What's the Next Big Thing in bikes/cycling?

Lots of talk about gravel bikes in recent years.
A few years back it was all about cyclocross.
And before that everyone was riding fixed gear bikes.

Mountain bikes (not that I follow them too closely) have fractured into XC race, trail, enduro, downhill etc as the tech and the terrain people choose to ride constantly push each other forward. Fatbikes and Plus bikes came and went.

Cargo bikes of various types have invaded various urban areas, though aren’t exactly mainstream in most places.

E-bikes of all the above types are here and not going away. Maybe that will push things like cargo bikes further into non-flat cities?

But what’s around the corner? What are people seeing in their crystal balls? Either new sub-genres or just tech tidbits.

I’ll make a random prediction on retro electric beach cruisers. Because why not? If you’re going e-powered you might as well do it in style.

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I think 1x road gearing will gets big push from one of the big 3 groupset manufacturers in a couple of years time, probably SRAM.

It’ll be a 1x13 groupset and it’ll be aimed at more casual/endurance cycling, hand in hand with the rise of all road bikes. I know that Ekar already exists but this will be a more road focused groupset and will also be wireless.

I doubt racing will be targeted this time following the Aqua Blue Sport fiasco from a few years ago and the fact that racing requires close ratios.

Also surely any claims of 1x being more aero are dubious when a moving leg is very close to that part of the bike and disrupting all the airflow? Anyone more knowledgeable about aerodynamics wish to enlighten me?

In terms of new genres of bikes, I think it’s all about e-bikes now. Any new big advancements will be in that field.

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Just a +1 on ebikes. That’s going to be the big thing for a while.

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Yup…eBikes are going to be huge. Everything else is just refinements of what already exists. But eBikes are a market that has barely been tapped and is still in its infancy. I would argue that the “right” eBike has yet to be developed.

This is about micromobility as much as it is about bikes.

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Not an exceptionally hot take but I think DTC Chinese and Taiwanese bike brands are only going to gather continual momentum and popularity.

We’ve already seen this with wheels from brands like Winspace, Far Sports, and Light Bicycle and I’m seeing more DTC Asia import frames on the road. Combination of supply shortage forcing people to buy outside of their usual brands, good intelligent marketing spend outside of professional cycling, people getting comfortable buying bikes unseen, and move to more refined buying process. Someone is going to figure out a name that Americans and Europeans can pronounce and you’ll start to see a lot more of it. Win for me, anyone else remember the days when your choices for carbon wheels were Zipp, Enve, high end house brands, etc for 2+ grand, terrible Reynolds wheels for 1500, or roll of the dice ordering wheels from Asia through WhatsApp, Wechat, and AliExpress.

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Well integrated e-bikes with significant inbuilt anti-theft and safety (radar, daytime running lights) features will probably be a big thing. Right now many e-bikes seem a lot like bikes with the “e-” tacked on, not taking advantage of inbuilt battery and electronics.

SRAM are already pushing Road 1x. Not to the extent of kitting out a whole team, 100% of the time, on frames that can’t actually fit a front derailleur, like Aqua Blue, but several riders on SRAM teams rode classics like Milan San Remo and Roubaix (pretty flattish race, tbf) on 1x last year and I think the year before. And 1x makes sense for those races, and for the kind of Grand Tour stages where nobody is out of the big ring all day. At the same time, IIRC at the Tour the Trek riders were literally blocking off the 10 sprocket on their 12 speed drive trains and deliberately running 2x11 with old 52/36 or 53/39 cranksets because they hated the AXS gearing so much.

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I see Cargo e-bikes will become a lot bigger part of the market, as people realise they can haul kids and groceries on them. I don’t see ‘regular’ e-bikes getting heap more popular as for most people’s micro mobility needs EScooters are much better.

Here in Australia, 99Bikes is going to start carrying the Cube Cargo Hybrid, Dutch box bike, which could really increase their popularity by getting them in front of a heap of people.

This would be interesting but it might require bike manufacturers changing their business model somewhat and (like car manufacturers) committing to parts and service supply for more than one model year.

ebikes, 1x, 1 more sprocket on the rear, and the rise of Asian manufacturers as legitimate businesses are already either with us or slow evolution. I’m more curious about what might be a “trend”, and yes I’m putting gravel in the “trend” category since it basically didn’t exist 10 years ago, though it will probably last a while and become more mainstream.

Yeah, what is being now called gravel biking feels like more than just a trend, because the bikes are ultimately very practical, and have many uses. Similar with cargo bikes.

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Google Trends data for interests sake:

Baseline (no trend apart from seasonal and 2020 Covid blip):

Recent trend:

Older trend:

Fading trend:


Fading but maybe replaced by fragments?

Slow burners:


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That last bit should include similar terms, like “ebike” and “electric bike” along with “electric bicycle”

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In a more specific level, I think there’s some momentum towards performance road bikes that are easy to service. Aethos, Cannondale’s Optimo Aluminum frame and the most recent Synapse: round seat tubes, threaded bb, removable bosses to accommodate electronic or mechanical systems. One can sell a super high-end bike without adding complicators. Now I wish this would extend to bicycle groups, e.g. a 12 or 13 speed mechanical group that is reliable, easy to service and repair, and rides well. I think we’re a couple of years from a fully-serviceable, high end 12 speed mechanical road bike. With or without discs.

I predict SRAM will buy Hammerhead.

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Bold. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Similarly, I predict Kona Bicycles will be bought by Kent Outdoor. :sunglasses:

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I think leasing and service contracts will get a lot more appeal than only for eBikes.

ABS will probably make its way to eBikes. Perhaps even lean sensitive ABS like on motorcycles.

Suspension will become more common in other categories than MTB’s.

And for the rest… perhaps automatic shifting?

It’s available in eBikes/cargo bikes, and intruding into gravel… and I can’t see suspension gaining much more traction, if you will, than that. With the progression back to wider tires and lower pressures, a lot of the work that suspension would do, is being done by the tires, and done better.

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1x combined with an internally geared rear hub (Classified style). Best of both worlds.

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I don’t know. I would think after 270 km in the saddle that you might want a tighter range of gears when you hit the Cipressa.

The big miss on 1x at this point has to be cheap kids’ bikes. I don’t understand why they still come with cheap, crappy 2x, or why they weigh more than adult bikes.

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Because a cheap 3x crankset and front derailleur is cheaper and more reliable chain retention than a good 1x chainring and a clutch. And people don’t expect to pay $2000 for their kids bike.

And they weigh more because admit it, you’ve ridden a kids bike as an adult at least once…

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