Sea Otter Classic 2019

The 2019 Sea Otter Classic marked our second anniversary as a rag tag media crew trying to swim up a giant pink stream. It took us a few days to wrap up post-otter meetings, and a very short ride in Santa Cruz (hey even we have to ride once in a while!) but we’ve made it back and are now sifting through the memory cards of photos and video clips to share with you.

The show was huge this year, with even more vendors and brands. It didn’t seem like spectator attendance was as high based on our “crowd navigating annoyance” scale, but the larger footprint of the expo area could have dispersed the crowds more effectively. Thus making our need to stiff-arm aimless wanderers on our hurried way to meetings lower than previous years. Then again, the high prices of camping, parking and tickets and unchanged race courses could have worn out their welcome too…OK before we get too off topic, yes, we had fun! We love seeing our tribe dusting off the cobwebs and awakening for the new season, and what a season it looks to be!

We’ll be dropping lots more stuff in the coming weeks but here are a few quick peaks for now. And, don’t forget to check out our Patreon page as we’ll be posting lots of behind the scenes content and exclusive videos/photos along with tons of product giveaways from brands we’ve visited.

Sea Otter 2019

Our very own Chili Dog was able to best Seth’s Bike Hacks in the Diamondback bunny hop contest, but Eric Porter’s hops proved to be too much even though he was on an enduro rig… The title of highest hop went to trials rider Shane Sigward, who also took the crown at the Ride Concepts hop contest. If you ever run into Seth or Eric, make sure you say hi as they’re both awesome people. 

Sea Otter 2019

We also ran into insta-famous Braydon aka @bikerbrayd on Instagram. After watching all his videos online, it was awesome to meet in person. This dude is incredibly humble and positive, somehow balancing married life, grad school AND making some of the best MTB content out right now! Stay tuned for a new project from him.

Sea Otter 2019

 Fuji had this epic Auric frame hand painted by the man himself, Made Rad by Tony. We were digging the 80’s summer vibes for sure! They were also excited to announce that Auric bikes will be landing in dealers soon. We were pretty impressed with both Auric models during our testing

Sea Otter 2019

Sombrio threw their hat into the MTB flat shoe ring with the $89.99 Sender flat pedal shoe. These sweet new kicks will be available in February 2020, so until then we’ll be relegated to oogling over the perfect color choices and clean looks. 

Sea Otter 2019

Spank was showing off an array of new candy colored parts at their booth as part of their Human Factor campaign. New saddles, stems, pedals and wheels let you dial in your ride to your needs and body shape. These Spoon DC pedals combine the price of a plastic pedal, with the durability of an aluminum design. We like it! Oh, and they had a picture of Yonan Barelli naked in the booth, but we’ll spare you the sight! Brett Tippie also informed us that he has done two nude photoshoots for MTB brands before. Any guesses as to which ones? 

Sea Otter 2019

Aside from the shoes on display, Sombrio had their new men’s and women’s kit line up at the show. We were particularly into their new jersey designs. This print combines the styling of a french wallpaper with some instantly recognizable north shore features. Pretty sweet if you ask us!

Sea Otter 2019

The new SDG Radar saddle looks to be a very promising option for riders who spent a lot of time in the saddle. It blends several of our SDG favorites from the last decade into one saddle. Stay tuned for an unboxing video here and a giveaway on our Patreon page.

Sea Otter 2019
Sea Otter 2019

Yakima was displaying their new HangOver rack modeled after the familiar North Shore design. The rack is available in either a 4 or 6 bike configuration, and features neat and tidy Yakima hardware to keep the bikes securely in place. Angle is adjustable depending on vehicle shape, and the rack also lowers for easy access to the bikes. We’ll be getting one for review in the coming months. Official pricing isn’t confirmed yet, but expect it to be pretty reasonable. 

Sea Otter 2019

DVO Suspension gave us a little preview of their new pedal friendly coil-sprung shock. The 2020 Jade X has a three position climb switch and completely new damper profile. Bryson Martin Sr. says the new shock has a much more open, unrestricted tune. We’re very excited to try one out and will report back with a detailed review.

Sea Otter 2019
Sea Otter 2019

You always find cool things while wandering the booths at Sea Otter, which is exactly how we found the Ryder Cycling booth. A small company from South Africa, these guys have created some very clever and affordable tools that will save your day. The Slug Plug is a $10 plug kit that comes with two sized plugs to fill your holes. Want to keep the weight off your back? Their Slyder mount tucks under a water bottle cage and houses the tire plug tool, C02 and more. We also liked their Nutcracker tool, which also retails for $10 and features a Presta valve nut wrench, disc pad spreader, valve core removal tool and a spare valve stem! Genius.

Sea Otter 2019

Turbolito’s $35 inner tubes caught our eye as we wandered the grass infield between meetings. They’re made of a thermoplastic elastomer material that the founders originally created while making membranes for cell phone speakers. The tubes are way smaller, and way lighter than traditional butyl/rubber tubes while also claiming to be much more durable. At just 83 grams for a 29er tube, we’re very excited to trade the heavy old tubes out of our packs and use that space for more Twinkies! Stay tuned for a review.

Sea Otter 2019

Fun fact: the pond in the center of the Laguna Seca infield has some pretty cool inhabitants. SEE YA NEXT YEAR!