Ive written a number of pieces about mountain bicycle patterns throughout the years, but one post in particular captured my attention recently. The opening sentence checks out like a dare from my past self: “I have a sensation this article is going to be a lot more intriguing (or perhaps humorous) when you read it five years from now.” (Go ahead and read it now. I can wait.).
Well, its been 5 times two years (plus one) because that was written, so whats altered? As it ends up, whatever … and likewise nothing.
” Carbon fiber is a product thats here to stay”.
Yes. And likewise, no. Eleven years ago there were still significant holdouts when the conversation turned to carbon. Some were worried carbon wheels, bikes, and bars werent resilient or safe enough for tough riding, plus there was the added cost to consider. Many riders seem to have moved previous concerns of toughness– eleven extra years of long-lasting screening will do that– though cost concerns stay.
Looking back, maybe the most unexpected advancement is the return of aluminum bikes, another trend weve discussed because. Today, brands appear to default to carbon when its time to present a brand-new bike, or upgrade a frame. After a season or two, more inexpensive alloy models are made offered.
Eleven years later on, more engineers and brand supervisors are acknowledging the concealed ecological costs of carbon fiber, including another hairline fracture to the wonder materials patina. I still agree with my past self that carbon fiber is a material thats here to stay in our garages, and also unfortunately our garbage dumps, though the case for its usage isnt quite as strong as it used to be. Thats especially true as the “weight does not matter” camp continues to grow louder. And no, I never would have anticipated the increase of the anti-weight weenie.
” Stage races and multi-day impressives […] will just grow”.
Theres no doubt that more and more riders are starting multi-day bikepacking legendaries as gear ends up being lighter, cheaper, and more easily available (current supply chain concerns notwithstanding). Stage racing has actually seen an uptick also, with more riders selecting to get involved just for fun, rather than for the competitive side of things.
What I failed to anticipate is the increase of FKT attempts. Plainly Covid lockdowns played a role, as professional athletes and routine riders alike sought solo obstacles. Thanks to ubiquitous tech like satellite trackers, online services, and live streams, FKTs and typically huge, rad rides will likely continue to grow.
” Over the long term 29er bikes need to absolutely stay”.
Speak about an understatement! Seriously, if anyone can legally state they forecasted downhill 29ers in 2010, I wish to speak to them about my stock portfolio. Back then, couple of were even talking about 27.5 ″ wheels; the “other” wheel size was 26, and it was winning huge.
Obviously, the most recent wheel size pattern involves mixing wheels, and its intriguing to consider where that may lead. Theres been lots of time to explore bigger wheels than 29er, and the industry attempted smaller sized wheels in the time given that, only to return to 29ers. I believe Ill double down and say yes, 29ers will definitely stay for a while longer.
” It appears odd no one idea of riding wider bars prior to …”.
At Interbike that year, Syncros showed off a gag handlebar that was 1000mm wide in a nod to the ridiculousness of the wide-bar buzz at the time. To their surprise, more youthful riders who saw the bars were distressed to give them a try. Our equipment editor at the time, Syd, commented that 800mm must be as large as it gets.
Or at least, riders appear to be reaching their limits when it comes to ever-wider bars. As far as trends go, I forecast this one may lastly reverse itself a bit, though its had a much longer run than I ever thought of.
” More sustainable trails however likewise routes that are a lot more fun to ride”.
Its hard to believe, but eleven years ago the concept of purpose-built mountain bike routes was rather of an unique one. It was the very first time I had actually heard the term “flow trail,” though definitely by that time many machine-built, flowy routes were being constructed.
In the stepping in years, circulation routes have dropped and streamed (get it?) in terms of notoriety, but theres no denying that purpose-built mtb routes are thriving, now a lot more so due to the pandemic. Expert trail home builders are reserved years out, frequently with preparations longer than new bikes, and every summertime another handful of ski resorts cut the ribbon on fresh, lift-served dirt. Are routes “even more fun to ride” today than they remained in 2010? Oldish man here, however I would say yes. Yes they are.
One unexpected twist in the bike trail structure boom is the newfound contract that bike routes can be excellent for local economies. That, in turn, has made municipalities not simply willing to allow path tasks to move on, in lots of cases they are helping finance them. Never in my wildest dreams did I think purpose-built bike tracks would end up being so popular and invited by communities all around the world.
How d we do?
Like I said at the start, there has been a load of development and change in mountain biking over the past eleven years. Looking back, its clear were still on the exact same path we began down in 2010, which is the very same one the Repack riders bombed down in the 1970s. And I forecast its the same one well continue down in the years to come.
This material was initially released here.
Ive written a number of pieces about mountain bike patterns over the years, however one short article in specific captured my attention recently. A lot of riders seem to have actually moved past questions of sturdiness– eleven additional years of long-term screening will do that– though cost issues remain.
At Interbike that year, Syncros revealed off a gag handlebar that was 1000mm wide in a nod to the ridiculousness of the wide-bar hype at the time. Its difficult to believe, however eleven years ago the idea of purpose-built mountain bike routes was somewhat of a novel one. Professional trail contractors are scheduled years out, frequently with lead times longer than new bikes, and every summertime another handful of ski resorts cut the ribbon on fresh, lift-served dirt.