The Sea Otter Classic is back in its regular spot on the trade show calendar, and the bike industry has clearly been eager to get back out there – this year’s event is shaping up to be jam-packed with new gear.
The first day of the show revealed all sorts of goodies, including new high-performance saddles and shoes from Fizik, slick new CNC-machined computer mounts from K-Edge, a variety of new tools and accessories from Lezyne, yet another fun-focused new bike from Marin, and a slick new hitch-mounted car rack from RockyMounts.
What’ll we find tomorrow? Make sure you check back for our daily coverage through the weekend for
more from the 2022 Sea Otter Classic.
Fizik’s new Argo Adaptive adds the short-nosed option to the company’s range of 3D-printed saddles.
The 3D-printed top isn’t just light; it’s also a lot more padded than what you usually get from high-performance saddles.
The Fizik Argo Adaptive saddle is offered in two flavors. The R1 (US$299 / £299 / €299) is the higher-end version with carbon rails, and weighs as little as 190 g. The R3 (US$259 / £239 / €259) is built with hollow “k:ium” rails, which bump the weight up to 224 g. Both are offered in 140 mm and 150 mm widths.
Fizik is going after the gravel and XC racing crowd with its latest shoe, the Vento Ferox. Retail price is US$299 / £299 / €299, and claimed weight is 297 g each.
The Fizik Vento Ferox uses a single wide PowerStrap hook-and-loop main closure for low weight and good pressure distribution, plus a forefoot Boa for easier on-the-fly adjustment if your feet start to swell.
The upper is a three-layer laminate with a base perforated synthetic, a layer of ripstop, and then welded TPU in strategic areas for protection and support.
Although Fizik wanted to keep the shoes light, the company also didn’t want to skimp on rubber on the outsole. In particular, it’s good to see rubber just ahead of the heel to provide some grip in case you miss a pedal.
K-Edge’s new SL7 mount is designed to work with the slotted faceplates on many of Specialized’s latest high-end road bikes.
The CNC-machined aluminum body sports a tapered shape that’s designed to mesh perfectly with Wahoo computers, but will still work with other brands of computers, too.
Running a stubby mountain bike stem with 35 mm-diameter bars? K-Edge’s new Boost Stem Mount kicks things upward a few millimeters to help the computer clear those big clamps.
Marin is definitely blurring the lines between gravel and MTB with its new DSX FS.
The Marin DSX FS uses the same stretched-out frame as the DSX 2 we covered at last year’s Field Test, but it now adds a Suntour GVX suspension fork for even more off-road capability. That’s a good thing, particularly since we found the front end of the DSX frame to be quite stiff.
The drivetrain on the DSX features a 12-speed Shimano SLX cassette and rear derailleur, matched to what appears to be a Samox single-ring aluminum crankset.
Utility is still part of the story here, as the DSX FS aluminum frame is equipped with proper rack mounts if you really want to haul some gear.
Are 700×45 mm tires wide enough? For light-duty trails, they should do the job, but this most definitely shouldn’t be confused with a proper mountain bike.
CushCore’s new Bead Bro tool is said to be your “third hand”, locking one section of the tire in place so that you can wrestle the rest of it with a tire lever without worrying about the other end popping off the rim. It’s pretty expensive for such a simple chunk of plastic (US$13), but if it does what it says, it’ll also potentially save a lot of headache.
Why bother with the Bead Bro? CushCore’s foam tire inserts are one of the best options out there, but they’re also particularly tight-fitting and tricky to install.
RockyMounts is the latest brand to debut a 1up-style hitch bike rack. This one’s called the GuideRail, and it looks very promising.
The dual folding arms sandwich each bike by the wheels so there’s no frame contact whatsoever. The tiered design also allows for closer spacing than if they were at the same level, and the dual-arm design makes it easy to shift bikes left and right to make them fit.
The wheel blocks hold firm on both mountain bike and road bike tires, but fat bikes aren’t an option as the arms will only handle a 3″-wide tire.
Most of the touch points are made of blue-anodized aluminum for a premium look. The price is premium, too, at US$849 for the two-bike version, and US$1,049 for one with a built-in swing-out base.
The blue anodizing might attract the attention, but it’s the bronze bushings that I really care about because it bodes well for the rack’s long-term durability.
The accessory chain locks into the port on the base for a bit of security.
The RockyMounts DropTop thru-axle clamp offers multiple mounting positions for trucks and vans.
Lezyne’s redesigned SV Pro multi-tool range features smoother aluminum side plates and longer tool bits than before for improved hardware access.
Lezyne’s new Pocket Torque Drive is meant to be a torque wrench that you can always have with you on a ride.
The included wrench is used to adjust the torque setting in case your fingers aren’t strong enough, and the range is a useful 2-6 Nm. It’s a torque-limited design, too, meaning it won’t let you apply more torque than how it’s set.
Running tubeless on your mountain bike, and prefer to carry a pump? The Lezyne CNC Tubeless Drive is a high-volume design that tops out at 30 psi.
Hidden inside the handle is a tubeless plug kit and CO2 inflator head. There’s room inside the piston for a CO2 cartridge, too.
The Lezyne Stick Drive puts out a modest 30 lumens of claimed output, but Lezyne says it seems brighter because of the focused optics. Note how Lezyne has integrated this setup into a dedicated aluminum seatpost collar.
There’s also a more conventional o-ring mount, which perhaps isn’t quite as clean as that dedicated collar, but is certainly more versatile.
The light can be plugged directly into a USB port for recharging.
Also new from Lezyne is an updated helmet mount for its lights, with a lower profile design that places the light closer to the helmet than before.
Looking for an alternative to 12-speed chains for your Shimano or Campagnolo road, or Shimano or SRAM mountain bike drivetrains? KMC is here for you. The DLC model is its flagship option, though independent testing hasn’t shown it to be any better than the standard one, which is quite a bit less expensive.