Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Post Otter View

Well, Sea Otter came and went over the last few days or so. It has become a defacto "Interbike" for the industry where new 2013 product raises its shiny new head and everyone gets their press release machines humming at their maximum potential.

BMC's TE01 Carbon 29"er
Companies are now flying media in for "World Debuts" at Sea Otter, or just before it. When was the last "World Debut" at Interbike for 29"ers? Well, there probably was at least one.....maybe.  Actually by the time we got to Interbike 2011 it was all anti-climatic. Sea Otter and Eurobike had all the big news. Sea Otter this year really had the goods.

Then you have the 650B/27.5"er thing, which I figured all along would show at Sea Otter, and I was right about that. Thing is, the industry is pushing news out about the wheel size that isn't really news. That's a whole 'nuther story though.

No, what I found interesting was how several companies are latching on to the "27.5" moniker instead of "650B". I always thought sticking with the "650B" thing was goofy. 27.5 makes a lot more sense in marketing terms. Glad to see some companies getting away from the 650B moniker and its clumsy connotations when it comes to mountain biking. However that goes, now we'll see if this gets going.....finally. I thought the Norco and Intense offerings were pointing to where 27.5"ers will really catch ahold. Interestingly, one of the the Intense models was actually a slightly modified 26"er. I think that's rather telling.

Back to Sea Otter- It was a great show for exciting new mountain bike stuff overall. Much more so than Interbike. I think the old, antiquated way Interbike is run might learn a thing or two from the mighty Otter. In fact, I think we could eliminate Inter and Outer Bike, (The consumer foil to Interbike),  in one fell swoop by combining the best of Sea Otter, (it's dates, venue, racing, and riding ops), with Interbike's business focused intentions. Somehow a synergy of those two events into one would probably be a much more interesting thing for dealers, better for companies that are introducing product waaaay before late September/early October, and allow dealers to see the stuff far in advance so ordering and planning could be done well in advance. 

But that'll never happen now, will it?


George said...

As much as I dislike both events, I'd say Sea Otter is a better event than Interbike becasue A, there is actually biking, competitive and fun, B, it is outside C, capitalizes on the spring stoke that isnt there in the fall, and D, it is not Las Vegas

Leslie said...

Since you're a 29"er guy, which followed 26", I suppose the 27.5" would make more sense to you...

But 650b is akin to 700c, and both pre-date the 26" size of tire.

I am kind of partial to using 650b if it's for a touring bike, and then maybe going with 27.5" when for a MTB... same size still, interchangable, but, it's a quick way to know if you're referencing a touring bike, versus a MTB.

It's not like you think 700c bikes should be known as skinny 29'ers, right?

Unknown said...

The niche that the industry wags are putting 27.5 in makes sense, but the spin that some of those guys[I'm looking at you Norco] put on the design process of the bikes is just ridiculous. Intense just made a couple things different and bam! done. but you Norco, have to embellish every design nuance with specifically tailored spring rates for the 27.5 wheel, with steering rate's optimally tuned for a 2.3" tire, and a bb drop optimally placed so you don't get crank strikes on pesky rocks.

bah! Its just a damned bike. Do I sound bitter?