On the heels of a mountain biking renaissance, 2023 shows promising signs of delivering some of the hottest tech yet. From electronic suspension to smartphone compatibility and hidden cables, mountain bikes are riding into the future as fast as ever.
Predicting what’s next for the bike industry helps us reflect on the previous year’s advances and look forward to the new products that will soon be arriving. Staying on top of the trends allows riders to take their riding to the next level and remain ahead of the pack— read on to discover what’s coming this year and the best products you can buy right now.
What Are the Upcoming Mountain Bike Trends for 2023?
At ROKFORM, we are tuned into the latest trends in mountain biking to equip our community with the most up-to-date designs out there. Today’s mountain bikers are no strangers to advanced tech, using their smartphones to adjust bike settings on the fly or track their ride stats in real time.
In 2023, there’s good reason to believe that sales of mountain bikes will remain steady. The pandemic biking boom has settled and retailers across North America have more reliable inventory. While we probably won’t see the biggest changes to mountain bike design in 2023, these are the hottest mountain bike trends we’re looking forward to in the near future:
1. More Electronic Suspension
During this forecast period, we expect brands to develop their electronic suspension systems, which have only recently hit the bike market. These tech-savvy forks are now going mainstream after previously being reserved for downhill pros to monitor their telemetry and get better suspension stats.
The biggest names in the industry will be looking to improve their existing setups, including RockShox’s Flight Attendant and Fox’s Live Valve suspension system. Mondraker’s integrated MIND Telemetry technology is the latest to join the crew and each package provides riders with useful data and easy controls.
Electronic suspension systems can be adjusted via buttons on the fork as well as their respective smartphone apps. This is another reason why it is more important than ever to have your phone with you when you ride.
Phones aren’t just for maps or scenic snapshots anymore— mountain bikers can adjust their bike’s suspension settings on the go. To keep your phone within grasp as you ride, use the V4 Pro Series Bike Phone Mount that’s safe and secure even over rough terrain. The unique mount installs directly into the headset to become part of the bike. The compact design has a wide range of motion that adjusts to the perfect angle so you can easily read your screen.
2. Enduro’s Popularity is on the Climb
With some big changes coming to the UCI’s World Cup schedule, we predict that enduro mountain biking will attract even more fans and participants this year. New UCI regulations have established one-day enduro races and a World Championship event to award the discipline’s first rainbow jerseys.
Mountain bike trends have been moving toward more aggressive riding and we wouldn’t be surprised if enduro bike designs started to incorporate additional downhill bike features. Of course, cross-country bikes and trail bikes will still populate your local paths, but consumers are increasingly looking for more extreme setups.
To prepare for the rougher enduro terrain, riders can protect their phones by upgrading to rugged ROKFORM iPhone cases and Samsung cases that can withstand bumps, berms, and bruises. Navigate the steeper slopes with the peace of mind that your device can absorb shocks and protect delicate parts like the screen and camera.
Enduro bikes may start to include longer travel, beefier brakes, and more progressive geometry that is reminiscent of downhill bikes. The exact tweaks will have to play out among the different bike manufacturers and I expect to see different philosophies around rear suspension and seat tube angle.
3. Hidden Cables and Headset Integration
The cycling industry is in constant conversation and internal cable routing is one of the latest exchanges. Mountain biking and road cycling often share and steal good ideas from each other and this latest trend of hidden cables is inspired by road bikes.
The aerodynamic benefits of routing cables inside the frame aren’t as relevant to mountain biking but the clean, uninterrupted look is a big plus. While this practice has been around for a few years in the mountain bike world, the next frontier seems to be internal headset cable routing for a near-seamless finish. Modern dropper posts, for example, neatly package all their wires and cables inside the frame and seat tube.
Keeping the bike as sleek as possible is a big advantage for cross country bikes that are trying to reduce drag and it improves aesthetics in general. The downside is that integrated cables are difficult to access and can cause headaches for mechanics when it’s time for service. We look forward to seeing bike brands figure out the right balance between clean lines and easy serviceability this year.
Our ROKFORM Sport Series Bike Phone Mount is a compact solution for securing a phone to the bike handlebars or stem. Riders can choose the desired position and tighten down the heavy-duty hook-and-loop straps. Ultimate compatibility and no extraneous bolts or straps keep your bike’s cockpit well-organized.
Another way to streamline the front end of your mountain bike is with the V4 Pro Series Bike Phone Mount, which replaces your headset cap so you won’t clutter your handlebars. The innovative design screws directly into your headset for a secure connection without the need for additional clamps or straps.
Watch professional MTBer and ROKFORM ambassador Johnny O’Mara explain how to install the V4 Pro Series Bike Mount.
4. eMTBs Will Continue to Dominate
In 2023, the development of electric mountain bikes shows no signs of slowing down, and that’s a good thing. More and more riders are turning to e-mountain bikes to take their riding to the next level and explore deeper into the outdoors. Keep an eye out for new products and improved battery life that are fueled by recent advances in mountain bike technology.
Electric bikes are loaded with tech that’s missing from regular mountain bikes like integrated displays, built-in lights, and adjustable power settings. Most brands in the e-mountain bike market have their own app to control the ever-expanding set of customizable settings available on an electric mountain bike. Riders can use their phones to optimize power levels, check battery life, and record their rides at the touch of a finger.
The good news is that many apps are also compatible with popular services like Strava and Komoot so you can plan and track your routes all in one spot. But how can riders protect their phone while out on the trail? ROKFORM keeps your phone safe with heavy-duty and protective cases for any iPhone or Samsung model.
Our cases’ rugged construction withstands the heavy vibrations while riding and any potential impacts so you can use your device with confidence. Riders can now mount their device and case to their e-mountain bike instead of storing their phone in a back pocket which can feel awkward and lead to the device flying out unexpectedly. A strong mount locks the device into place and can even facilitate using the USB charging ports included on many ebikes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best way to mount a phone to a bike?
Phones can be mounted to either the handlebars or the headset of a bike. These positions offer ideal viewing while riding and a secure connection to the bike. For an added layer of protection, riders can secure the phone to the bike with the Heavy-Duty Detachable Lanyard. The lanyard attaches to compatible ROKFORM cases and loops around the mount or your wrist when you’re on the go. The silicone rubber slider adjusts to any wrist size and the detachable clip lets you access your device quickly.
“If you’re thinking about wanting to secure your phone to your bike then this is the solution.” —Todd D.
Which phones work with ROKFORM cases?
ROKFORM manufactures rugged and protective cases for iPhone and Samsung phones. There’s an extensive range of cases that fit the iPhone 6/7/8 all the way up to the latest iPhone 14 series. Samsung products are compatible all the way up to the latest Galaxy S23 model.
Are ROKFORM products rated for mountain biking?
ROKFORM phone cases and mounts are the toughest products on the market and are built to withstand the heavy vibrations and forces of mountain biking. The mounts are made from aircraft-grade aluminum with powerful magnets and twist mechanisms to keep your phone right where you want it during the entire ride.
To see the ROKFORM iPhone Bike Mount in action, watch professional rider Ty Kady of Team SHO-AIR navigate rough terrain, big bumps, and even take a phone call while on the trail.
Can I mount my phone if it’s not an Apple or Samsung phone?
ROKFORM: The Mountain Biker's Choice
ROKFORM is trusted by mountain bikers all across North America as the best solution for protecting your phone while riding. Enhance your adventure with maps, data, and the rest of your phone’s superpowers within reach on your handlebars! Have questions about our products or compatibility with your specific mountain bike? We are available for online chat or in-person at our Irvine, California showroom. Call us toll-free at 855-765-3676, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.