6 Biking Trends To Watch
TOGOPARTS EDITORIAL TEAM | 27th Jul 2015 | FEATURES
Things that go round and round
Maybe you’ve been biking under a rock for the last 2 years, or getting back into mountain biking after a long hiatus. Stay abreast of the bike trend curve and be set for the rest of this year! Here’s the trends to watch in the fast-changing world of bike tech and bike retail.
The Big Nine 300 retails for $925.
Big Nine 500
The Big Nine 500 is a worthy opponent to reckon with at your local trails and racing scenes. Decked in Shimano Deore drivetrain components (with the Deore XT as its rear derailleur), the mid-level steed is impressive in true blue cross country style.
Using a proprietary technology known as the Techno-Forming System (TFS), MERIDA is able to strengthen and stiffen the Big Nine 500’s 6061 aluminium alloy tubes, thereby eliminating energy loss and enhancing the transfer of direct power from the crank to the wheels. Complemented with cross-country geometries, a 680mm Comp OS flat handlebar and a smaller 42-32-24 triple chainring, trail enthusiasts and cross-country riders will appreciate the Big Nine 500’s agility in negotiating tight technical sections and hilly sections.
An improved version of the older M486, the Shimano M445 hydraulic disc braking system fitted on the Big Nine 500 is an all-time favourite for its ergonomically-designed brake levers, decent braking performance and weight.
The Big Nine 500 uses the Rockshox XC30TK29 100, a gold-standard fork without the gold price.
Fat bikes have come and, well, some say this trend’s momentum is spent. But fat tires introduced riders to the joy of riding terrain previously barred to them due to lack of traction. For many, the feeling of floating over sand, snow or slippery roots on nothing more than a few PSI of air; with spades of traction to ride up any obstacle, is addictive.
Rather than choose between fat or non-fat, there’s now the option of converting their existing bikes to gain the advantages via a plus-sized tyre that fits existing 27.5 and 29” wheels. Hence, 27.5+ and 29+ tyres look set to blow up the world of bike retail.
1 by 11
Shimano has just released its 1 by 11 XT groupset to go head to head with 11-speed pioneer SRAM’s offerings. But lest you think the bike component giant’s efforts are too little too late, there is one important difference: their 11-speed concave cassette will fit onto existing Shimano 10-speed hubs, so upgraders won’t have to get a new freehub or wheel, just to get elevenses.
Another difference is that Shimano’s new XT rear cassette now spans 11-42 teeth cogs, giving tired climbers a much-wanted low gear to winch up ascents, although they lack the 10 tooth top gear of SRAM’s cassettes. Whichever you choose, thanks to Shimano and SRAM, you can now have a choice of 1×11 gears which works best for your riding.
With the rise of SRAM’s 1 by 11 transmission system and single-speed enthusiasts have also come the opportunity to improve on the big ring up front. The first innovation was narrow-wide chainrings that cleverly implement alternating tooth profiles to keep the chain from falling off; now oval chainrings are set to be the next big trend.
Oval chainrings work because a rider does not produce power evenly through a pedal stroke; they maximize the part of the stroke where power is produced and minimize resistance where it isn’t. According to Absolute Black, one of the pioneers of this innovation, a round chainring doesn’t transfer torque to your rear wheel as smoothly as an oval one. You will actually feel your stroke to be more “round” with an oval shape than with a round chainring.
Shifting standards and sales
Competition between the two component rivals continues to give us some of the biggest biking innovations to date: electronic shifting. Shimano’s XTR Di2 made the scene last year and are now starting to show up on production bikes.
Let’s get serious for a moment: there’s no doubt that eventually, electronic shifting is going to trickle down to the manufacturer’s more affordable component ranges, such as XT.
Pioneered by the Trek Bicycle Company earlier this year, the Boost 148 standard is just three millimetres wider on each side than the current widespread and established 142m standard.
Larger wheels such as 27.5 and 29 wheels to date have not particularly been known for their stiffness compared to 26” wheels. That’s because these wheels were designed with the old 135mm standards meant for 26 inchers. Boost 148 aims to change that.
With a wider hub flange, and a stronger spoke-bracing angle, the stiffness and stability of 27.5 and 29 inch wheels can be massively enhanced. According to stats from the manufacturers, a 29″ rear wheel with a 148mm hub has the same stiffness as a 27.5″ wheel with a 142mm hub.
Don’t like the idea of yet another new standard? Brace for it, because Shimano’s new XT groupset now comes with cranks and side-pull derailleurs designed for the 3mm chainline increase on the driveside, and to accommodate shorter chainstays.
Buying online; getting delivered to your door
Not a technical trend, since it’s not about technology, and not technically a trend since local riders have been buying bike parts online for more than a decade now. But with the recent restyling of TOGOPARTS, local riders now have more options to choose from when buying their parts.
That’s because, In addition to letting merchants list their range of products on TOGOPARTS’ marketplace, TOGOPARTS estore is offering local merchants the perk of being able to sell their entire range of merchandise online. It offers free delivery to your doorstep when you spend S$100 or more, with local warranty covered by the Singapore distributors or resellers of the item. Plus, you can get in touch with the merchant through direct messaging, so you don’t have to wait too long for replies to enquiries about the item you’re interested in.
And because it isn’t overseas shipping, TOGOPARTS can aim to deliver your purchased items within 3 working days. As more merchants get onboard TOGOPARTS estore, you can expect the range of available bike stuff to widen as well.