Sea Otter 2011: Mega Recap Post

I had an absolute blast at the Sea Otter Classic this year! I don’t think it’s possible to spend the week at Sea Otter and not have a good time! It’s over a week later and I still haven’t finished sifting through all of the information that I collected at the event and writing reviews …

I had an absolute blast at the Sea Otter Classic this year! I don’t think it’s possible to spend the week at Sea Otter and not have a good time! It’s over a week later and I still haven’t finished sifting through all of the information that I collected at the event and writing reviews of all of the products that I tested, so there is no way that I could recap the entire event in just one blog post. Instead, I’d just like to post a collection of photos of cool products that I saw along with a few of my general impressions from the event.

Sea Otter Classic Venue

View of the expo. Photo Credit: brightroom,

Interesting MTB Products

Here are a few products that I thought were just plain awesome:

Dirty Dog DH Stem

Dirty Dog Stem

All photos with no other credit listed were taken by yours truly.


Dirty Dog is known for creating incredibly unique brake rotor designs. This new stem named the “Reaper” is designed to be unlike any other stem on the market. Due to its short length and heavy weight, this is definitely not intended for the XC crowd… but I would love to mount one of these on my DH rig!

Purely Custom Bash Guard

Purely Custom Bash Guard


This bash guard by Purely Custom is a truly innovative design. They have worked long and hard to integrate the rubber edge into the metal guard, and to identify the perfect balance between tackiness and durability in the compound. The result is a bash guard that is very environmentally friendly and doesn’t leave unseemly marks on rocks and other trail obstacles. In addition, it works like a third tire to provide extra traction and stability as you go over an obstacle. Instead of hitting a rock and sliding down it, this guard sticks and allows you to pedal right through!

Fox Suspension

Fox DH Fork

I always enjoy ogling the new suspension, and Fox’s new line looks as gorgeous as ever!

Wooden Bicycles


Photo Credit: Arleigh Jenkins.

Wooden Bicycle

Photo Credit: Arleigh Jenkins.

I found out after returning from Sea Otter that I missed one of the coolest booths at the whole show: Renovo’s wooden bicycles. Since I didn’t personally get to see these 2-wheeled wooden works of art, be sure to read Arleigh Jenkins’post about them at

More Beautiful Bikes

Knuckle Box

One of the bikes I got a chance to test ride was the Diamondback Sortie. Oh how I envy joetutt and his new frame!

Belt Drive

I also did my first-ever legitimate mountain bike singlespeed ride… and it was on a steel-framed Spot hardtail with a belt drive! I loved the simplicity of this bike and I’ll probably be writing a more detailed post about it sometime soon…

Niner Carbon Air 9

I would love to have the chance to test out a Niner Carbon Air 9. Maybe someday…

Airborne Gobline

Of course, I’ve got to give a shout-out to my bros at Airborne bikes for the stellar rigs that they are introducing this spring. I got to put in some serious time on both the Goblin 29er and the Wingman DJ bike and I can’t believe the incredible value that Airborne is providing in these two bikes! I’ve already written a short review of the Wingman, and will soon be drafting an initial impressions review of the Goblin, along with a more detailed review after I’ve been able to ride it for a few months. Be sure to check out some GoPro footage of the Wingman on the pumptrack further down this post.


It seemed that around every corner, there was another booth for some type of granola bar, organic energy drink, or some other type of food. Well one thing is clear: mountain bikers like to eat, and they (generally) like to eat healthy!

Peanut Butter!

I was in heaven while sampling all of these various flavors of peanut butter. I got the chance to sample everything from araisin-laden peanut butter to dark chocolate and p.b. I’m seriously a peanut butter fanatic, and basically every single flavor that I sampled was the best I have ever had! This all-natural peanut butter perfection will cost you though: MSRP is $5-6 per bottle.


FRS was giving away delicious, natural energy drinks all weekend. Check out this blog post for more details on FRS.

In addition to the couple of products mentioned here, I saw booths for Hammer Nutrition, Luna Bar, Larabar, Nuun, a few different coffee sellers, Dannon yogurt, and of course Clif had a massive tent, as usual. More than once I passed on buying lunch and opted instead to just stroll the fair and eat samples!

MTB Racing

Traditionally, racing is what the Sea Otter Classic is renowned for, so naturally there were tons of races and practice runs going on every minute of the day.

Jerry Hazard

Photo Credit.

Jerry Hazard of the Airborne Flight Crew tearing it up during his DH race run!

Speed and Style

Manualing through the rollers during practice for the speed and style competition.

Dual Slalom

Photo Credit: Arleigh Jenkins

Dual Slalom

Photo Credit: Arleigh Jenkins

Dual Slalom race.


Mountain Biking

Rider: Tony Caruso. Photo: Greg Heil.

While there are races going on all the time during the event, many riders (such as myself) choose to ride at a more leisurely pace and explore the massive 80+ mile network of trails at Fort Ord.

The pumptrack was also a very popular feature this year. The footage below was taken on Thursday, the industry-only day, so I basically had the place all to myself. But once Saturday hit, the track was teeming with literally dozens of people all day long.

Pumptrack footage taken aboard the Airborne Wingman.

Big Air Bag

The big air bag was a big hit as well.


So maybe I did try to recap the entire event in just one article. 🙂 This has definitely been a mega-post, but it is just a small sampling of all the action that takes place at Sea Otter every year!

What are you doing next April?