January 3, 2012
While many people claim to see the future, we’ve always been dubious of soothsayers. However, since getting a crystal ball for Christmas, everyone in the Singletrack office has been busy staring into the future.
In between getting winning lottery numbers and horse racing results we’ve all found a bit of time to took a look into the murky future to offer up a few predictions for what’s going to happen to mountain biking in 2012. Some are serious, some less so…
- Matt will wear a Lycra skinsuit
- Both of Chipps’ wheels will leave the ground at once
- Mark will ride a bike from a non-niche bike brand
- There will be another UK World Champion
- The UCI will offer live coverage of all the World Cups. For a fee.
- The campaign for narrower handlebars will begin
- SPD pedals will start to be regarded as racing-only products
- Downhill tyre rubber will get softer still
- Touring bikes will become the new cyclocross, which was the old fixie
- The Singletrack staff will stop being addicted to coffee – no, that’s too far-fetched
- 29ers will no longer be called 29ers, just bikes.
- Frames with integrated dropper posts and hoses will mean an end to unsightly flappy cables everywhere.
- Electronic shifting for mountain bikes will appear on racers’ bikes.
- Canadian photographers admit to possessing a loam machine for banging sweet nuggz.
- Aluminium will become the next wonder material. Again.
- DWR spray parlours will outnumber fake tan spray shops in most of the country.
- Fixies will no longer be fixed.
- Trans Provence will become the new World Cup.
- Probably not much riding after the 21st of December.
- Gary Fisher outed as “not being God”
- Drilled 440mm flat bar backlash arrives – along with Girvin Flex Stem.
- Mesh baggies in a Raggamuffin styley and leather jerkins replace gilets.
- Flat pedals made out of mahogany because “vibration damping” helps keep your feet on the pedals.
- Man that does the Buff “I’m a pirate – I’m Mother Teresa – Buffs are great WACKY products” video GETS GUNNED DOWN – and finds out that the non absorbent nature of buffs won’t help stem the flow of blood from his wounds.
- A new event entry system will be developed that doesn’t favour those who live permanently on the internet.
- More “standards” will be created for the same pieces of equipment.
- Backcountry will be marketed as the new bike industry niche.
- Goretex will become official sponsors of UK summer.
- Riding bikes with mates will remain awesome.
- Aesthetically pleasing 27.2mm dropper posts will finally arrive.
- Fatbikes will be sacrificed on altars to bring back proper winters.
- There will be fewer mags at the end than the start of the year – that’s mags in general as well as in the bike world.
- Sim will inadvertently run an image from a mobile phone camera as a cover shot.
- People will recognise dropper seatposts for the unreliable, expensive tat that they are… but at the end of the year someone will bring out a cheaper, bombproof version that doesn’t break when you leave it alone on a shelf for a month.
- There will be no significant winter in the UK while I have winter tyres on my car.
- Big wheels and long travel. Sometimes together.
- The return of rigid.
- The death of short travel.
- A lot of people who would have bought a short travel full suspension bike will realise a hardtail 29er is probably faster, lighter, more fun.
- The return of the 150mm full suspension ‘trail bike’ idea that was sold to us in the early noughties. This time they’re actually ace.
- The continued growing acceptance that there is no ‘best’ suspension system and a greater understanding (and marketing) of the differences.
- A 29er will be raced at a UCI World Cup Downhill event.
- Wider-range 1×10 gearing.
- Longer lasting sticky tyres.
- The death of ‘platform SPDs’. Dinky spuds or full-on flatties from now on.
- Quieter bridleways.
- Busier trail centres and footpaths and roads.
- Touring is the new cyclocross.
- The continued purchasing of Fat Bikes will continue keeping the snow away.
- Someone will make wraparound kneepads so you don’t have to pull them on/off over your mucky shoes.
- There still won’t be an affordable uppy-downy seatpost that works.
- There’ll be an even more unaffordable uppy-downy post that tilts fore-and-aft as well.
- The difference between ‘enduro’ (British XC death slog) and ‘enduro’ (Euro style) events will become ever more apparent, whilst 24hr racing will stubbornly continue to refuse to die.
- The Olympics will be a temporary insanity blip in an otherwise great year of riding but they will make BMX the new fixed/cyclocross/black.
- Hardtails probably won’t come back into fashion but will continue to be fun.
- Summer will arrive in March. Please.
- A World Cup (either one) DH team will debut a 29″ wheeled bike. Probably with drop bars.
- Low front ends will be swapped out for massively high front ends, just because.
- Head angles will continue to get slacker, until the 58° head angle trailbike lands in November.
- Top end kit will continue to go up in price – but cheap kit will be better than ever.
- I will enter more than one race but enjoy none of them – at the time.
- Gravity enduro will become more popular, at the expense of ‘trad’ XC and DH racing.
- Riding/racing categories will continue to expand until noone knows what anyone else is talking about. Most of us will just continue riding with our mates for fun.
- Expect electronic trickery to turn up in suspension units.
- Bright coloured bikes will be sooooo last year.
- Inverse mullet bikes will be all the rage (long (travel) at the front, short at the back.)
- I will replace my creaking bottom bracket.
- David Miller won’t be invited to the Olympics.
- Someone will finally build my bike for me that’s been sat down here for 2 years! So I can take the kids out in the trailer I bought in Summer (hint hint)
- I will ride a bike without falling off…maybe.