Always Riding's 2014 Cycling Trends
It seems fitting to ride into 2014 with a preview. Less concrete tips and more general observations but a few 2014 cycling trends that we think are on the up over the next 12 months.
First up is the colour orange. We've noticed several flashes of brightness cropping up in AW13 and SS14 ranges. Suggestions that fluro itself will be an outright trend are not far from the mark but the presence of orange in Giro's 2014 Shoes and in Poc's AVIP approach (more on that in later instalments) has been hard to ignore. When Castelli - hard purveyors of red, white and black - released the Velo Jacket in bright orange we knew the game was up.
A no less eye catching prediction and one that isn't really exclusive to 2014 comes in the form of the long quest for aerodynamic superiority. Castelli again lead the charge with the Free Aero 5.0 but the Giro Air Attack featured heavily in 2013's pro peloton with Garmin. Since then it has found popularity among serious amateur, club and weekend riders for its time trial like aerodynamics but road helmet comfort and looks. Poc again look to aerodynamics for their debut road line - one of the key aspects of their AVIP approach. Underestimate the headwind and get swept to the back...
Expect road cycle clothing to take an interesting twist in 2014.
The influence cyclocross has had on cycling has led to "all road" bikes, durable clothing and disc brakes. Riders are demanding clothing that still holds performance features but has an off bike functionality and durability that's good for more than commuter miles. Look to Cafe du Cycliste, Swrve and Vulpine for clothing that is cut for adventures, long day rides, light touring and "all roads".
This move towards casual bike wear with more performance features and the rise in popularity of pannier ready rides has led us to suggest that bike touring is going to be big in 2014. Brooks panniers already feature on the site but as the weather improves expect to see other big name bike brands add the Pannier to their range.
Our next tip, like aerodynamics, isn't a 2014 exclusive prediction. Women's cycling has been on the rise for a while now so our prediction - a continuation of this rise. Cafe du Cycliste and Vulpine have for a while now had their women's range at Always Riding but eagle eyed followers may have noticed new Morvelo, Etxeondo and Giro clothing, helmets and shoes. In addition expect our prediction for off bike functionality and more casual road riding not to fall exclusively to menswear.
A slightly more risky prediction is perhaps more of a current observation - smarter commuter wear. Led by brands like Quoc Pham, Brooks and Cafe du Cycliste riders now have shoes and bags that would look well at home in a smart office or studio. As riders seek practicalities, all road riding, touring or aerodynamics expect the sartorial commuters to emphasise their on and off bike style.
Finally no predictions post would be incomplete without a pro peloton top tip - our team to watch for 2014: Orica Greenedge