The latest episode of the road.cc Podcast puts the bicycle industry under the magnifying glass as we look at the lack of standardisation when it comes to components, accessories and even clothing, as well as discussing what can be done to encourage larger would-be riders, who often feel daunted and disheartened at the lack of suitable bikes and clothing sizes, to get in the saddle.
Whether it’s headsets, mounts and chargers for GPS and other electronic devices, tubeless wheels and tyres, seat posts or – perhaps most notoriously – bottom brackets, the bike industry is full of examples of parts and components that vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Add in various pedal and shoe systems and even seasoned riders, let alone newbies, can find themselves presented with a head-scratchingly bewildering array of products to choose from and, crucially, in many cases will need to ensure that what they’re buying will be compatible with the bike they are buying it for.
In this episode, host George sits down with the road.cc tech team to talk through some examples of the frustration caused by the lack of standardisation in the industry, its environmental impact, and what can be done to resolve the situation. (Spoiler – according to road.cc tech editor Mat, “It’s never going to happen.”
The second segment in this episode sees road.cc’s Jack and Mildred join George for a chat with Steven May from Knaap e-bikes, which targets its bikes at larger riders, among others.
Among the topics they discuss is how to get people who aren’t into bikes onto bikes, plus the intimidation some might feel when they walk into a bike shop, not least due to the lack of suitability for them of the bikes on offer, and the sizing of clothes, which as anyone who has rifled through the racks will know often tends towards the smaller sizes.
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Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.