I’m an avid cyclist. I ride over 100 miles from Portland, Maine every weekend, and get great use out of my Peloton indoors during the work week. As such, I’m always keeping an eye out for new and exciting industry trends that might expand and enhance my biking experience. We at Topo Pino have already noticed that people are taking more active vacations, choosing to bring their bicycles along with them rather than leave them behind. But what other trends are we likely to see soon? Here are a few that I’ve come across recently that I think will have a big impact on 2018 cyclists!
Disc Brakes have traditionally been a key component of mountain bikes, so they aren’t new to the cycling industry. They are, however, a relatively recent addition to road bikes. Disc brakes are predicted to become a standard on road bikes of the future as they are considered to be more aerodynamic than rim brakes. You’ll find them primarily on high-end road bikes this year, but watch for them to become mainstream at all levels (including the Peloton) once testing is completed.
These multifaceted bikes are making waves in the world of cycling this year. They tend to perform well both on and off-road, making them a popular choice for riders that don’t like to limit themselves. Gravel bike events and gravel bike courses are also increasing in popularity as this versatile bike continues to gain traction.
It’s the age of digital-everything so it makes sense that the bicycle industry would capitalize on new technology. Mountain bikes and road bikes alike are currently experimenting with digital shifting. Electronic shifters are not widely available right now, but several manufacturers are adding them to their high-end models. Experts predict that “[while] digital shifting is not going to stick for mountain bikes in 2018, it will continue to grow in the road cycling industry.”
Although slightly controversial, eBikes are also becoming quite popular among commuters. They look like a regular bicycle — Focus even makes one that looks like your road bike — only they have a hidden motor somewhere on the frame. eBikes are more eco-friendly, more cost-effective, and more sensible than vehicle ownership in larger cities like New York and San Francisco. Just be sure to check your local laws before purchasing an eBike as they are considered illegal in some locations.That being said, some avid cyclists do feel that eBikes are a form of cheating but they can be a fantastic way to enjoy a bicycle for individuals that may not be able to use a regular bicycle.
This 2018 trend pertains to indoor training but relates directly to your outdoor abilities. Smart Trainers are now being programmed to better simulate outdoor conditions on your indoor training bikes. The new technology includes the ability to imitate road grades and hills much as you would experience on your road bike. One program, Wahoo Kickr Climb, allows you to “ascend hills up to a 20% grade and descend down to a -10% to mimic real road conditions.”
Whether you have a road bike, mountain bike, Peloton, or just a plain old bicycle odds are that you will notice that one or two of these 2018 trends will find its way to your field!