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Top 6 cycling trends for 2021

2020 was a year that launched the bike industry and the sport of cycling as a whole into disarray. Nobody could have predicted the difficulties we’ve all faced in the last twelve-plus months, but now that the dust has somewhat settled on 2020, let’s have a look at some trends and predictions for cycling in 2021.

Professional riders will continue to surprise

If you’ve watched any professional racing in the last year or so, you’ll have noticed the rising superstars and how they’re a little different to traditional road racers. With cyclocross and mountain biking sensations Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel now leading the peloton across a multitude of races and terrains, could the traditional route of specialising be a thing of the past? With riders becoming more and more like swiss army knives rather than specialists of time trialling or sprinting, for example, will they be putting pressure on the rest of the peloton to catch up? Or will they wear themselves down quickly and burn out? Either way, the rivalry between van der Poel and van Aert, in particular, has been spectacular to watch and will continue to be for, hopefully, some time to come.

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Gravel and adventure riding will continue to boom

There’s no denying there’s been a massive increase in the popularity of gravel and adventure riding the past few years. For rides where you don’t want to be limited by your tyres, if you come across a gnarly looking bridleway for example, or want to limit your time on the tarmac, then gravel bikes are the way to do it. In 2021 people seek out nature and different environments, gravel and adventure riding is likely to continue to boom. And with a saturated market full of choice and customisations now available, consumers can create something unique for their needs depending on what terrain they’re going to be riding.

Speaking of customisation, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the number of riders who choose to get their shoes painted with unique designs or custom made altogether. We’re all for supporting small businesses and artists, and what better way to express your personality on the bike than with custom painted shoes?

The Tour de France is going to be incredible

I mean, this happens almost every year, but after 2020’s spectacle and the final stage heartbreak for Primož Roglič, could this finally be his year? Closest rival Tadej Pogačar is already in fine form having won early-season stages races the UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico, but the two are yet to fight it out on the road this season. After Primož’s heartbreak last year, and most recently at Paris-Nice, he will be a man on a mission, determined to seek retribution. There are other riders who seem determined to challenge the pair, with Geraint Thomas from Team Ineos building his form, and Mikel Landa performing well at Tirreno-Adriatico recently.

Tour de France - Col de Peyresourde, France
Tour de France – Col de Peyresourde, France

Travel will return in some capacity

With most of the world locked down in some capacity over the last twelve months, actually going abroad has been the last thing on most people’s minds. But as soon as the travel restrictions are lifted, we’re predicting a massive rush for plane tickets and bookings abroad as cyclists seek a different landscape to the local loop they’ve ridden infinite times in the last year. With travel being slowly reintroduced, we hope that events will also be able to run as planned. A lot of organisers have already moved races and events to the latter half of the season, considering their chances of going ahead are much higher further down the line when things are a bit safer to do so.

E-bikes will continue to rise in popularity

E-bikes have boasted substantial growth in popularity and sales in the past few years. As people look to riding as a means of transport as well as for enjoyment and fitness. E-bikes are the perfect addition to the household. They make cycling possible for those previously not willing or able to ride an unassisted bicycle, as well as providing an alternative to short car journeys. The only downside to bike sales at the moment is the unfortunate lack of supply. If you’ve tried to buy anything for your bike in the past year, you’ll know how difficult it has been for shops to acquire parts or bikes as the supply chain is still feeling the effects of the pandemic, that is, the skyrocketing in demand in 2020. So if you’re keen to buy a new bike, make sure you get your order in soon as you might be waiting a while!

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