By 2030, every bike will be an ebike

All bikes will be ebikes in the future, and it will be completely and utterly normal.

3 minutes
Written by
Chris Lowe

An unpopular opinion perhaps, but by 2030 (2040 at the latest!) I think ALL bikes will be ebikes. Yep, that's right, ALL of them. And here's why...

Ok, let's start with the definition that I'm using. When I say "ebike", I mean a bike that has some on board energy store that's built in to the bike, which can be used for on-the-bike tasks. This may not be mechanical assistance necessarily, which is what we typically think of when we hear the term "ebike", but includes all of the other things (lights, computation, navigation etc).

This concept really isn't that big a leap. A lot of cyclists are there already. We strap on our lights, attach our head unit computer, wear a heart-rate monitor, retro-fit power meters and have DI2 electronic gears. All of these have their own battery and need charging individually. That's a huge pain point that's just begging to be taken care of!

Now, with how all technology develops (becoming more efficient and smaller for a given capability), a good battery and/or motor will become unnoticeable. Even if some mechanical assistance is desired, it wouldn't take much to help most people keep up with their more capable buddies or get themselves home if in a real bind. I see this a complete game changer in levelling the field and enabling mass participation anywhere that wants to accept it. Even back in 2017, mechanical assistance in the Pro peloton was TINY and tech always "trickles down" to the masses after a short while.

Let's look at an analogy. The "mighty" car supports this hypothesis. The car has evolved from a largely analogue vehicle onto which we bolt electronic devices, to a moving battery with connectivity, head-up displays and heated seats. The bike is no different, just instead of the engine running on petrol or diesel, it runs on cake coursing through our legs. Mmmmm, cake...

So, this is how I see a ride starting in 2030:

You unplug your bike from its charging station. Your lights, cameras, head-unit, gears, communications and tyre auto-inflation systems are all full of juice and ready to go. You adjust the bike setup using settings pre-built in your bike's mobile app (wait, will we even have mobile phones in 2030??) and is morphed instantaneously, changing the reach, stack, saddle position etc to accommodate how fatigued you are feeling - which it knows of course because of the data from your sleep tracking implant. Oh and of course we'll not push buttons to switch everything on as if it's the stone age, it'll be voice-commands all the way.

"Bike, let's go on a zone 3 ride, on country lanes, for 2 hours - plan a new route. And please, warn me of any oncoming traffic"

There it is, my prediction for the future of bikes. Are we moving head-first towards an electronic take-over in the bike industry, or am I way off the mark here and we'll never lose its purist origins?? Who knows, but either way, there'll always be a place for cycling being the most wonderful form of active travel, but I think electronics are going to make it more accessible, allow us to venture further into the unknown and make things safer all the while.

Written by Chris from Huli, on Twitter and Instagram, but not TikTok yet because despite his faith in technology he's in his mid-30s so it takes a little while for him to catch up with the trends.

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