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

 

Review! Chris King r45 hubs and HED Belgium rims

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I was looking to upgrade my 2014 Scott addict 10, it was pretty much stock with the exception of the saddle and the pedals, while the stock wheels were pretty nice, syncross  RP 1.5, a nice wheel set is always a great upgrade. I was researching wheel sets and i was pretty interested in the magic Ksyrium Elite. As i was talking with my friend Jon from my local bike shop he told me that i should have a set built for me, being a regular customer they give me a pretty good deal on everything. So Jon showed me a pair of HED Belgium laced to chris king r45 hubs and i was sold!

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I have always liked pretty much everything Chris King makes, i had one of their headsets on my bmx bike that lasted through 3 frames and was butter smooth the entire time, i had always wanted a set of wheels with their hubs and it only took 15 years to make it happen.   I opted for the r45 28 hole rear and 26hole front with the ceramic bearing upgrade with DT Swiss spokes and brass nipples laced to the HED Belgium + so i could run a 25c tire . I read reviews of this build online and read nothing but great reviews. So i put a deposit down and Jon ordered the parts. After a couple weeks i got a call saying that the were done. I felt like kid on christmas.

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I went with the red hubs and black spokes and black rims it matched my bike great with the red speedplay pedals. I was really stoked on how these came out, the wider 25mm rim lets me run a 25c tire and still have allow profile. The tire i chose was the Michelin pro 4 endurance 25c. This tire and rim combo is a prefect fit i can run a lower tire pressure while still having good grip and ride. i usually run about 90-95psi and opposed to 100-110psi with my old 23c tires. I’ve put about 300 miles and these wheels and i can say that they roll smooth as glass

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This wheel build is very popular right now for a few reasons

Price- these wheels are right around $1000 depending on the upgrades you choose and spoke choice, I got mine for $950 out the door, try finding a better hand built wheel set at a cheaper price

Weight- At just a hair over 1600 grams these are pretty light for a rugged aluminum rim

Reliability- these wheels can take a beating, I’m 6’0″ 275lb and I’ve never had to have these trued. the r45 hubs are pretty much bulletproof and the ceramic upgrade makes them roll smooth as glass, and easily tubeless ready

Looks- They look great! The red king hub with the matte black rim and black spokes look awesome.

I highly recommend this wheel set its a high quality extremely solid and pretty light weight wheel set for a great price. And with a r45 disc option they make a great cx wheel too. And the r45 hub comes in a bunch of different colors to batch your bike and kit. If your looking for a new wheel set consider this build! Check out the Chris King site for a complete spec list