Last year at the 2022 Sea Otter Classic, as I was walking through a parking lot near the Expo I came across a pair of athletes with the most incredible bicycles I’d ever seen. They were rugged, heavily-built trikes with two mountain bike wheels in the front and a massive single fat mountain bike tire in the back, and an electric drivetrain was apparent on each. Both athletes were in wheelchairs. Later that weekend I’d see them, and other para-cyclists, compete in both the Downhill and Dual-Slalom events. It was the first time para-cyclists had been given their own separate classes in any Sea Otter event. I was flabbergasted and, honestly, in awe of not just the bikes but by the para-cyclists and how hard they were sending it on every single run. I came back to Sea Otter this year to talk with and document a few of these athletes.
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Bikes, Products, and People from Sea Otter Classic 2023: Part Three and Mega Photo Gallery
Travis and Josh are back today with their third and final report from the 2023 Sea Otter Classic. Continue reading below for another installment of interesting bikes, products, and people from the show, in addition to a mega gallery of images from the three days of sun, fog, rides, and wild times at Laguna Seca Raceway. Did they save the best for last? Read on to find out!
Bikes, Products, and People from Sea Otter Classic 2023: Part Two
We’re back with our second eclectic mix of findings from the 2023 Sea Otter Classic. Yesterday’s post just wasn’t enough to tell you about all the new bikes, old bikes, products, and people Josh and Travis encountered this year. In fact, we reckon even two posts won’t be enough. There’s a lot to cover, so settle in with your morning coffee and enjoy.
Bikes, Products, and People from Sea Otter Classic 2023: Part One
Sea Otter Classic is one of the largest annual cycling festivals in the world. Each April since 1991, cyclists of all persuasions have descended on Laguna Seca Raceway outside of Monterey, CA to cheer on professional and amateur racers, as well as check out the latest and greatest in cycling technology at the massive vendor expo.
And this year, that tech happened to be especially late and great, and there was more to talk about than usual. Maybe it’s because there were more exhibitors in attendance than normal. Maybe it’s the easing of strains on the supply chain. Whatever it was, Josh Weinberg and Travis Engel were on the ground all weekend and, over the next few days, will be sharing their findings and observations from the massive event. So, let’s get into it below!
Radar Roundup: Paul Goes Blue, Limited Edition REEB SST, State Carbon Road Frames, Silver Stallion Just Pedal Shirts, Ritchey Gravel Grips, and Call of a Life Time Episode 1: Sea Otter Classic
Our Radar Roundup compiles products and videos from the ‘net in an easy-to-digest format. Read on below for today’s findings…
Bikes We Liked from the 2022 Sea Otter Classic
The good ol’ Sea Otter Classic can be an overwhelming experience with its plethora of products and bikes. Here at The Radavist, we try to sift through the dirt to find the chunks of gold, which is what we did this year, profiling a selection of bikes from vintage, to new, including some randoms we found meandering the wind-blown aisles of this lovely event. Check out some beauts below!
People and Products from the 2022 Sea Otter Classic
When it comes to the trade shows of the cycling industry, it’s hard to beat the Sea Otter Classic. Set in the hills above Monterrey, California, at the Laguna Seca Raceway, this event has tons of charm, bike races, and enough products to wet your whistle. Josh and John spent a few days combing the isles, documenting the people, products, and bikes at the event. Today, we’re diving into the people and products, so read on in the Reportage gallery captions to see what they found…
PAUL Component and Sierra Nevada to Donate the “Sierra Oddity” at Sea Otter Classic in a Benefit for CAMTB
This is the 5th time in a row that Sierra Nevada Brewery have asked us (PAUL Component Engineering) to build a bike for them to show off at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, which kicks off this week. So, we must be doing something right!
The 2019 Sea Otter Classic Mega Gallery
Wow. Just wow. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this great – emotionally, not physically – after coming back from a tradeshow. It’s been three years since the last time I went to the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. In years past, it felt like a flat-brimmed, Monster Energy, bro fest and honestly, it was kind of overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, that is a broad stereotype and isn’t fair, but I’m not the only one who had that perception. This year, however, the ‘Otter felt more diverse, more inclusive, albeit with a few hiccups – like the racing announcer, and that Canadian company with the ‘booth babes’ wearing bikinis to sell their cheap sunglasses, but overall, I was impressed at how much Sea Otter has improved.
We’ll go into this more in-depth later, with an article by contributor Erin Lamb coming shortly, so right now let’s dive into the tradeshow itself!
Sea Otter Classic 2019: OD Green Chapter2 AO with Fulcrum Rapid Red Wheels
Can you OD from OD green? I can’t and at the 2019 Sea Otter Classic, there was a lot of olive drab green bikes, one of which I wanted to spend a little more time documenting because it was from two brands taking on the all-road market. Chapter2 is based out of New Zealand, spearheaded by Mike Pryde. They pride themselves in many of the roadie mantras with “light, fast, responsive” in their tagline, yet the Chapter2 AO looks to add a couple more to that list. If I were to expand on the light, fast, responsive, line, I’d add in versatility and compatibility to that list.
Sea Otter Classic 2019: Niner Bikes’ MCR 9 RDO Prototype Full Suspension All Road
Whoa whoa whoa. What? Last year we saw a plastic shelled prototype of Niner’s full suspension all road, the MCR 9 RDO, and this year at Sea Otter, the brand teased an updated prototype, to the shock and awe of trail shredders and roadies alike.
Niner calls the MCR 9 RDO their Magic Carpet Ride, alluding to the cushy feel that full suspension offers all-day gravel racers. Their theory is the suspension allows riders to run their tires at higher pressures, avoiding snakebite tire tears, rim damage, and less rolling resistance, all with 50mm x 27.5 clearance. Their CVA design – constant varying arc – boasts modified leverage ratios for less travel and total lockout maximizes energy on pavement climbs. The frame is made from Niner’s RDO carbon layup, with one piece forged linkages, has a removable front derailleur mounts and has full sleeve internal routing.
While this bike might not be for everyone, it is cool to see. If you’re feeling this design, let Niner know in the comments and be on the lookout for the MCR 9 RDO late 2019.
Follow Niner on Instagram and follow Rebecca Rusch on Instagram.
We’re at the Sea Otter Classic!
We’re here in Monterey, California for the Sea Otter Classic, camping and breathing in some of that fresh coastal California air. If you’re here, make sure you say hey and we’ll see you out at the Laguna Seca Raceway!
Sea Otter Classic 2019: Mosaic GT1 Sparkle Motion Chubby Road – Builders for Builders
We’re here at Sea Otter Classic and in the throughs of the first day’s chaos of setup. While we get our bearings straight and document the show, we’ll share this beautiful Mosaic Sparkle all road. The GT1 is Mosaic’s titanium gravel bike with a geometry tuned for all day rides. It’s built with Mavic’s new All Road Carbon SL wheelset, SRAM AXS, Zipp components and WTB’s Venture 27.5 x 47mm tires.
This bike, along with McGovern, Sklar, Stinner, Argonaut, will be a part of the Builders for Builders raffle fundraiser for the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship.
What do you think? Class? Or Flash? Or both? It’s growing on me for sure. If you’re at the ‘Otter, swing through the Echos Communications booth at A42 to check it out along with the rest of the builder’s offerings.
Follow Mosaic on Instagram and follow Sierra Trails on Instagram.
Some 2015 Sea Otter Classic Randoms
As a first time attendee at Sea Otter Classic, I had no idea what to expect. Everyone I spoke to assured me that it would be hell on Earth, with wind, sun, locusts and boils (read: hangovers). Rather than some apocalyptic wasteland, I found it to be quite accessible, friendly and casual. Especially when compared to the chaos of Interbike, Eurobike and even NAHBS. All of which I rarely have time to talk to people while there…
No one enjoys trade shows. Not the people in the booths, not the people photographing the booths, yet most of the people I chatted with were surprisingly relaxed and dare I say, stoked to be there. Most of the major brands had already launched their big products and a lot of the smaller brands were more interested in building relationships with media outlets by sharing a beer or loaning sunblock, rather than getting some shitty booth photo taken.
Sea Otter landed itself right after Eroica and a little bikepacking trip I took with Blackburn, so maybe that’s why it was so relaxing for me. I had no obligations, aspirations, hopes or dreams and yet, I got to talk to people and shoot photos when I saw the opportunity arise. Obviously, a lot of those bikes will have their own galleries (many already have), so expect nothing but randomness in this photoset. Yeah, it’s a little skimpy, but I’d rather share these photos than delete them.
Next year, if I attend again, I will however bring a better hat, more sunblock and a damn MTB…
Velodramatic: 2011 Sea Otter Classic
Velodramatic has some of the nicest photos from last week’s Sea Otter Classic. The BMX and MTB photography is a hell of lot more fun to look at than road racing, that’s for damn sure! Check the entire set out here. There are some gems in that set.
A First Timer’s Take on Sea Otter
There’s dust, cold, chaos, and bikes. Bikes everywhere. Almost more bike tracks than footprints in the thick dirt of the Laguna Seca Raceway paddock, where rows of tents and more flags than the eye can count have taken over for the weekend – this is The Sea Otter Classic. It’s my first time not only to Sea Otter but to a bike expo- having gotten seriously into cycling during the quarantine this first wave of events post- pandemic is also my first wave of cycling events- period. I did my first bike race two months prior, and while there was an expo there it nowhere near compares to this ocean of logos. Being a photographer in the cycling world this weekend is a chance to connect with clients I haven’t seen in a while, touch base with connections I have prior only talked to through emails and DM’s, and hug the bejeezus out of the rad gravel ladies I photographed for ‘The Leaders of Gravel’, a series here on The Radavist.
Sea Otter is Rescheduled Due to Coronavirus Scare
This just in from Sea Otter. It seems the event has been rescheduled due to the Coronavirus scare, yet the organization has not listed new dates…
Sea Otter Classic Supporters,
After a thorough review of the coronavirus threat, we’ve decided to reschedule April’s Sea Otter Classic. Additionally, People for Bikes and Sea Otter Classic will reschedule the Bicycle Leadership Conference.
We are coordinating with local authorities to determine the best dates to host the 2020 Sea Otter Classic and Bicycle Leadership Conference. We anticipate announcing those dates by the middle of next week.
Information regarding registration refunds and rollovers will be posted on our website once the new dates have been finalized.
Thank you again for your understanding and support during these challenging times.
President & CEO
Sea Otter Classic, Inc.
The Syndicate at Sea Otter
The purveyors of speed and stoke, Santa Cruz’s Syndicate, take on the Sea Otter Classic.