The 3 Best Mountain Bike Upgrades in 2021

Jan Poshenko
Written by
Last update:

Mountain biking is exciting, affordable, and, best of all, it’s for the whole family. To ensure you can enjoy the ride for years to come, though, here’s the lowdown on how to make sure your beloved bike is safe, streamlined, and packed with the most essential mountain biking upgrades.

When we decided to make this list we wanted to show you some of the best mountain bike upgrades in 2021 to make sure you can get your hands on the best mountain bike accessories, no matter what your budget.

NameCategoryProduct
Kool Stop MTB Mountain Bicycle Brake ShoesBest OverallKool Stop MTB Mountain Bicycle Brake Shoes
Wittkop Bike SeatBudget PickWittkop Bike Seat
Continental ShieldWall Mountain Bike TireUpgrade PickContinental ShieldWall Mountain Bike Tire

1. Kool Stop MTB Mountain Bicycle Brake Shoes

Our rating: 9 / 10

Kool Stop MTB Mountain Bicycle Brake Shoes

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Excellent, all-conditions braking performance
  • Minimize rim wear
  • Angled tip and grooves to sweep dirt, mud, and moisture from the rim
  • Longer, double curved
  • Sold in pairs
  • Both cantilever and threaded options are available

Cons:

  • Compromised grip
  • They squeal at times

Specifically designed to excel in the types of conditions that mountain biking throws at you — dust, mud, dirt, and slop — Kool-Stop Salmon MTB brake pads give your V-brakes the power you need to push your limits without pressing your luck.

The unique design will be an excellent upgrade for your mountain bike. It incorporates a patented angled tip that plows mud and moisture off the rim and deep V-shaped grooves that further channel grit, grunge, and grime away from the braking surface for optimum braking power.

2. Continental ShieldWall Mountain Bike Tire

Our rating: 9 / 10

Continental ShieldWall Mountain Bike Tire

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Low rolling resistance
  • Good self-damping
  • Low weight
  • Excellent puncture protection
  • High-quality, three-layer Tubeless Ready-enabled casing
  • Outstanding grip
  • High mileage
  • E-Bike Rated Mountain Bike Tire up to 25 km/h

Cons:

  • Users believe that the tires are not punctured resistant
  • Hard to mount

Continental ShieldWall Mountain Bike Tires are all-terrain replacement MTB tires in 3 sizes, 26", 27.5", and 29". It will prove to be an amazing upgrade for your mountain bike.

Continental's Race King is a classic competition tire which feels at home at the Cross Country World Cup or at marathons. Equipped with the Pure Grip compound claimed to have a longer wear life due to the firmer rubber, and comes in at a considerably lower cost.

The dense 3-layer casing and honeycomb sidewall design do a good job fending off punctures and slices from jagged rocks. And of course, it's tubeless-ready, letting you run lower tire pressure for more traction and smoother damping, as well as the peace of mind that comes from a self-sealing tubeless system.

3. Wittkop Bike Seat

Our rating: 9 / 10

Wittkop Bike Seat

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • High-quality memory foam
  • Innovative
  • 5-zone-concept
  • Ergonomic seat
  • Enhanced airflow system
  • 100 percent waterproof

Cons:

  • Some users found the seat smaller for their size
  • It may produce a squeaking sound

Wittkop bike saddle is a cheap yet beneficial upgrade for your mountain bike. It's 100% waterproof with memory foam and airflow to ensure a comfortable ride.

The special foam layer of the saddle clings perfectly to your body and ensures a comfortable seat due to decompression – no matter if you prefer a regular bicycle or an e-bike.

The unisex bike seat is partitioned into five individually conceptualized zones. This provides an ergonomic seat and riding enjoyment for hours and hours – without pain.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should I upgrade on my MTB?

The bike seat is one of the most critical parts of the bike.
If you want to be comfortable on a long ride, you have to have a high-quality bike seat.

To be able to sit on your bike for hours on end, you will need a comfortable seat that is going to follow the natural shape of your body.
While purchasing a new bike seat, you will want to know where you will be riding.

If you will mainly be riding in the dirt, you will likely want a more durable seat that will better withstand the terrain you will be riding on.

If you live in an area with a lot of hard surfaces, such as pavement, you will want a thinner seat so that it doesn’t reduce your contact with the pedals.

When should I upgrade my mountain bike?

Much like with any other sport, there’s no set time when you should upgrade. Some might get a new bike after a few months, while others don’t upgrade their bikes until years and years. The perfect time to upgrade depends on how you like riding or if you want a change.

Some upgrades are dependent on your riding conditions as well. If you are riding on a smooth, paved road, you won’t need suspension, and your shifting components probably won’t need updating. But if you plan on tackling rugged trails, it’s crucial to get a bike with shocks and drivetrain parts that can withstand the punishment.

Is it worth upgrading a cheap mountain bike?

Some people believe that it is not worth upgrading any bike because the general rule is that more expensive mountain bikes increase the price incrementally.
But if you have a low-end bike, it is a perfect idea to upgrade parts of it in a way that can help you meet your desired standard of riding.

We understand that you will not find any bicycle mechanics offering a complete bike upgrade in the bike shop. These bike mechanics have a knack for performing the way your bike should, and on top of that, they will leave it to you to decide if you want to part your bike out while you are at it.

Quite simply, a bike upgrade will make the bike ride smoother and faster.

How can I upgrade my mountain bike cheaply?

Bikes are usually pretty inexpensive, and the parts you’ll need for upgrades are even cheaper than that.

Of course, you could always order brand name replacement and upgrade parts, but we highly recommend you avoid that as it can get expensive pretty quickly. That being said, some budget models will suit you.

Another option is to support local bike shops in your area. Most of them are stocked with plenty of parts, so you should have no problem finding what you’re looking for. It might take some hunting in the back of the shop, but you should be all set once you find them.

Without a proper bike mechanic, you should be able to swap out your old parts and upgrade your bike yourself. Sometimes, manufacturers will even include an installation guide that’s easy enough for anyone to understand.

Conclusion

Like many other activities, mountain biking is not just a one-time adventure. It is something that can please you for a long time, but only if you invest well in your equipment. This is why it’s so important to know what features to look for in a mountain bike in the first place. Even if you’re a beginner, you’ll soon know what goes into a high-quality bike.

There are many factors to look at when you’re upgrading a mountain bike. However, we believe it’s possible to narrow our options to one of these top 3 mountain bike upgrades of 2021.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Kool Stop MTB Mountain Bicycle Brake ShoesBest OverallKool Stop MTB Mountain Bicycle Brake Shoes
Wittkop Bike SeatBudget PickWittkop Bike Seat
Continental ShieldWall Mountain Bike TireUpgrade PickContinental ShieldWall Mountain Bike Tire