In the bike industry, there are a lot of changes happening. It can be hard to keep up with new technologies to increase e-bikes and electric bikes. The next few years are crucial for the bike industry, so staying up-to-date on the latest trends is essential. Here are some exciting bike industry trends that you should watch in 2023.
1. Electric Bicycles
More and more people are turning to e-bikes for better training rides and longer commutes. E-bikes are becoming cheaper and improving faster than ever before. These developments are expected to lead to e-bike sales surpassing traditional bike sales soon. As a result, the number of electric bicycle manufacturers is growing. With the market expanding rapidly, expect them to continue making advancements in battery life, top speed, and power output. This means that e-bikers will likely ride further and faster, with less risk of breaking down than traditional bikes. While most e-bike use requires a motor combined with pedals and gears, others even replace the human component. Riders without legs or arms could use e-scooters to cover long distances or even take long walks, increasing usage worldwide. All of this would likely mean that e-bikes will eventually reach the status of standard bikes. However, we still see a considerable difference between e-bikes and regular bikes, as the former requires no special skills or physical traits.
2. A calming of the endless integration
Every new year comes an influx of new riders and companies trying to get their name there. One of the most frustrating things about the internet today is how quickly new products, whether the latest clothing line or a new bicycle model, come online. For anyone who loves bicycles, this constant onslaught of new brands and models can be overwhelming, contributing to the problem of “infinite cycling.” There are two ways that cycling itself changes and develops: one is technological, and the other is business. There will be less innovation within the core aspect of what makes a bicycle, such as tire size, wheel diameter, spokes, etc., but rather focus on improving these areas based on consumer demand, which is a positive sign. Another way for us as consumers to help combat the issue of infinite cycling is simply by buying fewer bikes, either through our purchases or through social media sharing. Doing this will allow the bicycle industry to focus more on developing new models while helping ourselves reduce stress from the overabundance of products.
3. The full death of separate aero and lightweight race bikes
You have a choice: buy a $10k bike from your local shop and only race it once or twice per season, or go all out and spend thousands on a custom frame built just for racing. Once again, technology has driven the industry toward a resolution that leaves little room for mass-produced, disposable bikes. In the past decade, companies like Calfee (whose founder was recently acquired by Specialized) and Reynolds developed high-end carbon fiber race frames specifically made to withstand the rigors of racing. Now, they’re used on road bikes, too! That trend continues as more and more companies try to sell you the ultimate performance bike at a price point that won’t break the bank. So not only do you get the benefits of having a top-quality bike, but you’re saving money as well. And when you’re not racing? Who cares if your bike is going to collect dust on the shelf? You can always switch to something else next time around. Cycling will never be the same.
4. More cyclocross bikes with wide clearances
As mentioned, cyclocross (cross bikes) has recently gained popularity, especially among amateur racers and weekend warriors. Most cross bikes feature large wheels that make traversing obstacles much more manageable. Also, since the front fork drops away during technical sections, the rider doesn’t need to worry about tripping over the front wheel. But because cross bikes are often designed for off-road conditions, many people don’t realize that some have loose clearances between the handlebars and frame. The bars may wrap around your wrist or elbow if you fall, causing severe injury. Look for clearance numbers printed on the bottom bracket shell to prevent this type of accident. On a typical downhill mountain bike – where the front fork extends up into the head tube, the minimum clearance should be about 50mm (2 inches). This number goes even lower with newer “all-mountain” designs, typically 45mm (1¾in) minimum clearance. While there have been numerous recalls due to unsafe designs, manufacturers are starting to pay attention to this problem, with several design changes being introduced in the last few years.
5. A focus on affordable road bikes and financing options
Over the last 10 to 15 years, the industry has shifted from making expensive road bikes to building cheaper ones. As a result, many mid-range brands have flourished, offering features at a mid-level price without sacrificing riding performance. These models are usually lighter than traditional road bikes, resulting in better handling and speed. The advent of disc brakes, wider tires, and different tire widths and financing options for bike shops give new life to an old concept, allowing casual cyclists to enjoy the perks of road biking without breaking the bank.
6. A boom in proper bikes for kids
The demand for stylish, practical bicycles for children has exploded. Just think – one day, you’re riding around town on an adult bike, then suddenly you’re older and feel the need to transition to something safer and smaller. Kids usually start with tricycles but want their bicycles after a while. With these options available today, parents no longer have to choose between safe transportation and long-term mobility.
7. Supercapacitors in bikes
Bike batteries can take hours to charge, losing power overnight. Batteries also heat up noticeably when the sun gets hot. By comparison, supercapacitors store energy for a fraction of the time needed by conventional battery cells, and they can keep the lights and other components running for days. Some companies claim that their device could replace lithium-ion batteries entirely. One drawback is that supercapacitors aren’t cheap, not yet, anyway. At least we’ll have something other than chemical combustion engines to rely on until we figure out how to convert solar energy into electricity using nanotechnology.
In conclusion, it’s hard to say what will happen to cycle as a hobby in the future. Will more adults buy bikes? Will prices continue to drop? Is there room for another market segment like CX racing? It has been predicted that cycling won’t fade away completely, but I see it losing its status as a mainstream activity. For now, at least, we can still get out and ride!