When you think of sea otters, you conjure up the image of an adorable aquatic mammal with a penchant for floating on its back like an overweight tourist in a casino pool. Unless you’re a cycling fan, in which case you’re probably aware that the strangely named bike race and trade show in Monterey, California (where a population of sea otters happens to live) has become a hub for brands looking to launch hundreds of new bike products for spring and summer.
The Sea Otter Classic has been taking place at the Laguna Seca Raceway since 1991 and has grown considerably from a small mountain bike race to a four-day festival with world class road and mountain bike racing as well as hundreds of brands exhibiting.
Unlike other trade shows, Sea Otter offers the opportunity to ride bikes on great trails in the sunshine. That makes it infinitely more fun than trade shows housed entirely in vast convention centers, where the only light is fluorescent, and the closest thing to single-track are the aisles between booths. The riding in Monterey isn’t only good, it fosters camaraderie among attendees; for instance, I pedaled the 150 miles from San Francisco down to the show with a gang of current and former pro cyclists.
Suitably exhausted, I’ll be hitting the open-air show floor (and nearby trails) and updating you on the latest and greatest in cycling gear under the California sun.
Cycling Clothing Doesn’t Get More Comfortable Than This
Velocio’s new cycling jersey draws on t-shirts for inspiration and is supermely comfortable, even on long rides, as a result.
You Can Avoid Luggage Fees with This Tricky New Bike Bag
Orucase’s new B2 bike travel bag skirts expensive airline luggage policies so that you can travel with your bike without paying out the window.
This Affordable New Mountain Bike Is Perfect for First-Timers
Diamondback’s Sync’r Carbon is a versatile hardtail mountain bike that first-time riders and trail verterans can agree on.
Bikes This Good Are Never This Affordable
Given that road bikes can cost as much as cars, Canyon’s new Grail AL is an affordable marvel that performs well beyond its price.
Now You Can Make Your Bike Lighter for Only $38
Buying an ultralight bike frame or wheelset can cost a fortune, but Tubolito’s new tubes definitely does not.
Want to Make Your Bike More Versatile? Start with the Wheels
Enve’s newest wheels are for road cyclists who want to take their bikes from smooth tarmac to dirt and back again.
Specialized’s New Bike Aims to Be Fast and Cush
Specialized’s updated Roubaix bikes are designed for riders not to feel the road, so they can go as fast as possible.
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