I’ve been at the second edition of Sea Otter Europe this weekend and my early impressions suggest it is much like its legendary Californian counterpart, but with more ankle socks and dodgy washed-out kit from Euro teams you’ve probably never heard of.
As well as gawping at the very worst crimes against cycling fashion, I’ve been taking in the most interesting tech on show at this year’s event. From a reboot of a brand we’ve not seen in the world of cycling for some time to Italian carbon niche-ness, there’s been plenty of stuff to see.
Peugeot M01FS enduro bike
I was more than a little surprised to see this enduro bike from Peugeot, a marque that has all but disappeared from the cycling world in recent years.
For the time being, Peugeot’s bikes are simply badged up under license from the French brand.
This particular model is unashamedly taken straight from the catalogue of Taiwanese OEM mega-supplier Astro. Those who know its bikes will no doubt recognise certain design elements used here are also seen on a certain Spanish brand's bikes. However, there are plans to start developing frames in-house in the near future.
Speaking to the team manager for the Peugeot enduro team (sorry I didn’t catch your name!), he was confident that the extensive history of the brand, alongside the access to research and development opportunities that working with an automotive brand would bring, could mean we once again see Peugeot as a key player in the cycling industry. This is one I’ll be watching closely.
Jotogas JEB e-bike
I didn’t get many details on this e-bike from Jotogas, but I was really tickled that the brand was referring to its JEB e-bike as an “off road motorcycle”.
I know how much people love to call out e-bikes as such, so this will no doubt be like catnip for the anti-e cause.
Ossby Arrow folding bike
It’s hard not to love this quirky folding bike from Madrid-based brand Ossby.
The bike has a gate-like silhouette that folds down to an impressively small package. While it isn’t quite as compact as a Brompton or other similar folders, it is very simple to fold down.
I was particularly fond of the chunky threaded joint that's used to join the two halves of the handlebar.
The bike is built around either a 3- or 5-speed Sturmey Archer internal gear hub that is laced to a 14in wheel out back, which is matched with a positively diminutive 12in wheel up front.
The simple bike is priced competitively low at €345 and is available to buy direct from Ossby.
FRM Anakin Cape Cobra
I recently featured FRM’s Anakin XC bike and crazy-light dropper in my round up of tech from the Albstadt round of the XC world cup, but the finish of this particular bike was so far out that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to feature it again.
As with the bike I featured in Albstadt, this one is wrapped in a layer of superhard wearing Zylon fibres, which give the bike a totally unique snakeskin-like weaved finish. It’s definitely a divisive aesthetic, but there’s no denying that it’s a technical marvel.
As well as the aforementioned lightweight dropper, the crankset, seatpost, stem, wheels, chainring and saddle are all made in-house by FRM too.
New Basso Palta gravel bike
Fellow Italian carbon specialist Basso was showing off this handsome all-new gravel bike.
The bike has clearances for 42mm tyres and is dedicated to 1x drivetrains. A set of custom mudguards for the bike is also available.
The bike ships with a custom seatpost that is infused with an elastomer-like material which is moulded into the carbon layup. This is said to deaden vibrations on rough surfaces, improving comfort. Bianchi has been doing a similar thing with its Countervail-equipped bikes for some years now.
The seatpost is matched with a custom stem up front, which flows into the teardrop-shaped spacers.
I was also particularly taken by the raked-out crown of the fork. Exactly what the benefit of this setup is isn’t clear, but heck does it look cool.
The bike is available to order now in either SRAM Force or Apex builds direct from Basso.
EE Wings titanium cranks
EE — now a subsidiary of sorts of Cane Creek — revealed these titanium cranks a few months back, but this was the first chance I’d had to fondle the brushed-beauties.
The EE Wings come in at 400g (claimed), which is about as light as a carbon crankset, but is claimed to be 20-30 percent stiffer than a carbon equivalent.
Such performance does not come cheap. At €999, I doubt you’re going to be seeing too many of these out in the wild!
Berria Bikes Belador Pro 9
In a brave move, Berria had this unpainted frameset on show near the entrance to the event, inviting passers by to leave their mark, highlighting the brand's custom finish program.
Inevitably, some had taken the invitation to scribe whatever they pleased a little too liberally and that flag on the top tube was hastily added to cover up a rather rude drawing left earlier.
Are you at Sea Otter Europe? Is there any tech I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below.