Electra switches to Bosch for its e-bikes and we take a look at new lines from Bontrager too

Trek: 2016 bikes, Electra and the growing female market

Earlier in the summer, Trek invited the trade to its home town and the MK Dons stadium, which is fast becoming an industry favourite, for its Trek World event.

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Trek bought Electra back in 2014, so it was also opportunity to see Electra’s latest line-up too. The lifestyle brand’s electric bike – Townie Go – is switching to Bosch and has a revised frame. Like it’s non-electric Townie sister range, it uses flat foot technology – thanks to some unique frame angles, giving the rider an upright posture, wide view of the road and full extension of the leg during pedalling – the fact you can place a foot flat on the ground while in the saddle is a side effect. Another compelling side effect is that shops have fewer sizes to stock.

There’s lots of lime green in the new range and more 20-inch bikes, including some designs that echo the full size versions, so parents and children can ride matching bikes.

Amsterdam’s fashion-orientated range comes with new designs while the flagship Ticino 20D is one of Electra’s more pricey bikes, a more sporty bike that comes with eye-catching hammered alloy mudguards. The Loft range is effectively a more affordable version. Elsewhere there is still plenty of fun to be had with Electra’s brand-defining cruisers, not least with the Glam Punk 3i, complete with leather handlebar tassles and saddle studs.

While the samples didn’t come through early enough to make the show, Electra has a broader clothing line-up on the way, fittingly for a lifestyle brand. While it has run a few t-shirts in the past, this will be a much-expanded line-up, including hoodies, many more t-shirts and absolutely no lycra, we are assured.

The female market is big news for Trek. If you’ve been glued to BikeBiz.com you may have seen company boss John Burke recently predicted that women’s bikes would make up 50 per cent of Trek turnover inside five years. Forecasts aside, Trek’s UK branch has seen 14 per cent growth in women’s bikes this year, which is interesting news for any bike shops out there still wondering if it’s worth tweaking their approach to bring in more female customers. There’s been upsurge in sales of smaller sized men’s models too and the brand is keen to help shops. Encouraging dealers not to pigeon-hole customers, Trek tells BikeBiz it visits dealers and rates how they appeal to the market, then offers help for them to address it. No doubt your Trek rep would happily fill you in on the details.

Onto product: Bontrager has new road helmets including the aero road Ballista and fresh colours for the MTB-focused Specter, with MIPS safety system now found in the Bontrager helmet range.Bontrager shoes are shuffling away from ratchet closure towards Boa and micro-adjustments. There are new road shoes (Velocis, Meraj, Anara) and MTB footwear alike (Rovv Women’s, Tinari Women’s) and the excellently named OMW, or Old Man Winter.

There’s change on the chamois front too, with a completely new development set to arrive spring/summer 2016. The new tech will actually be largely hidden as there’s a flat top sheet, but we’re assured the new chamois has far less hot spots and has applied saddle thinking to the chamois itself. Style-wise there’s lots that is new too, with fresh styles, colours and designs that take their cue from the wider fashion world, rather than the bike ‘runway’.

BikeBiz’s own Mystery Shopper was always banging on about good signage giving customers something to go on while waiting for assistance, and Trek has taken that logic into its own Trek World, clearly labelling up ‘Focus’ bikes which it believes hit the sweetspot and are no brainers to stock, giving dealers a starting point when faced with the vast swathes of gleaming new bikes.

Fuel EX is Trek’s full sus race platform and a staple for the brand, featuring further trickle-down tech lower in the line-up. Lush is the women’s equivalent. Fast trail range Top Fuel has been reintroduced as has Procaliber SL, featuring the IsoSpeed decoupler which increases vertical compliance without sacrificing efficiency, according to Trek.

Stache is a new big bike for Trek. This 29+ MTB range can accommodate 27.5, 27.5+ and 29 wheels, whereas the Farley (also new) is all about fat tyres. The category is huge in the US, but also handy for all weather riding on the trail in the UK, we hear.

Skye Women’s is a new fun trail bike, built to inspire confidence. Trek’s e-bike Powerfly+ is Bosch-backed, with Trek singing the praises of Bosch’s service, dealer training and backup.

Jack-of-all-trades Dual Sport is happy on the road and trail, and the most searched for bike on the Trek site, we’re told. Speaking of which, FX is one of Trek’s most popular ranges (the 7.1 is Cyclescheme’s most popular bike) and it has been revamped for 2016 with tube shapes borrowed from Trek’s road rides.

The Fuel EX Jr is a new mountain bike for the junior market, the Domane 6.5 is now available with Project One customisation and the Lexa is available in a second colour – Miami Green – which is said to be a bit of a Marmite colour (though BikeBiz approves, you’ll doubtless be pleased to hear). The entry-level Silque has been upgraded to Shimano Tigra. For more head to www.trekbikes.com/uk

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This article first appeared in September’s BikeBiz. Dozens of our previous editions are available online. If you’re in the bicycle trade then you can get BikeBiz magazine through the post for free.

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