Talking Tech: Liam's tech predictions for 2022 - What new kit might we see this year?
The cycling industry is one that’s forever pushing boundaries. 2021 saw the introduction of RockShox’ self-adjusting suspension, Mondraker’s MIND telemetry system, Yeti’s first-ever e-bike and unfortunately, supply chain issues were rife. So after what was already quite an exciting year, here are a handful of predictions of what might be to come in 2022.
- Your complete guide to the RockShox fork range
- How 26" wheels are still turning out the fun
- The best trail and enduro mountain bike wheelsets, tried and tested
More soft goods from PNW Components
Last year PNW Components saw quite the expansion, having released the Fall Trail range of apparel, something that was somewhat unexpected from the component brand. Now with a Fall range of clothing already testing rather well, I’m almost certain that we’ll see a summer range coming soon.
A tyre recycling scheme from Schwalbe
In recent years we’ve seen many brands take steps in order to become more eco-friendly. One that springs to mind is Trek, which overhauled the way bikes were boxed up by eliminating excess packaging waste.
We already know that Schwalbe’s inner tubes are fully recyclable and brand new ones are actually are made up of 20% used tubes. Though for us off-roaders who have graduated to tubeless, that may not be so significant. Hopefully, in the near future, we’ll see the tyre giant find a way of recycling old tyres.
More info about Cotic’s new e-bike
Not long ago, Cotic spilt the beans, announcing that there’s an e-bike in the works. Not only is it a deviation from the norm because it’s an e-bike but it’s made from aluminium, rather than steel.
Cotic were keen to show off the prototype bike but let slip that we won’t see a production model until 2023. However, we’re excited to see any updates on the new bike throughout the year, you can't leave us hanging like this, Cotic!
Fresh kit from Endura
Endura is never a brand to lay dormant and that was proven back in December with the launch of the Freezing Point collection. Plus, back along the rather outlandish enduro onesie was added to the range so we know that Endura isn't shy of being a little different. Usually, Endura’s kit is pretty top-notch so regardless of what might be released, we’re excited to see what it might be.
Gravel suspension progress
RockShox was on suspension innovation fire last year having launched the new Rudy gravel fork (although gravel suspension forks are far from a new thing) and Flight Attendant. I’m certain that there’s no sign of squishy gravel innovation slowing down in this area. It's far fetched but perhaps we might see Flight Attendant sneak its way onto the Rudy?
Further still, there's space for new forks to jump into the market, I mean, DVO Suspension is yet to add a gravel fork to its lineup. I would also be really excited to see more gravel bikes coming with rear suspension too. People already say that gravel bikes are basically old school mountain bikes...
New drivetrain component companies
Since 2020’s huge cycling boom, brands have struggled to keep up with the sharp uptake in demand. Already, companies such as Twenty21 are offering alternative drivetrain components to keep riders riding. Perhaps we’ll see a few more new brands rise up offering alternative but easier to nab components?
Lal bikes’ weird but very cool shifting method adopted by a bigger brand
Last year Lal Bikes unveiled the Supre drivetrain that promises all of the goodness of traditional derailleur shifting but with the reliability of a gearbox. That’s because the mech is hidden neatly within the rear triangle, high off the ground and away from any pesky rocks thanks to a rather clever collection of pulleys and an interesting mount.
I reckon we’re going to see some progress with this idea as, yes, there are supply chain issues making people nervous about their mech’s health but having a very expensive bit of kit dangling so close to so many hazards seems a bit old fashioned. It was hinted that Lal is talking to bigger brands and I’m frothing to find out which one will release a bike with the Supre shifting.
Idler pulleys everywhere
Idler pulleys have found their way onto long-travel bikes such as Cannondale's new Jekyll and Norco's Range. The strange-looking set-up promises suspension that works more independently of chain tension (all inspired by Aaron Gwin's win at Leogang without a chain back in 2015). We're already seeing idler pulleys on fresh 2022 bikes, like Hope's new prototype enduro bike and I wouldn't be surprised if we see them even more frequently.