What Is To Be Expected For 2017?

Interbike, the yearly compendium of phantasmagoric cycling delicacies, is just around the corner as this is written, and the BICYCLIST crew has the same rapt anticipation as the week before Christmas many years ago. The Electric Revolution, my beat, is in the latter stages of its 10-year new product acceptance cycle and should experience a considerable injection of advanced technology this year. These are musings in no particular order of projected expectations.

Drivetrains

Will Shimano’s relatively new STePS system, which can be integrated with Di2 shifting, overtake Bosch or Yamaha in popularity? How many manufacturers will adopt SRAM’s new EX-1 8-speed 11-46 group which was designed specifically for e-bikes?

German Engineering

Focus Bikes, which executes all manufacturing activities except frame building in-house, has a prototype 28-pound e-MTB with removable six-pound propulsion system. Will this bike be available to test at the dirt demo? Haibike increased its offerings from two in 2014, one of which won the coveted Interbike “e-Bike of the Year Award”, to 52 last year, has a $17,500, 37-pound e-MTB. Reportedly, it is sold out to dealers in Europe; will they debut it in the US this year?

Stromer

The Swiss organization with a reputation for futuristic, expensive e-commuters has a new entry geared toward a larger audience. What compromises are evident in the lower priced entry?

Faraday

The two year old Kickstarter-funded company has two excellent steel-framed, lightweight e-commuters. Will they utilize their frame-enclosed electronics in a lightweight e-MTB?

Specialized

Their LEVO e-MTB was the success of 2016 garnering rave reviews from both the press and consumers. What follow-up products will they unveil?

BionX

The Canadian company with products installed on pre-built bikes and offered to the do-it-yourself (DIY) community, has an excellent reputation for quality and an industry-leading three year warranty on all components. What type of new multi-functionality will be added to their consoles?

Falco

The US-based group with manufacturing facilities in India, has a patent pending five -phase motor with integrated torque sensor capability, but reported difficulty in programming aspects. Will 2017 be the year they remove that stigma and incorporate wireless technology into their DIY kits?

Easy Motion

Owned by BH, an over a century old Spanish bicycle conglomerate, has a two-wheel drive fat bike (front and rear hub motors). How will it assimilate the gnarly terrain surrounding Bootleg Canyon?

Juiced Bikes

In 2015 the San Diego-based company debuted the CrossCurrent, a fantastic 350 watt, 48 Volt. 28 mph, $1499 e-commuter that sent the BICYCLIST editors scurrying to the abaci in our plush well-lit office in order to attempt a DIY e-bike for anything near that price. What will they do for an encore in 2016?

Brompton and Tern

How will their folding e-bikes handle and transport with about 15 pounds of additional weight?

There will be other questions answered at Interbike. These revolve around plus-sized tire models, whether pinion gearboxes will be prevalent, other e-bike specific components that are displayed and whether any clothing companies are developing garments that enhance e-bike activities.

Almost all of the e-activities will be confined to one area of the convention center facilitating evaluation and comparison of the products. Stay tuned for our impressions post-event. – BB