Another Sea Otter has come and gone, and this year's was one of the biggest and best ever. From the enormous crowds to the tractor-sized Ibis Maximus
, from the large number of race entries to the human-sized sea otter mascot roaming the aisleways, everything about the 2012 Sea Otter Classic seemed larger than life. And while there certainly were some big, new product presentations to be seen throughout the show, many brands were happily showing off some cool little bits, as well. And, as in life, sometimes it's the little things that can make the largest impact, so here's a round-up of some of the best small gear I laid eyes on at the Otter.
Not content with its already impressive line of pumps and CO2 inflators, Lezyne
offered a sneak peek at its new, simple Twin Speed Drive model. It works with any threaded CO2 cartridge, slips easily onto both Presta and Schrader valves and is crafted from aluminum. The Twin Speed Drive will be available in early fall and should sell for $17.
Like the Twin Speed Drive inflator above, Lezyne's Femto lights will be available in early fall of this year with a retail price of $25 for a pair (one red, one white), or $15 individually. This "to be seen" light is ideal for night-riding and low-light situations where visibility is a top priority. It features a CNC-machined aluminum body that will come in a variety of colors, two bulb colors (red, white), and several modes of operation.
Light & Motion
's Urban line of self-contained, all-purpose headlights features three models with varying power outputs. The Urban 180 sports, appropriately enough, 180 lumens of power and is rechargable via a USB port. All Light & Motion products are designed and assembled in the company's Monterey, California headquarters, located ust a short distance away from the Sea Otter site at Laguna Seca raceway.
British light company, Exposure
, was on hand at Sea Otter showing off their wares which included the Diablo. Small in size but big on power, the Diablo packs a whopping 975 lumens. It sells for $299.
is one of Germany's biggest cycling computer companies, and it also manufactures gauges and dials for Porsche and Volkswagen automobiles. The all-new MC 2.0 computer is a great choice for the cyclist interested in their ride's basic information, including altitude. The MC 2.0 uses a barometric pressure reading to measure altitude which, VDO reps claim, is more accurate than GPS units when it comes to ascension.
Garmin cycling computers are incredibly popular, but those users who'd prefer a cleaner look to their bar or stem should check out the Bar Fly. Made in America by Tate Labs, the Bar Fly is mounted to your 31.8mm handlebar and positions your Garmin Edge 200, 500 or 800 computer directly in front of your stem faceplate. An added benefit to the improved aesthetics is that the computer is easier to read when positioned more forward. The Bar Fly has a retail price of $39.99 and can currently be ordered through Above Category Cycling
has taken its bluetooth communication technology and applied it to cycling. The BK-1 system utilizes a headphone and integrated microphone, as well as a bluetooth transmitter mounted on top of your helmet, to allow two or three cyclists to comfortably talk to one another throughout a ride. Featuring noise-cancelling technology, the Cardo BK-1 eliminates wind noise and other distractions and is ideal for anyone group of riders interested in communicating, from coaches wanting to motivate their athletes, to ride leaders seeking to shepherd their group throughout a long day on the road.
is bringing its signature tartan patterns from jerseys to a variety of new apparel products, including a line of commuter polo shirts, caps and a long-sleeve jacket. All three new products will feature the brand's unque fabric blend that includes eco-friendly bamboo white ash. The jacket features three deep, rear pockets for ample storage space and reflective piping to provide increased visibility.
Yakima's Brand Manager, Vince Mazzuca, shows off his company's latest and greatest hitch rack: the Double Down Ace
. No, it's not a small item, but its low cost and big list of features make it a great value for anyone in the market for a new way to transport their bikes. Available in 2-, 4-, 5-bike configurations, the Double Down Ace fis designed for Class II and above hitches, and fits both 1.25- and 2-inch receivers. And, as with all Yakima hitch racks, the Double Down Ace features two integrated bottle openers.
If you have a hitch rack, like the Yakima Double Down Ace, then you'll need a place to stash it when it's not in use. Enter the Rack Stash
. A small, simple steel mounting bracket that can be bolted to your garage wall, the Rack Stash accepts 2-inch hitch racks that can be stored with or without bikes attached. Retail price is $59.
Kent Herman, the main man at Rack Stash, rolled up to the Road Bike Action
booth at Sea Otter on a custom city bike from Bend Velo
. The Bend, Oregon-based shop refurbishes old steel mountain bikes for use as road-worthy commuters and townies, complete with racks, fenders and custom paint. If you've been looking for a low-cost, practical and unique bike to get around town, check out Bend Velo's website
for more information on these bikes affectionately dubbed "J. Livingston" creations.
While I was scoping out some of the latest and greatest small bits at the Otter, Zap chatted with ENVE founder Jason Schiers about some of his brand's coolest new parts. Check out the video below...