One area that hasn’t made much impact lately on product development are materials innovations. The cycling industry isn’t quite large enough to drive innovation on the materials side. Instead, it benefits from innovations introduced to larger sporting goods markets, such as the golf industry.
There haven’t really been a lot of new materials that really do anything lately. It’s been variations on a theme,” says Lopez. “If anything has happened in materials that allow us to make bikes lighter, it’s lower aerial weight prepregs with high modulus, high-strength fibers, and a lot of that the primary reason those materials are available to us is because of the composites golf shaft industry. Because of their market being so big and them consuming so much material, they were able to make the prepreggers develop new materials that really allowed bike guys to start making some lightweight, high-performance style bikes.”