Top Fourteen Gravel Bikes from Sea Otter
Our very first time to the Sea Otter Classic was quite the spectacle. While this is traditionally a mountain bike event, it has increasingly featured numerous large and small brand gravel bikes from all over the world. We visited numerous booths to bring you our favorite gravel bikes from the show. Let us know your favorite in the comments below, or any bikes we may have missed. In no particular order, let’s get started…
Baum Orbis +
BAUM CUSTOM ORBIS + GRAVEL BIKE
Over at the Zipp booth was this Orbis + gravel bike with Sram AXS. Baum Cycles, out of Australia, has been selling its framesets since 1996, and this year marks the launch of their first gravel frame. With the motto "Road for dinner, gravel for dessert", the Orbis is Baum’s most compliant bike yet, with added clearance for up to 40mm tires.
Check out Baum Cycles at: https://www.baumcycles.com/
DEAN TORREY’S TITANIUM GRAVEL BIKE WITH PINION GEARBOX
Definitely one of our favorites from the Sea Otter Classic that we posted earlier on the ‘Grams. This Dean Torrey’s is one-of-a-kind with the world’s first drop-bar road shifter for it’s Pinion gearbox. The magic happens with a successful kickstarter project from a brand called Cinq Innovations, that has developed the Shift:R. This build also includes HiFi wheels, Challenge tires, Brooks saddle, Thomson seatpost and Chris King hubs.
Check out the Cinq Kickstarter: Cinq Shift:R for Pinion
Visit Dean Bikes: https://www.deanbikes.com/
DONNELLY G//C GRAVEL BIKE
You may know Donnelly as a tire brand, with its popular Strada USH and X’PLOR MSO offerings (formerly under the Clement brand). While they may have started out making cyclocross tires, Donnelly has transitioned well to making cyclocross bikes as well. The G//C is Donnelly’s gravel bike launch, a fully carbon frame with clearance for both 700c and 650b wheels. Available with either a SRAM Force or Rival drivetrain, this bike certainly looks promising.
Learn more at Donnelly Cycling: https://www.donnellycycling.com/
“Hidden in plain sight!” the guy said at the Marin booth as we perused past checking out the Gestalt and other bikes under their large tent. A not-yet-revealed full carbon gravel bike from Marin? We had to take a peek and here it is. The Headlands as he called it, was shown with generous clearance, flared bars, Mavic wheels and a dropper post that would come standard with the build. Look for more to come from Marin as they will certainly be eager to share details soon with the public.
Check out Marin Bikes at: https://www.marinbikes.com/
MOOTS BAXTER WITH SRAM AXS AND REVERB DROPPER POST
This one caught our eye while over at the ENVE booth next door. The Baxter is built for a 100mm suspension fork (or rigid equivalent) and up to 2.25 29er tire. This one was designed in collaboration with the Radavist (you can see that story here) to tell a story about the interchangeability of the eTap AXS road system with Eagle AXS. The result is pretty stunning. This Baxter was equipped with the Salsa Cutthroat carbon fork, WTB Nano 2.1” tires, an Eagle cassette and Eagle AXS rear derailleur offering 10-50t range with eTap AXS road shifters. Our favorite part though is the RockShox Reverb AXS wireless dropper post to make the ultimate titanium adventure machine.
Check out Moots at: https://moots.com/
Niner MCR 9 RDO
NINER MAGIC CARPET RIDE GRAVEL BIKE
The most gravel buzz from the weekend was easily focused around this one, the world’s first full-suspension gravel bike from Niner. With a big reveal at the event, the bike was a full carbon prototype and the brand says its close to production. While other brands have introduced suspension with cushioning headsets, stems, seatposts and soft-tails, Niner went to the next level with their interpretation of gravel cush. The MCR has clearance for up to 27.5 x 50mm tires, an integrated rear mud guard and lots of bosses for various attachments as well.
Visit Niner Bikes at: https://ninerbikes.com/
Otso Waheela C
OTSO CYCLES WAHEELA C
We were happy to see the boys from Minnesota at their Otso and Wolf Tooth Components booths. We heard they had something new on the way and they certainly did. Revealed at the show was their all-new full-carbon gravel bike the Waheela C. What makes this bike stand out is its integrated Tuning Chip dropout system, which allows the wheelbase to be lengthened or shortened by up to 20mm to accommodate your riding style without compromising handling. Three bottle mounts (with extra mounting points on the down tube), fender mounts, rack mounts, and mounting points on the top tube give the bike added versatility.
Learn more at: https://otsocycles.com/
Rodeo Labs CUSTOM Trail Donkey 3.0
RODEO LABS TRAIL DONKEY 3.0 CUSTOM
Rodeo Labs had several of their new 3.0 Trail Donkeys on display. This one was showing off their custom program, equipped with a PNW dropper post, Easton crank, AbsoluteBLACK oval chainring and GravelKing tires. A few cool details in the paint scheme, including the custom “ollie” on the rubber make this bike show really well.
Visit Rodeo Labs at: http://www.rodeo-labs.com/
Rodeo Labs Flaanimal
RODEO LABS FLAANIMAL 4 FLAAMINGO
Also under the Rodeo Labs tent was their Flaanimal, a steel bike that always looks sharp. This one featuring the Flaamingo paint scheme, WTB Venture 650b tires and a 105 groupset to keep the price down.
Visit Rodeo Labs at: http://www.rodeo-labs.com/
The Aero gravel bike is nothing new, we first saw this with the 3T Exploro that has done extremely well since it was first released in 2016. The all new Rondo HVRT however seems to take things to a whole new level. Rondo claims to have made the world’s first “variable geometry, road-plus ready road bike”. That’s a mouthful but basically with its Twintip fork, two settings will offer the rider a 700c race bike feel or the characteristics of an adventure machine in 650b slack mode. Hunt hoops, IRC Boken tires round out the bikes build.
Check it out at: http://rondo.cc/
SPECIALIZED DIVERGE GRAVEL BIKE
Walking over to the Specialized tent was an experience in itself. Clean tile floors, carefully placed artwork and a custom painted BMW. So while they definitely won the best car of the show, Specialized had some sleek looking gravel bikes too like this pink Diverge with Praxis crank and Roval Wheels. But seriously, that car is dope.
You can find them at: https://www.specialized.com/us/en
SYCIP DESIGNS GRAVEL BIKE WITH LAUF FORK
Over at the Fabric tent, we spotted this custom SyCip gravel bike with Zipp wheels, WTB Nano tires and an orange Lauf fork. From their website:
“Since 1992, SyCip Designs has been building some of the best custom bikes in the industry. With a dedication to craft and quality, a SyCip bike is a personal riding experience like none other. We’d love to talk to you about creating the perfect bike for you to ride on the road, on the mountain or everywhere in between.”
Check them out at: http://sycip.com/
THESIS OB1 GRAVEL BIKE
With perhaps the most inviting, well-designed booth at the show, Thesis Bike continues to impress. It seemed like every time we came by there was someone from the media interviewing co-founder Randall Jacobs about their business model and bikes. This small start-up from the Bay Area may not have the biggest marketing budget but they certainly have a compelling story. At just $3299 you can pick up this highly versatile carbon gravel bike, WITH carbon wheels. At that price it was understandable why they had a constant stream of test bikes going out to visitors. Also showing well were the frame bag, bar bag and seat pack designed and made by Post Carry Co.
Visit Thesis at: https://thesis.bike/
Post Carry Co: https://postcarry.co/
TI CYCLES GRAVEL BIKE
Over at the Full Speed Ahead booth we spotted this super clean Ti Cycles custom build. This bike was designed to feature FSA's Aerodynamic Cable Routing (ACR) system that offers a fully internalized routing system. The system works with either mechanical or electronic shifting, as well as rim or hydraulic disc brakes.