Seaotter 2016 recap part 1

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Well the seaotter has come and gone, this has become one of my favorite weekends of the year. I was camping out at Laguna Seca with my buddy Noah and a few other dudes that have been coming up year after year also. This being my fourth year i knew exactly what to expect, this year was a little different i had a bit more spending money in my pocket due to the chain reaction/ bicycle times contest that i won and received a weekend festival pass and entry fee which i used for the 20 mile MTB tour ride.

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I had a blast riding with my buddy Noah even though i held him back on most of the climbs. W ended up splitting up after a long technical climb which he zipped right up. The ride was pretty fun it was a little bottlenecked at a few points in the beginning then the riders spread out. Their was a total of 3000′ of climbing over 20 miles and most of it single track technical climbs. Their was a nice rest stop/refueling station at about mile 11. I tend to cram up quite a bit but i was taking s-caps electrolyte pills every 30-40 min which actually worked great.

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I finished the ride in just over 3 hours which was about middle of the pack, i did have to get off and walk a few times but i want alone. All in all it was a fun ride and id probably do it again. this was the first time i rode with a buddy the 2 times I did the grand fondo i rode solo, it was a great ride can’t wait till next year

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Now to the good stuff! There was so much cool stuff this year i didn’t know where to start. So heres a chris king 40th anniversary santa cruz 5010, limited to only 40 bikes this had a custom chris king headset bottom bracket and hub set in a limited color, if you got an extra  $9k this bike can have a spot in your garage.

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Keeping with the Santa Cruz theme this 1×11 Stigmata, shown here with color matching Slica frame and floor pump was a bargain at $6500. I was drooling over it the entire weekend…

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One of the most versatile bikes Santa Cruz introduced a new model this year the High tower, capable of running either 29″ or 27.5+” wheels you can pretty much have two bike all you have to do is buy another set of rims, At $7700 you can justify it by making the argument that its technically 2 bikes, (cyclist logic)

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Adventure/ gravel bikes were all the rage this year hers one that really caught my eye. The raleigh Stuntman is a tribute to the The 80’s tv show the Fall Guy. Starring Lee Majors as Colt Severs. This bike is the same color as his his 82′ GMC. With huge 29×2.1 meats this bike is built to shred, add a dropper post disc brakes and all the rack mount points you can think of and this bike is ready out of the box to do some damage.

Kona always come to party and this year was no different, i stopped by their tent to see what they had brought with them and low and behold kona had a couple carbon bikes with them. Known for aluminum and titanium and steel this is a big deal for them. Not only were they speced nice they also had a nice price tag a well. Per usually i had to take a shot of tequila and have a beer with them and talk bikes, they really now how to threaten me with a good time. The one bike that kinda stole the show was their steel road/cross like with exposed fillet brasing it looked rather nice.

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I was pretty excited to see this bike in person , this is the open cycles UP (unbeaten path) with the option of running a 700×40 cx tire a 700×28 road tire or a 650×2.1 mtb tire this bike can go pretty much anywhere. They say the amount of bikes a cyclist wants is N+1, N being the amount you have and always wanting another, well i think open cycles may have just solved that equation or at least shortened it. If you have a chance to demo this bike In person don’t bring you wallet because you won’t leave with out it.

Ill be posting a few more of these seaotter recaps in the next couple weeks, for a 4 day event they pack a bunch of stuff in to it, f you have never been or never heard of it you should defiantly put it on your to do list

 

Eroica time!

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Its that time a year again the Eroica is upon us. The 2nd year of the California edition of the Eroica will take place again in Paso Robles CA April 8th-10th, conveniently located 25 min from my house. Last year was a great time, so many great vintage bikes, lots of bianchi’s, colnago’s, Pinerellos, and many more.

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The Eroica has 4 different rides, The “short” ride is a 39.9 mile ride with 12 miles on unpaved roads with 2200′ of climbing. The medium ride is 73 miles with 18 miles of unpaved road and 5900′ of climbing. The new costal ride is 87.2 miles 25 miles unpaved and 7300′ of climbing. The last ride is heroic ride which is 126.9 miles 36 miles unpaved and just under 10,000′ climbing. Mind you all these rides are being done on pre- 1987 bikes some even from the 50’s and 60’s. I’ve been trying to build a bike this past year but it just didn’t happen, I hope to have a bike put together for next year and ride the short ride.

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On a recent trip to my local shop they had on display this amazing vintage Masi with full campy record. This is a restored bike with a new paint job and some re-chroming. This thing was in perfect shape, it had no expense sparred, the chain rings, brakes, down tube shifters and brake levers were all drilled for weight savings. this bike was areal eye catcher! They have been getting all kinds of great bikes around this time for eroica .

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Also on the radar is the seaotter which is the weekend after Eroica. This is pretty much my favorite 2 weeks of the year for cycling you get the best of the old and the best of the new in a 2 week span. If you haven’t been to either seaotter or Eroica, i highly encourage you to check it them out, you won’t be disappointed!

 

Cav’s Cervelo S5…

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Looks like Cav is adjusting well to his new ride taking the over all win at the Tour of Qatar and only missing out on the final sprint victory by millimeters. He’s riding all new gear down to the saddle and it looks like it agrees with him. Those gigantic enve wheels are doing just that making me envy them. Doesn’t look like its slowing him down any. Cav also switched from shimano to speedplay  which it a huge change in its self, when i made the switch to speedpaly their was defiantly a learning curve, shimano is a toe first then heel down engagement while speedplay are a straight down motion if you try and go toe first the cleat won’t engage.

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12 February 2016 15th Tour of Qatar Stage 05 : Sealine Beach Resort – Doha Corniche 1st : KRISTOFF Alexander (NOR) Katusha, Leader of the Points Classification 2nd : CAVENDISH Mark (GBR) Dimension Data Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA

But the question is which bike looks better? specialized venge or cervelo s5? Sound off in the comment section which you prefer!

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Mark Cavendish's Specialized S-Works Venge

Review! TOGS (thumb over grip)

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So i first saw TOGS at this past seaotter, they were kind enough to send me home with a pair to try out. i was rather impressed with the simplicity of the product. I tend to ride my road bike more than my mtb, with my road bike i have may different options with grip position. I ride on the hoods about 80% of the time the other 20% is split between the drops and the flat bars. Mtb really only has one riding position for your hand weather your climbing descending or riding on the flats your hands are in the same position, until now….

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(Cue triumphant music) TOGS are a really cool simple product that gives you another riding position for climbing and riding on the flats. Its a great way to rest and not have a death grip when your climbing and flat riding and still have complete access to break levers and shifters. Installation is pretty easy i had new grips installed by ESI and while they were doing that i had them slide on the TOGS, i had to move the dropper post button over  less than 1/4″ but other than that it was easy.

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Togs are designed to act similarly like a hood on a road bike, its great to have another position to have your hand especially while climbing which i need all the help i can. gone is the death grip while climbing i can now relax and focus on spinning the cranks rather than holding the grips. These are light and come in various colors to match your ride. While riding these the past few months all i could think of to improve them is to make them hinged so you don’t have to take the grip off, and when i checked the web site….

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BOOM!!!!!! hinged carbon version, that are super easy to install and there made of carbon so there faster too! Togs are a great product they are out of salt lake city and  made in the USA (merica’), at only 18 grams for both the hinged and ring style they are ridiculously light, do your self a favor and check out a pair of togs fire is 25$ for the ring version and $35 for the hinged carbon version. Order them here and support an american made product, if you don’t the terrorists win……

Part 2 seaotter 25th anniversary recap

   

Touring ad adventure bike were hot at seaotter this year, I was particularly impressed with this offering from KONA bikes, pretty much what you see is what you get, and for $1499.00 you get a lot including a Brooks b17 saddle,  racks, fenders and mechanical disc breaks all on a bullet proof steel frame you have a serious touring bike!
  

Peddling up hill not your thing? Felt had there pedal assist touring/cargo bike on display and with up to 15 miles of climbing on one charge you have a pretty good range for when your legs get tired!

     

Jamis came out guns a blazin’ with their carbon  touring adventure bike the renegade. With a price tag of $2300-$4100 they don’t skimp on the parts. The top end elite version features 11 speed ultegra with hydraulic  disc breaks, ritchey bars stem and post this bike come in at 17.75lbs made to be loaded up like a mule like pictures with those nifty balckburn bags on my he frame bars and saddle
 

Niner didn’t forget about the touring/adventure people either, want ultegra Di2 and hydraulic disc breaks well miner can hook you up for about $5999.99. 

I’ve really been digging these touring/adventure bikes they look really cool and can double as cross/gravel bikes in most cases. Well I’ve only stratched the surface of seaotter so look for more posts coming soon and I’ve also made an Instagram account for my blog as well come visit me there at fbt_cyclist I’ll be posting stuff there quite frequently as well as posting a variety of other bike related content!

Seaotter 25th anniversary recap part 1


It’s that time of year again, the seaotter took place last weekend up in Monterey for the 25th time. This year was the biggest yet with over 400 venders and over 1500 athletes and 6500 people camping this is the biggest cycling event on the west coast. The seaotter is one of my favorite events I go to each year and this year was no different, having upgraded from campsite H, pretty much a dirt lot with porta-potties to the deluxe campsite C which had full hookups for an rv along with nice showers and bathrooms which was greatly appreciated.
The venders pit area is where I usually start. A lot of my favorite bike company’s are displaying their new products, SRAM alone was debuting 2 new drivetrains, the affordable Gx 1×11 and the GR 1×11 road gravel adventure group, along with the new zipp aluminum disc wheel set that is marketed as a do it all wheel set they describe it as Tubeless-ready. Wide rim. The 30 Course Disc-brake is ready for everything.

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  • The absense of a left shifter is pretty apparente but it will surly grow on you.


SRAM also debuted their new affordable 1×11 and 2×11 mtb group the GX, said to be available for sale next month and shipping on 2016 bikes, this will be a game changer for SRAM at a price point of around $550 this will surly be a big hit

  

  

I’m not quite sold on the reverse rs-1 but if weight saving is what you’re into this one piece carbon steer tube and race crown might be worth looking in to, for me I’ll be sticking with a traditional fork


Shimano couldn’t let SRAM have all the fun, they also debuted at seaotter their new 1×11 deore xt which was turning heads, this could give SRAM’s Gx a run for their money

    

To keep all those new parts and wheels safe kryptonite had a cool new version of their classic messenger u lock with and integrated shackle for the front wheel along with locking rear axle, this is definitely on my wish list this year


Stopping by one of my favorite booths chris king had some of their r-45 hubs with cutaways to see the internal workings, i built a set of wheels with these hubs and can’t wait to put some miles on them. Chris king offers custom in house wheel building along with their hand made cielo road cross and race frames you can now build a whole bike using mostly chris king parts


        

I have a lot to share with you guys so keep your eyes peeled for part 2 of my seaotter recap along with reviews for esi’a new race grip and a cool new product designed to help climbing for mtb, and I’ll be putting some photochrmatic glasses to the test, so look for those reviews in the upcoming weeks

gear review esi grips rct wraps bar tape

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So i been pretty quiet lately I’ve had a lot of surf going on in my personal life but I’m back now and with a review of an awesome product. Esi grips, which i have been running on my MTB for over a year now have come out with a new product there rct wrap bar tape. The tape comes in multiples colors but i chose black to keep with the stealthy theme of my scott addict. I picked up the tape when i was at the seaotter and got some half price “blemished” tape for 20$ at that price i couldn’t pass it up. the only blemish was a small patch the was slightly discolored not even noticeable if it wasn’t pointed out.

If your not familiar with esi grips they are awesome! Their standard MTB grips are super durable and can be washed and reused over and over. they are very comfortable you can ride them with out gloves, and to clean them just use some rubbing alcohol or acetone and the look brand-new! made of 100% silicone they grip when wet over all and awesome product! So i was pretty excited to hear the came out with bar tape. Their bar tape is made if the same 100% silicone as there MTB grips and since they don’t have any adhesive they can be used over and over, the thickness of the tape determined on how much the tape is stretched so if you want it a little more soft to absorb road vibrations or thinner to look like more traditional tape,

At first impression it seemed bulkier but very comfortable, since I’m still running aluminum bars i decided to go a a bit thicker, after riding about 200 miles so far i really like the performance of the tape, it grips great and really does  absorb road vibrations,i have yet to experiment with it to see if i like it thinner or thicker but as of now its great! The only “compliant” i would say i have is that its a bit bulky around the bottom of the bars where the end plug goes in, but I’m sure i could re wrap it and make it slimmer.

 

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When i bought the grips at the ESI tent  they offered to put them on for free, how could i refuse that offer? The people at ESi tent were great, good customer service and the let me sit and watch as the installed the tape! ESI grips are made right here in hesperia ca, so your supporting a local business and US manufacturing not overseas! go check them out at esi grips website or some california bike events

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