Sea Otter has always been an exciting festival, combining pro and amateur racing with new gear announcements from many of the industry’s best brands.
Wandering through the rows of booths at Laguna Seca Speedway, you can spot pro bikes, new models and limited edition bikes timed to launch with the event. Here’s four wide-ranging bikes, from classic steel re-imagined to ultra modern electric, from California.
Geoff Kabush’s Yeti SB100
Geoff Kabush's Yeti SB100
Kabush has seen plenty of Sea Otter start lines. While he's racing less XCO lately, the Canadian still has a solid turn of speed
Maxxlite 29 tires in the skinny 2.0" diameter look odd on a modern mountain bike, but they're still fast
A chainguide from Squamish, B.C.'s OneUp Components keeps Shimano XTR in check
Shimano XTR and Yeti's Switch Infinity suspension
Racing at Sea Otter is unique, and fast. The veteran Canadian’s Yeti SB 100 was hanging out at the Maxxis tent, and all set up for speed. The tactic seemed to work. Kabush landed 10th in the UCI HC race, keeping pace with the current crop of top-ranked World Cup racers. In the past, Kabush has pushed the limits of his Yeti turqoise edition Open U.P. at mountain bike races, but UCI rules prevented him from brining it to the start line at Laguna Seca Speedway.
Ritchey Swiss Cross disc
Ritchey Swiss Cross
Each of the commemorative frames comes with a Frischi bobble-head
Ritchey Swiss Cross
Ritchey's shaped head tube attracted attention when it was first released, and still looks sharp
The classic steel Tom Ritchey logo
Still designed by Tom Ritchey
Ritchey Logic tubing
Ritchey is making a limited run of anniversary edition Swiss Cross frames, but with the cantilever brakes upgraded to disc to bring the bike into the modern era of cyclocross. Only 100 of the frames, which pay homage to Thomas Frischknecht’s European Championship title, will be made.
Look goes gravel
As gravel racing gets more serious, will we see team cars hitting the backroads?
Plenty of clearance, but you're not getting mountain bike-sized tires in there
Look's Gravel Design stem appeared to be beefed up for off-road handling
Three water bottle cages will keep you hydrated no matter how far off hte baten path you go. The two in-frame mounts have options to mount the cage at different heights as well.
There's also mounts on the top tube for a bag, or other accessory
UCI certified for cyclocross
Asymmetric chainstays help with tire and chainstay clearance
The Look wass running a SRAM 1x drivetrain
Look had its race-ready 765 Gravel RS bike on display in Monterrey. Being a Look, it still had a UCI certification, in this case for cyclocross. While it was race rated the 756 Gravel RS also had a three bottle cage mounts, top-tube bag mount and a special gravel stem for added stiffness.
Bulls had a wide range of e-MTBs on display, including this Wild Flow EVO SL using a Fazua motor system
Having worked with various motor designs, Bulls is experienced designing the frame around extra space required for the motor
Bulls' Monkey Link integrates additional features beyond pedal assist. You can wire in lights, front and rear.
e-mtb rated forks for the different demands of pedal assist riding
The bikes include very performace oriented models, with full carbon fibre cranks
With the first ever e-mtb world championships set to take place at Mont-Sainte-Anne in August, and UCI battling FIM for control over e-mtb racing, there’s more attention than ever being paid to e-mountain bikes. Bulls has been in the e-mtb game for longer than most, though its North American presence is more recent than its substantial Euro market-share. The company has experience with several of the major motor systems, including Bosch, Brose and Shimano Steps. Forget heavy, clunky e-bikes, the Bulls Wild Flow EVO SL shown above uses a Fazua motor system and hits closer to 35 lbs.