The Sea Otter Classic made its return last Thursday. The four-day cycling celebration of cycling was somewhat diminished without the presence of brands such as SRAM, Giant, Trek, Santa Cruz, and Ibis. However, attendance was good, race participation was great, and there was still plenty of new and interesting tech on display. If nothing else, the absence of some of the major players was an opportunity for smaller and lesser-known brands to shine. Here's a look at some of the things that caught our eye.

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Alchemy Argos Ti Hardtail
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Denver, Colorado-based Alchemy Bikes was showing off its new titanium hardtail, the Argos. It's built around a 140mm suspension fork with mounts a'plenty of bikepacking. The Argos' angles look up to speed with a 65° head tube angle and a 75.5° seat tube angle.
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The Argos is offered in four frame sizes, spanning small through extra-large, and five build kits that range in price from $6,299 to $8,299. The frameset is available for DIY builds for $4,499.
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EVOC Hydro Pro Hydration Vest
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EVOC is launching a new hydration vest. The Hydro Pro Hydration Vest appears to be EVOC's response to Camelbak's Chase Vest. This low-profile hydration pack is targeted at gravel riders and endurance XC racers. It comes in two versions with 1.5-liters and 3-liters of cargo capacity. (The 3-liter version is shown here.) Both sizes use the same 1.5-liter HydraPack bladder.
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Pricing for the Hydro Pro Hydration Vest is $115 for the 1.5-liter pack and $125 for the 3-liter pack. EVOC expects them to be available later this year. We're looking forward to getting the 3-liter version in for review. Stay tuned.

Revel Bikes x Love Your Brain Foundation
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Every 11 seconds, someone sustains a traumatic brain injury (TBI). For the third year, Revel Bikes is teaming up with LoveYourBrain - a nonprofit offering programs designed to bring community, healing, and support to people affected by TBI.
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A $5 donation is all it takes to show your support AND give you a shot at winning this kitted-out Revel Ranger. To learn more, visit:

SRAM Flight Attendant
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SRAM's electronic suspension system, dubbed Flight Attendant, was on display at the Canyon booth on this stunning Spectral 29. This new wireless suspension system is built on SRAM's AXS platform as uses accelerometers fed through RockShox' algorithms to switch the front and rear suspension between open, pedal and lock-out modes.
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The goal is to make suspension function as seamlessly as possible. It will be available on select Canyon, Specialized, Trek and YT builds. At the time of launch, SRAM is positioning it on longer-travel trail and enduro bikes. This seems like a good way to showcase its performance and assist in making many of these long-legged rigs more efficient on the flats and climbs.
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Giro Blaze Winter Shoe
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Winter is just around the corner and Giro is ready with a new winter mountain bike shoe. Giro claims the new Blaze will keep your feet warm down to 20°F.
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The shoes feature Primaloft with heat-reflective insoles. The zippered outer shell is waterproof. Inside the Blaze there's a speed-zip lacing system to snug the shoe around your foot. The Blaze will retail for $250 when it becomes available this fall.

Hustle Bike Labs 401 Shoes and Pedals
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Magnets instead of springs for clipless pedals? Hustle Bike Labs was been developing magnetic pedals for several years and is launching a new shoe to accompany its pedal system.
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The 401 Shoe (named after the iconic 401 Trail in Crested Butte, Colorado) features a larger range of fore-after adjustment than traditional skate-style clipless shoes. It's also compatible with standard two-bole cleats. The 401 Shoe retail for $160 when it comes to market later this year.
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Hustle was also showing off a 3D prototype of a new lightweight magnetic pedal constructed from nylon. This version is expected to retail for $120. The release date is still to be determined.

Tasco Scout Mountain Bike Pants
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Mountain bike pants seem to get more popular every season. Tasco is stepping into the market with a new pant built around its popular Scout Short. The Scout Pant is constructed from recycled Reprieve fabric with four-way stretch panels.
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This pant also has a pair of hip pockets that double as vents and a slim silhouette with enough room through the knees for pads. Pricing for the Scout Pant is set at $135.

Hiplok D1000 Anti-Angle Grinder Bike Lock
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First off, no lock is theft-proof, but Hiplok may have created the world's most theft-resistant bicycle lock. The new D1000 lock is the first bike lock designed to thwart angle grinder attacks.
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Hiplok claims the D1000 will wear out approximately 12 blades before it's completely compromised. This should, hopefully, be enough to make most would-be thieves turn elsewhere. I watched the D1000 reduce a rotary blade to shreds in a matter of seconds with minimal damage.

The D1000 retails for $230 and is available for pre-order through Kickstarter.

Digit Bikes Datum
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Not all new bikes at Sea Otter are from established brands. Tim Lane is shaking up suspension design by making things simpler. His Digit Datum prototype features mixed 29/27.5” wheels and 140mm of rear travel with the shock (technically a strut) integrated into the top tube.
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Lane, a veteran cycling industry engineer, claims the Digit Datum’s “Analog Suspension” is lighter, stiffer, and requires less maintenance than traditional suspension designs. Look for production versions to hit the trail next spring.
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Lane is also an avid Mtbr member and started a thread on his creation. Learn more by clicking here: DIGIT Bikes. Unique, multi-link, made-in-USA...

Otso Cycles Fenrir Bikepacking Bike
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Otso Cycles has a new bikepacking model in its quiver. The Fenrir is constructed from stainless steel and is designed to be used with flat bars or drop bars. When equipped with ENVE's rigid carbon bikepacking fork, the Fenrir has a 68° head tube angle and a 75° seat tube angle.
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Like other models in Otso's line, the Fenrir has chips in the dropouts so riders can adjust chainstay length to suit handling preference and tire size. Speaking of which, the Fenrir can be used with either 27x2.8" or 29x2.6" tires.
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The Fenrir is available as a frame for $1,960. Complete price start at $3,900 with a massive range of custom options.
Visit to learn more.

Mullet Cycles Mixed Wheel Line-Up
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No brand may be as invested in the future of mixed-wheel mountain bikes as the team at Mullet Cycles. Miles Schwartz was on hand to show off his company's creations.
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The Peacemaker is an all-mountain bike sporting 150mm of front and rear travel with a single-pivot suspension. It features elevated chainstays for unimpeded chainring clearance.
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Riders can run up to a 38t chainring if they have the legs for it. The Peacemaker also boasts impressive tire clearance with room for a 27.5x3.0" tire in the back.

The Peacemaker starts at $2,500 for the frame with a wide range of custom and complete build options. Learn more at:

Brad Copeland's Super Support Bike
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Behind every World Cup athlete is a mechanic sweating the details to make sure they have the best race possible. For Kate Courtney, that mechanic is Brad Copeland.
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The Scott SRAM MTB Race Team mechanic has created a rolling workshop like nothing we've seen before.
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The Scott Aspect eRide 940 frameset has been customized with an oil slick paint job, racks, an air compressor, and all the tools needed to support Courtney.
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The PBR-filled cooler is a nice touch that's sure to resonate with many current and former bike mechanics.