After being treated to piles of good, not so good, weird and wonderful new bike tech in 2018, we're hoping for plenty of interesting stuff this year too - therefore it's only right that we channel our inner Mystic Meg and make some (potentially dubious) predictions about what we're going to see over the coming months...
The peloton embraces 12 speed
We've already seen Campagnolo's mechanical 12 speed groupsets, and a prototype of a 12 speed Sram cassette was also spotted on the bike of a Katusha-Alpecin rider's bike back in November... surely this means 2019 is the year the pro peloton embraces the extra cog? We've no news on whether another little component brand from Japan is planning to go to 12 any time soon, but we don't think it's unfeasible to suggest that the whole pro peloton could have 24 gears on their bikes by the end of 2019.
The end of the 23mm tyre?
Of course you'll still be able to get them, but we've noticed that the numbers of bikes sold with 23mm tyres off-the-peg seems to be heading towards zilch. We were only aware of one new road bike with a recommended tyre clearance of 23mm or less last year (the Felt AR4), and it's now becoming a rarity to find bikes that can't take at least 28mm tyres. Will 2019 see further marginalisation of skinny rubber?
2019 - the year of the lightweight road bike
2018 saw the launch of more new aero road bikes than you could shake a stick at... and we're predicting that this year we'll see the UCI scales being challenged again by the biggest bike brands. We haven't seen a new Giant TCR since 2016, or Trek's super-lightweight Emonda (above) since summer 2017.
Fizik finally switch channels?
One of the most popular saddle brands, Fizik's Arione was groundbreaking when it was first launched back in 2002 with its Spine Concept tech; and although the majority of brands now offer saddles with central cutouts, Fizik have tended to shy away from holes, channels or anything too stubby. The furthest they've got on their road options is the Arione R1 Open (above) which Fizik say is in answer to a demand for central cut-outs from pro riders and the wider public... but could we see a fully-fledged gappy short-nosed saddle from them in 2019?
Something new from Garmin
A new Garmin launch isn't exactly a rarity, with the GPS giant launching multiple new watches and bike computers every year without fail. We saw their top-of-the-range GPS revamped in 2017 with the launch of the Edge 1030, and the Edge 520 has now evolved into the 520 Plus - but with the second-tiered Edge 820 now over two years old, we reckon it's due an update.
More crazy front ends?
With Canyon's Grail gravel bike surprising us all with its double-decking handlebars back in March, we also saw Cervelo show off a unique v-shaped stem on the latest version of their flagship aero road bike, the S5. The Grail's 'hoverbar' is designed to offer more compliance on the tops and increased stiffness on the drops while the S5 v-stem is purported to be drag-reducing - and although both bikes have divided opinion it appears the unusual components do what they were designed to do. Will we see other brands follow suit? We wouldn't be surprised to see some more weird and wonderful front ends in 2019.
New Zwift courses
The hugely popular virtual training app is getting more popular by the day - and for all its hundreds of thousands of riders there are still only five courses to choose from on the platform, with the futuristic version of New York the latest update in October. With Europe (London and Innsbruck) and the US (New York and Richmond) well represented, we're hedging our bets on a Zwift course from the southern hemisphere appearing in 2019.
Crowdfunded products with indicators and/or huge flashing lights all over them
Barely a week goes by at road.cc without a press release landing in our inbox from a plucky entrepreneur/start-up who thinks they've found the ultimate cycle safety solution... it usually involves a lot of LED's, indicators and connected features, and more often than not they're looking for your cash to bring it to life via a crowdfunder. That's not to say every one of these products is a failure (the Lumos helmet pictured above can now be bought in Apple stores) but cycle safety gadgets are fast becoming a crowded marketplace, and we're sure there won't be a shortage of products to keep you lit up like a Christmas tree in 2019 and beyond...
Do you reckon any of our predictions are on the right tracks, or are we veering off in the opposite direction? Let us know what you think, and feel free to add your 2019 tech predictions in the comments!
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.