Sea Otter sweep: Sombrio shoes return, inside Industry Nine hubs and new Box drivetrain options

One final look at what's new and what's good from Sea Otter 2019

April 18th, 2019 by | Posted in MTB | Tags: ,

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

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 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

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.

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Goodyear mountain bike tires

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.