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Sea Otter: Road and gravel news from Laguna Seca

Gravel stems and WorldTour winning tubeless bikes

Sea Otter is back in a big way, with massive crowds returning to the bike expo in Laguna Seca Raceway over the weekend. Gravel was a big theme again this year, with new tires, bikes and all kinds of gravel-specific components on display.

Here are a few of the exciting bits of road and gravel gear news from Sea Otter 2022.

Pirelli and Lizzie Deignan Paris Roubaix winning tires

Italian tire brand Pirelli had a mix of very cool old things and exciting new products on display in its booth. Lizzie Deignan’s Paris-Roubaix, still covered in dirt, sweat and blood from winning the inaugural women’s edition, held a prominent position. It was there to show off Pirelli’s P-Zero tubeless tires. On the new end, the brand had its first made-in-Italy tire, a practice it hopes to expand, and several interesting gravel tire options. There was also the 35-gram P-Zero SmarTube, a TPU tube for road or gravel that significantly reduces the weight of tubed setups.

Scott Addict Gravel

Scott takes its WorldTour Addict and tunes it for gravel. Increased tire clearance meets very race-focused components. From internal cables and an integrated cockpit to SRAM eTap wireless electronic shifting. Race pedigree, gravel racing and adventure riding performance.

FSA – K-Force Team Edition crankset and gravel stem

FSA and Vision have a ton of momentum going, with Mohoric winning Milan-San Remo on dropper-post tech developed by the brand and Primoz Roglic using Vision’s aero bars to win gold at the Olympics. Its booth was packed with new tech for road, gravel and mountain biking. The K-Force Team Edition crankset tips the scales are 551 grams (172.5mm, 53/39T) with direct mount chainrings.

The NS vas stem uses a vibration-dampening elastomer integrated clamp into the bar clamp to reduce road chatter on rough gravel surfaces. There are three different hardnesses of elastomer, so you can tune the soft or harshness of your ride. FSA claims up to 47 per cent of vibrations are absorbed compared to a standard stem.

The K-Force WE electronic shifting platform was also on display. It’s 11-speed for now, but with all the other brands taking it to 12, it can’t be long till FSA follows suit.

Escapod Topo

Designed in Utah for off-road adventures, Escapod’s Topo teardrop trailer lets you take your adventure anywhere. With suspension tuned for true off-road use, this tiny trailer will support and gravel (or mountain bike) expedition. With a full propane stove and all kinds of storage tucked away in the walls and minimal spare space, you can get off the grid in luxury. It’s still a small space, but with an impressive range of amenities.