Sea Otter Classic Review # 2: More bikes & People That Count

By: Zap

As the Sea Otter Classic weekend wore on there was only more and more product to see and more and more people to talk to. And while it all added up to more and more fun, it also meant less and less riding. Such is life. Here’s round two of our coverage, with yet even more to come.

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In addition to the hundreds upon hundreds of racers who attend, literally hundreds upon hundreds of exhibitors are what help make the Sea Otter the big event that it is.


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Famed Italian brand Cinelli had their entry level Zydeco gravel bike front and center in a booth that was chock full of their frames and accessories. The $1699 Zydeco runs a 10 speed Shimano Tiagra drivetrain with TRP mechanical disc brakes.

                                                             FACES & NAMESAKES

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After a few decades away, legacy frame builder Chris Chance showed up at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show showed four years ago and liked what he saw. The result? He’s jumped back into it with a line of beautiful mountain, road and cross bikes all handmade in America.


And here is an example…the new Fat Chance Chris Cross is built with a Colombus rear end and can run with either 700c or 650b wheels with three fork options (Enve, TRP, steel) starting at $2195.


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This is Mert Lawwill. He has nothing do with road bikes, but he is a national treasure. The star of Bruce Brown’s famous movie On Any Sunday and the 1969 AMA Grand National Champion, Mert was big with mountain bikes in the 90s and loves all things fast and two-wheeled. Mert is now producing uber-trick prosthetic hands (Mert’s Hands) for cyclists so they can keep riding…to know Mert is to love him.


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We first ran into Cody Leuck at the North American Handmade Bike Show where he was showing-off a beautiful carbon frame that he’d made himself  – much of it in his kitchen. This is the bike he made and then raced at the Sea Otter. How cool is that?!


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When it comes to twisting throttles, Mike Brown is a multi-time National Champion and as his racing days have begun to slow down, he’s now an ambassador for Husqvarna Motorcycles who have been exhibiting at the Sea Otter for a few years. In his off time, Mike is now running an MX school.


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To me, this was the very moment that captured what makes the bike industry as great as it is…when some guy approached the Park Tool booth with a wobbly rear wheel, company owner Eric Hawkins sprang from the back shouting, “I’m the Stingray guy!” And with that Eric proceeded to rebuild the lad’s rear wheel. It didn’t hurt that the blue Schwinn was close to Park’s corporate color. Just as they do every year, Park made a full array of their tools & wrench force available for anyone to rely on to keep rolling at no charge. Bravo.


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RBA test rider Jason McCune tried his hand at mountain bike racing and finished fifth in the Cat. 3 XC race…aided and abetted by his son Gavin


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Boyd Johnson is the man behind Boyd Cycling and wheels are what he does best. A family man hauling from S. Carolina, Boyd’s passion and enthusiasm is a good thing to have in the industry.


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Boyd’s latest creation is a 36mm deep Jocassee wheel intended for gravel use. The tubeless ready wheel is one of the first dedicated for 650b/27.5 use and it will sell for $1650. Boyd said he will soon have his own sealant as well.


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Bont Cycling was happy to have anyone and everyone try on their new $179 Riot road shoe that is heat moldable.


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Franco Bicycles was proud to be showing their all new Latigo RS that is made in Italy. The bike was easily one of the show stoppers at the Sea Otter. Five stock frame sizes with a variety of color options starting at $4500. Bella!


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Another Sea Otter eye-catcher was the disc equipped Canyon Aeroad borrowed from Team Katusha/Alpecin rider Tony Martin. We were told that the long awaited Canyon road bikes that are to begin rolling into the States will be those in the 2017 catalog including the Aeroad, Endurace, and Ultimate.


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More Cinelli goodness was found at the booth in the shape of two framesets: the Italian made (and historically significant) Lazer frame (top) sells for $4500 and is available with custom geometry, and the Superstar is their disc brake compatible, adventure/gravel frame with 12mm thru-axles that sells for $1700.


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The new Cinelli Lazer road frame is lossley based on the famous Lazer track bike from the early 80s. Stunning.

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