Reporting Back from Sea Otter Classic 2018
Sun’s out, the bikes are out and the trails are mint – it’s finally Spring in the Northern hemisphere and we’re excited to be back on the mountain biking trails here in Whistler, Canada! To kick off the biking season our Development Co-ordinator, Adrian Paul, got amongst the 500+ exhibitor booths at this year’s Sea Otter Classic checking in with some of our partners and meeting lots of great new contacts.
If you’re not familiar with the mountain biking world (you really should be, it’s awesome!), the Sea Otter Classic is an annual mountain bike festival and expo held at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California and has since 1991. This year’s event was larger than ever, with over 500 companies showcasing their new products and around 10,000 athletes participating in races and rides.
With a number of lift accessed bike park developments coming down the pipeline in both the northern and southern hemisphere – sorry, can’t spill the beans on locations just yet – we’re obviously keeping a close eye on what’s going on in the industry.
Taking notes on all 500+ booths is a feat unattainable by even the most eager attendee, so here’s our little slice of the event experience:
- Giant was a key partner for the downhill mountain bike rental fleet for Christchurch Adventure Park so it was great to reconnect across the pond.
- The race team had awesome results, with two podiums in the elite enduro races and two in the downhill (DH) race.
- Giant’s usual spot, occupying “the island” in the middle of the show, was a meeting point for many show attendees, they even hosted a pig roast for all their fans!
- New for 2018, Giant has formed partnerships with DVO suspension, Shimano drivetrain and Maxxis tires, we’re stoked to try out the new builds!
- All new team race bikes for 2018 were on display throughout the show – such awesome builds!
- Norco provided the children’s rental fleet at the Christchurch Adventure Park and we couldn’t be more happy with how their bikes are holding up.
- Team athletes had some incredible results, including Jill Kitners 7th consecutive win in the Dual Slalom event! Jill also took home gold in the elite DH race, by a margin of 2.5 seconds.
- The big news for Norco was the reveal of the production model of the Aurum HSP. The whole Select Contracts team is excited to demo these models in the Whistler Bike Park this summer!
Race Face Components
- Race Face also supported the Christchurch Adventure Park with a strong partnership that we will no-doubt carry into future projects.
- At Sea Otter, Race Face was showing off their brand new Next R line, an all-carbon enduro line that is sure to hold up for robust use.
- Race Face is one company you can always trust to throw a little flavour into their product line with cool colour selections. This year’s products are no exception, take your pick!
Other Highlights from the show
- One of the hottest new bikes at the show was Commencal’s Meta 29er. This pre-production model certainly turns heads! We’re stoked to see the brand with French roots and a Squamish showroom coming out with a potential category topper.
- Zerode, the company famous for gearbox bikes, released their new trail bike, the Taniwha Trail. How soon will the derailleur be a thing of the past? With the help of Zerode it will certainly be sooner than later.
- E-BIKES! Almost every brand had their all-new e-bikes on display at the show. Some are proudly featuring them at the front of their booths and some had squirreled them away. One thing is for sure, e-bikes are making their way to North America and we’re excited to explore opportunities for using these tools in new projects and businesses in the future.