Sea Otter Day 2: Even more hot tech from helmets to hubs

With a mix of mainstream and more niche tech, there was an abundance of new tech to feast our eyes on from Canyon, BMC, Specialized, Parlee, DT Swiss and more

Clock08:41, Saturday 20th April 2024
We take a look at more hot tech on day two of Sea Otter


We take a look at more hot tech on day two of Sea Otter

There was plenty more tech on display on day two of Sea Otter with brands keen to show off the latest and greatest tech.

With Sea Otter a true industry-wide showcase of everything from road bikes to heavy-hitting mountain bikes, it is the first trade show of the year to gauge where the industry is heading.

From a road perspective, 2024 certainly looks to be the year of the ‘all-road’ bike, blurring the boundaries between road and the ever-hard to-define niche of gravel bikes. BMC, ENVE and Parlee have all recently released ‘go anywhere’ road bikes with these seen as a better fit for most riders, both in terms of fit and versatility.

Smith/Aleck integrated crash detection

Smith had some interesting tech over at its display with the brand partnering with crash detection company Aleck. Available on both its gravel and mountain bike helmets the crash detection unit sits inside the helmet's retention dial, keeping it nestled away and not adding any bulk to the helmet. Rechargeable via USB-C, the sensor works by sending out a signal in the event of a crash, with other Aleck users in the area notified of the incident.

Specialized Cruiser

One of the most eye-catching bikes at Sea Otter was a very special custom-built Harley Davidson inspired Specialized cruiser. This bike is one of only two in existence with the other one belonging to Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa.

Hidden away in the ‘fuel tank’ of the bike are two e-bike batteries that power the bike's two motors. When asked why the bike had two motors and two batteries the bikes designer simply replied, “I had to do something special for this bike, I could have used just one motor but I wanted it to be special.”

New Canyon e-bike on the horizon

Over at Canyon, as well as having some of its road, gravel and mountain bikes on display the brand also had a rather cryptic box at the centre of its stand. What we can be sure of is that the brand is getting ready to release a new e-bike mountain bike, with the box emblazoned with Canyon’s e-bike ':ON' branding.

On the side of the box there was a little more of a clue as to what could be coming with it saying: “The forest is our home. Here we seek adventure, silence, and the unknown. Have you ever seen a dragonfly in action? They dominate the skies at up to 30 wing beats per second - speed artists that glide gently one moment and change direction at lightning speed the next. They are the true superheroes of the forest. We need more superheroes like the dragonfly. This is the start of a new era.”

Although not giving any specifics away, the German brand looks to be getting ready to drop something new for the brand.

BMC Roadmachine

Released last week, BMC were showcasing the new Roadmachine, Roadmachine X and Roadmachine AMP at Sea Otter. The new bike aims to put the brand at the forefront of versatile ‘all-road’ bikes with clearance for up to a 40mm tyre as well as in-frame storage.

The third generation of the Roadmachine sees the brand further expand the range's capabilities. At BMC’s stall, it was being marketed as a ‘Ride anything bike’. A nice touch was the seamlessly integrated rear light that sits on the seat post and blends into the frame.

The Roadmachine also includes the Roadmachine AMP which is the brands e-gravel bike. This is built around the same principles as the Roadmachine, with the added support of TQ’s HPR50 platform with a 360Whr battery.

Tern Orox

There was no shortage of e-cargo bikes at Sea Otter with Tern’s Orox adventure cargo bike grabbing our attention. The Orox joins the GSD in Tern’s line up, with its focus on carrying riders and cargo to and beyond the road less traveled.

The Orox has a maximum load carrying capacity of 210kg which reduces down to 180kg for off-road adventures. It is also not just a one-trick pony with riders able to customise the Orox to fit their needs. The bike on display was configured to carry an additional passenger on the rear of the bike, with footplates and a fabric shroud protecting the passenger from the drivetrain and wheel.

Tern designed the Orox to be capable of going for the long haul. The bike is capable of carrying two e-bike batteries to power Bosch’s CX performance line motor with the brand claiming the bike is capable of providing assistance for up to 300 kilometres.

Parlee Ouray

It wasn’t just Pinarello launching a new bike at the event with American brand Parlee dropping its new all-road bike, the Ouray, on Thursday. The Ouray is a bike that is “something you aren’t afraid to get dirty” blurring the line between road and gravel bikes. At it’s heart the Ouray is an endurance road bike that can dabble in some light gravel adventures with the bike capable of accommodating 38mm tyres.

The Ouray also boasts a rather impressive nude wax coating that keeps the raw carbon of the frame exposed. This shows off the care that CEO John Harrison assures us goes into each frame. Using a monocoque design the ride characteristics of the the frame can be dialled in with no ‘dead spots’ around bonding points.

DT Swiss DEG hub

DT Swiss was keen to show off its latest hub in the shape of the 240 DEG. This new ratchet hub was launched for Sea Otter. Currently, the DEG hubs are only available on the brand's mountain bike wheels.

The internals of the new hubs have increased in size over the brand's existing ratchet rings. This increase in size, combined with the move to 90 points of engagement, provides a larger contact patch which increases the hub's longevity and ability to deal with e-bike power transfer.

DT Swiss has also made the news hubs incredibly easy to service with no tools required to strip and rebuild the hub internals. This move allows riders to easily keep on top of routine maintenance that should extend the life of the hubs.

Wolf tooth aero chainrings

Minnesota-based component and tooling manufacturer Wolf Tooth was spotted showing off a new aero-chainring that joins the brand's existing catalogue of over 300 different chainring variations.

As of yet the chainring is not available for purchase, however with the chainring in what looks like a production state it is only a matter of time before it comes to market. The chainring itself is available as a one-by ring only and uses an eight-bolt design compatible with SRAM cranks.

5Dev DLC cranks

5Dev had some very interesting stuff for us to cast our eyes over with some new cranks that use a ‘Diamond Like Coating’. This the brand claims makes the surface of the cranks incredibly hard-wearing with the coating comparable to that used on drill bits and cutting discs.

The cranks use an eight-bolt mounting system compatible with both the brand's own chainrings which were on display as well as SRAM-style chainrings. Although hard to spot with the naked eye the back of the crank is laser welded in place with the centre of the crank hollowed out to save weight.

What has been your favourite piece of hot tech from Sea Otter? Let us know in the comments below. To keep up to date with everything tech related be sure to head over to the tech section of the GCN website.

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