However you don't have to empty your bank account to get some of the best stuff available – so long as you know where to look. Check out our pick of the best bike-based bargains that will leave you with change from a tenner...
White Lightning Epic Ride
There are a bewildering array of bike lubricants out there – with cyclists facing a choice of wet, dry, synthetic, oil and wax-based lubes, among others.
Each have their pros and cons, with wet lubes lasting longer but often leaving an unpleasantly gunky residue on transmission parts.
Meanwhile some dry lubes seem to wash off at the first hint of drizzle – creating a soundtrack of creaks and rattles to accompany those generated by our bodies.
Trial and error has seen us settle on White Lightning's Epic Ride, which – as the name suggests – is tenacious enough for a big ride in nasty conditions.
But its main advantage is that it seems to shrug off dirt and grime, so all that's required at the end of most rides is a quick wipe of the chain and another squirt of lube.
Price: £8.99, available from Tredz.
Planet X Thicky Merino Socks
It's not unusual to pay £10 for a single pair of merino socks - and they can be well worth the price if you're out on the road or trail in the colder months.
So that makes Planet X's offering of THREE pairs of thick socks for a tenner one of the best bargains in cycling.
They even come in a natty Flanders lion design, the iconic flag which can be seen waved by fans beside the road during the Belgian Spring Classics.
Price: £9.99 for three pairs, available from PlanetX.
Pedro's Tyre Levers
You'd think that all tyre levers would be pretty much the same, wouldn't you? They're hardly the most sophisticated tool the world has ever seen and they've got a pretty simple job to do.
But no, we've had some that have snapped at the critical moment, others have bent like we're Uri Geller - and some have seemed designed to rip the new inner tube we've been trying to fit.
We've never had any complaints about Pedro's stubby little levers though. We've used them to fit everything from skinny road tyres on narrow rims to big downhill MTB tyres with super-stiff beads – and they have never failed us.
And we love that they come in cheery yellow, pink or green colours.
Price: £2.99, available from Chain Reaction Cycles.
Kool Stop Salmon Brake Pads
If you've got a budget or mid-range road bike then new brake pads are, in our opinion, the single best bang-for-your-buck upgrade you can make.
Many stock brake blocks appear to be made from melted down wheelie bins, offering mediocre stopping in the dry and terrifyingly poor braking in the wet.
Kool Stop Salmons are designed with a soft compound for braking in particularly wet conditions – but we have used them all year round and find they don’t wear out too quickly.
Price: £8.99 for one pair, available from Wiggle.
Superstar Components Brake Pads
As a rule the pads supplied in the hydraulic brakes on mountain bikes perform perfectly well, however the cost of replacing them once they're worn out can be a bit scary – with bike shops typically asking £15 to £25 per end.
Superstar Components is a direct sales cycling firm which made its name offering brakes pads at MUCH lower prices – but without a drop in quality.
They offer a variety of pads: “organic" for power, “sintered" for bad conditions and “kevlar" promising good power and long life.
Price: £5.49 to £7.99 for one pair, available from Superstar Components.
BBB LinkFix Chain Link Tool
If you're currently struggling to fit or remove reusable chain links by hand then you'll soon be singing the praises of this tool.
Anyone who's used replaceable links before will be familiar with the huffing, puffing, swearing and torn skin that can result from trying to remove one by hand for cleaning or maintenance purposes.
Several brands now offer tools which make it a simple, five-second job – and BBB's is the best-priced.
Price: £6.49, available from Chain Reaction Cycles.
Park Tool Chain Wear Indicator
On the subject of chains, here we have a simple piece of stamped metal which might not appear to do very much at first glance – but which could save you big money in the long run.
If you don't change your chain in time, you can end up having to replace the rear cogs too – as they get eaten away by the widening chain rollers.
Designed to be slotted between the links, this tool tells you when it's time to replace your chain – and whether you've let it go too far or not.
Price: £7.49, (RRP £9.99) available from Chain Reaction Cycles.
Nine quid for a simple bit of plastic and some zip ties? It might not sound like the bargain of the century, and indeed if you only ride on completely dry trails you probably don't need one of these.
However if you've ever got a face full of grit, mud or worse while out mountain biking, you may well regard it as the best £9 you ever spent!
Securing to the brace on your fork, it does a pretty good job of catching most of the debris that would otherwise end up in your eyes or mouth.
Price: £8.99, available from Wiggle.
Allen/Hex keys and Torx keys from Lidl or Aldi
You'll have to be patient for this one – because the budget supermarket chains both only offer their bargain tools at certain times of the year.
However it will be worth the wait, because all the tools we have picked up from the German retailers have been good quality CR-V alloy specimens which are easily a match for bike specific and other name brands.
Watch the shops' social media feeds for advance warning of incoming bargains.
Price: £2.99 to £9.99, available from Lidl/Aldi stores.
Do you take your smartphone out on rides with you?
Well if you've just been sticking it in a jersey or jacket pocket then you might be taking an unnecessary risk with something that could be worth hundreds of pounds.
If you get caught out in a downpour then water can find its way inside your phone, causing serious damage which isn't covered by the warranty. Don't ask how we know this.
Fortunately the solution can be found on the shelves of the nearest supermarket – in the form of small resealable sandwich bags.
Sure, you can spend much more money on a dedicated phone case, but these are more than waterproof enough and allow you to quickly see who might be calling, texting or emailing you – so you can decide whether it's worth interrupting your ride to answer.
We like the posh zip-lock versions best.
About 11p each!