Joining VeloClub not only supports the work we do, there are some fantastic benefits:
Driving on to the grounds of the Laguna Seca racetrack on the last day of Sea Otter had the wheels in my head turning. I felt like I needed one more day at the event, which rarely would I ever say. The venue was buzzing all weekend between the vendors, racers, and general attendees. Also, everyone seemed to be in a great mood. This was such a breath of literal and metaphorical fresh air to start the season with.
Overall, the trend of gravel bikes prevailed as brands shifted a lot of their focus away from race-ready machines and equipment, and instead to opening up to a new discipline of riders. Moots showed off its new micro-suspension gravel bike, the Routt YBB, while, on the other end of the gravel spectrum, Pinarello’s new gravel bike, the Grevil+, steered towards an aero design that left no option for a dropper post. Fuji even threw in its first carbon gravel bike. More than anything, I can’t wait to go out and adventure this summer!
We round out our final gallery of the show with the tidbits that keep your bikes running smoothly, including Joe’s No Flats and Milkit sealants, Park Tool’s on-site repair station, a fresh price-point helmet from POC, a few pairs of flashy kicks from Northwave, and more. There was so much to do and see at the Sea Otter Classic this year, and it only confirms that this event is here to stay.
Based on Pinarello’s speed machine, the F10, the carbon fiber Grevil+ boasts a modified geometry to create a similarly speed-focused gravel bike. The top-tier, Di2 build will retail for around US$6,200.
An integrated port in the down tube helps keep your Shimano Di2 junction box hidden.
No dropper post compatibility here. The Grevil+ focuses on aerodynamics with an aero seatpost and an integrated wedge-type binder.
Pinarello is stepping out of its predominantly black color schemes with new colors such as “Petrol” and “Vertigo Blue.”
The Grevil+ will be available in three complete builds: Shimano Ultegra (US$4,900), SRAM Force eTap AXS (US$5,300), and Shimano Ultegra Di2 Ultegra ($6.200). All three are expected to be available in May 2019.
Despite the + sign in its name, the Grevil+ does not mean it’s a “fat tire” gravel bike. Instead, the frame provides clearance for up to a 700 x 42c or 650b x 2.1 tire.
If you prefer the DIY route, the Pinarello Grevil+ is also available as a frameset, made of 700-series Toray carbon, for about US$3,500.
Moots showed off its new Routt YBB gravel bike, which is designed with, well, the company’s YBB rear suspension.
The YBB softail unit delivers 20mm of rear axle travel.
Moots offers a number of anodized logo finishes to customize your bike.
Moots continues to use 3D-printed 6/4 titanium dropouts on certain models to ensure proper brake tab alignment, which is especially tricky on welded titanium frames with separate tabs given the high heat involved. Moots also machine engraves directly into the head tube for a distinctly high-end look.
This Moots Routt YBB features the Stanley finish, which is included in Moots’ new line of Signature anodized finishes. Named for the Colorado hotel that inspired the Stephen King thriller, The Shining, the Stanley brings the iconic rug design from the film and places it right on to your chainstay. This finish is available on all models and costs US$600.
Swiss company Milkit showed off its expanding range of tubeless accessories, including the refined 1L and 0.6L tubeless Booster canister options. These are used to quickly inject a big blast of air to help seat stubborn tubeless tires when you don’t have a compressor handy.
Milkit has also announced a new line of tubeless tire sealant. The sealant will be a synthetic latex with added microfibers to help seal larger holes.
The new 45mm valve stem length complements the three existing Milkit valve stems. The valves use a one-way rubber flap at the rim end that prevents air from escaping if the core is removed. This makes it a breeze to add or check sealant when used together with the Milkit injector needle.
Perfect for roadies and gravel riders, the POC Omne Air SPIN offers style and protection at the relatively affordable price point of US$150. There was also talk of a removable visor option for future markets.
AVIP models feature bright accents to help improve visibility.
The rear of the helmet provides a bit more coverage than most road-focused helmets.
POC’s Shearing Pad INside technology, or SPIN, is a silicone gel-like membrane inside the helmet padding that is designed to mimic the rotational protection of MIPS low-friction liners.
Fuji’s Jari gravel bike was introduced about two years ago, and now there’s a carbon version called – what else – the Jari Carbon.
There is no lack of cargo cage mounts, rack mounts, and hidden fender eyelets here. There is room for up to four bottle cages.
A protector and bottle cage mount graces the underside of the bottom bracket and down tube.
The modular cable stops and integrated Di2 port keep the down tube clean and sleek.
The Jari Carbon has a removable weather-resistant top tube box.
Northwave released its new Ghost Pro mountain bike shoe, which includes two micro-adjustable SLW2 dials – Northwave’s answer to Boa.
Another asset to the Ghost Pro is the Hyperlight XC outsole, with rubber compounds from Michelin.
Northwave also updated its Extreme Pro road shoe to include dual SLW2 dials.
The full-carbon plate has arch support built in, and is supposedly Northwave’s most rigid plate to date with a stated stiffness index of 15.0 (because 10 stopped being good enough a long time ago).
A blast from the past! After being released in the 90s, the Northwave Espresso shoes have made a return to the Japanese and Italian markets.
The Espresso was modeled to be worn after snowboarding. The “Big Boy” sole borrows its look from a snow boot, with a sneaker-like appearance.
Available at the end of the month, the Novatec CXD aluminum wheelset is tubeless-ready with offset spoke drilling. It will retail for US$699.
The CXD has a 20.5mm internal width to help support higher-volume tires.
The CXDs will have six-bolt disc compatibility, with a Center Lock version available later on.
Velo has revamped its Angel Saddles to offer more colorful options while keeping the same Y-Cut and ArTech suspension shock absorption systems.
Velo Saddles celebrates every year with a new, unique design that captures traditions of the Chinese culture. This year is the Year of the Pig.
There was no shortage of tools at Sea Otter this year. Park Tool not only had a number of satellite repair stands (complete with a pump and some basic tools) set up throughout the festival, but there was also a full booth with more repair stands, tool sets, and a full staff to answer all your repair questions.
Relatively new to the US, Joe’s No Flats offers four different options of sealants to best suit your riding needs. With four different latex-based formulas – all of which are supposedly eco-friendly – the company claims to seal holes up to 6mm. They also offer Podium Sealant for larger punctures up to 10mm. This would be better suited for mountain bikers.
Perfect for the dry Monterey dirt, Joe’s No Flats brought two of its dry lubes: Joe’s PTFE Dry Lube and a more environmentally friendly lube, Joe’s Eco-Nano Dry Lube.