It’s a new year, which means you might be buying new gear. The market is ever-changing with new ideas, or new needs. Consumers will be following both what is hot, and what works. It may only be January, but it’s fun to guess what could be coming down the pipe in 2022.
Although for the past few years, bike brands have been selling the idea that everyone who swings a leg over a road bike must be a racer, and perhaps sacrifice comfort for efficiency, bike companies might finally start making bikes for people who spend more time riding, just riding, as opposed to pretending to race.
That means light, comfortable, and maybe even easy to maintain. Specialized led this “revolution” with the Aethos, the world’s most expensive generalist. Hopefully more brands will come out with a bike that is good at just being a bike and doesn’t cost more than your car.
Kit fit and colours
It could be thanks to gravel culture that we are slowly seeing apparel trend away from bright colours and aero fits. More subdued pallets and relaxed fit seem to be popular. Not everyone needs a bright yellow speedsuit.
Race bikes that do it all
It seems like for quite some time, the division in race bikes has been between aero bikes and climbing specialists. Now, brands are making aero bikes light enough that they can climb comfortably as well. The lines between aero road and climber’s bikes have been merging. In 2020, you saw it with the saw with the Émonda, Tarmac and TCR getting more aero tube shapes. Now, Argon 18 just showed its on that train with the new Sum.
2022 is the year tubeless road catches on
At this point, unless there is some major change, tubeless is relatively settled. Riders either like it or love it or don’t see what the fuss is all about. The Canadian Cycling Magazine office is just as divided, and entrenched, and that’s not likely to change. But the debate will likely fade, as people settle into their camps and get comfortable there.
Everybody is going to have a handlebar bag when they go out riding, whether they are going bikepacking (we’ll get to that in our gravel trends piece) or a long ride and need snacks. You might even spot some on your local group ride.
Bikes that are easier to work on at home
The quest to purge frames of any external sign of clutter has basically neared completion. This has been helped by wireless drivetrains. There are now frames with hardly a cable in sight and brake hoses that barely sneak out of the frame in time to attach to the calipers.
Maybe someone will finally hide the brake caliper as well, but we’re really hoping this trend swings in the opposite direction. Every bike shop mechanic tasked with putting together your invisible super bike is, too. Wouldn’t it be great if bikes were easy to work on again?
Imagine, you could replace a shifter cable or brake hose without completely disassembling the cockpit junction. What a dream. Hopefully, and this is probably just wishful thinking, it’ll be a reality again soon.
Electric. Bikes. Everywhere.
You don’t need to be Nostradamus to predict there will be more electric versions of all different bikes. The idea that motors are just for commuters and upright bikes is very 2021. Look for lots of bikes that you’re gonna need to charge.
Supply chain problems…still
With supply chain problems still a big thing, bikes could remain being more expensive than they should be, and behind schedule.
With lockdowns in China and Canada’s various shipping challenges (like vaccine mandates for truckers at the borders, Vancouver port rules, and so on) Canada could get more expensive than the U.S. for a while. Plus, with reduced labour forces in some of the major bike factories, the time to get parts of frames could remain just as slow as we’ve seen these past few years.