Cheap parts on an otherwise expensive bike. What works for you ?

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  • Cheap parts on an otherwise expensive bike. What works for you ?
  • Light, strong and cheap. Pick any two.
    Sometimes though, the difference between light/heavy and strong/weak is insignificant, while the difference between cheap/expensive is huge.

    I'm using Kore £11 skewers and I just ordered some Tioga £10 bar ends because, as far as I can tell, they do exactly the same job as other similar items that cost two or three times as much with no noticeable difference in weight or strength.

    So what cheap & cheerful components have you got blighting an otherwise top end niche bike ?


    My bike's not bling (853 Inbred) but I did manage to replace an entire drivetrain for £45 a few months ago (3 rings, chain, cassette, rear mech, rear hub!) but scooping up new unwanted, and decent used parts when I came across them.

    I''ve just secured the purcase of a pair of wheels AND a set of RS Recon forks too…. £45 for the lot! 🙂

    Picking up bargains is one thing, but I was thinking more of people who ride the latest carbon fibre and titanium loveliness and have no shame in having a Brand-X, M-part or even, dare I say it, Bike Hut logo on show.


    Deore middle rings


    Decathlon own brand seat. Took it off our lasses bike because I had knacked my own, was surprisingly nice, so kept it.

    Premier Icon hillsplease

    M part headset spacers, Deore shifters, M parts seat clamp, Superstar pads, M540 pedals on an otherwise rather nice Blur.

    Premier Icon lowey

    On my 5 spot…

    LX Cranks
    520 SPD's
    Deore Chainrings
    Basic Cassette and chain.

    I tend to but cheap but durable when it comes to the drive train.

    My anthem x has-

    Steel FSA middle ring
    Deore f/mech
    Michelin mud tyres run tubeless (550g each, £12 each)
    £10 bar ends
    £15 headset
    Deore chain
    Clarks brake pads

    Chains are a daft place to spend extra money provided you don't go too cheap.


    Old Deore brakes on my Superlight…… The levers were exactly the same as XT so I couldn't resist when I saw them on US ebay 2 years ago for £50 the pair..

    Seat clamp is also an M.Part's affair too…


    Pretty otherwise pimping Intense Socom's got a Juicy 3 brake on the rear. Also "only" an X7 mech, but it works perfectly, takes the knocks, and when it dies it's not so expensive to replace.

    SLX front mech on my carbon blur as there's no such thing as a direct mount XTR and the XT one looks horrible. 🙄


    I picked up a cheap richey cartridge headset from ebay for 12 quid, the bloke was knocking them out as a business. It never let me down and with the exception of "King" written all the way round the cups I would not have been able to tell any difference at all.

    Premier Icon cynic-al

    Lots of things – if you use your brain and aren't worried about a few gm or xt/xtr/slx/thomson labels, you can save heaps of cash, and will probably be overtaking the poseurs anyway.

    Premier Icon richmtb

    Deore front mech on my Blur, Exotic Stem (£12 on my Pace RC305)


    Shimano 520 spds – all the function for the top models for £20. Buy a new set when my cleats wear out and sell the old ones.

    FSA Orbit XL2 – 5+ years of no maintenance use for £20

    Insulation tape instead of rim tape


    I have Shimano Deore brakes on my Yeti 575.
    I've got Hope M4's in the garage which look more 'bling', but I prefer the feel of these.
    Tioga headset that just works so have no need to replace it.
    On-one retard wheels in place of my Hope/Mavic setup as they were lighter.

    Lots of things, I really dont mind as long as it does the job.

    Ran a hone crankset for a couple of years on my bling Pace ht, until I got offerred some Noirs at a price I couldn't refuse.
    The hones shifted much better.

    Premier Icon njee20

    Superstar pads in Avid XX brakes.

    Premier Icon nickc

    Deore Brakes, just work, yes they are goping to look at, and probably weigh a smidge too much, but pads are cheap, lever shape is just so, and they stop me. Another 520 user, my feet are on them, I can't see them…

    Drivtrain though is all XT, I can make stuff last though, so the extras worth it for me, (middle ring done nearly 2 years)


    My bell. I try to avoid paying for them and have them on all my bikes.

    Premier Icon chakaping

    £4 WTB grips.

    They've now gone up to £7, but luckily I laid in a supply before Wiggle ran out.

    520 SPDs
    Superstar pads (I just can't wear them out, this sets been on about 3 months)
    Cheap wire bead continental tyres got MKs and Verticals 10 pounds a pop.
    SRAM cassette that cost 20.

    on my 5 spot ive got

    deore rings
    race face evlove stem
    on one post
    slx brakes
    and mavic 321 rims

    all works and lasts


    I smashed up an XT rear mech at Afan and as the shop there wanted £70 or something for a new one I went for an LX instead as it was the cheapest they had in stock.
    I was planning to replace it asap but it has been operating perfectly and to be honest I have not been able to tell the difference!
    I am sure it weighs a bit more but other than that I can't fault it.


    SLX cranks on my big bikes – loads lighter, loads cheaper than Saint. More than tough enough for me, but have the all important steel pedal threads.


    Not exactly on the bike, but I use bottom-of-the-range Specialized Sport shoes with top-of-the-range Sugoi RS shorts. I tried bling shoes but they did nothing for me so I've gone cheaper and cheaper over the past few years.


    Deore shadow rear mech, i love it. Deore shifters. I don't think you can go wrong with Shimano stuff!


    deore chainset, tioga t-bone seatpost, tioga o-bone stem, sram x5 shifters/rear mech, slx brakes (not sure they are budget though). all good stuff, just a bit heavy. i do have more expensive stuff on another bike.


    I tend to stick to cheap cassettes, cheap chainrings, cheapest possible chains.
    Don't really feel i can justify the bling.
    I'm just gonna forget to maintain/be too lazy/ to look after it properly.

    Premier Icon twinklydave

    My hideously expensive race bike's computer came from Lidl (and is on it's 3rd battery…) and the grips came from Halfords

    Oh, and the XTR mech's got a pair of 105 (roadie) jockey wheels on it, bought for £2.99 from CRC 🙂


    I use the cheap seat QR that came with my Pace 305 rather than upgrading to a Salsa fliploc.

    Premier Icon njee20

    Cheap cassettes weigh a ton, definitely worth getting XT IMO! Among the cheapest 1/2lb saving out there!

    Premier Icon cookeaa

    M424 pedals
    M520 pedals
    Wellgo B54 pedals
    Tiagra mechs (On road and DH bikes)
    Planet X dog Front Hub
    STX 8spd shifter
    Deore 36t ring
    EA30 bars
    Bonty stem
    "Exotic" stem
    03 – DJ3 forks
    Hone cranks (2 pairs, both 2nd hand, both fine)
    the list goes on…

    Actually thinking about it most of my bikes are built from cheap tat, I only seem to buy pricey Brake and BB and parts lately, almost everything else just works regardless of price…

    Higher cost seems to be diminishing returns in my view, not sure I'd buy anything much above XT level, infact Deore/SLX is more than adequate for most people I reckon but then I'm not Racing XC, I think for serious XC racers the weight savings must be the key to value hence XTR stuff will always sell to someone…

    Maintenance is the key, look after the kit and it looks after you (and your wallet)…

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon

    "PowerPlay" seat collar for £2.99, weighs 12g. Got some 'carbon effect' ones that weigh even less now though!

    Bike hut carbon post on my Hardtail gripping bel air titanium saddle soaks up all the buzz nicley.

    Core skewers on my five and an LX cassette with XT groupset.

    Lidle micro pump used lots.

    Lidle computer, Brand X panniers, Bike hut pannier rack on my commuter bike (trek FX)


    Tricky on the Stumpy as I've upgraded everything – front wheel is cheapish but about to be replaced. I guess the stem is still OEM but fine as are the grips. Also went for a pretty cheap (BBB) carbon bar as it looked stronger than pricier ones. I did find £20 Sauserwinds fine then they stopped making them so now it's ludicrously overpriced Nobby Nic Evos.

    Not got anything top end (XX, XO or XTR – apart from cables) but lots of X9, XT and similar level – IMO it's more than enough.

    Premier Icon njee20

    Buy Schwalbe tyres from Germany and they're far more reasonably priced. Cheaper than trade in fact.

    I''ve just secured the purcase of a pair of wheels AND a set of RS Recon forks too…. £45 for the lot!

    I'd be happy with the forks!!!

    Premier Icon binners

    Deore back mechs. I got tired of smashing XT ones. Weight difference is probably equivalent to one less pasty a week. And the shifting is identical

    Premier Icon cynic-al

    Cheap cassettes weigh a ton, definitely worth getting XT IMO! Among the cheapest 1/2lb saving out there!

    It might be if you didn't have to replace it periodically…I guess you types will have a new bike before the cassette wears out 😛

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