Tuesday, April 11, 2006

2006 Sea Otter Product Roundup

So I have really just focused on the racing for most of my posts, but the Sea Otter is far more than just a race. With about 100 vendors on hand, many manufacturers take the chance to show off their new 2006 wares. Both of the major trade magazine sites had some good roundups:

Sea Otter Marketplace

I also staggered around the marketplace for a good while on Sunday (trying to stay out of the rain). Here is a sampling of my picture and thoughts about some of the new kit:
  • Shimano had their 2007 XTR on display. Aside from the new "X" aesthics, Shimano hopes that it will start to reclaim some of the industry buzz away from SRAM's X0 series. Overall, I don't get that excited by the super high end bling components, as I was much more interested what was going to trickle down to the more affordable XT or LX lines. It looks like a lot -- already were are seeing external bearings on the LX cranks. The one XTR component addition that I really liked was the new XTR pedals. It's about time that Shimano started producing a pedal comparable with some of the smaller vendors. SRAM also intro'd some new kit, but I didn't get a chance to see it. The Biking Hub has some good links to news about both the Shimano and SRAM components.
  • Crank Bros new Smarty pedal: $59 sealed cartridge platform pedal that was advertised to weigh in around 289g per pedal (which are lighter than the Candy SL). Unlike the Candy pedals, these pedals aren't rebuildable. The rep at their tent said that these pedals were a low end entry into the market.
  • My favorite booth for the high end bikes was the Titus Cycles tent. They not only had my current wish bike (Titus RacerX), they even had it in the ultra-pricey ExoGrid frame. Nice.
  • I didn't get a chance to slip into Santa Cruz for Saturday night's premiere of Roam, but Pink Bike got the pictures.

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