Our coverage of the 2022 Sea Otter Classic continues. In this roundup, we’ve got a broad mix of modern technologies covering everything from a luxury urban e-bike, to a super light bike, to a range of new bike racks.
Believe it or not, there is still more technology to come. In the meantime, you can get all of our coverage of the Sea Otter Classic 2022 via the link.
The FSA has joined the vibration stem game. The new AGX VAS shank uses a rubber bushing to isolate the tape within the shank clip. The $111 shank is available in 80, 90 and 100mm lengths.
Comfort levels can be adjusted by switching between the three different elastomer durometers. Meanwhile, the stem works with FSA modular mounts to attach a computer and/or light from the front. It’s an interesting new product, but it weighs 291 grams a bit more than expected.
FSA now has its own single-sided crank-based power gauge, the first of which is on the new Powerbox SC Road Alloy kit. The power unit claims an impressive 450 hours of battery life from a single CR2450 battery. We were told that the crank-based power pod is something the FSA will roll out to other groups.
The Powerbox SC Road Alloy crankshaft assembly is only $419 including the integrated power pod. The crankset is available in 53/39T, 52/36T and 50/34T series configurations to fit 10/11 speed drivetrains. Uses 30 mm mandrel.
FSA’s premium road racing crankset is the K-Force Team Edition. This crankset combines hollow carbon fiber arms with a direct mount chain made from a single piece of 7075 aluminum. FSA quotes 556g for this crank with 50/34T chains.
FSA is offering the new K-Force Team Edition in versions to fit either an 11-speed gearbox or SRAM’s new 12-speed road (flat-top chain).
Have you ever wondered who makes Cannondale Hollowgram rings and one-piece rings? Well now you know.
The FSA’s sister brand, Vision, is getting into the gravel space, too. Pictured is the Vision Team i23 Aero Gravel which offers a tubeless-ready rim with a depth of 30 mm, an external width of 27 mm and a tapered internal profile of 23 mm. At $340 a pair, this is the Vision’s entry into the gravel and is said to weigh 1,920g. It’s a wheel built realistically for the original equipment (OE) market.
Saris’ new MHS (Modular Hitch System) mount separates the bike rack from the base and in doing so aims to be a highly customizable product. There are three different basic sizes available, designed to hold anything from one to four bikes.
Each bike rack can handle any bike between 20 and 29 inches in size, up to 5 inches in tire width, and 27kg in weight. They grip the bike without any contact with the frame. Currently, the MHS carrier is only for bike carriers, but cargo and other good sport carriers are coming. The two-bike system (pictured) is $900 USD.
Like many traction racks of this style, the MHS folds up when not in use, and can be tilted down for easy access to the trunk/trunk.
Pinarello didn’t have anything new on offer, but instead the brand was promoting the MyWay personalization program that is currently only available on the new Dogma F. , while more basic paint options will cost a bit less. Pinarello also offers painted handlebars/stems to match, too.
Pinarello MyWay is available online to play.
Pivot has just launched a new cross-country race, the Pivot Les SL. It’s nice to see them having a little fun in the naming since the company was founded on the idea of fully suspended mountain bikes.
The new Les SL is said to shave up to 200g off the previous Les hardtail. Pivot claims the 800g figure for a painted medium tire.
There is a standard indoor cable routing. It uses SRAM’s proprietary Pivot UDH (universal derailleur hanger).
The Pivot Les SL offers room for tires up to 29 x 2.4 inches.
Pivot has always used Shimano’s PF92 bottom bracket system and the Les SL is no different.
The Les SL features modern racing geometry with a 68.5-degree head angle, 74.5-degree seat tube angle, and longer reach numbers.
CPC technology first appeared on Prologo saddles, a series of micro-suction cups made of silicone designed to improve grip and comfort. Prologo has been teasing new Energrip Team Gloves that aim to improve both vibration damping and ventilation over traditional designs.
Want Tadej Pogačar’s personal autograph? Prologo will sell you something like this, and you will also get a free limited edition of Scratch M5.
The new Prologo Scratch M5 AGX saddle is for gravel / CX / adventure riding. The foam is subtly denser, the rails are titanium (for more flexibility), and the Multi-Segment System (MSS) delivers varying densities of foam in areas while promoting more movement of the material. This model has a width of 140 mm.
With the same parent company as Fox suspension, Easton’s dropper post options hold some pedigree. The Easton AX SL is largely identical to Fox’s superior light transmission SL, but is only available in 40 or 50mm pitch and 27.2mm diameter.
Easton offers an EA90 AX lever matched to control this dropper. The ergonomics look very good in this.
Easton’s new flagship gravel handlebar is the EC90 AX. This $300 flare handlebar tip the scales at just 208g (42cm) and has a somewhat unique approach to increasing the diameter of the top section while increasing the width of each size.
The Yakima Stage 2 hitch mount has a number of smart features on offer. First, it installs on a hitch with no tools required. The two-bike rack can be converted to hold four bikes, so the tilt feature handle moves to the end of the rack as well. Perhaps my favorite part is what Yakima refers to as stadium seating, where the base is angled perpendicular to not only dramatically improve clearance height, but also to arrange the bikes so they are less likely to encounter overlapping handlebars and saddles.
Yakima offers Stage 2 in black or gray. The tilt function stows the rack vertically or swings it down to access the trunk/trunk/gate.
Another clever feature is that the optional light bar (which connects via the base of the rack) can rotate 90 degrees. This means that your lights will always point in the correct direction regardless of whether the mount is in use or folded over the vehicle. And speaking of add-ons, there is an optional ramp as well.
Yakima has updated the GateKeeper tailgate pad. Available in two sizes (four or six bikes), it’s said to be easier to install, more durable, and also available in a cascading blue option (black also available).
The biggest change is to stay away from Velcro, which can fray with use. Instead, GateKeeper now uses G hooks to secure bikes.
Yakima has joined the vertical traction obstacle rack game. The new Hang Tight holds bikes by the handlebar and rear wheel, which means you can mount almost any style of bike to it.
Road and gravel bikes can be carried using the Hang Tight Stand. Just beware that time-wheels and some carbon cockpits may be off-limits.
The Yakima Hang Tight is available in two versions of four and six bikes. The four-bike version can also be used with the company’s BackSwing hitch attachment which allows the entire rack to swing to the side of the vehicle. Due to the increased weight, the six-bike version only offers a tip-over feature.
The bikes are really good and safe once installed.
Another from Yakima is EXO, which is a modular obstacle system. This tow stand can be converted to carry bikes, skis, storage or even the camp kitchen. He is able to manage two things at the same time. Pictured is a storage box combined with two bike holders.
Tacx now offers movement plates for its Neo, Neo 2 and Neo 2T smart trainers. Tacx Neo smart plates are attached by means of magnets and when combined with the provided front wheel block, they provide a wonderfully smooth forward motion.
The matching front wheel mass is arguably the biggest limitation on the new Tacx Neo smart boards. It couldn’t fit any tire wider than 28mm, an odd decision for such a new product.
Remember that interesting magnesium gravel bike from Vaast that James Huang reviewed for a bit? Well, this same company has this rather unique e-bike on display as well. It’s called E/1 and hides an endless list of features.
Designed to lock up in an urban environment, the Vaast E/1 combines the seat base and battery pack into one, meaning you can easily take both with you to render the bike nearly useless to thieves.
Furthermore, the Bosch Performanceline Speed 100mm motor hides from the rear suspension to provide comfortable seated pedals. The system is an effectively enclosed version of the Naild R3ACT four-bar system that Polygon and Marin previously used on their mountain bikes.
Built-in lights and a sturdy shelf in the front.
Vaast E/1 is offered with an inboard gear hub or a derailleur based with belt drive. The rear suspension means that a belt tensioner is required for internal gear hub options. With so many features, it’s clearly aimed at being a luxury urban option, with complete bikes ranging in price from $7,500 to $10,000.