Bike commuting’s global emergence into the transportation mainstream has been highlighted by the recent releases of three major players in the industry.
Shimano, Trek and POC have unveiled new products with features targetting the practical needs of “everyday” cyclists.
Shimano says its newly launched Cues line-up of components represents “a brand-new approach to our mid-tier lifestyle component line-up … to focus on the unique needs of the everyday rider”, rather than the usual ‘trickledown’ of new technology from its top-of-the-range products.
It declares Cues is its “most compatible and versatile component line-up ever”, utilising the company’s Linkglide technology to provide durable components and smooth shifting.
The line-up standardises capability across a wide range of bike categories, consolidating its nine, 10 and 11-speed ranges with interchangeable components, including common derailleur pulleys, cassette sprockets and chains.
Shimano says this compatibility reduces shop inventory needs and simplifies the servicing process for mid-tier bikes. It will help ensure bike shops have the right parts to meet customer needs.
Trek E-Cargo Bikes
Trek has returned to the e-cargo bike market with its new Fetch+ range released last month.
The Fetch+4 is a front-loading cargo bike with capacity for up to five children and a maximum load of 80 kilograms in the front tub, in addition to 27kg on the rear rack.
The tub includes two reclinable five-point harness seats with headrests, along with a plastic rain fly that can be added to protect passengers from the elements.
An extra children seat and front bench can be added to the tub.
Additional panniers or a child seat can also be added to the rear rack.
The Fetch+4 uses a unique steering-by-cable system to the front end to improve handling and turning confidence on a large cargo bike. Riders only need to turn to handlebars 65 degrees for the front wheel to turn 85 degrees.
The Fetch+2 is a the more compact, rear-loading alternative.
It can be fitted with two aftermarket child seats at the rear and can be adapted as the children grow.
The Fetch+2 has a total carry weight of 200kg, with the rear pannier and rack rated to 72kg each and the front rack able to carry up to 9kg.
Both models use Bosch’s new BES3 Smart digital e-bike system, with a drive unit developed specifically for cargo bikes and delivering 85nm of torque alongside 250 watts of power.
Each model has four riding modes; eco, tour+, auto and cargo. The latter provides up to 400% of the rider’s own power and optimises starting behaviour under full load, while a hill-hold function stops the bike from rolling backwards.
The Fetch+4 has Bosch’s flagship battery, the Powertube 750-watt hour, while the Fetch+2 is fitted with the Bosch Powertube 500-watt-hour battery
The drive system can be controlled using the bikes’ LED remote on the handlebars or by mounting a phone onto a smartphone grip on the handlebars.
The Fetch+ range isn’t Trek’s first foray into e-cargo bikes. The US-based company released its longtail Transport+ in 2010 to acclaim from the bike industry media but possibly ahead of its time, with the e-cargo bike range discontinued in 2015.
The Transport+ had a total cargo capacity at 100kg: on its substantial upper rear rack, two low-riding cargo shelves and a front rack that seemed large at the time but is moderate by modern standards.
It would seem the Fetch+ range will not be available in Australia initially, with Trek Australia simply stating it is “always reviewing the bike range in Australia and we see the e- transport and e-mobility sector as a growing market for riders”.
POC Omne Ultra
Two new updates to POC’s Omne cycling helmets include an Omne Ultra version which features design for extended adventures and greater personalisation.
Based on the Omne Air platform, the Ultra features versatile attachment points, straps and velcro so riders can add a rain cover, an ID patch or even store small items before or after a ride.
POC says it has been created as an integral tool for the ride, as well as safety protection, there are no limits to how you could improvise with it.
The Ultra and the other newly released model, the Omne Lite, join the rest of the Omne range: the Omne Air; Omne Resistance; POCito Omne; and the Omne Eternal.