8 Cycling Trends in 2016
Road Bikes with Disc Brakes1 of 9
With the UCI's inclusion of disc brakes in the pro peloton in 2016, expect to see a trickle-down effect at your local bike shop. As the technology improves, frame and wheel manufacturers are beginning to increase the production of standard models that are disc brake compatible. Some of the advantages of disc brakes include better stopping power in wet conditions, no issues with rim heat on long descents and more frame clearance for larger-sized tires.
Dual-Purpose Helmets2 of 9
Gone are the days when a standard road helmet and an aero road helmet were two different items. In 2016, a bevy of helmet manufacturers have created road helmets than one can easily convert to an aero helmet with the inclusion of a snap-on shield that covers air vents and decreases wind drag. The Bolle One, Cannondale Aero Cypher, and the Bell Star Pro are a few products already on top of the trend.
Sock Doping3 of 9
Boring white and black socks are MIA on the feet of fashion-conscious cyclists. Expanding the summer of 2015 trend, funky options with loud colors and prints are all the rage; a trend that's only getting started. Pink socks for men? The bolder the better. Mismatching? Definitely not a no no. Just stay away from short socks. There's really no use sock doping with a print you can barely see.
Wider Wheels4 of 9
The past few years have seen the width of road tires continue to grow. Why? Better rolling resistance, increased comfort, and a bike that's easier to handle at high speeds, to name a few. The only problem has been the limited options for wider wheels, which pair nicely with 25mm and above tires. Wider rims also allow you to increase air volume and are more aerodynamic in crosswinds.
The Integration of Aero Road Bikes5 of 9
Integrated brakes, cables and cockpits are soon to become standard for the aero road bike category. New bikes from Specialized (S-Works Venge), Trek (Madone), and Scott (Foil) for 2016 show exactly where these features are taking us. As the year rolls on, don't be surprised to see other bike manufacturers mimic the characteristics of the above aero bikes.
Wireless Electronic Shifting6 of 9
SRAMs wireless eTap shifters due for spring 2016 are already getting rave reviews from those lucky enough to give them a try. Aside from the super clean look, you also won't have to worry about cable routing through the frame, which can be a pain. The battery size has also decreased to add to the aesthetics. Look for Shimano and Campagnolo to follow suit shortly.
Tubeless Tires7 of 9
Yes, these have been out for a few years now. But while cyclists and wheel manufacturers have been hesitant to accept this trend, 2016 looks to be the year when the net begins to widen. The availability of tubeless tires and tubeless-ready wheels has increased between brands, which is definitely a good thing. Some of the benefits include increased resistance to punctures, improved ride quality, and weight savings from the lack of an inner tube.
Power Meter Price Drop8 of 9
Power meters are a good way to fine-tune your training and can provide a big advantage in terms of pacing your effort on race day. The disadvantages have always been the added weight and price. Fortunately, in 2016 several companies such as LIMITS ($250) and Watteam ($500) have solved both of these problems by creating light units at a lower price point than those of years past. And the kicker: these new power meters are capable of providing right and left data for super accurate measurement. Expect Garmin, Stages, and Cycleops to include lower-priced options in the near future.