2019 SEA OTTER GEAR-2: More of Cycling’s Best Kit from Monterey California

This round of Seat Otter Coverage brings you Pirelli’s P Zero Tubular, Kask Helmet’s Caipi, Koo Glasses, Look 765 Gravel, Ceramic Speed OSPW-X Pulley, Orucase Airport Ninja and Vittoria Tierra shoes.

The last time I was in a Pirelli booth, it was at their Vizzola Ticino test track. No drop off in venue here as being in Monterey at Laguna Seca ain’t so bad either. While I did miss seeing a couple of my friends from Italy, I did get a peak at Pirelli’s latest P Zero Velo Addition, the new tubular.

The tubular launch makes sense given Pirelli are so focused on what gets raced in developing what gets driven… Some folks on the world tour are still rolling tubulars and Pirelli check the boxes with a 320 TPI Corespun casing. There’s an aramid reinforcing fiber used and this wraps around a latex inner tube.

The compound is built for max grip and lower rolling resistance and Pirelli roll these out in 25 and 28 section with a48mm Valve (removable for extension for any rim profile).

While Pirelli were also introducing tires ready for other surfaces (as Otter has so much off road going on), they brought the full line of road rubber as well…

At day’s end, Pirelli have a very good base compound, and their Smartnet Silica tech and structure make for a tire that resists heating while remaining soft and grippy. While they have designs for all weather and rougher road conditions, we’ve had VERY good longevity and performance along with comfort on the performance oriented P Zero Velo model and the Tubular just gives the line up another performance mark to go at the top of the tubular food chain.

You can find more at: https://velo.pirelli.com/en/uk

Kask Helmets brought a new helmet to Otter in the form of the Caipi…

Aimed more at the Gravel and Mountain sector, the Caipi gets a lot of the features from the top of the Kask Lineup that you’re familiar with on the road in their (L-R) Utopia, Valegro and Protone…

The easy adjusting chin and ear strap (hypo allergenic and washable microfiber)…

The easy adjusting and soft-touch Octo-Fit adjustment system…

There’s an integrated visor here with flow through venting and the channeling between the vents is open, deep and functional…

There’s also a limited edition of colors launching for the road oriented Valegro.

All of the same top flight features from the Italian hat maker…

And the ventilation channel depth and full flow design make this the choice for hot areas like home in Phoenix…

Koo are the Kask company’s sister brand for eyewear…

A pretty reasonable line up here and the designs are functional as well as fairly pleasing versus some of the over-the-top designs that seem unfortunately to be catching on…

Tilting lenses allow for some added ventilation and a better form fit to your head and helmet shape.

Adjustable nose bridges make massive sense (and I really don’t understand why anyone making top end glasses don’t have the feature)…

These will check the MSRP around the $230 dollar mark. For the amount of cash that glasses companies charge, the ability to fit them to your face should be included.

These Kask and Koo products are rolling now and you can find a bit more on them at: https://www.kask.com/en-us/ and https://kooworld.cc/

Look Bicycles launched a new Gravel rig in the form of their 765 Gravel RS.

The 765 family are Look’s All-road line and the Gravel RS ups the game with a broad mix of fiber types from more compliant to ultra stiff.

The magic happens out back for the Gravel RS in the seat stays that flare fairly wide in a few points laterally…

And then get smaller / flatter sections up near the seat post and down by the drops… (note the whole seat stay bows out a bit too)

The bow shape and these flat sections allow for more movement from the rear wheel vertically.

But the width of these sections, aim to keep the rear wheel in line and tracking properly. This adds quite a bit of compliance but Look also amped up the volume of the down tube and BB area to keep flex down in the fashion that robs power transfer.

Look may have also purchased stock in a bottle boss manufacturer, as the 765 RS seems to come with 127 of them…

OK, fewer than that, but good-god… There are a few on the top tube as well!

Ah, and then there’s the E-version 765.

Still in proto form, but this comes with the Fazua Motor system that fits in a neat sleeve and is removable in the case that your rides don’t need the push.

This is under 5 kilo’s added to the weight of the 765 despite also featuring “rocket mode” (not sure what this does, but it sounds a bit like “party mode” on the Mercedes Formula One car). One thing to like is the motor and battery sitting this low in the frame.  That along with the fact that you can remove it makes for some interesting options for people that can use this to aid their ride.

Look are selling the RS at 3600-4200 Euros and the E version at 5800-6500 Euros…

You should be able to see the updated info shortly at: https://www.lookcycle.com/en/gravel-bicycles/

Ceramic Speed were on hand with their newest uprated Pulley system, the OSPW X

The full swing arm and pulleys are mated to Shimano’s Ultegra RX clutch read mech set up here (but are also found ready for SRAM kit as well).

This is the full lower swing arm, Ceramic Bearings and run a whopping 14 top teeth and 18 down low and work to reduce total drag while also reducing pulley wear (more teeth engaged means they spin slower at the same gear ratio and bike speed).

They’re on sale now for, ahem, $519.

You can find more at: https://www.ceramicspeed.com/en/cycling/shop/oversized-pulley-wheel-systems/

Orucase were on hand with one of the smartest case designs I have ever seen, their new Airport Ninja… An updated version of the original Airport Ninja case we reviewed here.

I’ll start with saying I took HORRIBLE pictures of one of the best thought-through products at the show, but it is what it is, so let’s move on…

This thing is basically a soft-sided hard case, with an exceptional internal packing system.

That is customizable for size and shape… Once you have determined the best wrap version, your bike basically gets a cocoon of ding resistant material that wraps the frame fairly completely.

The fork gets the same love.

Separate wheel bags will fit in here as well, because all of the padding is carefully placed on the frame itself rather than large sheets of foam taking up space (while doing a less effective job of actually protecting the frame from both outside impact and from killing itself).

It’s tough to notice, but this case also deceptively tapers at the top and sides, (where airport folks measure…).

Ah, and I call this thing a “soft sided hard case” because it has a multi-layer impact resisting material within the outside sections.

(I know, not a great picture, but the presenter was winging this around while he spoke, so… this was picture 6 of 18 rapid-fire shots and the best I could do).

Given storage space when traveling is usually at a premium (especially if you’re traveling with other cyclists) when out racing or on vacation, this whole thing collapses down to diddly-squat and can fit under most beds. And or you could fit a couple of these into most hard cases.

Lastly, all the hardware here is SOLID. The build quality is excellent and the materials in general are top notch. These come in 3 sizes to fit different bike sizes and they’re rolling now for $499.

See em here at: https://www.orucase.com/products/the-airport-ninja-bicycle-travel-case

Vittoria Shoes brought their latest gravel kicks, the Tierra.

Sharp, color-shifting purple aside, this is a neat shoe from the Italian cobblers. A microfiber upper has a breathable membrane layer that holds out water and mud. It also features a rubber toe cap and lace closure.

The sole is CFRP that is a 10% fiber mix.

Large lugs for traction and mounting for SPD cleats.

Of course Vittoria brought their standard road offerings as well. The attention grabber on color was their Ikon Pro model.

This is a laser cut/ventilated Microfiber upper with a Nylon mech support and Carbon sole (Full UD Carbon Fiber). Dual Boa dials for closure. These are kitted for 3 hole and Speedplay pedals.

One of the very popular shoes at Sea Otter (given its MASSIVELY consumer friendly lay out) are Vittoria’s Kid BOA shoes.

This is a BOA dial closure shoe with a Het-welded microfiber and mesh upper that holds its shape (and your kid’s foot well), while maintaining some breathability. A carbon reinforced sole rounds out a pretty darn nice pair of kicks.

The Tierra will retail around $200, the IKON Pro’s jump a little into the mid $300’s and the Kid BOA will set you aside $129. They’re all available now.

You can find more at: http://www.vittoria-shoes.com/index.php

More from the shore later…

Have Fun,

Charles Manantan

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