Here at CycleHouse, we are mid way through the 2016 season and we can see some trends setting that are here to stay. So, here’s the long and short of it, a top ten HOT trend list to look out for this summer coming.
1) – Shimano Di2
It’s been here for a long time, but prices are getting lower each year. With Di2 featuring on bikes around the £3000 mark, it is still expensive but once you’ve tried it, you really won’t go back. It is effortless in it’s shifting, it is self truing and it is fully tunable to suit your needs. What’s more, you can buy upgrade kits to convert your existing chain-set to work with Di2.
Keep your eyes peeled this summer for the new SRAM electronic gears, the new eTAP system does away with cables! All sounds rather nice to us at CycleHouse.
2) – Plus sized tyres
The war on 26inch, 650B and 29er tyres has long been fought. It appears that lately the 650B has edged past the other two sizes, but we now have a new contender, the plus sized tyre. These are, to put simply, just wider versions of the already established tyre sizes, but instead of going up to 2.4 inch wide, these now go up to 2.8 inches. Combine these tyres with a wider rim (this should also be on the trend list) and you get a much wider profile of the tyre. This results in more cushioning and comfort as tyres can be run at lower pressures, but also more speed! The wider tyres offer more grip and traction, combine this with the lower pressures and traction and you’ll fly on the descents. Surely that’s what every mountain biker is after?!
3) – 25/28mm road tyres
Those Audax boys and girls have been right all along, the larger roads tyres offer more comfort on a longer rides, the wider profile offers more grip in the corners and if set at the right pressure, reduces rolling resistance. What’s not to like? You’ll see a lot of our road bikes are coming with 25mm tyres and the some of the Cannondale Synapse range even comes specced with 28mm tyre. These wider tyres are perfect for the British roads.
4) – Aluminium road bikes
Europeans love aluminium bikes but we’ve yet to embrace them properly over here. The UK market certainly see carbon as the go-to fabric and as an upgrade material but this is set to change for this season. Cannondale have released their new aluminium CAAD 12 frame-set. Lighter than a lot of competitors carbon frame-sets, the new CAAD 12 is set to change how we think of aluminium. It comes in two versions, disc or non-disc finish and it utilises the highly acclaimed Supersix EVO fork. You’ve got to see it to believe in the hype, £1300 for a full Shimano 105 group-set and mavic wheels, carbon fork and their SI crankset, that’ll be the Cannondale CAAD 12.
5) – Cross/Gravel bikes
We’ve noticed a lot more riders liking the idea of road riding but they do not want to solely road ride, so what options are out there? Off-road road bikes are a great choice for many people but they have a quirkier name, Gravel bikes (think 28-30mm tyres for riding on Sustrans hard-pack routes) and cyclo-cross bikes (think knobbly, 35mm tyres for racing around muddy fields). These bikes are still fast on the roads, still have drop bars but they can cope with off-road sections too, ideal for the more adventurous road cyclist or someone after a winter bike. CycleHouse staff have embraced them for their winter commute bikes and for racing on, matching them up with #8 on our list.
6) – E-bikes
Now then, e-bikes divide opinions straight away (and don’t mention Strava in the same sentence…!). For many people, e-bikes will give them the access that they need to ride bikes and that can only be a good thing. We at CycleHouse could write pages upon pages on e-bikes, but we won’t. Suffice to say, it’s the future and if it gets more people out cycling, then who are we (the infamous ‘we’ as a population) to judge.
7) – Road disc brakes
Love or loathe them, they are here to stay! They’ve been long established in the mountain bike world and they have made a smooth transition to the road world. The pro-riders are still undecided on them but don’t let that put you off! For riding within the UK, it is hard to fault them, consistent braking from dry to wet weather, improved modulation over calliper brakes and dare I say it, cleaner lines on the bike. They are also allowing riders to fit large volume tyres and mud-guards to their bikes, so they’re great for winter riding.
8) – Sram (or shimano) 1x systems
Probably not for the 2016 season in the road bike world, but it’s starting to appear on Cross and Gravel bikes. Mountain bikers have used a 1x system (one chain-ring with a wider cassette) for many years now and it won’t be long for other riders to adapt them. Whyte have specced this system on their fast hybrids and we’re seeing many riders change their existing setup for this method, it’s simpler (so less to go wrong), cheaper to buy into (less components to buy) and the bike looks better. A 1x system will usually give you about 90% of the gear range a conventional compact chain-set will.
9) – Full/open face helmets
Yeah, we laughed at the Met Parachute all those years ago but fast forward more than a decade and we just can’t get enough of them. Enduro (A.K.A. all mountain, trail, over-mountain, agreesive XC, light free-ride…) has hit the mountain bike scene in a big way. Longer travel bikes that can now climb hills has resulted in riders wanting one helmet to do it all. Step forward the Bell Super II helmet, lightweight and super breathable, this open face helmet has a chin guard that attaches to the main helmet quicker than your mates will get their breath back at the top of the climb!
10) – Sunshine and dry trails
OK, so we have a warped sense of humour. We can live in hope though 😉 Mmmmm, dusty trails and rooster tails….