#Sea-Otter-Classic

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The 2019 Sea Otter Classic Mega Gallery

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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!

We’re at the Sea Otter Classic!

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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!

Caletti Giro Grinduro Edition Titanium Cyclocross Bike

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Caletti Giro Grinduro Edition Titanium Cyclocross Bike

October will be here before you know it and with it, comes Grinduro, a different kind of bike race. After my pre-ride photoshoot, one thing became evident: the best rig for this race is a cross bike. Don’t even try to ride a road bike, because you’ll be walking and if you ride a MTB, you might clock in a better time on the descents, but there’s a 25 mile climb.

When Giro announced the Grinduro, Santa Cruz framebuilder John Caletti of Caletti Cycles began working on a cyclocross bike for the event. With bent seat stays, clearances for a 40mm tire, disc brakes and no-rattle housing, this bike is the ideal weapon for a day filled with Sierra Nevada gravel and crag.

My favorite detail on this frame in particular however is the Geoff McFetridge artwork. The evil mountain awaits and Grinduro is coming… Best get your rig ready.

Two Hot Vintage MTB Commuter Setups

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Two Hot Vintage MTB Commuter Setups

Literally seconds after walking into the 2015 Sea Otter Classic, I ran into Nick and Matt from SF. They had driven in that day and rode their lock-up MTB commuters down to the show. In SF, with bike theft at an all-time high, having a beater that is both cheap and functional is key.

Matt’s Trek 890 features porteur bars, a rear rack, a porteur rack and a Strawfoot bag for cargo. Meanwhile Nick’s Mongoose utilizes dirt drops and barcons. Both bikes have a fair amount of beausage and can both be maintained with a local bike shop’s parts bin.

Thanks to Matt and Nick for embracing my request for a wheelie photo!

The Made in the USA Franco Grimes Disc All Road

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The Made in the USA Franco Grimes Disc All Road

The guys over at Franco had two new bicycles with them at the 2015 Sea Otter Classic. One was a flashy cyclocross racing frame with a carbon fork and carbon wheels. The other, however was a little more unique. It was the same frame, yet built with a steel fork, Di2, disc brakes, fenders and painted a forest green. While the fork they had with them was a painted All-City fork, Franco Bicycles will be making their own, in the same facilities that make their frames here in the USA.

These frames are multi-use, semi-customizable, and are made in the USA for under $1,500. Available in Summer of 2015, you can reach out to them and get put on the waiting list. Head over to the Franco Grimes site for more information.

Some 2015 Sea Otter Classic Randoms

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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…

Ritchey’s New Breakaway Tourer

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Ritchey’s New Breakaway Tourer

I can’t think of a better bike to utilize Ritchey‘s Breakaway system than a touring bike. Especially one that can run either 700c x 40mm or 27.5 x 2.1″ wheels. These new Breakaway tourers feature an integrated head tube and will be available in the fall. The pricepoint is to be determined, but expect them to be around the same as the standard Breakaway.

Raleigh Introduces the Roker Carbon All Road Disc Bike

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Raleigh Introduces the Roker Carbon All Road Disc Bike

The carbon disc “all road” market is already pretty full, yet Raleigh found a way to elbow their way through the crowd with the Roker. At the Sea Otter Classic, they unveiled this new machine. The Roker is basedd off the Tamland geometry, with a slightly longer wheelbase, lower bottom bracket and new features like a third bottle cage mount, thru-axles and internal routing.

To further increase versatility, it has hidden fender mounts on the inside of the stays and comes competitively priced with a Tiagra build kit coming in around $3,000 or Ultegra for around $4,000.

This is literally straight from the factory, so expect more details to follow. Check out more photos below!

Scott Sports Marcel Wildhaber Addict Disc Cross

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Scott Sports Marcel Wildhaber Addict Disc Cross

To commemorate their new ultralight Addict cyclocross bike, Scott Sports had Marcel Wildhaber’s special edition bike on display at their Sea Otter Classic booth. While the production Addict touts the same frame details, the paint job on this one was too good to pass up on… more. camo.

The Addict CX is being marketed as one of the lightest framesets on the market. Weighing in at a cool 1300g (frame and fork), it’s a claim that’s easily backed up. With internal routing for everything, including a dropper post, thru-axles and a removable front derailleur clamp, the Addict CX’s minimal profile is both appealing to those obsessive mechanics, as it is to racers.

While the production Addict comes with clinchers, Marcel’s bike had some juicy FMB tubies glued up, providing that last little bit of flair to an already sick race machine. There’s more information to come on the Addict CX at Scott Sports and more photos in the Gallery!

Ritchey Now Offers Their Disc Swiss Cross in Custom Commando Paint

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Ritchey Now Offers Their Disc Swiss Cross in Custom Commando Paint

Since the beginning, Rick at D&D Cycles has painted the Ritchey frames that found their way to him, including the popular Commando mountain bikes. This irregular pattern was something that the Ritchey factory overseas couldn’t emulate, so the team brought this new Swiss Cross straight to D&D Cycles for the appropriate treatment.

For 2015, Ritchey will now offer up any steel frameset with this paint option. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an older Swiss Cross or a new Break-away, any of their steel frames can be painted like the old Commandos. Simply contact them for more information.

See more photos of this beaut in the Gallery.

SRAM’s New Force and Rival 1 Drivetrains

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SRAM’s New Force and Rival 1 Drivetrains

If you’ve ever wanted more versatility in your cross bike, touring bike or all-road bike on a 1x platform, SRAM’s latest product venture might pique your interest. XX1’s original success has since trickled down on the mountain side to the ever affordable GX plaform and now, both Force and Rival offer 1x drivetrains to accompany CX1.

You can now run up to a 42t cassette on SRAM’s 1x road levers, provided your wheels are 135mm spaced with XD driver compatibility. Or, opt for the standard 11-speed 11-36 cassette. With a range of X-Sync chainrings, you can achieve a wide range on your road bike as well.

Personally, I’m pretty stoked to see this versatility now offered from SRAM and can’t wait to see what else is to come from 1x road offerings. For some reason, I can’t help but gravitate towards the idea of a 48t Chainring with a 11-42t setup…

Check out a few more photos below and see more at SRAM.