2017 Sea Otter Classic

I went down for my annual visit to La Tortuga Torteria this weekend. The food there necessitates a pilgrimage.  And while I was there I stopped by the Sea Otter Classic.

The cycling industry is going a little insane. I don’t think anyone can make any sense of it. Every component manufacturer has 12 colors of flat pedals and every big brand is putting everything they can into ebikes. Jumbo tires are on every kind of bike and novice riders demand carbon rims. “Me-too” has become a marketing rule.

There is hope. Riding and racing. The grom racing on the DH track was going off on Saturday. Junior 13-14 had 62 racers. Wow! The classes were packed and the little kids were fast. If this is a sign of the future, we’re going to see some amazing racers over the next 10 years. New talents are taking over in the process ranks. Kate Courtney’so win in the XC shows that this young woman is going to kill in this year’s World Cup.

A sign of things to come – Emily Batty’s bike is always a favorite of mine. This year she raced a murdered out ISO hardtail. Again, Trek hasn’t fixed their XC geometry problem but the platform is really amazing. The key here is the dropper on a World Cup XC bike. There were a lot of these. Many of the XC racers are using dropper posts now. Emily and Kate Courtney and at least 1/4 of the pro women were using them. The use in women’s racing is crucial to understanding this, in a class where every gram matters more than any other a dropper post is a sensible choice. Maybe the tide will start shifting. Will everyday XC riders finally start understanding that choices in bike setup aren’t only made with a scale.

E-bikes are what Sea Otter exists to sell now and of them, the 2017 Lapierre Overvolt AM 900+Carbon was a work of art. If I were buying one this weekend this would have been the one. A killer chassis with the battery and motor mounted low and centralized. Such a nice package.

Hope has the sleeper with these SRAM and Shimano road compatable calipers. The flat mount versions are just a few weeks out. Trick and sick.

Ah…the gravel goons. I took my F35 out to the event so that people could see a proper hybrid. A truely sorted bike. A couple companies had really made fools of themselves at the show. Niner and Fox were on the top of that list. The “new” Fox AT fork is basically a joke. Note that they don’t even bother to re-brand the fork properly, having it say 27.5 instead of 700c. It’s just a cut down mountain fork but they chose 100mm spacing. Wtf. Just buy a real SC fork and set the travel to what you like. Done. The tiny amount of travel they offer here shows how out of touch they are. 40mm is stupid. Stupid. 80mm is a minimum. Get serious.

This bike was horrible. Obviously, put together by a booby roadie. A dirt bike with no dropper post? Drop bars and small tires but wide cranks? This is not work respectful of the venue. Just sloppy on too many levels.

Ronen met a hero. Danny MacAskill. Few fans get to have this conversation. “Hey bro, I built a loop and gave it a try because of you!” FML.