The world of cycling constantly rotates through new innovations and ideas to make riding experiences faster on roads, sturdier on trails and generally better all-round. Whether it’s the technology associated with bikes or the cycles themselves, some pretty magical gear will be all the rage this year. Here, at The Insurance Emporium, we’ve been looking into what’s going to be catching cyclists’ eyes in 2018. Read on for our pick of the trends set to go up a gear this year!
Get a bike that can do both!
Adventure road bikes, or gravel bikes, could be big news in 2018. They’re halfway between cyclocross and endurance road bikes, meaning that they can be faster than the former and better at handling rough terrain than the latter. Examples of these bikes include the Specialized Diverge range and the Giant AnyRoad cycles. In the USA, adventure road bikes have become pretty popular and the gravel racing scene there has become pretty big. While we don’t have too many gravel roads in the UK, these bikes could handle well if you wish to cycle along farm tracks, tow paths or rough roads. Plus, you’ll still be able to handle long rides on tarmac!
Get into gear!
Since they came on the market, electronic gears have been quickly replacing their mechanical predecessors on the professional racing scene. These gears are appearing across a variety of cycling disciplines and we think that this is a trend that is likely to spread among all sorts of riders. Electronic groupsets are often praised for their fast and quick gear shifts and the fact that they can be positioned in places that are most useful to the rider, while mechanical gears generally stay only on the handlebars. At the moment, you would need to look at getting a particularly pricy bike to get an electronic groupset but keep your eyes peeled to see how things develop.
There can only be one…
Among mountain bikers, 1x drivetrains have been continually getting more popular. Now they’ve been gaining traction in a number of other disciplines, including cyclocross and gravel riding. Aqua Blue Sport’s professional team are also set to use 1x during 2018. The reason for the rising popularity in these drivetrains is that only needing to shift through one set of gears makes thing a lot simpler and easier. Plus, with no front derailleur on your bike, it’s less likely that your chain will come off. While they aren’t necessarily for everyone – particularly road riders – the ease that 1x drivetrains offer means that they may well be seen on plenty of new bikes this year!
Go (smart) turbo!
A bold cyclist will go out riding whatever the weather but, don’t worry, we won’t judge if massive downpours, icy surfaces, snow and ice put you off! In fact, you could just go riding in your own house…no, we’re not talking about doing trials on your dining room furniture! Smart Turbo Trainers allow you to connect your bike to a unit so that it operates much like the stationary bikes you get in the gym. They use technology to do things such as monitor your performance, change resistance and even experience virtual worlds with apps like Zwift. The Wahoo Kickr Climb is a trainer that has elevated expectations for smart turbos as it can mimic physical grade challenges. If you want to fit in a ride but can’t get outside on a particular day, smart turbos coupled with the Zwift app could be edging closer to the real deal!
Are friends electric?
Love them or loathe them, pedal-assist e-bikes are here to stay and they’re getting more specialised and sophisticated as time goes on. Road e-bikes and mountain e-bikes have been hitting the marketplace, with brands like Bianchi getting on board with the trend. Meanwhile, companies like Shimano are coming out with bike parts made specifically for these cycles. Understandably, many people prefer the energy and sense of achievement you get with a traditional bicycle, so it seems highly unlikely that pedal-assist versions will replace the originals. Nevertheless, e-bikes could offer a bit more power when you’re tired from a long cycle and they could encourage many more people to get into riding.
Whatever discipline you prefer, there will always be moves towards greater sophistication in cycling technology. If this list has inspired you to buy a new bike, you might consider getting cycle insurance. At The Insurance Emporium, our bicycle insurance includes cover for loss, theft or accidental damage as standard and you could also choose from a range of Elective Benefits, such as New for Old for up to four years. There’s also up to 25% discount available on new policies, including a 15% Introductory Discount. If you’re looking for a bicycle insurance quote, pedal on down to The Insurance Emporium today!
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