The Rise of the E-Bike
The e-bike has arguably been the most debated topic in mountain biking over the last 2-3 years. Regardless of your opinion, the e-bike is here to stay. In fact, it’s going to get stronger. We expect to see more manufacturers to bring out an e-bike option as well as more to make convertible e-bikes. Convertible e-bikes essentially allow you to remove the battery from your bike and ride without assistance or the extra weight. This is pretty interesting as a nice little cover where the batter used to be makes for an interesting hidey-hole to store your bits.
Another inevitability and also a well debated topic but, we do live in the digital age so we should expect this to become prevalent in the cycling world. It doesn’t just end with shifters and droppers that are going digital. There are glasses that can bring head up display on your riding, more of us are using GPS systems to track our rides, new start up are coming out of the wood work with suspension monitoring systems to help you tune your bike. With the surge of e-bikes this becomes a much more compelling advancement as we now have the power source to keep it all going.
Steel will make a return to glory
Bike companies like Starling Cycles, Sick Bicycle Company, Pipedream, BTR Fabrications etc have been around for a while. But steel bikes are growing in popularity, hand built and very often custom to the rider. Many of us, myself included, are attracted to the “rawness” of steel bikes. Simple designs that are made to survive anything you throw at them. Search #SteelisReal and you’ll see what we mean.
Mid-fats will become more standardized
The same thing happened with 27.5” wheels. At first we stuck our noses up at the idea of 29ers on the trails but then when we realized there were some clear benefits and we all opted for the middle ground. The same has started with fat tyres, we all stuck our noses up at fat bikes but now many of of us are adopting the middle ground to get the best of both worlds.
Gearboxes and belt drives have another go
Whether this will happen or not I don’t know but I sure as hell want it to. I think this is the best thing to happen to mountain bikes but was released just behind the curve. They have come a long way since they were first released but I hope to see the likes of Pinion rise up in partnership with some mainstream brands and start making this a more standardized build option.
Coil shocks to get a spring in their step
See what I did there? The epic battle continues. Air vs Coil. With the exception of Downhill, Air has been winning the battle but more and more folks are adopting coil shocks. Sure they are heavier but they are offer clear benefits in progression through the travel. Weight differences these days are so nominal most of us don’t bother to care about it any more and simply opt for what gives us the best feeling when we go down.