The wait for the Sea Otter Classic has been building for weeks, if not months, and so many brands have chosen this moment as their moment to reveal their latest and greatest products. We’ve rounded up a selection of the most glitzy launches here, timed precisely for the curtain-raiser.
In the meantime, we’re out in the field, hunting down the weirdest, most wonderful, and most innovative products we can find – so stay tuned for these tech gems!
Ortlieb Seat-Pack QR
German bike pannier manufacturer Ortlieb is perhaps best known for its sturdy panniers – loved by hikers and commuters the world over – but has also clearly spent a lot of time perfecting its bikepacking range.
While most giant saddle bags are great, there are a few lingering issues with the majority of systems on the market.
Firstly, is packing a saddle bag – it’s much easier to fit your kit with the bag off the bike, but then you have the problem of putting everything back together. Second, is about swaying – even though some brands have systems that manage to limit this to levels that are no longer bothersome, small movements can still lead to friction which ultimately reduces the lifespan of the bags.
Ortlieb’s vision is to eliminate both of these problems with the introduction of its quick release system. The idea is that it makes the bag quick to put on and take off, for easier packing, and it holds the bag much more securely and without rubbing.
There are a range of small extra features, such as a purge valve to make rolling the bag up easier and an elastic strap to store extra layers. The bag comes in a single 13-liter size and has a claimed weight of 625 grams.
The price is £155 / $190 and more details can be found on ortlieb.com (opens in a new tab)
Mason Exposure Gravel Bike
You can trace the show’s genealogy to Mason’s award-winning Bokeh, an all-around gravel bike that strikes a balance between speed and toughness—but it’s more than just a reimagining of steel.
First, tire clearance has been increased from 50mm to 58mm in 650b (2.35″) and 45mm to 50mm in 700c. The bike has also spawned new mounting points to carry even more kit , with no less than four bosses inside the downtube and triple bosses on the underside, seat tube and each fork leg.
The exhibit will be available in two production colours, a soft greyish green and a warm ocher yellow – which is already used on Mason’s Scottish made hardtail frames. But to celebrate the release of this new frameset, there will be a limited run of 10 “Launch Edition” frames that will be available in two exclusive colorways: DarkRoom Red Metallic and Diffuser Black Metallic.
The frame in the pictures here is Mason’s final sample and finished raw with just a coat of beeswax, clearly showing the welds and solders of the tube joints and frame components. Unfortunately, this won’t be an option for production models as the frames will need to be corrosion treated, primed and painted to ensure their longevity.
More information on the bikes can be found on Mason’s website here.
New Rapha Brevet collection: long-distance all-weather kit
Rapha’s Brevet collection is inspired by the Paris-Brest-Paris audax, a 1,200 km epic that dates back to 1891 and is currently held every four years. challenge the spirit of hiker, Rapha’s Brevet kit is designed for riding long distances in changing conditions.
New and improved for the 2022 men’s collection are the Patent shorts (top right) which feature Rapha’s toughest cushion, UPF50+ sun protection and reflective strips for better visibility when riding at night. Taking inspiration from Rapha’s cargo bib shorts, the Brevet Bibs also have a subtle slip side pocket for additional storage. The price comes in at £215/$290.
In a men’s and women’s fit, Rapha has new colors from its Patent Vest (bottom left), a water and wind resistant shell that packs into its own internal pocket for easy storage and costs £105/$145.
In both men and women, there is the Patent Jersey (top left), which now uses recycled fabrics in the merino wool blend. Rapha says this suit offers the natural sweat-wicking and anti-bacterial properties of merino wool, while being tough enough to “go the distance”. It costs £130 / $145.
Then come the women Patent Flyweight Windbreaker (bottom right), which features a construction similar to the Brevet vest, using lightweight windproof fabric and a durable water-repellent treatment to repel light rain. In addition to storing in its own pocket, the jacket has two zipped side pockets. That works out to £135/$185.
And finally there is the Men’s Patent Gore-Tex Jacket (bottom middle), which combines lightness and compressibility with a fully waterproof construction. That works out to £265/$360.
For more information, you can view Rapha’s full Brevet collection (opens in a new tab) this way.
Fizik Argo Adaptive
Fizik releases are coming in droves and fast right now. The new Argo Adaptive continues with the short nose and center recess design that spans the entire Argo saddle family, but combines this with Fizik’s “digital padding” 3D printed by digital light synthesis carbon.
We’ve seen the trellis-style design used in Fizik’s Antares line, as well as Specialized with their Power saddle. This will be the first time that Fizik has brought this 3D printing technology to a short nose saddle, opening up the benefits of “zonal padding” to those who prefer this style of saddle shape.
This “zonal cushioning” refers to Fizik’s ability to adjust the 3D structure for different loading patterns on the saddle, which Fizik says helps “reduce peak pressure” while the saddle shape is designed to “provide greater stability and weight distribution”.
The Argo Adaptive R1 with carbon rails will be available in 140mm (190g) and 150mm (196g) and will be priced at 299€ | £299 | $299.
The Argo Adaptive R3 with K:ium alloy rails will be available in 140mm (224g) and 150mm (230g) and will be priced at €259 | £259 | $259.
Both saddles will be available to consumers from the end of the month. More information can be found on the Fizik website here.
Giant/Stages Dash 200 Series CPUs
Power meter specialists Stages and bicycle brand Giant have collaborated to produce a new bike computer – the Dash 200 series.
It comes in two sizes, a 2.2″ or 2.7″ screen and has a color screen as well as pre-installed cycling specific maps. Neither device has a touchscreen, with both only controlled by a total of five concave buttons.
As you’d expect from head units at this price – £239/$279 for the smaller and £289/$329 for the larger model – both come with full ANT+ and Bluetooth compatibility and will sync routes and rides to and from third-party apps such as Strava and TrainingPeaks.
Battery life is claimed at 10 hours when displaying full backlit maps and with a sensor connected. This goes up to 6 p.m. with reduced power mode activated. For those who wish, the central units can also be used in landscape mode, as well as in portrait mode.
For more information, you can find our full launch story here.
Fizik Ferox Gravel Running Shoes
The latest addition to Fizik’s line of gravel shoes, the Ferox are built for the rigors of off-road racing. Weight has been reduced – compared to Fizik’s versatile Terra Atlas gravel shoes – by opting for a laminated mesh upper, while the sole is optimized for maximum stiffness, scoring a 10/10 on the stiffness scale of Fizik.
Despite their claimed stiffness, Fizik still recommends the shoes for “all-day gravel events,” so clearly must have great confidence in the shoes’ fit and support. Pricing comes in at £299/$299 and our full launch story can be found here.
Vielo wireless only and 1x specific gravel bike
British “Indy-Boutique” bike brand Vielo had already made a name for themselves with their 1x specific gravel bikes – most brands will use an asymmetric chainstay to accommodate both double chainset and wide tyres, but The symmetrical V+1 Alto’ stays deliver weight savings on par with an 880-gram (claimed) frame, while accommodating tires up to 50mm wide.
But with this idea of uncompromising specificity for the setup at hand, Vielo has taken the same approach to the wiring. The Race V+1 Edition is designed for wireless groupsets only, with no ports or holes to route cables to a rear mechanism, making for a distinctly clean and minimalist build.
Pricing starts at £5,899/$7,890 for a SRAM Rival groupset and goes up to £9,999/$13,000 for SRAM Red. You can find out more in our full article (opens in a new tab) just here.
That’s all for now, come back later for our roundup of the weirdest and most wonderful tech we could find.