New gear for 2018: What’s next in mountain biking and snowboarding stuff

What’s next in gear and technology for mountain biking and snowboarding? Nobody can say with 100% certainty, but with sports equipment manufacturers both generalist and specialist paying close attention to these burgeoning markets, we can get some ideas from the trade shows and press hoo-ha. Below we’ll take our guesses at the cutting-edge stuff you’re likely to see in ’18 and beyond…

At the 2017 edition of the annual trade event Interbike, those in-the-know paid close attention to the winners of the prestigious Interbike Innovation Awards. Almost always do the named products become big sellers the next calendar year, and through imitation and derivation help shape bike technology itself.

Shimano XT Di2According to the Interbike show folks – a jury of trade magazine editors/publishers, industry professionals and the like – the top bikes to check out in 2018 are the Marin Wolf Ridge 29er and Pivot Cycles Mach 5.5 (carbon is apparently big with this lot). They’re also advising you looking out for the Shimano XT Di2; reviews tend to mention a couple of extremes in this product, namely the pricey priciness and excellent customization possibilities.

Also noted by Interbike 2007 was the Leatt 3.5 Neck Brace, a wondrously designed little item that is touted as somehow 30% than comparable items, yet reduces force on the neck by some 43%, according to independent testers.

At the 2017 Toronto International Bicycle Show in spring, some 175 product manufacturers were on-hand to show their goodies for the upcoming season. And guess what – with carbon frames booming in popularity, some are betting on carbon wheels to follow suit. Blades Wheels showed off its 2G wheels in Toronto in ‘17, technology which comes in two different weaves. These are touted as lighter and as bringing greater heat resistance while offering 100% customization, with each wheel designed individually to match a given frame.

Meanwhile in snowboarding…

Snowboarders in-the-know seeking new goggles know to check out what Smith is offering first. The first name in sport goggles since the mid-1960s, the folks at Smith won’t let a snowboarding season go by without offering some innovative design tweak or flat-out technological advancement in their new product.

And so, for the 2017-18 snowboarding season, Smith’s new goggles are the Squad XL. These bad boys are crafted from carbonic-x material and includes Smith’s patented Fog-X and TLT Optics technology within. Speaking (writing?) of optics technology, Smith also released some eight new tints for the trendsetting Chromapop lenses.

In terms of the all-important jacket, an up-and-comer throughout the 2010s may now be considered a top dog: The Cover Snowboard Jacket line is a noteworthy combination of affordable, lightweight and weather-resistant. This line is made for men and women and is Bluesign-approved. The proportion of insulation to weight is absolutely incredible and – dare we say it? – downright innovative.

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