Over the years I have seen some very interesting items during my work, ranging from the entertaining to the dangerous. From a bike that a Kenyan man had made himself and was riding around the world to raise money for a charity, through to a customer who had used inch long self-tapping screws to hold a visor onto his helmet, these are just a couple of things that come through the workshop.
The great thing with bikes is that for such relatively simple machines they undergo technological advances year after year, making the riding experience not only more pleasurable but often more affordable. This also keeps people like me who work on bikes excited about what the future holds.
Electric bikes are an ever increasing segment of the market, and rightly so. The improvements in battery and motor technology are seeing lighter and more efficient setups entering the market. This range of electrics bikes is enabling people to commute on their electrically assisted bikes rather than in their car; which I believe is a good thing.
The other electric components that are becoming more prevalent are the gear shifting mechanisms offered by a few manufacturers. The refinement in the electronic shifting components is nothing short of amazing. The precision and speed with which this equipment can operate has to be experienced first hand to be truly appreciated. A word of warning though, you may not want to go back to your mechanically operated shifting setup after experiencing electronic shifting.
Not to be forgotten are the advances in the materials used to build bikes, aluminium has been refined and fluid forming introduced. Carbon fibre assembly processes have advanced and allowed the material to filter down into the more affordable end of the market. Also companies are forever pushing the limits of materials and components to chase that end goal of lightweight and strength.
With the 2015 bikes and accessories to be released in the very near future I can’t wait to see what we’re in for!