Cycle show 2016
First and foremost, it seemed that there were less manufacturers present than last year. This doesn’t mean that they are not out there, they may have just chosen not to show. Noticeable was the lack of Chinese manufacturers exhibiting direct as there were last year. They have been clever and now sell and work with fewer new European importers (many with familiar sounding names) rather than direct to shops or the public.
This reinforces my opinion that the market is polarising; there are leaders and behind them, the followers using older technology and design.
Over-arching trends from the leading brands
Prices are increasing but quality is improving.
Paint colour choice and finish is improving and MATT is so IN right now.
Batteries are getting smaller and better (power and longevity). Panasonic, Samsung and Sanyo are the ones to go for saying a 6 year life is now possible. Range is also on the up with improved design and quality of components, a smaller battery will now take you further, saving weight and cost.
Brakes are getting better on the cheaper models with discs becoming more popular and hydraulics creeping down the range onto more affordable bikes.
There’s a big change in gears (if you excuse the pun!!) Something I have bee asking for years is happening; gone are the derailleur (except where needed) and in are coming the Revo-shift and Shimano Nexus hubs, yes, they are more expensive but much more maintenance –free and easy to shift even at a standstill – GREAT.
On the downside (in my opinion) is a trend to almost all bikes having 700c (=big) wheels. This is called the Dutch influence but in my cynical mind, I think standardization = cheaper! The downside of this is a higher saddle height, which is fine for confident cyclists but not so good for beginners or people returning to cycling who would like a lower seat, at least until their confidence builds.
EDEN-E-MOTION WILL CONTINUE TO SEARCH & FIND BIKES THAT HAVE A LOWER SEAT HEIGHT OPTION.
Frames haven’t changed so much still being mostly 6061 aluminium and predominantly Chinese (nothing wrong with that, they have the best technology) with a few avant-garde designs showing up as usual especially in the folding bikes.
Not much has changed in motors and controllers with Bafang, Bosch, Yamaha and Shimano all showing on various bikes. With the advent of the hub geared bikes, you can go one of two ways; Crank motor or Front motor. Cost would be the main issue because until now front hub motors have been disappearing due to their less efficient hill climbing capability buy everyone won’t love the ride of the crank motor option and it’s much more expensive. Some manufacturers have also switched to a Torque sensors to partially overcome the mechanical feel of the traditional cadence sensor on hub-motored bikes. You need to talk to me about that!
Electric conversion kits are creeping in too, either done on specific bikes (Brompton for example) by specialist companies or buy the kit and fit it to your own bike. EDEN-E-MOTION can help you with this, it means you get to keep the bike you are comfortable on but you get the electric help. This is not a cheap way to go electric, it should be seen as a way to keep your loved (quality) bike.
Top-end bikes like KTM, Haibike, Scott, Cannondale etc. were there in strength and mountain bikes, fat tyres and even road bikes were on show. There’s a lot of styling involved and a massive choice of spec. Prices of the real trick bikes were starting at £3000! Mega-companies like Cube and Ridgeback had their own stands but since they don’t sell through independents, I didn’t really see their bikes in detail.
Demo rides; most companies had bikes on the track and I rode everything that I thought would be suitable for my customers. I hope by doing this (it’s a tough job but someone has to do it!) so I feel confident to answer any of your questions about almost any bike you have seen and are maybe thinking about buying.
EDEN-E-MOTION are E-bike (only) specialists so carry a large range of carefully chosen bikes from our main suppliers who make bikes that are right for the area we live in, therefore even if you’ve “done your homework” on the technical spec of a bike, we are able to ask the right questions about you and your specific needs and find you a bike that is perfectly suited to you personally. After that, if you still require a specific bike, we can most often get it for you, with all the benefits of a local dealer and the facilities to build and maintain it.