Sea Otter 2019 felt bigger than previous years, with more buzz around the booths and racing.
Maybe it has something to do with the loss of Interbike, or maybe it’s just a really great time to be a mountain biker. After going through bikes, more Canadian innovations and some stylish improvements to rider safety, there’s still so much more we saw at the show.
Starting back in Canada, Sombrio is relaunching its much-loved shoe line, along with the rest of its 2019 apparel. We also take a closer look inside Industry Nine’s ultra-quick engagement Hydra hubs. Then check out some new drivetrain alternatives from Box Components, Goodyear rubber and assorted other quick-looks from Laguna Seca speedway.
Sombrio shoes are back
Sombrio Sender women's flat shoe
Sombrio Sender men's flat
The sole of Sombrio's Sender line
There's a full gravity shoe option, which will eventually be available in flat and clipless versions
The flat pedal version features a distinctive ledge near the toe, for grip on and off the peals over North Vancouver's wet rocks
A more enduro/trail focused gravity shoe comes in a lace up option
WIth a clasp to keep laces in check while riding
The clipless shoe still offers plenty of grip on the pedals, when you miss the cleat
Finally, a trail / XC shoe rounds out the line
The sole looks like a more traditional trail riding shoe
Sombrio has a full line of women's clothing, including the Ridgeline cedar tree patterned jersey
One of three print stories from Sombrio for 2019, they jersey is modeled off a Cedar tree on N.Van's Mount Fromme. It's treated with a Xylitol coating, which Sombrio says will cool you by up to 2-degrees while riding
Highline Shorts and the Vagabond riding shirt, which features a hidden zippered stash pocket just large enough for a can of ... whatever you want to drink out of a can mid-ride
The Highline shorts use laser cut Velcro tabs, which hold your shorts without grabbing the rest of your clothing.
There's a key pocket on the back for quick rides, and laser cut ventilation
The third print pattern for 2019, all of which pay homage to trailbuilders, is modeled off 18th Century French wallpaper. Portraits of actual North Shore features were hand drawn for the jersey.
North Vancouver’s Sombrio Cartel has been making clothing built off its experience riding B.C.’s North Shore for 0ver 20 years now. For 2020, the Canadian brand is bringing back a full line of shoes. It’s not the first time Sombrio has made shoes, and they said there’s still requests for footwear years after the last lace was tied. With new ownership, Sombrio’s ready to step back into the shoe game. From flats to gravity and a trail-XC shoe, there range covers all types of riding.
The shoes join Sombrio’s apparel line, which offers a full women’s line to match the men’s, plus a few extra options beyond what’s offered for the men.
Industry Nine Hydra Hubs
Industry Nine's existing Torch hub on the left, and the new Hydra on the right
Hydra has six pawls still, but 115 teeth they can grap onto for a near-instant 0.52-degree engagement
The previous hub already had 3-degree engagement, with 60 pawls
Industry Nine also had its rainbow of A35 stems on display
The aluminum stem is made in house in Asheville, N.C., like all other I9 aluminum parts
Industry Nine had a cutaway of it’s new, ultra-quick engagement Hydra hub on display at Sea Otter. The Asheville, N.C. company already had a reputation for hubs with a near-instant response, and for its distinctive freewheel sound. With Hydra, I9 reduces the previous 3-degree’s required for the hub to engage down to an impressive 0.5-degrees. To do this, the Hydra hubs nearly double the number of teeth the pawls can engage, from 60 to 115.
There’s more to Hydra than more teeth, though. The hubs use an innovative design that takes advantage of the way the system flexes under power to turn stress into support. Only a single pawl is need to engage the system initially, but up to three will engage under power. Every hub system will have flex. With Hydra, Industry 9 has found a way to distribute that stress more effectively. Like all of Industry Nine’s aluminum parts, from spokes to rims and stems, the Hydra hubs are made in house at its North Carolina facility.
Box Components One E-mtb 9-speed drivetrain
Box Components uses a triple clutch mechanism on its derailleurs
Box's own 11-speed shifter
Box One 11-speed derailleur
Box Two E-mtb 9-speed derailleur
Box One 7-speed DH derailleur
Box One 7-speed DH Drivetrain
Box Two cassette and Box One shifting
Box Two 11-50 toot cassette
While Shimano and SRAM have dominated the mountain bike drivetrain market for years, there’s a growing number of drivetrain alternatives starting to appear and gain traction. Box components is one, offering versions if its One and Two drivetrain to suit multiple purposes. Choices range from a 7-speed DH specific group to an 11-speed wide range offering. There’s even a wide-range 9-speed cassette designed specifically for use on e-bikes, where the larger jumps aren’t a problem but range is still crucial.
Recycled materials spread, Cushcore goes XC, and more
Pit Viper has a way of attracting attention. You will too, if you show up at your next ride wearing this jersey
Cush Core has established itself in gravity riding. Now it's looking to move into XC and gravel with a lighter insert, with extensive cut outs to shave weight, designed around narrower rims
Bontrager is now offering its long-standing Bat Cage in a version that is made entirely of recycled fishing nets
Ergon makes a full men's and women's line of saddles, with different channel shapes designed for each line
The channels aren't just cut out sections of foam. The saddles shell is shaped to provide full support of the channel.
Goodyear mountain bike tires
Goodyear Peak XC tire
Escape's side knobs ramp up at the edge for that last grasp at traction
For the Newton, Goodyear moves to a sturdy, well supported side lug
The Newton comes in a standard and ST verion
The two enduro / DH tread designs come in 2.4" or 2.6" casings
At the other end of the spectrum, Goodyear makes a tubeless compatible range of Eagle tires, from 25 - 32 mm road options, all designed around 19 mm interal width rims.
Goodyear uses its Carbon black compound material and a Silca 4 compound to maximize grip and rolling speed. The Silca 4 also helps with air retention.
Goodyear has expanded into bicycles tires with a growing range of mountain bike tires, gravel/all-terrain, and tubeless road tires and commuter tires.
The three mountain tires come in different compounds and in 27.5″ or 29″ wheel sizes. The range covers the XC-oriented Peak to the very gravity focused Newton ST tire.