We gaze into the crystal ball to look at the next 12 months in bikes

In the ever shifting world of cycling there has been some pretty exciting changes. There’s always some new invention and innovation just round the corner, no matter how controversial.

So, what will 2017 hold for the cyclists of the world? We’ve got some ideas, some you might love, some you might hate.

Let us know either way what you reckon 2017 has in store for us all.

Lightweight disc brakes

Canyon has added roughly 70g of extra material to beef up the frame for disc brakes

We all know the arguments surrounding them. Do bikes need them, or are they waste of time? Do they have a place in the peloton, or are people going to get hurt?

Well, either way disc brakes are becoming more and more popular. Bike companies are even beginning to release wholly re-designed bikes, purposely built to accommodate the additional braking power.

Now, with the recent proclamation by the UCI that they’ll give the brakes a second go in the WorldTour we reckon we’re about to see plenty of race bikes released with some lightweight stoppers.

>>> Exclusive: UCI to restart disc brake trial in 2017

While disc brakes are becoming increasingly popular on consumer bikes, there are other questions to be considered at a professional level.

For example, if the UCI revised their weight rule to allow lighter bikes, could that kill off the heavier disc brake? Perhaps 2017 will hold the answer…

More sophisticated carbon

The world's first frame containing Graphene?

The world’s first frame containing graphene?

Cycling is dominated by weight weenies, and gram shaving is a full time job in the cycling industry – and it could be about to take another big step.

A graphene bike frame was debuted last year by Dassi. However, we think sophisticated carbon is probably a better term, as the bike only contained one per cent of graphene. The rest was made up of standard carbon, albeit in a different layup.

Regardless, it was skimpy number. The frame, according to Dassi, weighed 750 grams. Although the bike company claims this could drop to 350 grams in the future.


Watch: Cycling Weekly’s list of bizarre products


Increased bike integration

fabian cancellara trek madone spartacus tour de france bike 2

2017 could be the year where bike companies really jump on the integration bandwagon.

While top tier bikes like the Trek Madone have been pioneering integration, will we see these ideas trickle down to the lower level models?

We also reckon that the area where bike meets computer could become increasingly blurred. Last year we saw the likes of the Argon 18 smart bike, a bike that uses over 30 sensors to find the best aero position for you.

Shimano is jumping on the bandwagon, too, with its latest Dura-Ace groupset features an integrated power meter, supposedly 10 years in the making.

Wider tyres and wider rims

Wheel rims wide

It’s a fact that bike tyres are getting wider. But the question now is how wide will they go?

The advent of disc brakes has meant that clearance between the wheel and the frame is no longer such an issue – allowing companies to spec wider tyres.

Having said that however, perhaps 2017 will mark the time companies really begin to update frames to accommodate the bigger rubber?

Come Paris-Roubaix in April, professional teams will spec 28mm tyres (or wider) for the added grip and comfort. Throw in the fact that they inspire greater confidence and how long will it be until we start seeing these become the norm?

>>> Are wider tyres really faster?

In that case, we should also expect to see even wider rims, too. Speccing a wider tyre to a narrow rim is no good – the tyre mushrooms out which derails any aero gains.

Having a wider rim allows a wider tyre to sit flush, allowing aero gains and reduced rolling resistance.


Watch: How to puncture proof your tyres


3D printed bikes

argon 18 concept bike (13)

Remember that Argon 18 ‘smart bike’ we spoke about earlier? Well, not only is it smart, but it’s also 3D printed.

Well, we reckon 2017 could be the year when we start seeing bike companies experimenting with the advantages offered by the tech.

Growth of gravel bikes and adventure bikes

Vault comes with wheels from Stan's and 33mm tyres

>>> Adventure road and gravel bikes: a buyers guide

First there was cross, and now there are gravel bikes. This particular trend has seen bikes with more comfortable, upright positions as well as clearance for wider tyres become vogue.

It’s not hard to see why. The option of travelling both on and off road mixed with the opportunity to splash some cash on a new ride can be quite the cocktail.

Either way, we expect the trend to blossom in 2017.

Everything will become more expensive

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tolga Akmen/LNP/REX/Shutterstock (7451501ad) Demonstration outside The Houses of Parliament Pro-Brexit Protest, London, UK - 23 Nov 2016 Demonstration takes place outside The Houses of Parliament in London to oppose the High Court's ruling earlier this month that the Article 50 process must be triggered by an act of Parliament.

The effects of Brexit could soon hit the bike industry (Credit: Tolga Akmen/LNP/REX/Shutterstock)

This one is a bit of a given considering the turmoil of 2016. Sadly though, it’ll affect us all.

Political events such as Brexit have affected the strength of the pound. When we spoke to Canyon in October, they said that they “have been closely monitoring the situation, and when we set pricing on our 2017 bikes several weeks ago, we worked with the best analysts to ensure we continue to offer the fairest pricing possible.”

>>> Cycling shoes: a complete buyer’s guide

“For this reason, prices on many UK bikes increased around 10 per cent over their 2016 counterparts”.

The price hikes are already becoming visible on some products. The Shimano S–Phyre shoes, for example, have been hiked by £20 to an eye watering £320.

  • Mister Epic

    Referring on your statement, I can guess that you might just be a weekend warrior and not into racing (?).

  • John Murphy

    #5 is horrifying. At least E-bikes are obvious and for commuting.

  • Dave Levy

    “Think about it, what’s not to like.
    Performance-wise there’s not a huge difference compared to clinchers,
    and when you do get that once-per-year puncture then you can just put in
    an inner tube and it will still work just fine.”

    Funny, you just described a clincher.

  • Adam Beevers

    Don’t see tubeless working. Not sure the sealant would work at 120psi.

  • J1

    You forgot one of the main reasons wider rims are better: cornering.

    Also, I’m not convinced tubeless will be anywhere near as big as disc brakes. I’ve weighed up the pros and cons numerous times and I won’t be changing from clinchers. It doesn’t help that two of the big tyre manufacturers can’t make good tubeless tyres yet either….they fell apart.

  • Eddiepliers

    Funny that #2 is there. Shimano has already went wireless with their D-Fly transmitters. This writer is a kook..

    Also, for #1, it’s no longer a trial that’s widening, it’s a complete ban on disc brakes being lifted.

  • PsiSquared

    If you think setting up a power meter is complicated, perhaps you should instead take up bowling.

  • Jörg Hippo Thomsen

    Well, if a wheel gives vertical compliance without sacrifizing lateralstability and torque stability you basically have the perfect wheel. Tires can perform uch better… Designing things aero and backwards compatible is NOT stopping innovation. The problem with proprietary aero designs is, that it leads to a fragmented market and massive dependence on single supplier… If that supplier decides to terminate the product you will not be able to source replacement parts anymore… IF you replace your frame every other year you couldn’t care less but if you need to maintain your multi thousand euro investment for a longer period of time… Just iagine you buy a Ferrari or Lamborghini and you were unable to source spare parts after 5 years …
    Aero is truly worthwhile… but only if it does not compromise in terms of product life and sustainability…
    My everyday ride is a 22-year-old Cannondale Alumnium frame equipped with state of the art components… Believe me, legacy is not always a bad thing 😉

  • Hyun-ji Song

    If everything must be backwards compatible, then there’s no real innovation. Sure you might not be able to replace parts quickly, but they stoll use steerer tubes so you can always put on different stem/bars. More aero is more aero. Regardless whether its negligible or makes a noticeable difference, it does still make a difference; everything adds up. If you’re worried about drag of the person, that’s something you can change, not bicycle manufactures – the best they can do is through bicycle geometry. What they have control in is their bicycles, so thats where they’ll focus. I’ve ridden many carbon rims, but own enves, and I’ll say they are amazing to ride on. Wouldn’t want vertical flex anyway..thats why we went towards wider tyres.

  • Texas Roadhouse

    And when they finally come out with their wireless systems is when I will fit to my bikes, having only ever used Campag since my first “racing” bike (Claud Butler) 50 years ago.

  • Jörg Hippo Thomsen

    Well, I think the road of “aero-integration” is a terrible dead end. Just imagine you are on a cylcing holiday in the alpes an you manage to break the handlebars or stem/handlebar combo of your Specialized Venge or Canyon Aeroad or Scott Foil or Trek Madone or… Where are you going to get spare parts? Integration is fine as long as it is backwards compatible…otherwise it is a load of complete and utter crap. Same goes for the brakes. Look at the Cervélo S5: All the Aero benefits you could ever want using standard brakes in standard locations… Not only are those standard calipers much easier to maintain, they are consistently performing MUCH better than any integrated brakes I have ever tried… especially with wider tires becoming the norm, because most integrated brakes (or cantilever type aero brakes) have the annoying problem of not openeing up wide enough to let a 25mm tire pass through while pumped up… Moroever, the actual “benifits” of all that aero is negligable for basically 99% of riders, since their bodies create so much more drag than any of the eqipment they sit on… I will always recommend aero rims, although their ride quality usually sucks being ridiculously stiff with virtually no vertical flex because teh yoffer “extra speed for free” but aero frames are truly useless for most common people…

  • Andrew Bairsto

    Shimano were not the only ones to make electric gears there was a little company called Campagnolo.The early Shimano electric did not like rain or wet or cold looked ugly about on a par with Mavic who were years earlier.