Monday, February 29, 2016

2016 Trends

   We are finally seeing some of the bikes we were promised last year hitting the market - so what are the popular trends for road and mountain bikes for 2016? I've looked at a few round ups and here are the things I've noticed:

Road bikes:

Disc brakes - Though not UCI legal yet, disc brakes are the way of the future. Outfitting road bikes with 120mm rotors and powerful yet able to be modulated brakes is bringing road bike brake performance into the modern age

Cannondale Caad 10 with road disc brakes

Hydraulic disc brakes - Taking full advantage of disc brakes means going hydraulic. While cable operated brakes provide enough stopping power for most applications, hydraulic brakes mean you can go over the handlebars tackle any terrain. Shimano, Sram and even Campy are offering hydraulic brakes for their road groups.

Shimano hydraulic road brakes

Mid compact cranks - These 36/52 chainrings starting showing up on Cervelos and provide tall yet forgiving gearing. Pair this with a wider cassette... 11-32ish, and you've got the ease of a compact and the top end of a standard. And they work on 110 BCD, so you don't need some new crank to use them. Only new cassette, chainrings and chain. Hmm.

Ultegra Di2 - Electronic shifting has really come a long way. SRAM, Shimano and Campy are all offering some kind electronic shifting, and we're even seeing it moving to Mountain bikes. Shimano is offering it in multiple levels, making it available for lower price points.

Shimamo Di2 electric shifting

Mountain bikes

1x11 - Borrowing from road cassette options, mountain bikes are benefitting from more cogs. This will also allow for more steps between a very wide range of gears. The addition of more gears is very helpful since the take off of the 1x system. And no more goofy hacks to get a wide range cassette.

Factory 11 speed cassette

Boost - This wider standard of spacing, 148 in the rear (vs current 142) and 110 in the front (vs current 100), provide a more stable platform for your wheels to mate to the frame. The claimed advantages are typical, stiffer, faster, lighter, and we're seeing them on Scott, Trek and Norco models for 2016. Marketing gimmick? Maybe.

Slack angles, wide bars and short stems - This has been trickling into the market for a while. Wide bars, short stems and long angles mean you have excellent control of your bike. Combine that with 27.5" wheels and 5" of suspension, and you have a bike that can handle better than anything on the market so far.

The death of the 110mm stem

   And in the distance we can also see some really cutting edge stuff, like Di2 for Mountain bikes, Sram wireless shifting for road and even 1x systems for road!

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