The Subaru Sea Otter Classic is an annual event held at the legendary Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California. For four days, all sorts of bicycles invade the venue for a massive vendor festival, racing of all disciplines, and cycle tours and fun events for all. The number of motocross brands that crossover into cycling, and mountain biking in particular, is massive. Here are some of the moto-centric things we spotted while cruising this year’s festival!
Bell Helmets is obviously a leader in cycling head protection, and inside the Bell booth we spotted a very familiar Moto 9 Flex helmet on display. Initially, we thought it was the custom-painted lid that Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac wore at the early West Coast rounds of this year’s SX series, but upon closer inspection, we discovered that it is in fact, his 2019 Moto 9 Flex replica, which will be released to the public this October.
Unlike his last replica Bell, the new Tomac helmet is based on the high-end Moto 9 Flex platform. Designed by AP Designs, the helmet features the traditional Monster Energy M Claw, as well as Tomac’s familiar USA theme and eagle motif on the back.
The guys at 100% make a lot more than motocross goggles and recently, they debuted the Speedcraft Air sunglass, which incorporates technology that should be very familiar to MX and SX race fans. First debuted as AC Systems in motocross, the nasal dilator system used magnets attached in the bridge of motocross goggles to pull the rider’s nostrils open with adhesive-backed steel discs. More recently, the goggle-mounted system has been ditched in favor of a small nose bridge that does the job independently of goggles. 100% licensed the AC Systems technology and built a clever sunglass frame that has an adjustable set of magnetic arms, so that the fit can be dialed in on the fly. Worn and endorsed by World Champion Peter Sagan, the Speedcraft Air sunglass is on every bicycle racer’s wish list.
Also inside the Bell Helmets booth was a small display of Fasthouse MTB apparel to match the Fasthouse x Bell collab Sixer helmet. There appear to be several different MTB options for multiple disciplines of riding, and all of them looked super cool and comfortable. Response at the show was overwhelmingly positive, as the Fasthouse image in motocross crosses over fluidly into MTB. We can’t wait to get our hands on some!
Where there’s a will, there’s a way! We spotted this creative bike rack in the parking area. While it certainly gets the job done, we have to wonder how it affects handling in a crosswind!
The DVO Suspension booth was one of our favorite destinations every day that we were at the festival. Known best for their superior suspension technology and performance, the DVO crew has lots of exciting stuff to see on display.
Highly regarded as the most adjustable suspension fork in mountain biking, the DVO Diamond features adjustable high- and low-speed compression, rebound dampening, spring preload, and an exclusive Off-The-Top adjuster that does a ton for initial stroke plushness.
For the ultimate in performance, matching a DVO fork with a highly adjustable Topaz shock is the hot ticket. The Topaz incorporates an ingenious volume-displacing ring system that can be fine-tuned without tools to fine-tune the shock’s rebound and compression performance. By far, DVO Suspension components are the most like motocross components available for MTBs.
Popular amongst the downhill and enduro competitors, the Leatt Brace is available in several bicycle-specific versions. Leatt Brace was on and at the Sea Otter in full force, as it produces a complete line of great bicycling products.
Making its debut at the Sea Otter was the Leatt DBX 2.0 helmet, an under-$100 lid that features a ton of safety technology for a mid-level price.
Of course, open-faced trail helmets will not properly work with a Leatt Brace, so a wide range of full-faced helmets are also produced by Leatt for enduro and downhill use.
Our favorite bike products from Leatt, though, are its line of elbow and knee pads. With many options to choose from, we’ve yet to ride in pads that stay put as well as these babies. If you enjoy the summertime trips to the downhill park, do yourself a favor and get some Leatt pads.
The O’Neal Racing crew (minus Daddy Frank) was on hand at Sea Otter with its complete line of MTB apparel on display.
While the crossover between motocross and downhill and trail gear is a no-brainer for O’Neal, we’re betting that many don’t realize that the company also has a full line of…
…bicycle hard parts! Azonic is O’Neal Racing’s division that produces everything from wheel sets to bars to pedals to seat posts a more, for mountain bikes of all disciplines.
O’Neal is also the exclusive powersports distributor for Ogio, the brand that changed the way we think about gear bags with its massively popular 9800 bag that features exclusive compartments for all important gear items. In addition to the rad line of gear bags, Ogio has a complete line of luggage, backpacks, and hydrations packs for riding. Our buddy Pat Lopez was on hand in his new role at Ogio, selling product at special show prices. The booth was a huge hit.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few years, Robert Reisinger and Bob Weber should be familiar faces as the team who brought us the 6D ATR-1 motocross helmet. After changing the way that the motocross helmet industry things about helmet safety, 6D branched into mountain bike helmets and offers both trail and downhill versions that sport the same omni-directional suspension system inside.
Scott is best known in moto for its popular goggles, but did you know that the Scott Sports bicycle division is massive?
Scott produces a complete line of mountain and road bikes, all of which are considered to be leaders in all divisions. At the Sea Otter, Scott debuted…
…its first pedal-assist mountain bike. Though “e bikes” have been met with some resistance by bicycling purists, we’ve spent some time on them and have been completely convinced of their place in the sport. From gateway bikes into conventional biking to simply more smiles per hour, pedal-assist bikes are here to stay and they shouldn’t be judged by someone who hasn’t spent time in the saddle of one!
Our friend Ryan McCarthy of Rynopower was on hand, slinging protein shakes and Hydration Mix. We’ve relied on Rynopower supplements for several years now and cannot say enough about their ability to help us perform at our best.
Specialized always has some radical concept bikes on display at the Sea Otter, and we were pumped to see the “Hondo” on display. Built on a Turbo Levo platform, the pedal-assist concept bike hauls ass! We know…we were lucky enough to take a spin on it at the Specialzied HQ in Morgan Hill before the Oakland Supercross earlier this year.
An all-new Stumpjumper was the big news from Specialized at the Sea Otter Classic. Available in long- and short-travel styles, they also have 27.5″, 27.5″+ (6 Fattie), and 29″ versions. This is the ST 29er.
The long travel Evo Stumpjumper boasts 150mm of front and 140mm or rear suspension travel. Available in aluminum and carbon fiber versions, there is a Stumpy to fit in everyone’s budgets. Talk about bike lust!
Did you know that Yamaha has been buidling pedal-assist bikes longer than anyone else in the game? Popular for commuters in Japan, Yamaha pedal-assist bikes boast the torquiest motor we’ve ever thrown a leg over. This year, the Yamaha e-bike is an alloy framed hard-tail that’s aimed at the entry lever rider. Yamaha staff on hand hinted subtly that a more aggressive suspension bike may be in the works.
Known best for its popular boots in motocross, Alpinestars is also heavily invested into mountain bike apparel and protective wear.
Downhill World Champion Aaron Gwin wears Astars!
Most of Alpinestars’ bike apparel seems to be moto influenced. Not pictured here is an amazing cycling bib they make, which boasts a pocket on the back that holds a CE certified foam back protector. We’ve worn the bibshort for a season of downhill riding, and have also incorporated it into out motocross gearbags for spine protection.
Of course, our sister publication Bike Mag was on hand covering everything at the Sea Otter Classic with authority. For even more bikes, gear, and racing from the festival, visit BikeMag.com