Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Predictions for 2006

Since everyone seems to be making predictions for 2006 wrt to bike stuff here are mine:

1) The hardtail is not dead. I predict lots of carbon and ultra light hardtails from the major manufacturers along with combinations of carbon stays/AL frames.

I heard Serotta was going to reintroduce a hardtail back in their line up. And I bet with IBIS coming back their signature hardtails will come back too.

I predict that more hardtails will be designed around a 100mm fork.

2) Performance oriented Flat bar road bikes will be cool. Not strictly for hybrid/recreation use, the flat bar road bike will be lighter/lower/ longer and geared towards more of a performance audience who want to go fast but not in the drops. Disc brakes a given along with good tire clearance for dual duty in cross.

3) Manitou R7 will be seen on a lot of XC bikes

4)Short travel XC (under 3") and softails are on their way out unless they have a schtick like they are 29ers (ala Salsa)

5)The lines between XC dual suspension and trail are starting to get blurred a little. The Aggressive XC dual suspension frame with 4" of travel will eventually become the new XC dual suspension. 100mm fork will become the new minimum for XC race.

6)Trail bikes with 5"+ will be all the rage. Though everyone will make a big issue of the weight of their bike and will shoot to keep their trail bikes under 30lbs

7)Orange will be the cool color. Recently white/cream was cool.

8)Single speeds will continue to be hip, but there will be more innovation with regards to the drop out and methods for using disc brakes with them

9)29ers will continue to grow especially wrt to component choices in wheels/forks.

10)There will be lots of X0 triggers on high end oem bikes and less XTR dual control shifters

11) top tubes and stems are going to get shorter making cockpit lengths smaller, and handling quicker.

12)Women specific frames and components will be more prevalent

13) The custom niche market will continue to thrive supporting many USA builders of one-off custom steel hardtails, 29ers, singlespeeds, road, cross

14)12 hr, 24 hr, Mountain 100 type events, and stage races will become more popular with sellout participation. Norba style racing will continue to fall out of favor, although new blood will begin to trickle in keeping them stable and a good venue to develop new racers

15)flat bars will begin to make a comeback as frames are designed with higher front ends lessening the need for a riser bar.

16)Frames with integrated headsets will grow and there will be more choices in aftermarket integrated headsets

17)SRAM's road group will make big waves. Giving Shimano a run for their money. Campy Chorus and Record won't have any problems but the lower line of Campy may take a hit from SRAM.

18)Carbon carbon everywhere:

19) And of course BLOGs will continue to grow in all forms -racers, riders, commuters, and most of all bicycle companies themselves will begin to make use of the BLOG as a marketing tool.

Just my guesses.


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