New Products at the 2017 Sea Otter Classic

The Sea Otter Classic, the most enduring harbinger of spring in southern California for the past 25 or so years, was a compendium of more than 400 exhibitors vying for the favors of an audience which has been somewhat blasé about their offerings recently, much like the tapering of motorcycle interest during the early 1980’s and automotive sales currently. There were many extremely innovative products, which are delineated below and should reverse the trend of the past few years. One discipline that appears robust is e-bikes and related products, about 30 exhibitors had new models, like Haro that blasted forward with 10 new e-bikes.

Bosch, the most prevalent purveyor of motors for the electrified contingent, reigned supreme as mid-drives dominated the scene; similar versions of their motor were promulgated by Brose, Yamaha, TransX and Shimano, all promising that their system was superior. One of the more interesting mid-drives was a coaxial motor produced by eProdigy, available on a variety of their bikes. Many manufacturers distinguished their e-bikes from the others with options for very large capacity or piggy-back batteries promising ranges which were unavailable previously.

Other new products of note, in no particular order, are:

Locks – Kryptonite, Abus and Rocky Mounts had a plethora of new models, all with more security than has ever been available, although none able to defeat the dreaded angle grinder.

Dropper Posts – There were at least five new models of this product, seemingly a favorite of serious riders everywhere. We saw products from Crankbrothers, Fox, Race Face, X-Fusion, and 9Point8, with the latter model weighing less than 340 grams, which should have the XC crowd salivating.

Canyon – The consumer direct bike seller showed the entire extent of their impressive product line. However, if their models didn’t excite an individual, Airborne and YT, also direct to consumer, had very interesting competitive models.

Focus – The German brand, known for their cyclocross offerings in the US market, is attempting to penetrate the trail bike market.

Bontrager – Going large with redesigned carbon wheels for all-mountain ($1200) and XC ($700). These lower prices for a known entity should promise rapid acceptance.

Giant – Provided a sneak peek of their new Anthem which they call the ultimate racing machine and signifies their return to 29 inch XC bikes after eschewing them for several years. This upper echelon hardtail may be on your dealer’s floor soon and weigh less than 20 pounds.

Lauf Grit Fork – The Iceland-based company introduced their 890 gram, 30 mm travel gravel bike fork which has glass fiber leaf springs. An odd duck with no damping, but the owners of Lauf forks that I’ve surveyed love them.

Manitou Mastodon – This behemoth with three different travel options provides the fat bike crowd with another option.

BOS Suspension – The Deville 35 all-mountain fork with a monotube damper cartridge promising more linear rate throughout the travel weighs only 4.2 pounds.

Cane Creek HELM – The first front suspension product from the North Carolina-based company is targeted toward the gravity contingent. The price ($1100) suggests that only an individual who can take advantage of all the tunability need apply.

Fox AX – This new fork was launched for the gravel crowd and is derived from their ultra-light StepCast fork.

Last, but not least, was a surge in the number of bikes for kids. Apparently, marketers think this is the year that youngsters will try to surpass their parents in the amount of bling on their bikes as models ranged as high as the $3499 Woom unit with XTR Di2 drivetrain and 20-inch wheels. The bike is reported to weigh 16 pounds.

That’s it for bike and component manufacturers. There were many new clothing products and consumables which were tried on and tested, you may see reports on these separately in future issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like
Read More

SoCal FIXED Strong Beach Crit: Track Bikes & Asphalt In Long Beach

The third installment of the SoCal Fixed Series took place on Sunday, March 13, and was presented by Throne Cycles and hosted by community leader Hector Morales Jr. The Strong Beach Criterium is a technical, 6-turn course that includes a hairpin turn and a roundabout. Racers must survive 40 minutes of surging breakaways and attacks before race officials announce on the megaphone that there are ‘5 laps to go.
Read More
Belgian Waffle Ride 2017
Read More

2017 Cervélo Belgian Waffle Ride – Official Course Preview

Not unlike the Spring Classics, the BWR course has changed over the years and 2017 is no different. This year’s course is very different in many ways from the previous editions, but it does take its cues from the best sectors of previous years, as prescribed by the riders, and added in some new ones to create the best, most dynamic course yet.
Read More
Paso Robles Bicycle Rally
Read More

Great Western Bicycle Rally: A Memorial Weekend Tradition in Paso Robles

Paso Robles, CA–The Great Western Bicycle Rally has been a recurring Memorial Day tradition for bicyclists from all across California who descent on Paso Robles for Memorial Weekend. The four days of the festival include guided rides every morning and afternoon, route-maps for self-guided exploration of the central coast, and a multitude of family-friendly activities scheduled throughout the 4-day weekend.
Read More
Read More

2017 Eroica California | Wandering The Starting Line

Eroica California is an annual event on the coast of California that culminates on Sunday morning at 6:30 AM in downtown Paso Robles. The weekend features a festival with various cycling art installations, vintage swap meet and bike show, but the rubber meets the road on Sunday when participants gather to venture on the days adventure throughout the valleys and hills of the central coast.
Read More
Open Streets
Read More

CicLAvia: Open Streets Event In Downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles holds the honor of hosting the largest community open-streets event in the United States, and this past month’s 5th anniversary of the event was no different. CicLAvia, a play on the South American tradition of closing streets to cars and only allowing human-powered traffic, brought out bicycles of all shapes and stripes. We saw the standard two wheel, the trusty three wheel, and of course the rare instance of one wheel. No human-powered mode of transportation was denied access, and we saw many paws on the road too. CicLAvia is THE example of how this type of event can be run successfully in a metropolis.
Read More
disposable cameras
Read More

Dirty Hundred: OC Granfondo Goes Off-Road

For the event, we purchased a bag full of disposable cameras and divvied them up amongst our group. These are the resulting photos. The OC Granfondo is a recent addition to the classic recreation rides of Southern California. With past events bringing out well over 1,000 riders, we were interested to see how a significant route change would impact attendance.
Read More
Read More

The One Way Ride to Mexico

The One Way Ride Program officially began in 2012, but these men have been carrying on this tradition for over a decade. It all started after the 2001 Rosarito to Ensenada ride when local resident Raymond “Randy” Kiefer and his riding partner, Hank Williamson, generously gave away their bicycles to two local teenage boys who were hanging around the finish line watching the riders come in.
Read More
Read More

The Amgen Tour of California 2018, Coming To A California Road Near You

The Amgen Tour of California returns to the golden state for a week of World Tour racing, an exciting event for cyclists in Southern California and beyond. The stage race features both a men and women’s competition that finishes in the capital, Sacramento. Spectating the Amgen Tour of California is a great opportunity to see some of the World’s greatest athletes battle it out on the roads of our gorgeous state.
Read More