Subaru is one of the key sponsors of Sea Otter and it had a collection of vintage cars and bikes in its booth. It’s amazing how dated the mountain bikes look but the car from the same era seems commonplace.
The new GA1 grip from Ergon has been hugely popular, both with enduro racers and casual mountain bikers. Now it’s shape has trickled down into a less expensive version called the GA2. Plus it comes in a ton of colors.
Founded as a motorsports helmet company, Lazer put its know-how into the revised Phoenix+ full face. Weighing less than 1,000 grams it retails for just $99.
Hailing from Andorra, Max Commencal’s brand is making a big push into the U.S. with its consumer-direct sales model. The Meta HT AM hardtail is an aggressive trail bike with a big 150 mm fork and 27.5 wheels. With the dropper post and Pike fork it retails for $2,229.
As bike parks grow in popularity, providing a safe place for kids to push their skills, pint-sized gravity bikes are improving to keep up with them. The Supreme 20 is no toy, and it’s reflected by its $1,799 price tag.
Another consumer-direct brand, Mongoose is moving up-market, with nicer and nicer bikes. The Argus expert bumps up to 4.5 tires on 100 mm rims and adds a RockShox Bluto suspension fork. It’s price competitively at $1,799.
The Ruddy Expert is a new 27plus bike with the new Manitou Magnum fork and 27.5 x 2.8 WTB Trailblazer tires. It’s right in the heard of the “plus” market at $1,999.
The Selous is an all-purpose adventure/gravel/cyclocross bike with Shimano’s awesome hydraulic brakes. The carbon fork has the new 12 mm thru-axle that we’re likely to see adopted for road and cyclocross, so it’s ahead of the curve on compatibility. It retails for $1,899.
One of the few eyewear companies that is independently owned, Tifosi has introduced a creative Interchance system that allows the same arms to attached to different lenses and frames for a switchable look. For example, you can use the frameless shield lens for riding then switch the arms over to the full frame lenses for casual use. It’s available in all sorts of frame, arm and lens combinations too with prices from $99 to $149.
Known for its high performance race shoes, the newest Italian kicks sport a much more relaxed attitude. The MTB Epic has the same fit and feel as Sidi’s other shoes but pairs it with a lace-up upper and a softer, rubber outsole.
This looks like a great option for touring, bikepacking, or any ride where you might have to scramble off the bike.
We just got our hand on our first set of WTB’s 2.8 Trailblazer tires, which were on many of the “plus” bikes at the show, and in the WTB booth we spied this prototype of a second model, the Bridger. While the Trailblazer was designed for the 29er/27plus conversion, this looks like an all-out mid-fat specific tire with much more volume. Watch for more when it becomes available.
Move on to Part 4 of our coverage from Sea Otter 2015.