In December 2018, I went for the first audax of my life. I was going to cycle from London to Edinburgh in four days.
- London to Leicester
- Leicester to York
- York to Newcastle
- Newcastle to Edinburgh
On the third day, seven kilometres outside Newcastle, a motorist intentionally hit me and my bike and sped away. This left me with a broken frame, wheels and an injured body (my body).
That’s another story but my insurance paid for the bike to be replaced. I decided to use this opportunity to invest in some upgrades. The goals were to improve my comfort, stronger and more aero wheels.
This resulted in two key upgrades.
1. Body Geometry Bar Phat
Proven to reduce hand pressure by 50%, these gel inserts have been a welcome upgrade for my audax rides.
They do make the handlebars chunkier but not considerably so. The comfort level is noticeably felt. My hands never get numb and no more ulnar neuropathy fears.
I don’t recommend the bar tape that comes with the gel inserts though. As it felt tacky and not durable. However, the inserts are amazing and I recommend them wholeheartedly.
2. 2020 Kinetic-One K133ST
This wheelset is tough enough for the hilliest and roughest of trails, yet fast-accelerating enough for the busiest of Sportives – and aero enough to ensure that I gain every possible watt of drag reduction.
These upgrades have really helped in comfort and mileage. Since the upgrades, I’ve had one more accident (this one was my fault) that resulted in the wheels being totalled. First thing i did? Get the same pair again. They are custom built by Andy Morgan who owns Kinetic-One. I have to admit, custom wheels might be a pain to buy if you aren’t insured but they really do make a great difference to your performance.
I’m not sure what will be the next upgrade. To be honest, I think I’ll wait and buy a whole new bike, preferably one for touring as that’s what I tend to do the most.