A year ago, I rebuilt my city bike with a combination of new and old parts parts and have used it mostly as a commuter for the past 12 months. Recently, I have changed things up as I begin to plan a few solo trips.
I added a set of carbon bar ends. These are not new. They were on the bike previously. I found as I began doing longer rides, my hands would tire and I became uncomfortable. The bar ends get me leaning forward in a more aggressive position and lower. This helps a lot with climbs. And, they also give me an alternative hand position preventing numbness in the palms.
I added full size fenders for the wet weather. These were a “hand-me-up” from my son left over from his previous commuter. They wrap around the wheel protecting the drive train much better than the mountain bike style of fenders that were on the bike before.
I put my Brooks Professional saddle on the bike. This saddle is 37 years old and was initially on the Roberts bike. I have taken very good care of the leather over the years and it looks and feels like new.
I put my Filzer bike computer on the bike. I like to know my speed and distance. In fact, I sometimes train on this bike after work. It is not the fastest. It is heavy but smooth rolling. Climbs are harder and descents slower. On the flat, with no wind or grade, I can easily average 20-25 kph.
And, I added a rear rack and panniers. I use the panniers in the city instead of a backpack. It is much more comfortable and safer. But I purchased the panniers for touring. These are 40L, waterproof with pockets inside to keep valuable items separated and easy to access.
Non of these items were necessary but they each have improved the functionality and comfort of the ride.