Singletrack’s New Year Predictions

by singletrackjon 6

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.

Matt takes a peek at 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.

Tom dB

  • 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.

Comments (6)

  1. Also, ST’s first Instagram/Hipstamatic cover shot ;]

  2. Claire send me the bits and i’ll build your bike for ya:-)

  3. I also reckon that ‘enduro’ [timed sections with time allowance links] events will become the big thing in 2012

  4. There will be no significant winter in the UK while I have winter tyres on my car.

    After getting caught out 2 winters in a row, I like you, did the “sensible” thing and fitted winter tyres…

    Ho hum

  5. Jenn summer is always in April and May.

  6. SPD’s race only? Pull the other one. Absolutely no-one uses flats for XC down here.

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