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Remaining Sea Otter, One – Ergon, Thule, Prologo

Ergon BX2 hydration backpack for cycling, running and hiking

Ergon only had a couple of updates, but we’re glad to see the backpacks getting a major overhaul. After our lukewarm review of the original version, the new BX2 looks promising thanks to better strap designs and a simplified version of their Flink linkage at the shoulders. They also had a new GS2 grip with composite bar ends…more pics and info for both after the break.

Prologo has new men’s and women’s road and mountain bike saddles, many with carbon rails and sub-200g weights, and Thule showed off their new Raceway Platform trunk-mounted rack. Click on through to see it all…


Get Free Trail-Fu App Now Thru End Of Sea Otter

Save yourself some electronic cash and get this mountain biking trail finder app for free until Sunday, April 17th – so hurry up!

Press Release: As part of TrailFu’s partnership with IMBA they asked us to make our Mountain Bike Trails iPhone app free during the Sea Otter Classic. Starting on the 14th until the Sea Otter Classic ends the night of the 17th anyone can visit the Apple AppStore and download our application for free at this link.

Sea Otter: New Colorful Answer Protaper XC/Trail Bars

With the unfortunate demise of Race Face, there is one less component manufacturer who is building light handle bars for XC/trail bikes in a variety of colors. Not only has Answer stepped up and snatched one of RaceFace’s pro athletes, they have also tossed their hat into the ano XC bar category!

Ok, so they’re not that light, but they are respectable considering they are all 685mm width, and come in flat, 1/2 inch, and 1 inch rise models. The flat bars come in at 235g, while the risers add an additional 30g, for a grand total of 265. Obviously, the bars come in a variety of colors, including a “women’s” model that is pink ano with black overlaid flowers. The quotations are there just in case you’re a dude who is ok with a pink bar with flowers, however you probably won’t fit into the matching Answer women’s Petal gloves.

Check out the full Specs along with some close ups, after the break!


Sea Otter: Shimano Introduces Completely Overhauled XT Group!

You had to know it was coming. Just a year after upgrading the current XT M770 drivetrain to Dynasys 10 speed, Shimano has taken the wraps off of the entirely new M780 XT group that borrows heavily from XTR’s bag of tricks. Completely redesigned brakes, more than one color choice, wheels, pedals, oh my!

The new XT group just might be what any 10 speed hold outs are looking for, as if it is anything like the performance of the current XTR group, it will be a winner based on price alone.

Jump right in, and take a look at XT M780! (click on any picture to enlarge)


Airborne Cycles Ready For Sea Otter with New CX, DJ, and 29r Bikes!

You should know by now, that Airborne is back albeit with a slightly different direction. Gone are their bevy of reasonably priced Ti frames, only for the reborn company to now focus on a range of capable, durable, and affordable bikes. At Sea Otter 2010, Airborne released 6 new models effectively relaunching the company. One year later, they return to Sea Otter, this time with 3 important bikes currently absent from their line up.

Check out the new rigs after the break!


Sea Otter Classic Woos Ladies, Threatened with Lawsuit – Not What You Think

In addition to the SRAM sponsored Gold Rusch events hosted by Rebecca Rusch and held at the new Ladies Lounge (which offers autograph signings, free t-shirts, tech clinics, food and drink and other goodies aimed at the fairer sex), Sea Otter Classic had their own Ladies Day events planned to encourage more women to ride, wrench and love bikes.

Then POW, BOOM, right in the stubbly kisser, they’re threatened with legal action for offering “gender biased” opportunities to women, including free admission, on Sunday. The potential crime? Giving them free admission and goods/services when those with a Y Chromosome would have to pay to enter and be left out of the pink-themed extracurricular activities.

Yes, we’re serious. I emailed Jeannie, SOC’s media manager, to confirm. The person behind this seemingly ridiculousness is Harry H. Crouch, president of National Coalition for Men, an advocacy group that works to prevent special treatment for women (or a lack of it for men). Technically, according to California law, Crouch is right, but still…the spirit of his actions goes against pretty much everything anyone that’s actually attending SOC would give a rat’s patooty about.

The result of all this? A bunch of PR for Crouch’s organization and a simple name change for Sea Otters’ plans: Ladies Activities. Everything else is the same. Well, almost everything. If you’re a dude and you roll into Sea Otter on Sunday, you’ll pay the same entry fee as dudettes: $0. And now you know why you don’t see Ladies’ Nights anymore…

Full press release from SOC after the break plus the flyer for the Gold Rusch events…


Sea Otter, Truvativ Rebuilding Downhill MTB Course, Adding Spectator Shuttle and Beer

PRESS RELEASE: Sea Otter Classic and Truvativ are pleased to announce a comprehensive makeover for Sea Otter’s current downhill course. Bike park builders Momentum Trail Concepts will author and implement course renovations with the collaborative project slated for the spring of 2011.

Sea Otter serves as cycling’s opening event each year, kicking off the riding season by offering racing in nearly every mountain bike discipline, the festival features downhill (DH) as one of its premier competitions, drawing competitors and journalists from around the world. Located on the Laguna Seca Recreational Area in the Monterey County Parks system, the existing course is exhibiting signs that it’s been well loved with the resulting wear and tear causing impacts to the course’s flow.

“Truvativ’s parent company SRAM has never failed to creatively add to the event – for over a decade their partnership has made Sea Otter a better experience for attendees and competitors alike,” offers Sea Otter president and CEO Frank Yohannan, “Their contribution on the downhill course project and the high bar they’ve established for what success looks like maintains that tradition. Their efforts will make the 2011 course better for athletes in all categories.”


Sea Otter Classic Adds Pro Head-to-Head Dirt Jump Battle, Air Bag for You to Jump Into!

From Sea Otter Classic:

Speed and Style

A new and exciting competition is being added to an already crazy weekend at Sea Otter. Jeff Lenosky, legendary freeriding course designer, calls it “a combination of a head-to-head race and a freestyle jump contest.” Two riders race head-to-head on identical pump tracks. The fastest racer wins the “Speed” points. The riders also battle for a time advantage by trying to “out trick” the other on two jumps. This is the “Style”. The SRAM Speed & Style promises to be a crowd pleaser.

Mountain Bike Ride Zone

The College Cyclery Team is revamping the hugely popular SRAM Ride Zone. The new course will be designed by freerider and premier trail builder Randy Spangler. It will include elements of the dual stunt competition, a cross country loop with challenging sections, switchbacks, and pump tracks. The Ride Zone is set up for riders of all levels. It’s a terrific place to demo bikes and equipment. And even better, it’s free of charge.

Big Air Bag

Straight from the epicenter of the freeriding world of mountain biking comes the Camp of Champions Mountain Bike Camp Big Air Bag. With top pros as your coach, learn to make those jumps like a pro. You’ll go home feeling like a champion and counting the days until you can attend the Mountain Bike Camp in Whistler. Ken Achenbach, founder and camp director of the Camp of Champions, says “The Big Air Bag is the next progression in mountain biking. It takes the learning curve and turns it into an arrow pointed UP. It’s going to be amazing seeing everyone lose their minds at Sea Otter when they get to “Hit the Bag”.


2011 Sea Otter Classic Early Bird Discount Registration Open