SEA OTTER BEGINS – Here’s the best new stuff!

2023 specialized epic s-works wc world cup short travel XC race mountain bike

Ready? Here’s the mega dump of new products launching at Sea Otter Classic todayI’ve grouped them by category…bikes, components, etc.

You’ll find more popping up elsewhere, but here’s the best of what’s new…

  • Specialized Epic World Cup
  • Atherton AM.170
  • Yeti SB135 27.5″
  • Nukeproof Dissent Carbon
  • Rotor MTB INspider
  • WTB Gravelier
  • Prologo Scratch NDR
  • Wolf Tooth ReMote Pro
  • Maxxis MaxxSpeed
  • Cushcore Trail
  • Kuat Overland Racks
  • Bridge Carbon BB threads
  • Boyd’s US-made alloy rims

2023 Specialized Epic World Cup XC race bike

2023 specialized epic world cup XC race bike with integrated rear shock

With 75mm rear travel and a frame weight of just 1,765g (painted, w/ shock & hardware!), the new Specialized Epic World Cup is the hardtail killer. The 3-mode integrated Rockshox SID WC rear shock acts as a structural member, with wide bearings at its mounts and a tiny, ultra-stiff linkage.

It has independently adjustable positive and negative air springs, and when switched to Firm mode it deactivates the negative and tops out. Meaning, there’s no sag, so its 75mm of travel is about the same as a 100mm travel bike properly sagged. Medium has just 2% sag, and Active has 4% sag…all very minimal and focused on maximum efficiency.

Up front is a 110mm fork, it fits 29×2.35″ tires, and it’ll come in S-Works and Pro versions. Available in limited quantities now in S-XL, and XS as framesets only. Pricing TBA.

Atherton Bikes AM.170 carbon titanium enduro bike

atherton AM170 enduro mountain bike with carbon tubes and 3d printed titanium lugs

The updated AM.170 “all mountain” bike from Atherton gets a new DW6 suspension from Dave Weagle that’s more pedal-friendly than ever, despite the 170mm of rear travel. And it switches to a mixed wheel setup.

The frame has carbon fiber tubes with 3D-printed titanium lugs, and straight seat tube lets you run really long dropper posts. The construction lets them offer a whopping 22 sizes, built to order. Framesets from £4,500, bikes from £6,950.

Yeti SB135 looks like a kids bike with 27.5″ wheels

yeti SB135 light trail bike with 27.5 inch wheels fits smaller, shorter riders

The new Yeti SB135 is a 135mm trail bike that’s purpose built for 27.5″ wheels. They say it makes it more playful on techy, gnarly trails, but also that it helps it fit shorter, smaller riders.

Which was one of the main goals, going so far as to give the XS/S frames an even more compact design with lower standover height. It shares all the same updated kinematics and size specific geometry as their new SB120, SB140, and SB160 that launched earlier this year…all 29ers.

Nukeproof Dissent Carbon DH gets all the adjustments

nukeproof dissent carbon dh downhill mountain bike with highly adjustable geometry

It’s taken a WC podium, raced Red Bull Hardline, and topped Crankworx DH, all as a prototype. Now the Nukeproof Dissent Carbon downhill bike is finally out as their first carbon DH frame.

The move to carbon let them add a ton of adjustability, including head angle and chainstay length, as well as fine tune frame stiffness and ride quality. Then they gave it a three-position geometry switch that requires no flip chips, just move the lever to change geo. Swap between 29er and 27.5″ rear wheels with a flip chip, too. Oh, and it saved 430g.

Rotor MTB INspider powermeter gets lighter

rotor mtb inspider powermeter chainring spider for mountain bikes

The new 105g Rotor MTB INspider power meter, 32% lighter than before, and claims to fit every mountain bike on the market. It fits new 100×4 BCD chainrings (30/32/34/36-tooth round & oval options, Shimano/SRAM 11/12-speed compatible, $85 each), is fully waterproof, rechargeable, and all of the electronics are housed in a gel-padded enclosure to protect against impacts.

It fits their Kapic Alloy & ultralight Kapic Carbon cranks, with standard, Boost & SuperBoost spindles. It provides power, cadence, and L/R balance to cycling computers, plus 360º pedal stroke analysis data to their app. The INspider is $499, or bundle it with cranks for $899-$1,099.

WTB Gravelier gravel race saddle

WTB Gravelier gravel bike race saddle for riders who lean forward more

The new WTB Gravelier saddle claims to be the “pinnacle of pedaling comfort and performance for gravel riders who pedal in an aggressive forward-leaning position for extended periods of time.” AKA gravel racers.

A pressure-mapped center channel & cutout runs all the way to the front so you can sit on the nose, and it’s shaped to rotate your hips forward into a powerful pedaling position. A flex fiber & nylon shell adds comfort, and longer rails allow more fore-aft adjustment. A tool/accessory mount underneath is compatible with 3rd party products. Four rail materials & three padding types available, MSRP $95 to $250.

Prologo Scratch NDR XC & marathon race saddle

prologo scratch NDR xc race mountain bike saddle

The new Prologo Scratch NDR uses their zoned padding system and applies it to their top XC/marathon mountain bike saddle shape. The rear is set back slightly, with with multi-density EVA foam to support you sit bones on power sections, and a smooth cover so it’s easy to get off the back on descents.

The center and front are wide, giving you enough support to climb on the nose, but the padding is soft with a cutout in the long-fiber carbon shell to avoid pressure points. A grooved texture prevents slipping so you can focus on the effort, not keeping your position. Weights from 166g-217g, prices €139-€216.

Wolf Tooth ReMote Pro dropper lever is easier, more ergo

wolf tooth remote pro dropper post remote lever with adjustable starting position and low effort thumb lever

The new Wolf Tooth ReMote Pro improves upon existing dropper post levers in two ways. First, you can adjust the rotational position of the lever up to 48º to set its starting position, independently of the cable pull.

Second, the cable pulls across an ovalized cam, making the first part of the “push” easier. It keeps all the mounting options (Matchmaker, Shimano, Band, etc.), sealed bearing, and universal compatibility as before. Replacement parts are also available so you can repair it yourself. MSRP $70.

Maxxis MaxxSpeed race compound no longer pro-only

maxxis maxxspeed tire compound for xc race mountain bike tires has higher grip and lower rolling resistance

Formerly only for pros, the Maxxis MaxxSpeed compound is now available on their Aspen, Ikon, Rekon Race, and new Severe XC mud tire, which has a narrow, low-volume casing with spiky tread pattern to bite through thick mud and muck.

The MaxxSpeed compound uses more silica for reduced rolling resistance, saving a claimed 60 seconds in a 90-minute lap, and has improved wet-conditions grip. The tires use their 120tpi casing and EXO casing.

Cushcore Trail MTB tire insert designed for all riders

cushcore trail mountain bike tire insert

Tire inserts have thus far been fairly burly, made for aggressive DH and enduro riders looking to dial down air to pressure maximize traction and cornering while protecting against rim damage and pinch flats.

The new Cushcore Trail slots in between their XC and Pro/Plus models, bringing the same support with a user-friendlier version for trail riders. Grooves facilitate sealant flow throughout, and a notch makes room for the valve stem, two features we hope make it to the other models. Weights from 199g to 212g.

Kuat gets overland ready w/ truck racks, pads & more

kuat ibex truck bed overland rack with accessories for off grid camping

The new Kuat Ibex truck bed rack has configurable full and half height sizes and widths to fit a variety of short-bed trucks (Tacoma, Tundra, Frontier, Titan, Jeep Gladiator, etc.) and handles up to 300lbs off road (600lbs on-road). T-Track slots throughout let you add almost anything, and crossbars add top-loading capacity.

Optional mounts and accessories include MOLLE boards and mounts for a jack, shovel, antenna, traction boards, grab handle, and even their Piston roof bike tray. MSRP $1,489-$1,589, shipping this summer.

kuat huk truck tailgate pads for mountain bikes

The new Kuat HUK tailgate pad is made from a recyclable/biodegradable TPU material with welded seam construction comes in five sizes from 25″ to 61″ wide, fitting 2-6 bikes. They have handle and backup camera ports, a soft-touch backing so it won’t scratch your car, and extra padding across the top to protect you bike’s downtube. MSRP $149 to $320.

kuat piston pro hitch bike rack with pneumatic release tire cradles

The Kuat Piston Pro nixes a few of the bells and whistles (like tail lights & Kashima coating) from the Pro X model to bring price down, but keeps the pneumatically supported wheel cradles that set it apart…just tap the button and it releases your bike, one wheel at a time.

There’s no frame contact, it fits tires up to 5″ wide and wheel sizes 20″ to 29er, and bikes up to 67lbs. It comes in a 2-bike model with 1- and 2-bike add ons and 1.25″ and 2″ hitch versions available. MSRP is $1,098.

Bridge Bike Works molds carbon fiber BB threads

carbon fiber threads in bottom bracket shell from bridge bike works

Yep, a threaded bottom bracket that threads directly into the carbon, eliminating metal inserts altogether. It saves ~100g on their new Surveyor frames, and, because additional parts aren’t bonded in, allows them to mold it with perfect alignment, which means less friction and creaking.

And it’s strong. And durable. The threads are molded with raw, long strands of carbon, not machined from solid carbon blocks. Then they’re Cerakoted, which gives them an extremely hard, durable surface. More info here.

Boyd Cycling brings alloy rim production to South Carolina

boyd cycling moves alloy rim production to usa

Boyd Cycling has on-shored their alloy rim production, bringing extruded blanks into their SC HQ and rolling, pinning, drilling, and anodizing them on site. The blanks are extruded by their partners (domestic and foreign) to Boyd’s specifications, and their new machinery can cut and roll them.

They’ll be making their Prologue and Altamonte road wheels, plus new Bracken enduro mountain bike rims to start, with the goal of increasing production for other brands looking to move more manufacturing back to the US, too! (video here)

…more to come

sea otter classic venue overlook 2023

These are the big ones, but there are about 1,000 booths this year (literally, not figuratively). I’m not likely to have the usual Friday update ready for tomorrow, but will post the best new stuff I find in next week’s recap.

Have a great weekend! And if you liked this, please share it with a friend!

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The Lunch Ride is a weekly TL;DR recap of the best new cycling products and tech, written for Riders, not Algorithms. SUBSCRIBE HERE to get it in your inbox every Friday.

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