It would be a bit obvious to simply say 'e-bikes', because that particular horse has clearly already bolted. And it will continue to run and run and run. That category will continue to evolve and expand across all categories of bicycles, including kids and road bikes
In this series we look at what impact Covid-19 has had on the bike business and how many changes will be with us for good, we sat down with Jonathon Nunan from Better Bike Business to get the low down.
Whilst we'll be slow off the mark, legislatively, I think larger capacity e-motors and 'speed' e-bikes are an inevitability. If bicycles are going to properly play their part in the connectivity of modern urban spaces such as Australia's major cities and rural centres, then we're going to need to be able to kick along at greater speeds, over longer distances and able to haul greater loads. Especially given the geographical, topographical and climatic spreads of our population centres.
The interconnected technologies that will ride alongside the ongoing boom of electrified bicycles, will be the broad spectrum of IoT and A.I. From the connectivity of our bicycles and electronic devices, to the clothing we wear, our helmets, sunglasses, and even our lights and tools. There will be 'Internet of Things' and 'Artificial Intelligence' components to an increasing proportion of bicycles and bicycle accessories over the coming years.
And related to this technological boom, there will inevitably need to be an accompanying uplift in skills and technical capacity of those who work in the industry; especially in the workshops and show rooms. I can't see a practical way forward for our industry, without some sort of institutionally supported and nationally standardised mechanical training qualification. That is a business opportunity in itself, but ultimately, it will become a business imperative for the bike industry, given the nature of the products it will be selling over the coming decades; if not already.
In general, we are seeing a rebirth or re-imagining of the bicycle as a transport vehicle. As it was back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And just like then, it will be automotive and mobility companies that will sit increasingly at the centre of investment and technology development for the bicycle industry. But now you can also add in the Internet, E-tail and Urban Development industries into that mix. The utilitarian benefits of the bicycle will be the driver for sales, product development and market growth over the coming decade.