2019 Sea Otter Classic SITREP

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The 2019 Sea Otter Classic has become the best bike show in the US and they just announced expansion plans for Sea Otter Europe. The US version of the Sea Otter Classic is held at the Laguna Seca Race Track out near Monterrey, California about an hour drive from Silicon Valley. It’s quite beautiful there. The most spectacular thing about the SOC is the incredibly diverse spectrum of race disciplines that the event hosts for competitions in every age bracket from strider bikes to adults. Everything from BMX to Road Racing alongside Mountain Bike, XC-Dual Slalom-DH. The SOC also hosts E-Bike Racing.

In addition to all of the bike racing, the SOC hosts an industry exposition contained neatly into the infield of the Mazda Laguna Seca Race Track. The show attracts a broad spectrum of companies from the bike industry. Trek, Specialized and Giant all have booths at the show with demos and they also do race support for their teams that are competing at the four-day event. In addition to the industry giants, the SOC expo features vendors of every size and denomination that the bike industry has to offer. But enough of this rambling introduction, let’s get on with the actual report!

Warning! This post may contain products that may not be available quite yet and might even be vaporware. This post might contain pedal assist, e-bike content. If you don’t like pedal assisted bikes, please don’t shoot the messenger. Just scroll on by the parts that make you want to throw your beer at the computer. We’re all about fun on bikes!

The following is our Situation Report from the 2019 Sea Otter Classic Industry Exposition.

Giant Bicycles had one of their Yukon Fat-Bikes on display. These will be hitting dealers in bigger numbers by fall.

Giant Yukon

You can see all of the specs and more pictures of the new Yukon fat-bike from giantHERE

Danny MacAskill and Cédric Gracia were signing autographs and taking photos with fans at the Lezyne Booth. The look on the faces of the little kids that took pictures with these two was priceless!

Knight Composites – Wide Ride carbon rims all murdered out and ready for my bike Ten Beers! More about the Wide Ride Wheels can be found – HERE

Bam Bam’s Fat Trike from Booomers International – www.booomers.com

CST Tires had this 26 x 4.0 Studded tire in their booth. It doesn’t have a name yet, but the rep told us that the MSRP for the fully studded tire would be $88. Studded tires for the masses! – CST is owned by Maxxis.

Fat Chance fans will rejoice about this new Ti Yo Eddy 29’r that can run up to a 2.6″ tire.

Ortleib had this Marin all decked out in their waterproof bikepacking bags at their booth.

Tyler, Dan & Fleck – Surly-Snacks and an orange Pugsley all decked out with bikepacking bags.

WTB had this gorgeous set of space bags from Porcelain Rocket mounted on a Marin dually.

I’m a fan of GORE® Wear. They have a new line of bibs that is called the GORE® Wear C7 Pro apparel line. To help develop the new bib short collection, GORE® worked closely with multi-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist Fabian Cancellara. Look for our review of the new GORE® Wear C7 Pro apparel coming soon!

Fatback Bikes had their demo fleet rock’n at the SOC. Check out this red-hawt Corvus with Terrene Cake Eaters and a King Many Things cage.

Then look a little closer at the brand new Fatback 27.5 Big Su rims – available soon.

Our amigos from Revelate Designs have been busy developing new products like the mag closure frame bag and the down tube mounted dry bag that features super tough mounting straps and an armoured high-density memory foam panel that allows the bag to conform to the surface of the bike.

Revelate also redesigned the classic saddle bag using the tough mounting fixtures used on their bikepacking saddle bags in combination with a roll top drybag and an integrated stiffener that allows the bag to be mounted to the seat rails and remain stable.

I ran into our amigos from RSD Bikes at the show. They have an new version of their Sergeant that is so versatile, it might be the ultimate quiver killer. The new Sergeant can run 29, 27.5+ and 26 x 4 fat-bike wheels. The Sergeant features a super boost rear end and RSD has a suspension corrected rigid fork with cargo zits in the works for fat-bike season. The frame also features braze-ons for racks and has internal routing for a dropper post. #shredpacking

Terrene Tires had their entire line up on display and I learned that the engineer designing all of the Terrene tires used to do the same thing for a company called 45NRTH and recently survived being mauled by a grizzley bear.

Johnny 5 – Cake Eater – Cake Eater w/studs – Wazia – Wazia w/studs

Esker Cycles Elkat with ‘High Volume’ 27.5 x 2.6″ sneaks.

Our friends from Wolftooth Components and Otso Cycles have a new Adventure bike that was announced at SOC called the Waheela in Carbon and Steel. Look for some adventure bike reviews coming down the pike from our product testers this summer.

Trek has a new adventure bike called the Checkpoint.

Bontrager also recently release their WaveCel Helmets. We’ll be reviewing one of these this summer.

The Bontrager XR3 (29 x 2.4 – 27.5 x 2.8) looks like a nice all around tread pattern. Smooth and fast with beefier sholder knobs for cornering.

I hope bicyclepubes reads our site, but he’s prolly too busy drawing bikes, etc. Quiver Fabrications make some pretty sweet #danglebongs.

¡ALTO! If you don’t want to see pedal assist bikes this is the end of the trail for you. STOP! But if you can tolerate looking at e-bikes without griping about it in the comments or kicking your dog, please proceed to th next photo.

I stopped by the Bulls booth and took a couple of their bikes for a quick spin. Bulls is the sponsor of the e-bike racing at Sea Otter. (sing with me)
I rode an e-bike and I liked it! (or not). The Bulls pedal assist control is right at your fingertips, sort of like a shifter.

The dual suspension Bulls had an MTB mode that takes all of the thinking out of pedal assist and it decides how much assist that you need.

This is the Bulls E-STREAM EVO AM 3 and the reason that I visited Bulls in the first place. I have an idea about a story about this machine.

One of the true conundrums about pedal assist bikes is where to legally ride them. The day that I was at the show learning about these bikes, Sea Otter sent this in an email to me. (below)

This is just the beginning of our journey to learn more about where you can actually ride.

The last photo of our SITREP is a steel prototype Marin Pine Mountain with pedal assist.

About Gomez 2576 Articles
Just an old cat that rides bikes, herds pixels, ropes gnomes and sometimes writes stories. I love a good story.


  1. Looking good! Must be great to see such a range of bike disciplines under one ‘roof’.
    I’m a lover of Gore gear too, in my mind they have awesome kit!

  2. After this skating rink of a winter ,a set of $88 studded tires might be on my Christmas list!

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