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Top 10 Cycling Trends for 2018

10 Top Cycling Trends for 2018

We all remember our very first bikes, and think about how much has changed in the cycling world since!

Remember downtube shifters of the 70s? Those things are now in the past. The advancements in cycling over the years have made our rides smoother, faster and more comfortable, and bikes more durable and light.

Think back to last year, since then road bikes have become faster, shifting is going digital, and mountain bikes are changing their frame geometry. It’s exciting to see what changes and trends will continue into 2018 and beyond.

So whether you’re a newbie to cycling (maybe considering your first tour), or a committed cyclist take a peek at a few of our predicted top cycling trends in 2018 before you hit the road or the trail.


1. Manufacturers Are Going Aero

Time trial/triathlon bikes are no longer the only bikes being built for speed and aerodynamics. Ever since the UCI has declared a 6.8 kg minimum race bike weight limit, many top-of-the-line road bikes can’t get much lighter, but they can continue to get faster through better aerodynamic design.

For example, Giant’s new Propel Disc aero road bikes are first of its kind for the popular bike manufacturer. First seen last year in the Tour de France, the Propel Disc is now available on the public market. Giant claims it has the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio of any bike in its class, and has lower drag coefficients due to the addition of disc brakes.

The Specialized Tarmac has a new D-shaped frame and new seat tube and seatpost design that makes it more aerodynamic. The new Orca Aero from Orbea is a beautiful aerodynamic design that pushes the boundaries of speed. You’ll start seeing many of these new bikes at all the big cycling tours in the coming racing season.


2. Disc Brakes Are Becoming Mainstream in Road Cycling

Once the brake system just for mountain bikes, disc brakes are continuing to become more mainstream in road cycling. The pro cyclists are still trialing the disc brakes in the peloton, but they are likely to become standard in road bikes in the coming years.

German pro cyclist, Marcel Kittel, road last year on a Specialized Venge ViAS Disc on the Quick-Step Floors team. He became the first rider to win a stage of the Tour de France on a bike with disc brakes. Many of the high-end 2018 bikes come standard with disc brakes, like the Trek Emonda, Giant Propel, Scott Foil, and more.


3. Gravel Bikes Continue to Gain Popularity

We said it last year—gravel bikes are becoming more popular worldwide in 2018. Gravel bikes are a versatile bike on and off the road making it attractive to a variety of riders. Last year gravel bikes exploded in popularity across the United States and they are growing rapidly into the international market.

Gravel events are also popping up everywhere—there might just be one on a forest road near you!


4. Wheels and Tires Are Still Getting Wider for Road Bikes

10 Top Cycling Trends for 2018

Once again, we predicted this last year. The trend is still continuing into 2018. While 25mm wide tires are still the standard for road bikes, 28mm isn’t uncommon.

Unlike like traditional rim brakes, disc brakes allow manufacturers to offer more clearance for wider tires and wheels. We predict that the 27.5 x 2.6 width will become the momentary “standard” this year.


5. Power Meters For All Budgets

Power meters are no longer for just the pro cyclists and the wealthy. With new technology and new manufacturers jumping into the market, power meters are becoming more affordable. Shimano, one of cyclist’s largest component manufacturers, has finally decided to dip their toes into the game this year.

While the jury is still out on the new Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-P power meter, Garmin has released the new Garmin Vector 3, which measures leg power independently. The budget-friendly Vector 3S, which measures one leg and doubles it for total power, will gain more attraction this year due to its price tag under $600 USD.


6. Indoor Training is Getting Smart

Smart trainers are becoming more popular, like Zwift, TrainerRoad, and other apps. The new Wahoo Kickr Climb is the first of its kind by simulating climbing. The indoor trainer adjusts the front end of your bike to simulate real-time grade changes. You can ascend hills up to a 20% grade and descend down to a -10% to mimic real road conditions.


7. Mountain Bike Frames Are Changing

10 Top Cycling Trends for 2018

Not only are road bikes getting more aerodynamic, but mountain bike frames are changing. The top tubes are getting longer and the head angles are getting slacker. With the changes in the top of the frame, offset forks are becoming shorter to adapt to the wheelbase. The Transition Sentinel is pushing the design of mountain bikes with its new steeper seat tubes.

Longer travel 29ers are becoming popular. The Orbea Rallon is an innovative design that is leading the trend of slacked out 29ers enduro race bikes. The new geometry turns these popular cross-country and enduro racing bikes into a fun all-mountain trail bike, too.


8. Shifting to Digital Shifters

Both mountain and road shifter are continuing to go digital. While we predict that digital shifting is not going to stick for mountain bikes in 2018, it will continue to grow in the road cycling industry.

FSA just released their new K-Force WE groupset and Shimano has updated its Ultegra Di2 set this year. While we’d like to see digital electronic shifting on the lower end models of bikes, that is probably not going to happen this year.


9. Integrated Cockpits Are Coming

Once mainly reserved for TT/triathlon bikes, integrated cockpits are becoming more popular in road bikes as road bikes continue to become more aerodynamic. Integrated cockpits have their pros and cons. They can help tidy up cable routing and save weight. But, if you ever want to change the length of your stem or make any changes to your bar angle, you can’t do that without swapping out the whole assembly.


10. eBikes Will Continue to Become Popular

It doesn’t matter if you think riding an ebike is cheating or not. They are continuing to become popular for both mountain and road bikes. The Market Urbanism Report predicts that 2018 will be the year of the ebike.

Many bike manufacturers are making them now, like Giant, Bianchi, and Focus. Cities like San Francisco and New York City have electric bike share programs that are a huge hit with commuters and tourists.

eBikes are not just commuter bikes either. The Focus Project Y looks just like your fancy road bike, but with a hidden motor inside. It just might be the perfect commuting or touring bicycle. Our bike partner, Orbea has a collection of road, mountain, leisure, and urban ebikes to meet all your riding needs.

Give an eBike a try—we think everyone should love them.


Are You Ready to Ride?

With over 30 years of cycling tour experience, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the industry. If all these 2018 bike trends are making you excited to ride, why don’t you get in touch today and start planning your ultimate bicycle adventure? We’d be happy to talk shop and share a few more of our favorite new trends this year. We offer awesome bike trips around the world, and you can even try some of the latest technology with our top-of-the-line Orbea bikes.

If you’d like to find out more about how you can go about planning your ultimate cycling adventure, sign up for our free email course.


5 Awesome Destinations in the USA for the Bucket-List Bicycle Adventurer

5 Awesome Destinations in the USA for the Bucket-List Bicycle Adventurer

If you’re like a lot of people, a bicycle tour is a bucket-list adventure all by itself no matter where you go. But like any vacation, destination is everything—and these one-of-a-kind places are even more fabulous when you explore them on a bike.

That’s not just idle talk. If you’ve never inhaled the heady fragrance of lavender as you cruised along the coast or felt the tropical breeze on your face as you biked to a hidden black sand beach—well, you’re missing something truly magical.

Whether you’re a bicycle tour newbie or are an experienced rider looking for the ultimate cycling adventure, here are five awesome destinations that should top your list in 2017.


1. San Juan Islands, Washington

5 Awesome Destinations in the USA for the Bucket-List Bicycle Adventurer

If you’ve never been to the San Juan Islands, you’re in for a treat. Floating along the intricate waterways of the Salish Sea, this archipelago contains some 170 islands, although only four are served by ferry—San Juan Island, Orcas Island, Lopez Island, and Shaw.

That’s where you’ll find the gorgeous shorelines, quirky shops, upscale galleries, and world-class cuisine—all the things that make them a top destination for bike adventurers. The fabulous climate doesn’t hurt, either: You’ll enjoy pleasant 70 degree days all summer long (perfect for long, meandering bike rides!)

Reasons to go:

  • The whale watching is superb all year round—it’s the best place in the world to see orcas. You may also catch a glimpse of humpbacks, minkes, and gray whales if you’re lucky.
  • There’s an amazing locavore foodie culture that never fails to delight even the most particular palate.
  • The vibrant art scene showcases the finest Native American and internationally known talent.
  • If you love a picnic by the shore (and a lovely bottle of wine), this is the place for you—the picnic spots are divine.
  • It truly is a bicyclist’s dream with miles of coastline, fragrant lavender fields, charming country farms, and the friendliest people who never fail to smile and wave.

What you can do on a bike tour:

  • Bike to Pelindaba Lavender Farm and visit Lime Kiln State Park—one of the country’s best whale-watching spots.
  • Kayak Roche Harbor or take in the magical Puget Sound views—take a dip in one of Lakedale’s three lakes if you like.
  • Hike Mount Young and check out the panoramic view of the Cascades from the summit of Mount Constitution.
  • Search for driftwood on the beach or schedule a private massage with a glass of champagne in your room at the resort.
  • Feast at a private catered dinner and experience the amazing sights from the air on a float plane ride to Seattle.


2. Crater Lake, Oregon

Visiting America : Crater Lake National Park from dguyonne on Vimeo.

Your first glimpse of the sapphire blue lake will take your breath away. Crater Lake has a magic about it that you won’t find anywhere else.

It’s not just spectacular; it’s mystical, almost holy. The local nations (the Klamath, Modoc and Shasta people) have endless legends of gods, epic battles, and love stories that involve Crater Lake, and once you go there, it’s easy to see why.

It’s one of my favorite places on the planet—I’ve ridden the rim many times over the years. I think one of our favorite guests, Lynn P. from Florida, summed it up best: “If I had one last day on Earth, I’d ride the rim at Crater Lake.

Reasons to go:

  • Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the country (and the ninth deepest in the world). Ringed by sentinels of jagged cliffs, this sapphire lake is so clear, sunlight penetrates nearly 400 feet.
  • Wizard Island, the spiritual home of the Klamath people, is a magical once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  • The ride around the rim of Crater Lake is one of the finest bicycling routes in the world—it often occupies the number one slot in Bicycling Magazine’s “Dream Rides” list.
  • The eclectic adventure culture of Bend, Oregon, is something you have to experience for yourself.

What you can do on a bike tour:


3. Hawaii’s Big Island


Know what I love about Hawaii’s Big Island? Everything is affected by Kilauea volcano, which has been literally adding more land to the island for decades.

One side of the Big Island is lush, leafy coffee-growing country: Kona coffee’s distinct flavor is produced by soils infused with volcanic ash. Like wine, but it’s a coffee terroir.

The Waikoloa region, where the Ironman course goes, is a moonscape: miles on miles of lava fields too young to have turned into soil. When you’re bicycling the southeast side, you’ll see places where new roads needed to be built because fresh lava crept right over the old.

And I bet you didn’t know that you can experience 10 of the earth’s 14 climate zones on the Big Island—everything from Polar Tundra to Tropical (and everything in between) thanks to the shielding effects of the Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes. The island’s sheer size is breathtaking.

Reasons to go:

  • It’s impossible to overstate how the volcanoes shape your Hawaii experience. It’s nothing you can imagine—you’ve just got to see it for yourself.
  • Do you love to snorkel and enjoy water adventures? This is definitely the place—and don’t forget the dolphins!
  • This is the place for romance…the hidden beaches, the magical atmosphere, the welcoming culture. It’s the perfect destination for you and a partner.
  • Astronomy buffs (and pretty much everyone else) will be blown away by the telescopes at the Mauna Kea Observatories.
  • The dramatic cliffs at the Waipio Valley are unforgettable.

What you can do on a bike tour:

  • Spend a night on a volcano—sometimes you’ll see lava flowing from a crater into the sea.
  • Hike an inactive crater and marvel at the Hawaiian goose (called the nene) waddling about on a landscape that conjures up the surface of Mars—truly astonishing.
  • Explore the Thurston Lava Tube and catch a glimpse of green sea turtles sunning on the rocks.
  • Take a sail on a luxury catamaran to a secret snorkeling spot—don’t be surprised if you spot some whales on the way.
  • Enjoy a picnic on a stunning black sand beach after biking to Pololu Valley.


4. Bryce and Zion National Parks, Utah


Striking stone forests, stunning starry skies, and awe-inspiring painted canyons—this is your tour if the marvels of nature make your soul sing.

And it’s not just the rocks and the canyons and cliffs; the parks are teeming with hundreds of species of mammals and reptiles and over 200 different species of birds (including the majestic and endangered California condor).

There’s something for every kind of outdoor adventurer—hiking, climbing, cycling. What I love most about this tour is the way you can truly make it your own and customize every part of your experience.

Here’s what I mean: Once when I did this trip, we had a couple of ER doctors who really loved to cycle and a pair of sweet Southern girls who really loved to hike. Our docs rode 80 miles a day on a tandem bike every day while our Southern guests biked maybe 10 or 15 and spent the rest of their day on foot hiking the canyons. Same trip—two completely different approaches.

Reasons to go:

  • You’ve never smelled air as fresh and clean as it is in the parks here.
  • It’s not an exaggeration to say the sunrises and sunsets are staggering in their beauty and color.
  • The landscapes change minute by minute with shadow and light—this is a photographer’s dream vacation.
  • Stargazing is almost a religious experience.

What you can do on a bike tour:

  • See the red and orange sandstone sculptures at the Cedar Breaks Amphitheater.
  • Hike the Fairyland Trail and ride your bike past the world’s largest collection of hoodoos.
  • Wander the Virgin River Narrows, a spectacular slot canyon, and revel in the sights and sounds of a towering waterfall.
  • Picnic at the Bryce Canyon Overlook and end your day being pampered at the luxurious Cable Mountain Lodge.


5. Death Valley, California


Hot, dry, stark, serene—Death Valley is a study in contrasts. Jagged mountains dusted with snow…unexpected fields of fiery wildflowers…thriving oases teeming with life…it’s unlike anywhere else in the country.

What surprises me about Death Valley the most is the light. Depending on the sun, the clouds, and the time of day, the landscape appears subtle one moment and incredibly harsh – fierce, almost – the next.

And the riding is superb, whether you’re new to a bike or an experienced cyclist—lots of wide-open spaces and plenty of downhill plus plenty of challenging optional routes for the rider who loves to eat hills for breakfast.

Reasons to go:

  • If you’re a ghost town connoisseur (or just ghost town curious), you won’t be able to resist the abandoned mining towns and decrepit cabins of Rhyolite.
  • Death Valley is nirvana for the hiking enthusiast—earn a coveted #HikeDeathValley decal for your trophy collection.
  • The velvety sand dunes and spectacular desert views are made to be photographed.
  • The valley is surprisingly biodiverse—and it’s one of the richest bird biomes in the country. Bring your binoculars!

What you can do on a bike tour:

  • Take lunch at the Badwater Basin some 282 feet below sea level—the lowest point in North America.
  • Hike the Ubehebe Crater, a half-mile wide crater over 500 feet deep and bike through the Mojave sand dunes.
  • Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the valley from Dante’s View, the most photographed spot in the park.
  • Splash and relax in the spring-fed pools at Furnace Creek.
  • Challenge yourself with a 30-mile climb to Artist’s Palette at 6,500 feet—and feast your eyes on the rainbow-colored hills.


Ready to Pedal Away?

If you’ve never considered a bike tour as the ultimate way to visit your bucket-list destinations, think again. These five tours give you a whole new perspective on the places you’ve always wanted to go—an up close, intimate, and exhilarating experience.

Why not take a look at our 2017 dates, fill in this quick form and start planning your vacation of a lifetime today?

Like any vacation, destination is everything. Here are 5 one-of-a-kind places are even more fabulous when you explore them on a bicycle.

Outside Magazine: Bicycle Adventures Gets Best of Travel 2015 Award


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OUTSIDE Names Bicycle Adventures’ Family Tour Series In Its Best of Travel 2015

Seattle, Washington, March 11, 2015 –– OUTSIDE, America’s leading active lifestyle brand, has selected Bicycle Adventures as an honoree of its annual Best of Travel awards. From newly-revealed travel territories to the best deals, OUTSIDE’s Best of Travel 2015 celebrates the destinations and travel providers that inspire people to participate in an active lifestyle. Bicycle Adventures was honored as 2015’s Best Outfitted Trips for Families The entire list of winners appears in OUTSIDE’s April issue (on newsstands March 17), and online at www.outsideonline.com/bestoftravel.

This year, OUTSIDE’s adventure travel veterans scoured the globe to identify the coolest mountains to climb, food to eat, rivers to float, guides to hire, beaches to lounge on, and lodges to luxuriate in. The result is 40 breathtaking options—from the guides to show you around, to the cameras to capture it all, to the places to stay, to the best place to grab a snack at a food truck along the way.

“People who have traveled with us for years told us they would like to bring their children – and maybe grandchildren – on a bicycling vacation. We crafted the kind of itineraries our own families would love and as a result, our family business is growing exponentially,” says Todd Starnes, owner and president of Bicycle Adventures.

An advantage of most Bicycle Adventures family tours is the fact that daily pedaling is on safe, car-free bike paths. For young families the staff can arrange to accommodate infants and toddlers in bike trailers; children as young as four can participate in pedaling special tag-along bikes attached to the back of a parent’s bicycle. Equipment is provided by the company. The two-wheel itineraries include such diversions as ice cream stops, amusement parks, swimming and river rafting. An example of a new-for-2015 trip is a family bicycle vacation in Idaho. http://bicycleadventures.com/tours/family-bike-tours/Coeur-d’Alene-Family—NEW!

The complete list of Best of Travel winners is featured in the April issue of OUTSIDE, available March 17, and available now online at www.outsideonline.com/bestoftravel. Continue the conversation with #OutsideTravel2015.

“OUTSIDE has been covering the adventure-travel beat for nearly four decades,” said Editor Chris Keyes. “We know this terrain, and now we’ve narrowed your choices of hotels, destinations, outfitters, and travel gear from approximately 10.6 million to 40. The final choice is still on you, but now the task is at least manageable.”

About Bicycle Adventures

Scenic byways, four and five-star accommodations and local dining and visits to National Parks are trademarks Bicycle Adventures, founded in 1984.  Types of tours include Classic (25-50 miles a day), Classic Plus (50-60 miles a day) and Epic (70+ miles a day with the most demanding terrain). Value-driven Frugal category of trips offers budget-conscious lodging and meals with full van support; Family tours offer multi-sport adventures and riding on safe, scenic bike paths.

Pre-set and custom tours embrace the Pacific Northwest into Canada, California and the Southwest, as well as Colorado, the Dakotas, New York, Hawaii, New Zealand, Spain’s Basque region and Taiwan. Excelling in its own backyard the Issaquah, WA-based company’s line-up includes a National Geographic ‘Tours of a Lifetime’ award-winning Empire Epic cycling tour from Washington to Montana’s Glacier National Park, urban adventures in Seattle and Portland and immersions into the craft beer industry in Oregon and Washington.

About OUTSIDE:  OUTSIDE is America’s leading active lifestyle brand. Since 1977, OUTSIDE has covered travel, sports, adventure, health, and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the world Outside. The OUTSIDE family includes OUTSIDE magazine, the only magazine to win three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence, The Outside Buyer’s Guides, Outside Online, Outside Television, Outside Events, Outside+ tablet edition, Outside Books, and now Outside GO, a revolutionary, 21st-century adventure-travel company. Visit us online and on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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