Sea Otter Classic 2024: Bikes We Liked

The Radavist thanks 1-Up USA for sponsoring our Sea Otter Classic 2024 coverage!

Josh and John were at Sea Otter Classic this week, covering people, products, and bikes on display. We’ve pulled together a few über galleries for your enjoyment, and today, we’ve got a selection of bikes we found wandering the aisles of the 2024 event.

This year’s Reportage from the Sea Otter will be a throwback to older Reportage from the 2008 era here on the site: fewer words and more photos!

Check out the gallery above for photos of bikes we enjoyed from the showcase, with a selection highlighted below from Bourdeau, Mosiac/Cadex, Litespeed/Cane Creek, Retrotec/5Dev, Black Sheep, Wheels MFG/Salsa/Papaya Wraps Bikes, and Corvus Cycles!

Alex’s Bourdeau Cycles 650b Converted Sequoia

John here. As I was shooting the Hudski, two dudes were hanging back, waiting to catch me in between photos. It was Alex and Jarod, two guys from Monterey. Jarod builds frames under Bourdeau Cycles (next up in this list). He converted Alex’s Sequoia to 650b and built him a neat custom rack.

This particular 650b conversion was done by adding cantilever brake studs to the fork and seatstays. Jarod then left the frame raw, added some bluing to it, then finished it with a satin clear coat to leave the raw brass exposed. To top it off, Alex procured the appropriate decals from eBay.

These are the bikes that I’m always stoked to come across at bike trade shows! The Specialized Sequoia model was announced in the early 1980s, has roots with Jim Merz, and this particular model is still rolling to this day. You won’t find a carbon bike doing that in 50 years!

Jarod’s Self-Made Bourdeau Cycles Rigid 29er

I’ve been documenting and building rigid MTBs for what feels like a lifetime—because it has been. I learned to ride on a rigid bike, and I still build and ride them to this day. Editorially, I’ve been covering rigid MTBs since the mid-aughts, and so when I see one being rolled around a bike showcase like Sea Otter, I have to document it. Nothing excites me like a well-built rigid 29er.

Especially a custom bike like Jarod’s Bourdeau. It’s a double top-tube frame with a segmented fork, dynamo routing, fat-tire clearances, and dropper post compatibility. Like Alex’s bike, it’s raw with bluing added and a clear coat. Lastly, Jarod made a custom rack with an integrated basket made from spokes! Seriously, does it get any better than this?

If you’re in Monterey, swing through Work Horse Bicycles and say hey to Alex and Jarod!

Josh’s Bourdeau Space Horse Cycle Truck

But wait, there’s more! Let me pass the mic over to Josh for this one.

Yes, we documented a THIRD Bourdeau and couldn’t resist sharing. The day after John connected with Jarod and Alex, I bumped into Jarod and his buddy/co-worker Josh. Josh had a bonkers All-City conversion that stopped me in my tracks.

Like Jarod’s other creations, this conversion began with a damaged Space Horse left behind by a customer at Work Horse Cycles. The front triangle was repaired and strengthened with an additional lateral tube to accommodate a cargo fork. Just look at that monster head tube needed to round out the build!

The fork is fully custom and designed around a 20′ wheel. Jarod also made the large front rack that bolts onto the studs he welded to the head tube braces. The rack is large enough to hold a basket that Josh’s kids can ride around in. But he mostly uses the bike for non-sentient cargo and general cruising.

Thanks again Jarod for showing off your work and Josh and Alex for keeping the wheels turning!

Mosaic GT-1 Cadex 35 Wheels

Back to John. Over at the Cadex booth, this stunning, reptilian-looking Mosaic was on display. Mosaic’s new finish, ‘scale,’ reminds me of a specific, colorful African bush viper, Atheris squamigera, with its ombre gold-to-magenta fade. The titanium chassis is built with GRX 12-speed, and Cadex 35 wheels.

Ed’s 2015 Black Sheep Soft Tail

Sometimes, a bike just stops you in your tracks—case in point: Ed’s 2015 Black Sheep. James at Black Sheep has built a number of soft tail or flex pivot bikes. Similar to the Ibis Bow-Ti, designed by the innovative mind of engineer John Castellano, these bikes rely on the flexiness of titanium for one of their pivot points. In this case, it happens to be a plate of titanium welded to the chinstays and bottom bracket cluster. Ed’s bike was built with 80 mm of rear “travel” and a 100 mm fork. The suspension seatpost adds to the feel and yes, the bike fits two bottles!

Litespeed Cane Creek Invert Fork

I was supposed to attend the “press launch” of the Invert Fork by Cane Creek, but late winter snow storms stymied my travel plans. Needless to say, Sea Otter was the first time I got to see this gravel fork in person. On display at the Cane Creek booth, this Litespeed donned a set of custom anodized eeWings cranks and a custom-painted Invert fork. Cane Creek won’t be offering this painted Invert option but who’s gonna stop you from doing it yourself? I really appreciated the thoughtfulness of this build.

Single Speed Fillet Retrotec Rigid Fundero

At the 5Dev booth, this Retrotec stole the show. (Sorry, Nick! They made me say that!) It’s a fillet-brazed bike owned by Gordon from Velo Hangar and features prototype 5Dev cranks inspired by an old Bob Haro design. The chain tension comes from an eccentric bottom bracket and the paint job is Gulf-inspired. If you look closely at the stem, you’ll notice that it’s a fake copy of a 5Dev stem of one of the employees found on Alibaba. I love it when a brand has a sense of humor!

Wheels MFG Salsa Heyday Concept Bike

Kicking it back over to Josh. Yesterday, we featured a collection of new and upcoming products from Wheels MFG. The bike they used to drape it all on was a custom-wrapped Salsa Heyday. The wrap, done by Papaya Wraps Bikes, was impossible to overlook especially in the mid-day California sun.

According to Wheels MFG, the “Satin ‘Rising Sun’ color-shift vinyl base coupled with hand-laid gold foil icons represent[s] the imminent wave of innovation from Wheels Manufacturing.”

Corvus Cycles 2025 Akio Fat Bike

And John here wrapping up this fun bit of Reportage. Showcased yesterday in our Sea Otter Classic 2024 Part 02 post, this Corvus Cycles Akio fat bike caught my eye! Most immediately, the portage handle stood out, but as I my eye wandered over the bike I also noticed the generous framebag space, intricate shaping of the carbon fuselage, and 27.5+ wheels. The bike has a lower bottom bracket to make you feel more “in the bike” rather than “atop it” and features a UDH for SRAM Transmission, a PF 120 bottom bracket, and rack mounts for fully loaded expeditions. These are expected to land in the fall of 2024.



Well, that wraps up our Sea Otter Classic 2024 coverage this year but we’ve gotta ask, which one of these bikes would you take with you to ride in Coastal California this spring?