After Otter: Final round of Sea Otter gems

Sea Otter Classic

Here we bring you a few more gems from the great consumer tradeshow of the US known as Sea Otter. The pro racing events have dwindled but the cool products being introduced and displayed make the event so worthwhile.

LEGIT CONTENDER | Felt is now in the 27.5 arena with a legitimate contender called the Compulsion. This blue and black aluminum creation features 160mm of front and rear travel, a 66 degree head angle and 17.1-inch chainstays. It has dropper post routing, a threaded bottom bracket shell, a Syntace thru-axle, post mount brakes and a RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 shock.

This Compulsion 10 build pictured includes a RockShox Pike fork, SRAM X01 build and Schwalbe tires. Look for a retail price of $5,000-$5,500 when it goes on sale in early 2015. -FC

FOES FFR 27.5 DH RIG WITH EXTRA DAMPER | We stopped and chatted with Brent Foes about his new 27.5 DH bike called the FFR. It has a unique Cane Creek DBair shock with an extra damper that adds negative travel to the equation. The Foes FFR was equipped with a prototype Marzocchi 27.5 fork and the frame also features a torque shaft for the floating rear brake.

The idea behind adding negative travel is to improve braking and cornering by increase the amount of time the tire is in contact with the ground. The Foes FFR has nine-inches of travel, plus three-inches of negative travel with the additional damper. The FFR is a prototype that is still in the testing phase, but Foes hopes to have a production version by Interbike in September with retail availability by January 2015. -GK

ERGON ENDURO GRIP | Topeak-Ergon Pro Racer and Ergon Marketing Manager Jeff Kerkove showed us the all-new Ergon GE1 enduro/freeride/gravity-focused grip. It’s made of silicone rubber and has in-board aluminum clamps for the side-specific handles. Kerkove says they’re designed and shaped for “elbows out” riding on wider bars. He also explained that the rubber of a cutaway grip has a saw blade-like profile, that’s designed to give the rider additional grip for pulling back.

The GE1 comes in five colors–blue, Ergon team green, grey, red, black–and weighs 120 grams per pair. They were so popular at Sea Otter they sold out, but they’re available from your local Ergon dealer for $34.95. -GK

TOOL TIME | This Damselfly universal chain tool is features a spring loaded chain holder so it’s compatible with the multitude of chain widths found on today’s bikes. It simply self-adjusts to whatever width chain it’s used on, making it convenient for people with multiple bikes and gearing configurations.

The Birzman Zacoo Maha MTB floor pump features high volume for those large diameter tires. It has a five-degree tilt towards the user, for a more ergonomic position, according to Birzman. It also has a smart valve that mounts with a quarter-turn and pulls off with a firm tug. -FC

CASSETTE OPTIONS | These $250 Prestige MTB Black Mountain cassettes are available in 9- or 10-speed configurations, are SRAM- and Shimano-compatible for road and mountain. The 11-32 cassette weighs 129 grams and has an estimated lifespan of about 3000 miles. -FC

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