Bike Check #1: Nine cool bikes from pre-Sea Otter rides

A check of industry bikes seen on Mtbr’s guest rides

26er 27.5 29er Sea Otter Classic

Mavic Communications and PR Manager Zach Vestal was resplendent in Mavicness with his brand-coordinated helmet, jersey, shorts, shoes, socks, wheels and tires. His whip for the week—a Scott Genius 710.

MRP’s marketing guy Noah Sears rode his Santa Cruz Bantam single pivot bike, equipped with MRP’s new Stage suspension fork, AMG chainguide and prototype HB1 830mm carbon handlebars. We’ll be swinging by their booth later this week to take a closer look at those.

Jenson USA’s Video Producer Szymon Bielesz did laps at Soquel Demo Forest and the Emma McCrary trail aboard a borrowed Santa Cruz Bronson Aluminum—a bike he ended up liking very much.

We ran into Andorran mountain bike design legend Max Commencal riding the trails in Santa Cruz on—not surprisingly—a Commencal Meta AM. Commencal and a colleague rode with X-Fusion GM and consummate host Joel Smith.

Tyler Cloward rode this test rig—a Fezzari Timp Peak carbon he uses to evaluate new components. His build included SRAM’s Guide RSC brakes—the first pair we’ve seen in the flesh. Cloward says the brakes are excellent, and by far the best he’s ever ridden from SRAM.

Ritchey Design Sales Manager Eric Brecheen kept it local when selecting his ride—an Ibis Ripley 29. Brecheen’s bike is equipped with Ritchey Advantage 29 wheels, their Trail bars and stem, a Streem saddle and a pair of Ritchey top-secret prototype tires.

Jenson USA’s Digital Marketing Supervisor Wilt Kishimoto poses with the Pivot Mach 6 he took a spin on. It features a SRAM XX1 1×11 drivetrain, FOX suspension and Bontrager wheels and tires.

Fezzari’s Sam Buckmiller—“like the deer and the beer”—poses with his company’s Timp Peak XTR complete with Reynolds carbon wheels, Shimano XT/XTR components and KS LEV adjustable seat post.

MRP sales guy Nick Simcik shows off his Santa Cruz Bronson C, equipped with a 160mm version of their Stage fork, AMG chainguide and direct-mount 32-tooth Bling Ring.

About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry that landed him at his current gig with Santa Cruz bicycles. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.

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