Hannah is out at the Sea Otter Classic in California, USA. It’s a four day festival of racing and a huge expo area. There are races for every type of bike, but there’s a strong leaning towards mountain biking, and if you want to see new products, prototypes, and unique bikes, it’s the place to be. Head here for all our Sea Otter 2022 Coverage.
The Sea Otter exhibition area is huge, with too many exhibitors to talk to everyone, even with four days there. Here’s a round up of products spotted as we toured the expo tents.
This Pocket Torque drive from Lezyne is a neat little tool in a case, complete with strap so you can attach it to your bike. The torque setting is adjustable, so you can set it for the different torque needs of the various components of your bike. The bits are hardened steel, and the whole thing is machined in Lezyne’s own factories. It’s $65, UK pricing to be confirmed. Their multi tool range gets an addition too, with this $40 Rap II 20 bit tool, which comes with a tubeless repair tool and holds two plugs.
There’s also a new range of Hecto Drive head lamps, with this compact 500 lumen option at $50 looking like an interesting option. You’ll get an hour at full beam, or 4 hours at 100 lumens.
Some new bike storage solutions were also on display. The ‘Wheel Hook stainless pedal hook’ horizontal set up is $40, and the CNC alloy wheel hook vertical set up is $45 and includes a base plate to stop you damaging the wall with the rear tyre. They come with a choice of fixings so you can put them on a plasterboard wall if you’re brave enough.
This little gadget is surely of interest to anyone with a dumb trainer at home but who wants to go Zwifting. There’s a speed version for your hub and a cadence version for your cranks, each costs around $30, or $50 for the pair. Mate them up with an app on your phone, a GPS device, or Wahoo/Zwift and you’ve got yourself a smart set up for a lot less money than a new trainer.
Only available in the USA, Magura has launched four USA specific lever and brake body combinations. For the different gravitational forces in the USA? Apparently there’s been demand for these combos in the USA, including a Loic Bruni Lever with MT7 body, and HC3 lever with MT7 body. They’ve exploited the mix and match options to bring these to a USA audience. If you’re elsewhere, you have to buy the different levers as an add on. Sorry.
Fat bikes ain’t dead! Moots had built up an order book of interest, so there are 50 of these titanium Foragers being made. Which is all very pretty and that, but check out the name of those tyres: Cake Eaters. How long until the Craft IPAs hit the downcountry market?
The new Routt ESC will take up to 2.4in tyres, and is being sold as a ‘Deep Gravel’ bike. Sounds like a special effect on a Casio keyboard.
Abus had a couple of new locks designed to be carried on your bike. The $39.99 Spot Flex lock is a cafe lock that stays attached to your bike on the bottle cage mounts – it’s clearly a deterrent lock rather than full on security, but as an ‘always there’ option it might be useful. The $70 Bordo 6000K Saddle Fix is a more secure lock that’s been designed to be carried on bikes without bottle bosses, or where the triangle space may be too limited to carry a lock of this size.
An intriguing couple of folding bike stands. The Hangar is $249 and fits to a door frame, while the Hangar Connect is $185 and fits to any pole – perhaps the corner of an easy-up at a race, or the ladder on a camper van?
Not strictly speaking new – it’s already being raced in by the likes of Myriam Nicole. We’re pretty sure it’s the only women’s specific fit protection vest on the market. There’s also women’s specific impact shorts, and there are kneepads with different thigh to calf proportions in development that should be of interest to women struggling to find the right fit. You can fit a bladder in the back of this vest alongside the spine protection, for pack-less riding.
New Percept outrigger goggles are incoming, with a choice of mirror lenses ($90, shown left) or clear ($80). The lenses are injection moulded with a 6 base curve. Slightly cheaper, at $50, are these goggles which come in sizes, so those with small faces and XS and S full face helmets can fit the goggles in.
Be More Bikes RR Stem
You can ignore the bike – Bronson Moore here had only just borrowed it for the day (and a race!). What we’re interested in here is his prototype stem, though he is hoping to go into production with them soon. The RR stands for Raised Reverse, and the stem is 150mm tall and has a rearward offset of 15mm. His aim is to put the rider in a more comfortable position that offers more control and is great for cornering. If you check out his instagram you’ll see that he’s already won an enduro riding it. He also said he is working on designs for a gearbox DH frame with a new linkage design.
The Niko camera strap ($40) lets you ride with a camera (remember those – they came before phones?) securely attached to your front. Probably best to leave the long lens at home.
Extreme feelings of want were felt here – with a tent up top and a bed inside, this Topo 2 teardrop trailer would make camping for a family of four a breeze. It’s made with a fibreglass composite body and can be towed by a ‘mid sized SUV’ (which might translate to a large one in UK terms). Prices start at $39,500 and includes hot water, forced air heater, propain heater, 12V wiring, solar panel, full galley, and a queen sized bed as standard. The tent and other upgrades like a freezer are optional extras. Of the many campers and camp options on display, this seemed like the most likely to be manageable on the roads of the UK.
EXT may have caught the bike market’s attention by making very good coil shocks, but now they’ve added to their line up with the Aria, an air shock, for those that want a progressive shock. It’s the first air shock with a hydraulic bottom out control and dual positive air chambers.
Other features include a large negative air spring for low stiction, hi and lo speed compression and rebound damping, a climb switch. Franco – the owner and founder of EXT – was there, and promised that the ability to mount spherical bearings in the eyelets is on the way.
Gates Carbon Drive
Gates has been focussing on bringing its belt drives to the ebike market, as well as offering a choice of product price points. There’s now the CDN budget range, CDC mid range that’s suitable for ebikes with 50Nm of torque or less, and the top priced CDX range that is suited to all ebikes.
New tooth profiles and coatings mean that they expect a CDX belt drive to last around five times the life of a standard chain, compared to two or three times for the CDC or CDN models.
New polyurethane belt drives are harder wearing, more moisture resistant and more temperature resistant than their rubber counterparts.
The CDN belts are made in Hannah’s home town of Dumfries, Scotland!
Not just for utility cyclists.
Pirelli has added a new tyre to its line up to bridge the gap between their soft and muddy conditions S model enduro tyre, and their cross country tyres. The new Scorpion Enduro M is more of a true enduro or trail tyre suited to mixed conditions.
The knobs are still very substantial, but closer spaced than the Enduro S, which is really only suited to mud and loam. The Enduro M will be available in Hardwall and Prowall casings, with the Prowall being a slightly lighter reinforced casing than the Hardwall.
The knobs are positioned proportionately across the different tyre sizes, so the spacing will be slightly different one a wider tyre than a narrower one.
There’s also a new Cinturato gravel tyre, in M (left) for mixed terrain and H (right) for hardpack. Both are available up to a 700×45 or 650×50 size.
Eco conscious brand Showers Pass is 25 years old this year. As well as new colours (nice berry coloured waterproof trousers, anyone?) they’ve got some new eco-friendlier products coming too.
These Eco-Lite Elite jackets are made from 100% recycled polyester and are available in sizes XS to XXXL. The removable hood has a stiff peak and is large enough to fit over a helmet. Front and rear vents should keep you fresh.
This more casual looking jacket is the Timberline, which is made from a plant based polymer. Again it has vents and a removable hood, and there are matching plant based waterproof trousers in the (not oil) pipeline too.
This rider owned brand has a single tyre tread in the line up but it’s available in a choice of black and various splatter colours, and there’s a gravity casing. The accordion fold siping on the side knobs is designed to let the tyre mould to the terrain.
The tyres are designed to be hard wearing, so there’s a slightly firmer compound to prevent wear, and a woven mesh layer to prevent air loss and punctures. A pair of black tyres is $115, splatter is $125.
The pink tyre was a bit of an April Fools’ joke, though perhaps you’ll see it for real soon.
This is the Abbey Tools lever height setter. Lots of engineering for a small task, but especially useful on drop bar levers where all the wrapping of bar tape etc leaves little room for adjustment if you get it wrong. Voice of experience much? Hmmm… $35
This is a saw guide that doesn’t need to be slid on over the top of the tube. So if you’ve already wired in your internal routing and then realise you need to shave a little bit off the top of your steerer tube, you don’t have to unwire it all again. Just careful how you cut and don’t go through your cables! Two different width slots: one for cutting carbon, one for metals. $100.
A 13mm key for the bleed valve on the back of a Fox fork. $25.
And a titanium hammer, for hammering delicately? Removable rubber tip so you can replace it. Requested by Craig Geater, mechanic to Orica Greenage. $180.
Here’s the new Bead Bro from Cushcore, which acts like a third hand to hold the bead down as your putting on a tubeless tyre with an insert. £15.
Fidlock has a new magnetic and suction system to hold your phone in place. They do sell the magnetic stickers to go on any phone case for $20, or you can get the phone case with the magnet built in for $35. This then mates up with a range of accessories, including mounts which fit on stem caps and handlebars, or in your car.
It’s also compatible with this very neat little fold up tripod, which is super easy to pack up and carry with you if you have video or selfie needs.
Close The Gap
These Hide My Bell mounts will hold a Garmin and GoPro, plus have a hidden bell. There’s a drop bar and ‘Insider’ mountain bike version – so you don’t have to have your computer sticking out in front as you hurtle along – plus a Raceday SL carbon fibre version. These are available from Velotech in the UK, the Raceday SL is £54.00, Regular 2 and Insider are £36.00.
You never forget your axle, do you, Binners? So you’d never forget your multitool if you had this. $30, fits any threaded axle.
Have your tools on a key chain, ready to hand. This new 6-bit multitool is $48. Will be available from distributor Saddleback in the UK.
Untamed is a new brand of women’s clothing, started in 2021, that’s aiming to do brightly coloured designs with bold graphics and practical cuts. Made of 4-way stretch material with a hip pocket, each design comes in a choice of short, long and 3/4 sleeve, all cost $65.
ODI has made these new CF Grips, inspired by the Lamborghini Centenario. The grip pattern is designed to look like carbon fibre weave, and the end cap is carbon fibre – to look cool and save weight. The weave effect on the grips is actually made with a micro texture, which feels sticky and grippy, keeping your hands in place. As with all ODI grips, they’re made in California.
Phew. And that’s not even everything. Check out our other stories for new and curious products, plus many other items and bikes spotted at Sea Otter 2022.