Why are brands offering fewer bikes? – GCN Tech Show

Alex Paton and Ollie Bridgewood return to discuss why some brands are cutting down their bike offering

Clock15:43, Thursday 21st March 2024

Ollie Bridgewood reunites with Alex Paton after his top-secret mission to Pirelli for the latest GCN Tech Show. This week, our presenters cast their eyes to the changes that are currently occurring in the industry, with many big brands like Trek and Specialized cutting down the number of bikes they offer.

This is a big departure from the past when brands sold a bewildering number of models, which in turn forced bikes down more niche paths. It led to more bike categories than we can fathom, including aero, lightweight, gravel aero, gravel lightweight, commuter, endurance, sportive – we think you get our point. Add in all of the different groupsets and spec options, and the bike market was a puzzling maze to navigate.

Like when scouring a streaming service when there’s too much choice, you inevitably end up overwhelmed and pick nothing, or worst still, end up with the wrong type of bike for your needs.

Now things are slowly becoming simpler as brands cut back their offering. Pinarello were arguably the first to follow this model by condensing the road bike offering solely into the Dogma. More brands have followed suit, most notably Specialized which discontinued the Venge in 2020 in favour of a more well-rounded Tarmac SL7.

The question is, is less really better? Our presenters think so, but maybe not all the time. For most riders, having an all-round road bike is the best option but for others, a specialised aero or lightweight bike may be more suitable for their type of riding. The market is a constantly evolving beast too, and brands will adapt to offer bikes that are in demand. For now this demand makes a cut-back approach viable for certain brands, partly due to the reduced operating costs, but in the future a wider offering may be best.

Are there too many bikes available and should brands cut back their offering? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Hot and spicy tech

It’s been a busy week in the world of tech with plenty of product releases, including a Storck bike that claims to be the fastest in the world.

Storck says new Aerfast.5 is ‘fastest racing bike in the world’

Storck unveiled its new Aerfast.5 road bike recently in a bid to claim the title of the world’s fastest road bike. That’s a hard thing to quantify but German outlet Tour Magazin has been aero testing bikes for multiple years and the previous version of the Aerfast narrowly missed out on the top spot in its rankings.

Now the Aerfast has set the record straight according to Storck, except Tour Magazin says differently. According to the German magazine, the Aerfast actually ranks second, replacing its predecessor which has been bumped down to third.

AGU’s new Undyed collection is inspired by sustainability

AGU has unveiled a new range of clothing that is created from undyed products. As the name suggests, this means that the materials aren’t dyed, which has a bigger impact than you may expect. The process of dying materials is water and energy intensive, so the new clothing offers a more sustainable solution. As an added bonus, each of the new items is created from recycled or recyclable materials.

CamelBak adds new steel and titanium water bottles to range

Sticking to the sustainability theme, CamelBak has released a range of new steel and titanium water bottles. They’re designed to keep your water cold but the material is also much more durable than plastic.

That’s good news, as it means less plastic waste from the plastic water bottles we need to replace.

Vittoria’s new tyres are made from recycled fish nets and soya bean oils

Vittoria showed off its new Terreno Pro T60 tyres at the recent Taipei Cycle Show, except they’re not ordinary tyres. We won’t spoil too much here as we’ll have a story on the GCN website about them later this week, but they’re made from some interesting recycled and renewable materials. The best part? Vittoria hasn’t sacrificed performance to create them.

New Pirelli tyre in the offing?

While on his top-secret mission to Pirelli’s headquarters, Ollie stumbled across a prototype tyre.

They’re already being used in races by Lidl-Trek and we spotted their riders using the tyre at the Classic Brugge-De Panne, although information is thin on the ground at this point.

Bike vault

Before we dive into this week’s submissions, a reminder that you can submit photos of your bike via the GCN uploader.

Now onto the bikes, starting with this one that departs from the norm in the form of a Ten:07 Unicorn cargo bike.

For more tech related news and stories check out our dedicated tech section on the GCN website.

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