As a kid, all I wanted was a blinged out bike. I had the basket, spoke beads, Mickey Mouse bell, handlebar streamers, the whole shebang. Naturally, times have changed -- now, less is more -- and in the spirit of summer, I'm shedding the excess. But before slapping down $$$ at a bike shop, watch Global Mountain Bike Network's video on 7 quick ways to upgrade your mountain bike. In minutes, you'll have taken your ride to the next level. And you'll only need Velcro, valves, sealant, zip ties, cable cutters (but scissors will do), and an Allen key. Maybe a beer too.
GMBN's Scotty tells you to ditch the reflectors and cassette protector, put Velcro on the frame of your bike to muffle the noise of the chain hitting it (a top tip he leaned from World Cup riders), go tubeless by adding valves and sealant, customize your cockpit by fiddling with the brake lever angle and bar roll, zip tie your cables, reangle your saddle (tip: neutral's better for climbs), and set your suspension.
Scotty's main words of wisdom: measure twice, cut once. That's it. Easy as. But the difference you'll notice is awesome. Your bike will handle like no other. And all for almost free.