 / 810 is CNC machined from 6061-T6 aluminium and allows you to position your computer centrally. It comes with a lifetime warranty and in red, blue and gunmetal, as well as boring old black.

6 Go fully pimp with a Token Bling Box — from £50

token-bling-kit.jpg

token-bling-kit.jpg

Sometimes it’s cool to be understated, but if you want to bling up your bike you could try adding coloured parts like bolts, jockey wheels, and so on. Token even offers a Bling Box comprising a top cap and bolt for your headset, a down tube cable adjuster, a cassette lockring, and the like.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

25 comments

Avatar
tom_w [228 posts] 2 years ago
11 likes

Alloy chainring bolts are the devil's work

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tomascjenkins [60 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Lezyne CNC bottle cage doesn't age like the plastic ones, and looks bling.

Avatar
Matthewjb [79 posts] 2 years ago
4 likes
tomascjenkins wrote:

Lezyne CNC bottle cage doesn't age like the plastic ones, and looks bling.

 

wrecks your water bottles though 

Avatar
Matthewjb [79 posts] 2 years ago
1 like

Kapz offer a great service

 

 

Avatar
NJA [48 posts] 2 years ago
2 likes

Kapz are great, they have been my kids default present to me for the last four Xmas/ Birthdays (they now need to think of something different as all my bikes have one). As a consequence they have become my default gift to any cycling friends.

Avatar
michophull [150 posts] 2 years ago
1 like
tom_w wrote:

Alloy chainring bolts are the devil's work

 

Absolutely right. Never EVER use alloy bolts on a bicycle. If you find any on your bike, get the buggers right off and replace them with steel ones.

I once had an alloy bolt snap in a blind hole on a chainset granny ring. It was so rubbish that I managed to drill out the shank, knock in an allen key and extract it. Sod of a job to do though.

Avatar
BikeJon [210 posts] 2 years ago
2 likes
michophull wrote:
tom_w wrote:

Alloy chainring bolts are the devil's work

 

Absolutely right. Never EVER use alloy bolts on a bicycle. If you find any on your bike, get the buggers right off and replace them with steel ones.

I once had an alloy bolt snap in a blind hole on a chainset granny ring. It was so rubbish that I managed to drill out the shank, knock in an allen key and extract it. Sod of a job to do though.

 

That goes for alloy spoke nipples too. A terrible idea for the UK...

Avatar
macrophotofly [317 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Anodized bling bolts all over my bikes. Love them and think they are fine for daily use PROVIDING you torque them correctly. 1000's of km's ridden without an issue (but have had a steel bolt snap on me). Okay I'm in Tokyo so the weather is a bit different to UK - humidity levels/ short rainy season in summer can cause problems, but relatively dryer in the winter

Avatar
captain_slog [456 posts] 2 years ago
14 likes

'Pimp up'? Surely just 'pimp', as in 'pimp my ride'. If you ask your LBS to pimp up your wheels you'll probably just end up with a bit more air in the tyres.

How about 'vajazzle your velo'?

Avatar
Beatnik69 [411 posts] 1 year ago
15 likes
captain_slog wrote:

If you ask your LBS to pimp up your wheels you'll probably just end up with a bit more air in the tyres.

Only if you are a British spy disguised as a policeman in WWII France.

Avatar
StraelGuy [1474 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes
Beatnik69 wrote:

Only if you are a British spy disguised as a policeman in WWII France.

 

Ha, ha, I actually laughed out loud. I must admit to having a bit of a titanium fetish. My winter bike has titanium bottle, rack and mudguard bolts. Not particularly bling but I know my 12kg bike is 5 or 6 grams lighter than it would otherwise be yes.

Avatar
jakker [5 posts] 9 months ago
1 like
Matthewjb wrote:
tomascjenkins wrote:

Lezyne CNC bottle cage doesn't age like the plastic ones, and looks bling.

 

wrecks your water bottles though 

 

It's a f#cking water bottle....

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet [2126 posts] 9 months ago
7 likes

It's winter. I pimp my bike with mud. Bling for poor people.

Don't oil your chain and it will go a fetching shade of orange. Leave the mudguards off and create random patterns on your clothing.

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jpj84 [15 posts] 9 months ago
3 likes

I've always felt uncomfortable about "pimp" entering our everyday lexicon as a compliment: I mean, a pimp is basically an exploitative sex offender.

I have a feeling that, in the pretty near future, people will be denying they used to use 'that word'.

Avatar
DrG82 [243 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
michophull wrote:
tom_w wrote:

Alloy chainring bolts are the devil's work

 

Absolutely right. Never EVER use alloy bolts on a bicycle. If you find any on your bike, get the buggers right off and replace them with steel ones.

I once had an alloy bolt snap in a blind hole on a chainset granny ring. It was so rubbish that I managed to drill out the shank, knock in an allen key and extract it. Sod of a job to do though.

 

If you own a torque wrench and a tub of grease there's no reason not to use alloy bolts so long as they are specified for the job in hand and you're not mixing materials.

Say you have carbon cranks with alloy insets/tabs then steel bolts will encourage galvanic corrosion more than alloy bolts and removing seized bolts could result in you stripping threads from the expensive parts.
The same with bottle cages on carbon bikes.

Avatar
Ratfink [200 posts] 9 months ago
3 likes
jpj84 wrote:

I've always felt uncomfortable about "pimp" entering our everyday lexicon as a compliment: I mean, a pimp is basically an exploitative sex offender.

I have a feeling that, in the pretty near future, people will be denying they used to use 'that word'.

So you think i should abandon my Diamante encrusted water bottle start up company "pimp cup"

before i ask for crowdfunding?

Avatar
beezus fufoon [972 posts] 9 months ago
6 likes
Ratfink wrote:
jpj84 wrote:

I've always felt uncomfortable about "pimp" entering our everyday lexicon as a compliment: I mean, a pimp is basically an exploitative sex offender.

I have a feeling that, in the pretty near future, people will be denying they used to use 'that word'.

So you think i should abandon my Diamante encrusted water bottle start up company "pimp cup"

before i ask for crowdfunding?

me too - I had an idea for fancy decorated gardening tools called pimpin' ma hoes - dayum!

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WashoutWheeler [113 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

I do like the headset caps.

Avatar
WashoutWheeler [113 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
jpj84 wrote:

I've always felt uncomfortable about "pimp" entering our everyday lexicon as a compliment: I mean, a pimp is basically an exploitative sex offender.

I have a feeling that, in the pretty near future, people will be denying they used to use 'that word'.

+1 here

Avatar
ktache [851 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes

On my Middleburn triple I have never  seen anything wrong with colourful alloy bolts on the large and middle rings but the granny gets steel.  My XTR triple has alloy torx bolts, but that was what was fitted as standard.

I use Park Anti-seize compound for different metal threading, grease is better than nothing but the metal particles in the anti seize stops galling better.

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ChrisB200SX [796 posts] 5 months ago
1 like

Coloured polycarbonate headset spacers.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2134 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes

copper grease for me on everything that has a chance of seizing up and/or is going to be left alone for a while, so that's bottle cage, rack, mudguard, chainring bolts and so forth. I always put some on BB threads.

As for 'pimp', never used it, always thought bling was the correct modern terminology, 'pimping' or correctly procuring, means something entirely different to making something look attractive or pretty.

Avatar
rjfrussell [485 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
jpj84 wrote:

I've always felt uncomfortable about "pimp" entering our everyday lexicon as a compliment: I mean, a pimp is basically an exploitative sex offender.

I have a feeling that, in the pretty near future, people will be denying they used to use 'that word'.

But language (at least ours-  no Academie here) changes all the time, with words changing meaning or being given new ones.  It's what makes English such a wonderful language.

 

Even the venerable OED recognises the modern meaning, albeit as a slang term.

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Sitka1000 [2 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

You know the old saying.....pimp on the outside, gimp on the inside

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Boss Hogg [133 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
tom_w wrote:

Alloy chainring bolts are the devil's work

Indeed they are!