It’s been quite a few years since I’ve rode a bike, and any desire to do so now would be complicated by not actually having one any more. The cash-injected biking industry does me no favours when it comes to choosing one, either, with all manner of complicated variations in gears, brakes and chassis; stepping into a specialist bike shop is about as scary as browsing a designer clothes store, under the disapproving and contemptuous gaze of the assistants.
Gear manufacturer Shimano has obviously decided to cash in on that eco-concerned but bike-ignorant market sector, and the Coasting system is their first strike. Basically a three-speed automatic transmission for a bike, it takes all the complicated “first you flick this lever, then that one, but never stop pedalling while you do it!” madness out of the whole business.
Several big-name bike manufacturers, such as Raleigh, Giant and Trekbikes, are showing models using the Coasting system, although there’s little word on pricing so far. Who knows, if I see one in a store I might just have to take it for a test-ride.