SOC16: Ergon, Fizik add new mountain bike saddles with deeper channels, more cushion

ergon-SMC4-endurance-mountain-bike-saddle01

Ergon has added two new saddles to their range, both with a little extra padding and center channels, and both at the reasonable end of the price spectrum.

Above, the SMC4, is a new price point comfort saddle for general use. The name breaks down as Saddle Mountain Comfort, and the 4 represents its hierarchy in the line (bottom, for now). Prices range from $59.99 to $99.99 depending on materials. It’ll come in medium and large widths. The key difference between it and higher end SMC saddles is the addition of a gel insert to create a thicker padding section and a deeper center channel (base version only gets foam, no gel). The Chromoly rail base and Sport gel versions weigh in at 300g and 315g, respectively (gel adds more weight), both with DuraSkin covers. The Comp model gets TiNox rails and a microfiber cover to come in at 295g.

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Ergon has added two new saddles to their range, both with a little extra padding and center channels, and both at the reasonable end of the price spectrum. Above, the SMC4, is a new price point comfort saddle for general use. The name breaks down as Saddle Mountain Comfort, and the 4 represents its hierarchy […]

Posted in Mountain Bike, Sea Otter Classic3 Comments

SOC16: VP updates Harrier flat pedals with better looks, more durability

VP-Harrier-AFC-flat-pedals-201604

VP’s new Harrier Flat Pedal gets an updated axle and bearing system called Axial Force Control (AFC). It uses a tapered axle with a DU Teflon-impregnated brass bushing on the inside of the pedal body at the tall end, capped by a machined flange to seat an o-ring into the pedal body to seal it but not allow the system to be over tightened.

At the bottom (outside end) of the axle is an Igus bushing that rests against a thrust bearing between it and the bolt. As you tighten the bolt into the end of the axle, it snugs the entire system and pulls the axle into the bushings so there’s no play.

If all that’s hard to visualize, drop past the break to see the internals…

Continue reading “SOC16: VP updates Harrier flat pedals with better looks, more durability”



VP’s new Harrier Flat Pedal gets an updated axle and bearing system called Axial Force Control (AFC). It uses a tapered axle with a DU Teflon-impregnated brass bushing on the inside of the pedal body at the tall end, capped by a machined flange to seat an o-ring into the pedal body to seal it […]

Posted in Mountain Bike, Sea Otter Classic3 Comments

SOC16: Enduro adds more tools to make bearing service even easier

Enduro bearing tools usa service blind hole pullerIMG_4202

It seems like one of the big advantages brick and mortar bike shops still have is the ability to offer complex repairs. With more full suspension frames and spendy hubs and bottom brackets floating around then ever, bearing service could be a big source of revenue – as long as you have the right tools. Using the right tools means that job will get done more quickly and properly the first time, without risking damage to the hub, frame, bottom bracket, headset, or bearing.

In a continued effort to make repairs easier, Enduro Bearing had some new tools to show off at the Sea Otter Classic. Tools like their new over axle hub press which will help when the inner bore of those bearings is just too small for the standard tool…

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It seems like one of the big advantages brick and mortar bike shops still have is the ability to offer complex repairs. With more full suspension frames and spendy hubs and bottom brackets floating around then ever, bearing service could be a big source of revenue – as long as you have the right tools. […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Sea Otter Classic7 Comments

SOC16: Manitou sharpens the Mattoc 2, Machete forks, Sun Ringle adds Duroc 40 & 50 plus size wheels

Manitou plus fork mattoc pro 2 sun ringle machete duroc plus wheelsIMG_3598

You can always count on the Hayes crew to put out quite the spread for Sea Otter. Whether you’re talking new product or brats imported directly from Wisconsin (true story), there seems to always be something to digest. This year, in addition to stopping show goers in their tracks with the massive, Hayes disc brake equipped Timbersled, Hayes had new forks, as well as some new wheels for both the plus and skinny tire set…

Continue reading “SOC16: Manitou sharpens the Mattoc 2, Machete forks, Sun Ringle adds Duroc 40 & 50 plus size wheels”



You can always count on the Hayes crew to put out quite the spread for Sea Otter. Whether you’re talking new product or brats imported directly from Wisconsin (true story), there seems to always be something to digest. This year, in addition to stopping show goers in their tracks with the massive, Hayes disc brake […]

Posted in Mountain Bike, Sea Otter Classic3 Comments

SOC16: The Ritchey CPR12+ multi tool could be a ride saver

Ritchey CPR 12 multi tool IMG_4123

Ritchey’s CPR tools have a long history of getting riders and racers out of a jam. Originally developed in 1992 for Thomas Frischknecht, the CPR9 was the first tool from Ritchey to pack a number of tools in an easy to use, race ready package. Since then the tool has evolved, now including 12 different tools all packed into a unique single sided design. It’s light, it’s functional, and it might just save your ride…

Continue reading “SOC16: The Ritchey CPR12+ multi tool could be a ride saver”



Ritchey’s CPR tools have a long history of getting riders and racers out of a jam. Originally developed in 1992 for Thomas Frischknecht, the CPR9 was the first tool from Ritchey to pack a number of tools in an easy to use, race ready package. Since then the tool has evolved, now including 12 different […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Mountain Bike, Sea Otter Classic20 Comments

Missy Giove helps Underground Bike Works make a splash at Sea Otter w/ prototype plus bikes

Underground bikes John Parker missy giove missle plus mtb mountain bikeIMG_4089

Underground bikes John Parker missy giove missle plus mtb mountain bikeIMG_4086

Long absent from the mountain bike spotlight, Missy the Missile is starting to reemerge. First appearing to race the World Cup at Windham last year, Missy Giove was on hand at the Sea Otter Classic riding around a plus bike with her name on the top tube. That bike just happened to be one of John Parker’s early prototypes from his new Underground Bike Works venture. The bike was quickly taken out of the test mule line up, built with some of Missy’s Deity components, and then sent off with her to crash the dual slalom race with the goal of slapping some high fives, roosting some berms, and (maybe) chugging a few beers.

That plays right into the script of Underground Bike Works. As John put it, “I don’t want to have a race team and go racing any more. I want to make fun bikes – and we’ve hit our mark.” As a joint operation between John Parker and his partners Mike Foxworthy and Will Kenefica, Underground Bike Works is all about the big tires, and all consumer direct…

Continue reading “Missy Giove helps Underground Bike Works make a splash at Sea Otter w/ prototype plus bikes”



Long absent from the mountain bike spotlight, Missy the Missile is starting to reemerge. First appearing to race the World Cup at Windham last year, Missy Giove was on hand at the Sea Otter Classic riding around a plus bike with her name on the top tube. That bike just happened to be one of […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike, Sea Otter Classic24 Comments

SOC16: Fox Racing Metah helmet hits the shelves along with Attack Pro Trail System

Fox metah helmet attack pro enduro kit chamois bib liner pocketsIMG_4259

Introduced to the world last Interbike, Fox’s replacement for their long running Flux helmet is finally here. Stepping in is the all new Metah which manages to stand out in a sea of helmets with some distinct looks, but also with just enough safety tech built in. To go along with the helmet, Fox is now selling their Attack Pro system which looks like it could be a great option for long days in the saddle on trail, enduro, or any other type of mountain bike…

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Introduced to the world last Interbike, Fox’s replacement for their long running Flux helmet is finally here. Stepping in is the all new Metah which manages to stand out in a sea of helmets with some distinct looks, but also with just enough safety tech built in. To go along with the helmet, Fox is […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Mountain Bike, Sea Otter Classic3 Comments

SOC16: Onyx hubs soon to get a lot lighter w/ prototype alloy freehub bodies for Shimano & SRAM XD

Onyx hubs alloy freehub body shimano sram xd super light replacementIMG_4296

Onyx hubs have been getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. They’re made in the USA, offer instant and infinite engagement, and most important (for some) – they’re silent. If they have one drawback for most people, it would have to be their weight. Between the sprag clutch system and building the hub shell strong enough to withstand the force from the sprags, their hubs are typically heavier than the competition. But they’re about to get a lot lighter…

Continue reading “SOC16: Onyx hubs soon to get a lot lighter w/ prototype alloy freehub bodies for Shimano & SRAM XD”



Onyx hubs have been getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. They’re made in the USA, offer instant and infinite engagement, and most important (for some) – they’re silent. If they have one drawback for most people, it would have to be their weight. Between the sprag clutch system and building the […]

Posted in Mountain Bike, Sea Otter Classic29 Comments

SOC16: Box builds a BTTR Bottle with storage and hydration in one

BOX BBTR bottle water storage two piece waterbottleIMG_4199

It seems like every time we turn around someone is coming up with a way to ditch the pack. Bad news for hydration pack makers, good news for anyone looking to lighten the load on their back. Box has apparently taken a moment away from the development of their long awaited drivetrain to come up with an interesting take on the water bottle. The BTTR bottle (Better Than The Rest), is half liquid, half storage and may or may not be the perfect way to stash some goods…

Continue reading “SOC16: Box builds a BTTR Bottle with storage and hydration in one”



It seems like every time we turn around someone is coming up with a way to ditch the pack. Bad news for hydration pack makers, good news for anyone looking to lighten the load on their back. Box has apparently taken a moment away from the development of their long awaited drivetrain to come up with […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Sea Otter Classic14 Comments