By James Bracey
As 2020 gets under way we can look forward to an exciting year ahead with regards the launch of new and innovative cycling tech.
This year is going to be even bigger than most as 2020 also ushers in an Olympic year, an event that always sees bike brands rushing to produce the best equipment in a bid for glory.
So what are some of the tech trends we might be seeing as the world welcomes a new decade? Let's take a look at five of the things we think will be big this year.
The rise of the do-it-all bike
As the lines are being blurred between road and ‘gravel’ bikes thanks to the rise of disc brakes and increasing tyre sizes, are we going to see brands pushing towards actual viable bikes that really are the one bike to do it all?
You only need to look at bikes such as the Trek Domane to see that it’s getting closer to becoming a bike that feels as capable off-road as it is does on-road without compromise. We could even see a potential Paris-Roubaix win come on such a bike.
Tubeless for the masses
Tubeless is finally taking off on the road front after countless years of dominance on mountain bikes. So hopefully 2020 will see more brands not only speccing tubeless ready equipment but also rolling out of the door of your local bike shop fully set up.
Giant has paved the way with this and now specs tubeless ready kit on many of its sub-thousand pound road bikes. Hopefully we’ll see many more brands moving this way.
Gravel goes extreme
Yes, we know gravel has been a thing for a couple of years now but 2020 will probably see some forward thinking brands pushing the envelope of what we can expect from gravel bikes.
While suspension might not be a new thing - Lauf and Fox have been pushing suspension forks and Niner and other brands have full suspension machines - we are now seeing more mountain bike brands jumping on the wagon and tweaking geometry and capabilities beyond what is the norm.
Case in point is Evil, a brand more associated with long travel mountain bikes. It has just released the Chamois Hagar. Super slack angles, low slung frame, short stem and dropper post as standard all work to push the fun factor to the fore.
Metal is back
Metal is coming back. Not the music, we know that’s never gone away. But metal frames and wheels are definitely seeing a resurgence.
Some of the riders at AG2R La Mondiale were seen on steel Eddy Mercxx frames last year and whilst we are unlikely to see many more pro teams jump on this bandwagon we will see more brands invest heavily in bringing aluminium and steel back as viable alternatives to carbon.
On the wheel front brands such as Hunt and Prime are now producing aluminium rimmed aero wheels that are apparently as fast as carbon, without the usual disadvantages.
New Shimano Dura Ace
As 2019 saw the launch of Shimano’s latest mountain bike groupsets so the usual Shimano product cycle (excuse the pun) dictates, 2020 will see the launch of the brand new road kit. And this often starts with the top flite Dura Ace.
If we have learnt anything from XTR and XT, we can pretty much guarantee that it will be twelve speed, definitely electronic but probably not wireless and will potentially follow the lighter and more polished look of the top end mountain bike kit. But could this be the year that Shimano ditch the mechanical version at the top and focus just on electric? We'll have to wait and see.
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