Freaky and Fabulous MTB Finds at Sea Otter 2019

A stand up mountain bike, full suspension gravel bike, vintage telescoping fork, race day tire sealant, and more from Sea Otter 2019. Or maybe it's 3019?
When it comes to new mountain bike products, Sea Otter 2019 did not disappoint! Here are the most interesting products we’re allowed to tell you about (for now, anyway).

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Pole bikes

Bullet holes? Nope, this is where bolts are used to attach the two frame halves.

Pole is a Finnish bike brand that’s creating high-end mountain bike frames by CNC machining them out of a solid block of aluminum. While I’ve read about the frames and the process used to create them, this was my first time seeing and touching one in person.

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The first thing that struck me is just how lightweight these builds are. I’m told that the 180mm Stamina on display weighs under 29lbs, and I believe it. Because the frames are machined both inside and out, Pole is able to optimize wall thicknesses for strength while eliminating unnecessary material. Up close, the machining marks offer clearly visible and tactile evidence of the process that’s used to create these unique frames.

Of course machining a frame from a block of aluminum is expensive; after all, it takes a lot of time and electricity to run the big, pricey machine necessary to cut such a large item. But the process allows Pole to iterate and update designs on the fly, with some revisions taking little more than a tweak to the CAD file.

Future versions of Pole bikes may use a special type of glue to attach the frame halves for a more seamless look.

ElliptiGO MSUB

At first glance, this looks like a giant trials bike. In fact, it’s a one-size-fits-all stand-up mountain bike designed for adults.

ElliptiGO is known for its unique Stride bikes that are propelled into motion in a manner similar to the elliptical machines at your local health club. In contrast, the MSUB doesn’t utilize any sort of elliptical motion — not even an oval chainring.

The $1,499 stand up mountain bike features 27.5″ knobby tires, a 100mm suspension fork, and a 10-speed drivetrain. The MSUB is said to fit riders (standers?) from 4’10” to 6’10” and comes with an unusual set of paddle pedals, complete with toe cages.

I bravely took the MSUB for a quick spin and it didn’t feel as weird as I thought it might. If you’ve ridden with a dropper post for a while, you’ve probably grown accustomed to the feeling of riding out of the saddle. Without any seat at all, you can get super low on this bike. I don’t know that I will be taking one of these on singletrack anytime soon, but it’s always cool to see companies exploring the outer limits of mountain biking.

They say sitting is the new smoking, and if office workers can have stand-up desks, we should be able to have stand up mountain bikes too. Bonus: no more saddle sores!

The Charge Carbon mountain bike shoe from Giant offers a unique approach to arch support that doesn’t require inserts. A dedicated Boa dial is connected to a piece of material that wraps the mid foot; tensioning the dial pulls the material upward to provide comfort and support.

If you’ve ever brought your mountain bikes along on a camping trip, you know vehicle space tends to go for a premium. The Saris SuperCamp EX combines a hitch-mounted cargo shelf with a two-tray bike rack in a single package.

And here it is: The full suspension gravel bike from Niner that everyone has been talking about. This looks a lot like a short-travel, skinny-tire mountain bike with drop bars. However, we’re told it’s a gravel bike.

What was once old is new again. Check out this vintage Lawwill Leader fork attached to a classic Breezer mountain bike. With 2.5 inches of travel, this early-90s fork never really caught on, despite some potential advantages that today’s designers seem to be rediscovering.

The all-new, multi-link Trust fork from Dave Weagle and company has everyone talking, and in general the feedback sounds promising. Singletracks writer, Matt Miller, got a chance to test out a ground-breaking bike with a similar linkage fork setup at Sea Otter, so look for that story soon.

Don’tcha hate finding gel and bar wrappers on the trail? Well, Gu has found a way to upcycle wrappers into hats (above) and even Adirondack chairs (below).

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Sure, there are race-day tires, so why not race-day sealant? Joes Podium Sealant claims to be able to quickly seal up to 10mm punctures compared to their regular Super Sealant which seals holes up to 6mm. The premium formulation comes at a premium price, which we’re told will retail for about $20 for a 120ml, single-wheel bottle.

Magura is offering a trail brake set that combines a 4-piston front brake with a 2-piston rear for a weight-saving combo. Many riders have already stumbled onto this hack, and now Magura makes it easier to buy the pair.

Showers Pass just added a hip pack to their line, and naturally, it’s waterproof.

Were you at Sea Otter 2019? Which MTB products caught your eye?