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There were many beautiful bikes at Sea Otter, but these were Dan's favorites.
There were simply too many amazing bikes on display and being ridden at the 2022 edition of Sea Otter Classic to list in one place. So instead of doing an overwhelming gallery, I focused on the eight bikes that I saw at Sea Otter that, for one reason or another, made me stop in my tracks.
If you're interested in some more Sea Otter tech and bikes, you can get your fill here.
First up is this stunning Mosaic G-Series titanium all-road bike with painted to match fenders, seatpost, stem, and Silca frame pump.
The front fender is provided by Enve and neatly integrates with their fork for a very clean look.
I wish more bikes came with this level of fender integration, at least as an option.
It's impossible to beat the timeless elegance of hourglass stays.
Presumably, the direct mount derailleur hanger helps to mitigate the loss of shifting performance that can sometimes arise from oversized pulleys.
Few bikes at the show got me as excited as this 1970's bike that Tom Ritchey built for his dad. This bike is around 50 years old but some of its features were decades ahead of its time.
Just in case anyone forgot who built the bike and for whom.
There are practical reasons why, generally, builders plug the tops of fork legs (such as to prevent them from filling with water if it rains) but, that's not as cool as saving weight!
Another angle of this gorgeous twin plate fork crown.
A very powerful macro lens was needed to capture this absolutely tiny cable guide on the top tube.
Every detail in this seat tube, chainstay, and top tube junction is perfect. From the custom-shaped lugs to the clean integration of the rear brake cable through the top tube and out the back of the seat tube.
A center-pull Mafac rear brake is used to take advantage of the centered nature of the cable path.
I'm pretty sure that's just a length of brass left over from brazing this frame and repurposed as a "brake bridge."
Another look at the entry of the brake cable into the top tube.
A custom threadless stem before threadless was even a thing? Sure, why not?!
It doesn't get much classier than this.
An early clipless pedal from Campy. You'd have to manually lock yourself into these and then unlock them using your hand if you wanted to unclip.
We've come a long way in 50 years. Currently, we're adding gears at a rate of roughly one gear every seven years.
Last but not least on this bike is a custom mono-rail saddle that used a Unicator shell.
This Ritchey Road Logic is quite a bit different from its predecessor.
Still elegant, just in a different way.
If you want to read what we thought about this bike we reviewed it here. I'm still hoping I can get my hands on the disc version of this bike for a review sometime soon.
This is quite possibly the most over-the-top bike I have ever seen. A rim brake gravel bike that uses custom-made direct mount Cane Creek eeBrakes, a truss suspension fork, truss chainstays, Berd spokes, titanium cranks, and do I need to keep going?
Rob English is a frame builder who's been pushing the boundaries of absolutely everything imaginable on his bikes for years.
The titanium cranks are from Cane Creek but that wild derailleur cage looks like an early prototype of an Ogle Compoet Design cage.
How do you get a rim brake caliper to clear 40mm tires?
Get Cane Creek to custom fabricate you some brakes.
There is a lot going on here. For instance, this bike uses two top headset bearings and caps from a Cane Creek 110 headset and that's probably the thing you'll notice last.
Jones Bikes have been doing truss suspension forks on their mountain bikes for quite some time.
But this English also uses the concept at the chainstays.
These spokes invoke both fear and desire.
With so much racing happening at Sea Otter I couldn't resist scoping out a few pro bikes. This Specialized Allez Sprint belongs to Corey Williams of L39ion of Los Angeles. He won the circuit race on it ahead of a sea of carbon bikes. We have an Allez Sprint in for review right now so watch for a review!
An absolutely massive Zipp stem, for all the watts. I'm pretty sure the bars are still Zipp but it being taped all the way to the stem makes me wonder.
Corey sticks to standard 50/37T SRAM Red chainrings.
Those chainrings are paired to a SRAM Red 10-33T cassette that could use a bit of cleaning.
A redesigned Smart Weld frame featuring hydroformed aluminum parts, like the headtube. Specialized engineers continue to move the weld points further away from the stress junctions of the frame.
The welds at the seat tube between the top tube and seatstays are more traditional.
The bottom bracket and downtube are formed as a single piece and then have the seat tube and chainstays welded to it.
Threads for a 68mm BSA bottom bracket were a big improvement from the previous generation of Allez Sprint.
Only one headset cap is available for the Allez Sprint so the holes meant for shift cables go unused with an AXS drivetrain.
Another look at the cable routing on the Allez Sprint. This setup lets riders have a more traditional experience with their bars and stem while keeping the cables (mostly) hidden.
A pump mount indicates that Corey is training and racing on this bike.
SRAM fully supports L39ion so the team gets access to Zipp's entire wheel lineup. Corey runs a pair of 454 NSW tubular wheels.
My best guess for why Corey is running tubular wheels is to save weight. Tubular tires don't roll faster than tubeless (or even clinchers) but weight can be a big factor when you're doing an uphill effort every five minutes in the Sea Otter circuit race.
It all clearly worked as intended for Corey as he crossed the line first in the circuit race.
Based out of Los Angeles, California, BlackHeart Bike Co. launched a couple of years ago with this titanium Allroad model. They now offer an aluminum version of the same bike with the same geometry. We have one on the way for an upcoming review!
There's room here for a 700 x 40mm tire, but the geometry also works for the 28mm tires which are currently fitted.
Frames ship with a matching titanium seatpost.
There are provisions for every kind of drivetrain here.
The welds are neat and tidy.
With such a utilitarian philosophy behind BlackHeart, it's not surprising to see a threaded bottom bracket here.
When a previous bike sponsor fell through, LA Sweat was able to secure race bikes from Pratt Frameworks for the 2022 season.
Pratt makes tig welded steel bikes that perform on the same level (or better) as modern carbon bikes.
Pratt uses 3d printed stainless steel dropouts paired with derailleur hangers from Paragon Machine Works.
Hunt is the wheel sponsor for LA Sweat and provides its 54 Aerodynnamicist Carbon Disc wheelset laced to the brand's own Sprint hubs.
Tire clearance with a 28mm Vitoria Corsa fitted.
LA Sweat is another team supported by SRAM and using Time pedals.
Out front are bars and stem from Zipp, SRAM Force levers, and a Hammerhead Karoo 2 computer. Plus, a Chris King headset and Enve fork to complete the build.
Double the smiley for double the fun?
The dropouts are printed as one piece (including the brake mount).
Ride Wrap provides clear frame protection to keep the paint looking fresh through a grueling season of racing ahead.
I'm a little biased but this was my favorite bike of the bunch to photograph and check out. Check out my full review of a custom Pratt frame here.
Last but not least! Cannondale launched a brand new Topstone gravel bike!
The new bike looks very similar to the outgoing model but it features a lot of new details, such as the new SmartSense system which debuted on the Synapse.
There is still plenty of tire clearance.
The Kingpin suspension system is also still present.
From a brand that pioneered the BB30 standard, the threaded bottom bracket is a notable departure.
Cannondale also ditched Ai spacing for the rear wheel. This is fantastic news for riders that swap wheels between multiple bikes in their fleet.
There are plenty of mounts for all your gear.
Cannondale updated the Topstone's geometry and added a dropped chainstay to maintain tire clearance.
That's it from me at Sea Otter! Hope you enjoyed this gallery. Please let me know your favorite bikes and details in the comments!