We’ve come a long way since wool jerseys and steel bikes (though those are still legit), but if you’re wondering what’s in store for the cycling industry in 2019, we’ve got you covered. From chainless drivetrains to e-racing bikes, these seven new trends and innovations might change the way you ride in the year to come.
RADICAL FRAME DESIGNS
Over the years, we’ve seen bikes like the Cervelo P5x pop up with radical frame designs that push the limits of aerodynamics in pursuit of improved speed and comfort. While some might claim this is a marketing gimmick, you can expect more engineers to rethink bicycle design as technology improves.
The Ceepo Shadow-R is one such bike that is not only missing the seat tube but is also designed without a traditional front fork. Using a semi-circle, a metal bar surrounds the front upper-half of the wheel and connects to a beam. The company claims that by shielding the front wheel, the bike is substantially faster in head winds. Steering and handling, though, could be tricky.
CERAMICSPEED DRIVEN DRIVETRAIN
Speaking of rethinking designs, CeramicSpeed’s chainless drivetrain is one innovation that we’re excited to see come to fruition. DrivEn is based around a shaft-drive design that eliminates the friction of the chain and pulleys, using bearings and a uniquely shaped cassette instead.
The company claims this design will result in 49% less friction than stock Shimano Dura Ace drivetrains and is 99% efficient, meaning you’ll get as much power as possible to the pedals for a faster, smoother ride. The giant cassette and single front chainring design should also make shifting really-easy — and chain slips will soon be a thing of the past.
When you think of electric bikes, odd-looking heavy commuter bikes are probably what come to mind. While these hybrid-style, comfortable e-bikes aren’t going anywhere, electric motors are getting smaller and smaller, opening up the possibilities for different designs.
The trend you’ll start to see pop up as we head into 2019 are electric models built for mountain and road bike racing. Bianchi’s Aria E-Road is one such model, is extremely lightweight and provides electronic assistance whenever you need a little help powering up a climb or hanging with a group of faster riders.
Cycling can be a great option if you want to stay in shape or save some money commuting to work. But if you think outside the box, the bike can do much more. While cargo bikes aren’t necessarily new in Europe, they are starting to become more mainstream in U.S. urban environments.
From delivery services to families looking for a way to transport children and food without a car, cargo bikes are hitting the streets in a big way in 2019. One of our favorite new designs comes from the French-based Douze. The G4 model has a large 270-liter lockable compartment and is powered by an electric motor that can offer assistance up to about 15mph.
STOCK OPTIONS FOR POWER METERS
Road bikes are expensive enough as it is. When you add up the costs of GPS computers, pedals and other custom components, the total price tag gets steep. Fortunately, bike makers are beginning to add gadgets to their bikes as stock options, negating the need to buy extra equipment later on.
The new 2019 Specialized Venge models come equipped with the company’s own Quarq crankset power meter, which is definitely a step in the right direction. While these current models are expensive, expect to see this trend trickle down to cheaper road bikes in the near future.
CASUAL CYCLING CLOTHING
Unless you’re racing or on a pretty-serious group ride, do you really need a tight-fitting aero jersey covered in sponsor logos? Companies like Rapha and Giro have taken the comfortable style mountain bikers have enjoyed for years and started a new trend for road and adventure cyclists.
Tailored shorts and looser-fitting T-shirt style jerseys are the name of the game, and the extra comfort they provide might be enough reason to make the switch the next time you head out for a shorter training ride, commute or gravel road adventure.
SKI GOGGLE-STYLE SUNGLASSES
Since Oakley created the Jawbreaker a few years back, the size of cycling sunglasses has continued to grow. This trend doesn’t seem to be slowing in 2019, with cycling sunglasses beginning to resemble ski goggles more than the traditional models of years past.
One of our favorite new models releasing in 2019 is the Smith Wildcat. The lightweight, oversized design provides excellent protection from the elements while still having the airflow and comfort of a regular pair of sunglasses. They’re also a good option for winter riding and have a dirt-, dust- and grease-resistant coating on the lens.