Best New Cycling Gear Unveiled at 2023 Sea Otter Classic
Last weekend, Life Time’s Sea Otter Classic cycling festival opened the gates to bike industry professionals, industry legends, the top racers in the world. Along for the ride were also a wide range of cycling brands showing off new bikes, racks, wheels, suspension, cycling apparel, helmets, and much more at the ultimate cycling extravaganza.
The show, which also welcomes consumers into the fray, is a bona-fide celebration of everything two wheels. There were hundreds of exhibitors showcasing the latest products and offering free bike demos and samples, along with representatives from industry associations and nonprofits, media outlets, and outdoor and tech companies. Safe to say, the venue was packed with people who just love bikes.
Here are 11 of our favorite launches from the fest.
Made for riders who like to rip, jump, play, and frolick on trails, Yeti SB135 is an extremely capable all-mountain/enduro bike. But that’s not the only interesting launch from the Yeti Cycles booth. While the brand is non-committal about if and when the carbon-fiber dirt jumper and full-DH bike it's displaying will come to market, both bikes were in their booth for viewing.
Downhill bikes are having a resurgence. Nukeproof was also showcasing its new carbon Dissent DH bike. WIth the new carbon build, Nukeproof introduces a lot of new features. Carbon makes the bike 430 grams lighter, the bike has new kinematics, and you can choose between 29-inch wheels and a mullet setup. A chainstay pivot flip-chip keeps the bike geometry and kinematics the same whatever wheels you run.
At just 25.1 pounds, Pinarello’s new Nytro e-bike is the lightest mid-drive electric bike on the market. It uses Pinarello’s exclusive T900 carbon frame—the same Pinarello uses in its F9 and F7 bikes. The bike is powered by a TQ-HPR50 motor, which has 50Nm of torque and 300 watts of peak pedal-assist power. Nytro comes in both E-Road and E-Gravel options, each with distinct geometry. E-Road models allow tire clearance up to 32mm; E-Gravel allows up to 50mm; and Nytro E5 uses the same frame as Nytro Gravel models, also with T700 carbon.
With its new wheelsets, Forge+Bond combines performance, sustainability, and environmental responsibility with innovation. The company showed off the first of its recyclable thermoplastic carbon-fiber bicycle wheelsets: 30 EM 29”, an enduro MTB wheel, and 25 GR 700c, gravel wheels.
WTB’s first gravel-specific saddle is the just-released Gravelier. The saddle is made for gravel riders who put in big miles at high watts. Gravel riders typically pedal in a forward-leaning position for long periods of time. To accommodate this posture, the side profile of Gravelier curves from tip-to-tail to cradle and support the pelvis. The mid-length portion of the saddle is wider to extend the range of comfortable sitting positions when you shift forward to climb, for example. The saddle has a perineal relief cutout to improve blood flow and reduce numbness in sensitive areas when your hips are rotated forward.
If you’re looking for the next great bike tool, this is it. It's a DynaPlug double-ended tool that makes for quick and easy flat repairs on tubeless bikes. A chain-breaker tool doubles as a brake pad spreader and bottle opener. The tool has standard hex wrenches: 2/2.5/3/4/5/6/8mm. It also has T25 torx and three spoke wrenches, as well as Phillips No. 2 and Flat No. 5 screwdrivers, plus a valve core tool for flat repair. There’s space to store a spare link in Cannondale’s chain master link storage compartment, though the link is not included. This tool, plus a pump, will get you through pretty much any non-catastrophic repair.
Lubing a bike chain correctly is an art. To do it right, you’re only supposed to lube the rollers of the chain with a drop of lubrication each. But most of us fail and overlube, which glues dirt into the drivetrain, accelerating wear, which then drips onto the garage floor or trail. Plus, squirting lube everywhere but your chain isn’t good for the environment or your wallet.
From the company that produced the Piston Pro X Kashima arm hitch-mounted bike rack comes a line of five new tailgate pads. Küat's Huk pads all feature fully welded TPU fabric that’s durable, strong, and smooth to the touch, while also being recyclable and biodegradable. Each pad has an innovative tailgate window that allows backup camera visibility and tailgate handle access without having to take the pad off.
Ortlieb’s new waterproof Soulo backpack uses an all-new magnetic lid closure system. The pack caught our eye for its clean lines and wealth of features, including a padded laptop compartment, an outside front pocket, a reinforced base, and reflective hints to make cycling commuters more visible at night.
The bike industry’s first true wireless, near ear audio and communication system for cyclists, Aleck Punks securely attaches to helmet straps to deliver crystal clear sound and unlimited range group communication. Mountain bikers, gravel grinders, and road cyclists can rock tunes and talk to each other, all while keeping their ears uncovered to maintain situational awareness.
Osmo Nutrition’s Power Fuel is a high-carbohydrate fuel mix for athletes who need fast, efficient calories for training and racing. The mix has three total ingredients, including cluster dextrin, which has a higher absorption rate than other carbohydrates, enabling faster fueling for endurance athletes.