After all these years riding and working in the bicycle business, I am still excited by the innovation. It does not stop. Our riding gets faster, more comfortable, more durable, and safer.
One of the most radical innovations on the complete bike was Felt’s track bike for the woman’s team at the Rio Olympics. This bike is especially pertinent to us here, because a County Cycles customer, Kelly Catlin, rode one in Rio!
Other improvements to the modern cycle include more disc brakes on all types of bikes. Many of these are using Thru Axles which improves stiffness and safety. There have been lots of bikes sold in the adventure or bike packing categories, which is exciting for this bike veteran as I started as a touring cyclist in the 70’s. More and better mountain bike trails have opened recently, so there are more places and reasons to ride than ever!
Above, I stated riding has gotten safer. It is true that traffic volume is up and more auto drivers are distracted, but in other ways we can be safer. The first major improvement in helmets this century is M.I.P.S. This stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. It moves a few millimeters to redirect rotational force in an impact.
Bike lights also continue to evolve. They are brighter, lighter and cheaper than ever. I have always said: “Be Safe, Be Seen”. This is perhaps the most important way to be safer on your bike.
SRAM introduced their version of electronic shifting called “E-Tap”. It is wireless, shifts flawlessly and is fun to ride. A true innovation in future cycling.
Vittoria introduced the additive “Graphene” in their better tires. Graphene is a very thin layer of pure carbon, which is approximately 200 times stronger than steel. It is said to improve speed, grip, puncture resistance and strength.
Although the cycle and all that goes with it is ever changing and evolving to fit the modern rider, one thing we know has stood the test of time – the enjoyment one gets from hopping on their bike and getting outside! Enjoy many pleasant rides in 2017!