The Sea Otter Classic is always good for a healthy dose of brand-new bikes, but it’s also fantastic for spotting a wide array of interesting parts and accessories.
Parlee introduced a stunning new aero disc road bike called the RZ7, for example, which touts a slippery shape that supposedly doesn’t sacrifice the smooth ride quality for which the company is generally known. And UK company Vielo showed off its interpretation of how good a road bike could be if designed around a dedicated single-chainring format. Whether the R+1 is a commercial success remains to be seen, but it’s certainly fun to see companies continuing to push the envelope regardless.
Also found at this year’s event was Spurcycle’s new — and lower-priced — M2 Compact bell for flat bars, new lights from Knog, a neat grip system from TOGS, clever tools and suspension bearings from Enduro, and a special set of Mavic wheels that I really hope actually makes it to market some day.
Want to see more fresh new gear hitting the market this season? Check out our complete coverage of this year’s Sea Otter Classic, as well as all the new bits from the Taipei Cycle Show, too.
UK company Vielo showed off this striking R+1 model, designed exclusively around a single-chainring drivetrain. The top-end frameset shown here, with its more premium carbon fiber blend and fully hidden brake hoses, will retail for US$5,200 / £4,000, complete with integrated cockpit and seatpost.
Vielo was specifically going for a smooth ride quality on the new R+1, incorporating a pronounced flex zone out back. The company claims that it allows the rear wheel to move upward up to 20mm.
Without an inner chainring or front derailleur to worry about, the down tube, seat tube, and chainstays can be pushed out to the extremes.
Vielo claims the 1x-specific yields a 30% boost in bottom bracket stiffness over what it would have been with a 2x-compatible design.
The R+1 isn’t meant to be a full-blown gravel or adventure machine, and so it’s only equipped with a modicum of accessory mounts, which includes three bottle mounts and holes up top for a bento box.
There’s also a standard version of the Vielo R+1 (in white), built with a more conventional carbon fiber blend that adds some weight, but brings the price down to US$3,510 / £2,700 with seatpost.
Mavic formally debuted two new carbon fiber wheelsets for gravel riding – one in 700c, the other in 650b – but what really caught my eye were these Deemax enduro wheels. Instead of the usual black anodized surface, Mavic gave these a gorgeous brushed aluminum finish that really highlights the material (and also looks especially sharp when paired with this machined aluminum Pole frame). Mavic hasn’t announced any plans to bring this to market, but I’d have to imagine that there would be a decently sizeable contingent that would jump at the opportunity.
Mavic’s Deemax aluminum make a strong case that carbon isn’t necessarily the be-all-end-all when it comes to high-end mountain bike wheels.
Mavic has come an incredibly long way in terms of how it machines its aluminum rims, removing excess material where it isn’t needed to save weight, but leaving plenty around the spoke holes to keep the threaded nipples from pulling out.
Parlee debuted its new RZ7 aero road bike at this year’s Sea Otter Classic, which is claimed to be 17% more aerodynamically efficient than the Altum Disc, while adding just 100g to the frameset weight. Aero claims aside, it looks fantastic.
Parlee’s aero claims for the RZ7 will certainly entice some, but what is arguably more interesting is Parlee’s assertion that the RZ7 achieves those aims without sacrificing any of the ride quality of the company’s round-tubed models.
Kamm-tail profiles are used throughout, and the down tube looks to have been shaped with water bottles in mind.
Parlee is kicking off the RZ7 with a specially painted “Factory Edition” version, of which there will be only 100 available worldwide. Parlee will offer Factory Edition models for US$6,600 with Shimano Ultegra Di2, US$7,990 with SRAM Red eTap AXS, or US$8,480 with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2.
Parlee has adapted the presumably aero-enhancing caliper fairings from the TTR time trial/triathlon model for the RZ7. Although I have yet to see any data that says these covers actually make the bike faster, they do arguably look cooler. Either way, Parlee is only offering the new RZ7 with disc brakes.
The tube shapes on the Parlee RZ7 may come across as somewhat derivative, but if the company really has managed to make the bike unusually comfortable, then that’ll be the real story here.
Parlee is sticking with its preferred PF30 bottom bracket shell format, saying that its ultra-tight manufacturing tolerances prevent the problems that plague PF30-equipped bikes from other companies.
Cables, hoses, and wires are all routed cleanly through the dedicated carbon fiber cockpit.
The down tube has three mounting bosses, so riders can mount the cage very low for better aerodynamics if they decide a single bottle is enough.
Praxis has announced a version of its top-end Zayante Carbon road crankset that now comes from the factory with a single-sided 4iiii power meter. Retail price is a very aggressive US$700, and for another US$500, 4iiii will add a second pod to the driveside arm for true dual-sided measurement. Praxis will offer the Zayante Carbon in 1x or 2x formats, and there are bottom bracket cups to fit almost any frame. Production units are available in the US right now, and international distribution will kick off May 1 in the UK, Germany, Benelux, and Australia.
Spurcycle’s family of premium biycle bells has finally expanded with the introduction of the flat-bar-focused M2 Compact. The tidier form factor takes up less room on the bar, and plays nicer with mountain bike controls. The simple brass version in the foreground will retail for US$29, while the DLC-treated nickel brass model in the background will fetch an extra US$10. Expected availability is later this summer.
Whereas the clamp on the original Spurcycle bell was 15mm-wide, the one on the M2 Compact is just 8mm.
Spurcycle switched to an internal-impact design for the new M2 Compact model, but it’s still mighty loud.
Enduro continues to build upon its already-generous collection of tools. The latest version of its bearing presses features easily removable handles that allow for more compact storage – ideal for travelling race mechanics. New drifts are now available for SRAM’s DUB bottom brackets.
The handles are held in place with grooves and o-rings. Currently, the hex head that sits underneath can be driven with a 14mm wrench, but that’ll switch to a 15mm before it goes into production.
The threaded rods are turned down at the ends so that mechanics don’t have to worry about the handles dropping to the ground once the threads are disengaged.
The removable handles also allow the new presses to be used in tighter spaces than before.
SRAM’s DUB bottom brackets use 28.99mm-diameter bearings, which require their own drifts and removers.
Also new from Enduro are full-complement bearings for suspension pivots, built with ultra-durable XD-15 balls and steel races. According to Enduro, these bearings will last far, far longer than conventional setups in adverse conditions, which should appeal to riders who regularly find themselves riding in slop and replacing bearings as a result.
TOGS (Thumb Over Grip System) first came on to the market with handy thumb rests for mountain bikers, and the company is now hoping to bring to market these nifty thumb grips for drop bars.
They may seem a bit goofy, but the additional stub really does seem to improve grip when down in the drops. TOGS will launch a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for these on April 30.
The original TOGS have co-molded silicone rubber ends these days for improved comfort.
The mountain bike version basically just adds a bit of extra security for riders that like to have their thumbs draped over the top of the grip, instead of wrapping underneath as usual. They can also be mounted further inboard for a pseudo-aero position.
Cobber is Knog’s new lighting line aimed at improving the 360° visibililty of riders on the road, not just from the front or rear. There are three different sizes for both the front and rear models, each with built-in USB plugs for cord-free recharging. The largest, and most visible, model is shown here, packing a whopping 270 lumens of maximum output in daytime flash mode. Prices for each light range from US$50 to US$90, and pre-packaged front and rear sets will be offered as well.
The Knog Bandicoot is a fun silicone rubber headlight for camping or general use. It’s equipped with both red and white LEDs. Maximum claimed output is 100 lumens, and maximum claimed run time is 80 hours.
Remember Spinergy? Well, turns out the comapny never really went away, and they’re now trying to make a resurgence into the gravel market with these wider aluminum wheels, built with the company’s trademark flexible fiber spokes that supposedly make for a smoother ride on rough ground.
Each bundle of fiber has to bewrapped for abrasion protection, which opens the door for lots of colors.