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2018 Sea Otter Classic – Special Report

In addition to hosting every denomination of bicycle racing, the 2018 Sea Otter Classic has become the best bicycle industry trade show in these United States. Even the corporate giants of the industry come out and show their wares and simultaneously support their race teams. Along with the big boys, the Sea Otter expo area features a virtual cornucopia of accessories, tires, components and more. The Sea Otter Classic is held at the Mazda Laguna Seca Race Track near Monterey California. This is my third Sea Otter and this year beyond the ubiquitous proliferation of e-bikes, the thing that caught my attention was how many little kids were there getting exposed to the magic of bike-fun. Sea Otter is a joyous springtime celebration of everything bicycle!

Brent Foes with the Foes Racing Mutz dual suspension fat-bike.

E-Bikes…ebikes everywhere…

Revelate Designs was showing their new dropper post seat bag and some new mag-tanks that bolt onto Salsa’s

All or most of the QBP brands came to Sea Otter this year. All City’s Electric Queen was specifically designed for dirt fun. This is a bike that’s very high on our testing wish list.

Teravail (another Q-Brand) has a new plus and fat tire called the Coronado

Frenchy

The Surly Lowside was launched at Sea Otter. This was leaked onto the net a month ago and I really thought it might be an April Fools joke, but this is really Surly’s newest offering. I rode the Lowside with a suspension fork at sea otter and it rides really nice. The Lowside looks way better with a sus fork as well. Twenty-Six Plus Dirt Wizard tires are pretty cool. I wonder if they’ll fit in my Matt Chester? I cannot get past the optics of the curved fork on the Lowside. It taints something for which I had high hopes would be something truly special. Swing and a miss Surly. I also found out that Surly sent beard hair (not pubes) to our amigo bicycle pubes. That’s strike two.

Road Plus? Sure, why not? The Surly Midnight Special – We have a review in the works.

The Surly Bridge Club

Super Smufy Big Fat Dummy Colorway

The Salsa Crew had all of their plusbike offerings on display at Sea Otter

HiViz Yellow Tire Stamps must end!

The Why Cycles Big Iron wins the ‘BEST in SHOW’ award!

The shaped 6/4 Downtube on the Why Big Iron

Terrene Tires has some new things in the works that we’ll be testing soon.

Otso and Wolftooth Components had this beautiful custom painted Voytek on display

Cane Creek’s eeWings Titanium Crank Set $999 – No fat bike widths (yet). They also make a crank preloader ($29) that fits other 30mm spindle cranks from Sram and RaceFace that is pretty slick.

Hayes Components has redesigned the Mulefut Rim (lighter) and in offering new plusbike rims

Hayes also is introducing new ProTaper stems bars and pedals.

ProTaper Platform Pedal

Kenda Havok Pro Plus Tires

This is Hans Rey’s E-Bike rocking new plus tires from Vittoria

We spotted some of the new Vittoria plus tire offerings at Sea Otter

Bringing back the fanny pack? The Henty Enduro Backpack is another alternative for folks that want to run a hydration system under their jacket.

It appears that fat and plus bikes have influenced the mainstream dual suspension mountain bike. The evidence is in the plethora of 2.6″ tires that are being spec’d across the board on 2018 mountain bikes. The mountain bike is evolving one-tenth of an inch at a time towards nirvana – 3.7″ – YMMV

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6 Responses to 2018 Sea Otter Classic – Special Report

  1. Erv Spanks April 23, 2018 at 4:52 am #

    Thanks for the awesome pics! Look like some fun stuff coming around this year!

  2. Allroy April 24, 2018 at 6:03 am #

    Is anyone else tired of hearing about e-bikes yet? Unless you have some condition that prevents you from riding a regular bike. Why would you want a heavy, overpriced battery operated eyesore?

    • Gomez April 24, 2018 at 9:48 am #

      I want to learn more about D-Bikes or bike powered by gnomes.

  3. Erv Spanks April 24, 2018 at 6:18 am #

    That Teravail fat tire looks like it’d make a nice rear for trail or as a pair for Fatpacking.

  4. Allroy April 25, 2018 at 6:13 pm #

    Gomez. If you want a gnome powered bike all you have to do is remove the gremlins and replace them with gnomes. 😉

    • Gomez April 26, 2018 at 3:36 pm #

      You’d have to have a gremlin to gnome adapter for that.