Bicycling (South Africa)



Remember Level 5 lockdown, when none of us could leave our garages? The consequent boom in indoor trainer sales has resulted in more people than ever before riding on Zwift, Rouvy, Fulgaz, Trainerroa­d and other virtual platforms.

“This is definitely a trend we see continuing,” says Jason Lind from Olympic Cycles. “There are so many people with them now – it’s become a social thing to meet your buddies on Zwift. Also, people want to be fit; and an indoor trainer allows them be so much more consistent, especially when the weather’s miserable. The trend has opened up all sorts of new events, too – people can join from anywhere in the world.”

There’s been a similar explosion in e-bike sales. Even though in South Africa the barrier to entry is still high in terms of price, more electric bikes than ever before are rolling off our shop floors.

To keep up with demand, Titan Racing plans to launch three new e-bikes next year: the Volt, a 150mm trail bike; a more affordable version called the Charge; and the Nitric, a performanc­e electric hardtail with a 120mm fork. Titan are renowned for offering excellent value; a range of Titan e-bikes will be exciting news for many South Africans…

“The e-bike segment is a huge growth area for us,” says managing director Robbie Luis. “In fact, it’s huge worldwide.”

E-bike sales are also strong on the upper end of the spectrum. “Everyone is starting to understand the different dynamics these bikes add to your cycling experience,” says Craig Paul from Greg Minnaar Cycles in Pietermari­tzburg, an authorised Specialize­d dealer. Kylie Hanekom from Specialize­d headquarte­rs in Stellenbos­ch agrees: “Our Turbo category continues to cook,” she says.

Likewise, the Trek Rail is showing up on more and more trails around the country. “The Rail 5 is our best seller,” says marketing manager Kevin van den Broek. “It sounds silly to mention this, when the bike is so crammed with tech… but the colour scheme is really awesome!”

And don’t forget about Giant: “If I had to recommend an e-bike for trail riding, it would be the Giant Stance E+1 Pro,” says Jason Lind. “You get a solid spec level for the price, which is very competitiv­e compared to the other big players.”

At the end of the day, whether you’re interested in riding indoors or riding with some electric assistance, all this tech is really just a gateway to new and exciting experience­s in cycling. Nothing is impossible: you can go for a Sunday ride with your brother in the UK via your TV screen, or you can take your 70-year-old father up to the top of Tokai on an e-bike.

How cool is that?! – Jon Minster

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