After cycling for thousands of miles all over the USA and Canada I have been toschool literally on bike components such that I know which brands to stay away from. Many times I have bought a brand new bike and taken off the shifters, crankset,cassette, and pedals and replaced them with better more reliable components because most of the time the bike came with mediocre components that I knew would not last and would let me down somewhere out on the trail or road somewhere.
Sorry but I will not say what not to stay away from because im not into knocking other manufactures parts because the bikes did have good components and they were ok for the average rider but for someone who rides everyday I prefer the best most reliable for the best price, doesn’t that sound practical? First of all practicality is a number 1 virtue when it comes to cycling and it will take you a long way rather than trying to be too complicated.
The most important components start at the pedals and I prefer Shimano Pedals because they are comprised of top notch materials and are built like a tank. These pedals have sealed bearings by O-rings that help keep the water out and can be unassembled for servicing. Parts that make up this very important component can be replaced affordable without breaking the bank. However the only thing I reccommend is to service them at regular intervals then you wont have to worry about breaking down.