I've always been tight fisted - the only upgrade I made on my first bike was tyres - and it's still the best performance upgrade out there. Specy Ground Controls were superb until the 2.1" Smoke came along.
When I changed my frame from the Rockhopper to a Trek 8900 Bonded Aluminium I was dumb enough to put a LO--------NG Flexstem and Brahma bars on it. I must have got about 2" travel when on the bar ends
. Losing them was brilliant.
SPD's where the next true performance upgrade - and probably the one I would like to live without the least. I can and occasionaly do use flatties but my heart belongs to SPD's.
I can't see me ever wanting to use clips and straps again, but we had to start somewhere.
He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy.
95 Kona Explosif Singlespeed/Fixie - 100% Thrashed since new and it's still very well loved (and it looks it).
Dave Lloyd C.A.T.S W.I.S.K.A.S - Built, ridden, loved, and sold.