It wasn’t that long ago that mountain bikes were just road bikes with fatter tyres. MTBs have slowly been evolving over the last twenty years, but in the last five years mountain bike technology has gone mad.
With 27.5/29 wheels, through axles, dropper posts, better suited geometry, boost wheels, fat bikes, mountain bikes are a complete bread of their own.
But what is left to do? With that in mind, what will be the major improvements to mountain bikes in the next five years?
Electronic shifting: It’s already on some of the more expensive bikes, with Shimano’s XTR paving the way. We can definitely expect a trickle down effect to the mid range bikes soon.
Improved Suspension dampening: There was a time when bigger was better. Now with improved dampening and better geometry, bikes with shorter travel can manage the big hits. Will we see capable enduro bikes with shorter 140mm travel?
Wireless equipment: This year Magura are releasing their Vyron wireless dropper post. The first reports are that it is awesome. No wires to mess around with and ruin your lovely bike frame. I’m all for it and I imagine that a whole raft of wireless equipment will be on peoples bikes in the next few years
Carbon, carbon, carbon: Carbon is the new aluminium. Yes, many people already ride carbon bikes, but in the next few years the price will come down for us mere mortals and everyone will be able to enjoy its beauty (and weight). Some bike brands already only offer carbon. Brands such as Light bicycle are already paving the way for cheaper carbon products.
Electronic/motorised ready frames: Just this month a cycle-cross rider was found to have a motor concealed in her bike, in what is now known as ‘motorised doping’. Some manufacturers are already making small compartments for the batteries on their frames (for the advent of electronic gears). Will we see mountain bikes with secret compartments for motors and other electronic gear?