Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

3 trends in cycling you’ll see in 2018

Posted by Matt | January 2, 2018 | 6 comments so far

Happy New Year to our lovely readers!

I thought I’d kick off the year with a short list of observations about what might be heading our way in the coming year. To be honest, these trends are very much underway already, but I think each will accelerate in 2018.

  1. e-Bikes. e-Bikes, e-Bikes, e-Bikes.
    Maybe not so much on the Surrey Hills, but the industry really wants and in some ways needs this. I remain ambivalent thus far but know at some point in the future there will come a time when one will suit me very well. Actually I can think of two use-cases:
    – First, my commute is about 30 miles round trip and if I’m honest, it’s hard work to ride that regularly for more than a couple of days and still do useful work at the end of it. An e-Bike would turn a twice weekly effort quite easily into a daily one.
    – Second, if self-driving cars take off, boy will they be boring to use. I can imagine legions of e-Bikers getting plenty of enjoyment from buzzing around streets that are orders of magnitude safer than they are now (until the e-Bikers become the problem of course!).
    Either way, expect to hear lots about e-Bikes this year.
  2. Direct sales.
    If you’re a retailer, this year gets even more difficult I’m sorry to say. For a manufacturer, it’s a no-brainer to cut the middle-manperson out of the picture and it’s happening across the retail sector, not just in cycling. When you see manufacturers with solid brands like Dyson advertising discounted direct sales products (as is happening right now), you can see what’s to come.
    Already there are plenty of cycling brands offering some form of direct sales, whether it be online only (e.g. Y.T Industries, Canyon, Cotic, Bird) or hybrid models like Trek (where the online product is delivered to your local shop for pick up) or Orro Bikes which offers online sales as well as dealer supplied stock.
    Many manufacturers are jumping on this game and you can expect a lot more to come. Retailers are going to be squeezed hard and will need to be a lot more than just bike sellers. The enterprising might offer station pick ups for bike servicing (keeps the commuters happy), or really focus on building their local bike community, or do more prominent cycle advocacy, or even start selling coffee (!). The online players like Chiggle (ChainReaction/Wiggle) will consolidate even more.
  3. Sigh. OK, can’t avoid it. Dockless bike sharing.
    This is kicking in across continents, countries and cities, with services for dockless biking being offered mainly by Ofo Bikes, Obike, Urbo, Mobikes and there will be others. I can’t bring myself to link to them to be honest as I think they will be one of the main sources of anti-bike feeling this year. So far, they have been synonymous with wildly over-optimistic predictions of how rampant the public are for these services and massive bike dumping leading to environmental concerns and a public nuisance. I guess we will see. Oh and as a bonus? Dockless e-Bikes…

So there you go, that’s my starter for 2018. I hope I don’t sound too bleak but I just wanted to flag up stuff you can expect to see more of in 2018.

As for the Muddymoles, well we love bikes and we love to talk about bikes and we lovequite like people who feel the same. So, we’re aiming for more news, more reviews and more pointless chatter. Stay tuned!

Oh, and the credit for the photo above? Well, if you didn’t see it coming, it’s from

Filed under Mutterings, Trends in January 2018


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 6 comments on ‘3 trends in cycling you’ll see in 2018’

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  1. Dandy says:

    I was at a NYE party and talking to a couple whose son is about to open his fourth or fifth e-bike store here in Lower BC. I always say it won’t be “IF I get an e-bike” but ‘when’. There seems to be two main objections to their presence, it’s cheating, and it’ll encourage restrictions on hard-fought trail access for all mtb’s. The first I’m not worried about, as l’m sure that like most of us I ride for a number of personal reasons, the least of which is the approval of an mtb ‘purist’ (though naturally they should always admire my stylish riding apparel). The second objection is more concerning, but so far that appears to be a theoretical concern in as much as I’m not aware of any restrictions imposed on trail usage as a result of any e-bike presence. I’m sure that’s only a question of time, however, and then the debate will really get vicious.
    Happy New Year, all 🙂

    • Matt says:

      I agree that any stigma attached to e-Bikes is misplaced Dandy. On the flipside, any stigma attached to your clothing choices over many years may well be entirely justified; it’s a matter of perspective I would say. Or perhaps judgement? 🙂

      But I really don’t want to insult our first commenter of 2018 – that’s not very nice is it!!

      On the trail access thing – yes this will be a growing problem on both sides of the pond as the line between push-bike/e-bike/motor-bike gets increasingly blurred (although I think across North America this is more of a hot potato than over here?).

      I really think e-Bikes are destined for success on-road rather than off-road initially, at least in terms of widespread acceptance, as part of enabling greater personal mobility. Off-road, e-Bikes don’t have to be a problem unless they run unrestricted, at which point they are effectively motor-bikes, but policing that difference will be very hard.

    • Tony says:

      Well an e-bike might get you over 10miles on a ride. Maybe the time is right for you!!

  2. Tony says:

    Really interesting list Matt. I agree with your list especially e-bikes. There certainly are many more e-bikes around in mainland Europe even at MTB centres in the Alps. I have no problem with them – Jem’s Panzer Is ace to ride. I could see us getting one to get out more as a family.

    Other things – I see more and more cross over of road and MTB with the whole Gravel Bike scene.

    Finally I predict that I might put my road bike away and get on a MTB at some point in 2018 and even make it down to the pub to meet everyone!

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