We gaze into the crystal ball to look at the next 12 months in bikes

In the ever shifting world of cycling there has been some pretty exciting changes. There’s always some new invention and innovation just round the corner, no matter how controversial.

So, what will 2018 hold for the cyclists of the world? We’ve got some ideas, some you might love, some you might hate.

Either way, let us know what you think the next year has in store for us all.

Professional use of disc brakes

Ian Stannard was recently seen training on his Pinarello Dogma K10S Disk

Yes, disc brakes have been around for ages and yes, they’re really popular at the consumer level, but there’s still one place with plenty of scope for disc brake expansion and that’s the pro peloton.

2017 was once again a turbulent year for the more powerful stoppers, with the UCI trialling the brakes before Owain Doull’s foot supposedly was sliced open at the Tour of Dubai.

But, there is light at the end of the tunnel for discs, with the disc brakes being welcomed back for 2018, even on the domestic scene.

Pair the new lightweight nature of Shimano’s Dura-Ace and Ultegra systems (something we predicted this time last year) with the fact that many pro riders like to use them in training and it seems 2018 could be a good year for the brakes.

Greater sophistication of e-bikes

In 2017, we saw the release of the seriously hot Focus Project Y e-bike as well as the Orbea Gain – two e-bikes that just didn’t look like e-bikes at all.

The better looks are the result of battery and motor innovation. The Focus Project Y’s Fazua all-in-one battery and motor sits neatly inside the down tube. Meanwhile, on the Orbea, the battery sits in the downtube but the motor is on the rear hub, removing the bulky bottom bracket unit.

Both bikes looks great and are certainly paving the way for how e-bikes should look, especially if they want to gain broader appeal. Here’s hoping to more of the same in 2018.

Smarter turbos

Kickr Climb works with training software like Zwift or can be controlled manually

Smart turbos have really taken off this year and we’ve been seriously impressed by those that we’ve ridden.

However, at the end of the year Wahoo demonstrated with the Wahoo Kickr Climb the true meaning of smarts, and what could be possible in the future.

One bike to rule them all

Trek Emonda

The 2018 Trek Emonda is just about ready for gravel duties

Having been on major launches this year where brands kept alluding to the fact they needed products that could cover all bases, we’ve been thinking about the growing need for products that can do it all.

For example, Shimano Ultegra R8000 now accommodates 28mm tyres and an 34t cassette because, by Shimano’s own admission, people need a groupset to do everything.

It’s similar to the Trek Émonda launched this year which Trek said was capable of running 28mm tyres, disc brakes and could be used for riding on gravel.

The great tubeless take off

Much like disc brakes, 2017 has been a great year for tubeless tyres and rims. We’ve seen the launch of Mavic’s UST – a huge update of its line to make it tubeless ready – as well as loads of tubeless ready rims from other brands.

But, up to this point most people – both amateurs and pros – have been averse to losing their tubes.

However, with the ever growing chances that your next rim or tyres purchase is going to be tubeless ready we’re going to put it out there and say that 2018 will see tubeless become a much bigger thing, both at home and in the pro peloton.

  • Mister Epic

    Referring on your statement, I can guess that you might just be a weekend warrior and not into racing (?).

  • John Murphy

    #5 is horrifying. At least E-bikes are obvious and for commuting.

  • Dave Levy

    “Think about it, what’s not to like.
    Performance-wise there’s not a huge difference compared to clinchers,
    and when you do get that once-per-year puncture then you can just put in
    an inner tube and it will still work just fine.”

    Funny, you just described a clincher.

  • Adam Beevers

    Don’t see tubeless working. Not sure the sealant would work at 120psi.

  • J1

    You forgot one of the main reasons wider rims are better: cornering.

    Also, I’m not convinced tubeless will be anywhere near as big as disc brakes. I’ve weighed up the pros and cons numerous times and I won’t be changing from clinchers. It doesn’t help that two of the big tyre manufacturers can’t make good tubeless tyres yet either….they fell apart.

  • Eddiepliers

    Funny that #2 is there. Shimano has already went wireless with their D-Fly transmitters. This writer is a kook..

    Also, for #1, it’s no longer a trial that’s widening, it’s a complete ban on disc brakes being lifted.

  • PsiSquared

    If you think setting up a power meter is complicated, perhaps you should instead take up bowling.

  • Jörg Hippo Thomsen

    Well, if a wheel gives vertical compliance without sacrifizing lateralstability and torque stability you basically have the perfect wheel. Tires can perform uch better… Designing things aero and backwards compatible is NOT stopping innovation. The problem with proprietary aero designs is, that it leads to a fragmented market and massive dependence on single supplier… If that supplier decides to terminate the product you will not be able to source replacement parts anymore… IF you replace your frame every other year you couldn’t care less but if you need to maintain your multi thousand euro investment for a longer period of time… Just iagine you buy a Ferrari or Lamborghini and you were unable to source spare parts after 5 years …
    Aero is truly worthwhile… but only if it does not compromise in terms of product life and sustainability…
    My everyday ride is a 22-year-old Cannondale Alumnium frame equipped with state of the art components… Believe me, legacy is not always a bad thing 😉

  • Hyun-ji Song

    If everything must be backwards compatible, then there’s no real innovation. Sure you might not be able to replace parts quickly, but they stoll use steerer tubes so you can always put on different stem/bars. More aero is more aero. Regardless whether its negligible or makes a noticeable difference, it does still make a difference; everything adds up. If you’re worried about drag of the person, that’s something you can change, not bicycle manufactures – the best they can do is through bicycle geometry. What they have control in is their bicycles, so thats where they’ll focus. I’ve ridden many carbon rims, but own enves, and I’ll say they are amazing to ride on. Wouldn’t want vertical flex anyway..thats why we went towards wider tyres.

  • Texas Roadhouse

    And when they finally come out with their wireless systems is when I will fit to my bikes, having only ever used Campag since my first “racing” bike (Claud Butler) 50 years ago.

  • Jörg Hippo Thomsen

    Well, I think the road of “aero-integration” is a terrible dead end. Just imagine you are on a cylcing holiday in the alpes an you manage to break the handlebars or stem/handlebar combo of your Specialized Venge or Canyon Aeroad or Scott Foil or Trek Madone or… Where are you going to get spare parts? Integration is fine as long as it is backwards compatible…otherwise it is a load of complete and utter crap. Same goes for the brakes. Look at the Cervélo S5: All the Aero benefits you could ever want using standard brakes in standard locations… Not only are those standard calipers much easier to maintain, they are consistently performing MUCH better than any integrated brakes I have ever tried… especially with wider tires becoming the norm, because most integrated brakes (or cantilever type aero brakes) have the annoying problem of not openeing up wide enough to let a 25mm tire pass through while pumped up… Moroever, the actual “benifits” of all that aero is negligable for basically 99% of riders, since their bodies create so much more drag than any of the eqipment they sit on… I will always recommend aero rims, although their ride quality usually sucks being ridiculously stiff with virtually no vertical flex because teh yoffer “extra speed for free” but aero frames are truly useless for most common people…

  • Andrew Bairsto

    Shimano were not the only ones to make electric gears there was a little company called Campagnolo.The early Shimano electric did not like rain or wet or cold looked ugly about on a par with Mavic who were years earlier.