The 17th Annual Sea Otter Classic, held on the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California, delivered the goods as usual in the form of celebrity sightings, sneak-peek products, pro and amateur racing, and a mix of sun, wind and rain. We roamed the aisles to bring you some delicious tit-bits.
With the introduction of lightweight and ultra-stiff carbon hardtails, the French innovators at Look decided to combine their material expertise and passion to re-enter the mountain bike market. Expect good things.
Mavic CrossMax/Hutchinson Tubeless 29er combo
Not everything hip and trendy originates in California, as is evident by this 29er tubeless wheel/tire combo by French stalwarts Mavic and Hutchinson. Look for the final products in June.
No longer a scrappy company promoting a curious cause (although they may feel at times like they're pushing a large rock up a steep hill), Niner introduced a 23-pound (that's right, 23) full-sus 29er, spec'd with a carbon Pace front sus fork and plenty of the woven black stuff.
Pedro's Green lubes
Getting greener is the focus at Pedro's, and the Green Fizz and Green chain lube are just a sample of the company's top-down effort to truly become responsible stewards of the bike lube business.
RockShox rear shock
Twenty years ago Keith Bontrager and Paul Turner were contracted by new carbon company Kestrel to develop an advanced carbon full-sus MTB for the Long Beach Show...in less than a month. Keith and Paul would've had an easier time of it if this gem existed.
Schwalbe MTB tires
There's always something good coming from Schwalbe, and this semi-slick tire is just a sampling of what's coming this summer. Smart chevron and file cut lugged knobbies.
SRAM X-0 rear derailleur
Can you believe it's been 20 years since we were introduced to the Grip Shift? Plenty has changed, and to celebrate, SRAM's MTB engineering team has borrowed some carbon technology from the recent Force road mech.
Specialized 29er Stumpjumper
The Big S nevers dips its toe into something lightly; picture a total immersion, especially with the 29er movement catching the US market like wildfire. It makes sense that the Stumpjumper is the first 29er from the Morgan Hill company, which of course means a new wheel system and tires, which leads us to...
Specialized Roval Mountain wheelset
One of Specialized's first products was a touring tire in the mid 1970s, so it's fitting that they revamp their line ocassionally, this time with a wheel system to boot. Look for the Roval line of MTB wheels and some new tires this summer.
Tomac Carbide and Snyper
Former Answer-Manitou product maestro Joel Smith has re-introduced the legendary Tomac brand in the form of bottom-up full-sus models. Here are the carbon Carbide and aluminum Snyper, designed by a former Santa Cruz engineer. Tasty spec, available in June.
Truvativ Noir crank
CNC'd carbon chain guards, two-piece technology, shiny black finishes? Seems that we're finally seeing a nice spit-and-polish Truvativ product offering to satiate the product managers and garage-bin rebuilders.
Imagine the challenge in Milwaukee: Hayes has been on a buying spree of late (Answer-Manitou, Wheelsmith, Sun-Ringle). and Southern neighbors SRAM (owners of RockShox, Avid, and Truvativ in nearby Chicago) aren't ones to sit back and rest on their laurels, so it's fitting that their venerable brake platform gets a facelift for 2007/8. Welcome, Hayes Stroker!