Sea Otter Classic, North America’s premier cycling festival, is happening now at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The four-day event hosts hundreds of world-class riders who are competing in mountain and road races as well as brands big and small that are revealing new products for 2019 and beyond. We have a team on the ground to bring you intel on all of the most exciting product releases. Follow our coverage here.
Model: OB1 Omni
Availability: Available Now
Unique Features: A versatile frame, direct consumer model, and relationship with local bike shops mean you can spec a bike and trust that you’ll still enjoy a professional-quality build.
Upshot:Thesis offers the value of consumer-direct models with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that someone who knew what they were doing set up your brakes as you hurtle downhill at 50mph.
Who It’s For: Cyclists who want one bike that offers excellent value and versatile riding.
Insight: Choosing a bike isn’t easy. You know you want to go on rides, but you aren’t sure if you want to be aero, lightweight or comfortable, or be able to carry a tent, ride on some dirt or go over big drops. There are bikes for all of those uses (and then some), and a lot of cycling marketing suggests that you’ll need a special rig for every kind of ride.
That’s great if your garage is spacious and your pockets deep, but I don’t know anyone who fits that description. Thesis offers a different angle; one versatile frame and custom builds that allow you to create the bike that can handle anything you’d want to do on drop bars. Thesis assembles the bikes and then works with local shops to ensure that your bike is built and fitted to a professional standard.
That’s pretty cool, but what draws me to Thesis is its inclusion of dropper posts, bottom brackets that don’t creak, and high volume 650b tires, all on gravel builds. The larger volume tires allow for more traction and cushion off-road while the dropper post gets your saddle out of the way when you’re descending technical sections and positions it where it needs to be for seated climbing and road riding. Thesis pulled these features from mountain bikes, and they make a huge difference in turning a drop bar bike into a hugely capable off-road machine that can also take on long stretches of pavement.
Road brands have been slow to embrace smaller rims, bigger tires and dropper posts, but Thesis is picking up the slack. Its Omni edition comes with two sets of wheels: wide 650b wheels for trails and aero carbon wheels for the road. Each wheelset comes tubeless to minimize punctures, and with appropriate gearing for its intended use. One bike, four wheels, and all the riding you can handle; that’ll free up some garage space and leave enough in your budget for a week of riding.