Sea Otter 2009: Report #2

Things are busy at Sea Otter, yet the vendors were still setting up at mid-morning due to a work ban on Wednesday. Hmm……Strange, but here is a couple of cool things from the expo area……

Bontrager Switchblade: Redesigned and made for G2 and “standard” offsets, the new Switchblade is a radical departure from the old fork.


The fork has all carbon HCM legs and aluminum forward facing drop outs with an aluminum crown. The fork is said to weigh an incredible 300 grams less than the old Race X Lite Switchblade, which would make it quite competitive with Niner’s new fork. The new Switchblade Race X Lite will only be offered in this version with the two separate offsets available. Expect Race X Lite Switchblades to go on sale by mid-summer.

Update: I received this late update from Bontrager on this fork:

Race X Lite Switchblade

• 250 grams lighter than the previous model

• New design increases overall stiffness which improves steering and reduces chatter during heavy braking

• Cold forged 6061-T6 crown and dropouts ensure precise steering and control

• 7000-series aluminum steer tube

• Reverse-bonded, HCM (High Compression Molded) carbon legs for ultimate strength and low weight

• Axle-to-crown length built to emulate suspension fork with proper sag

• Forward facing dropouts designed to increase axle holding power with disc brakes

• Massive mud clearance

• Disc brake compatible

• Includes cable guides

• Available in 26”, 29” and 29” G2 geometry

• Weight
700g for 26”

720g for 29” (Standard and G2)

The Specialized Epic 29″er was briefly spotted in the Specialized’s team tent area. I got a couple of shots of the bike showing the Reba with tapered steer tube and Black Box crown.


Look for more soon and see my post on The Cyclist for more info.


No Responses to “Sea Otter 2009: Report #2”

  1. Cloxxki Says:

    Finally the Switchblade!!
    Why so vague about weight…300g lighter…than a fork we’ve forgotten about!
    I look forward to trying this fork on my Superfly. IMO it should have been introduced simultaniously as a racing concept.
    I’ll be able to compare it to the 470x55mm steel fork I had made, but have yet to try.
    I fear the custom will see little action on my race bike once the Switchbade arrive, the steel may even require an alu frame of its own to be properly tested, in training…

  2. GreenLightGo Says:

    GT – thanks for the update. I had the Epic picture open in full size – is it my eyes or are those NOIR cranks at least 180mm?

  3. Guitar Ted Says:

    GLG: Could be 180’s. SRAM keeps telling us that they are out there.

  4. Angus Says:

    Is that switchbalde mounted on a Carbon 69er????

  5. Rob from Ottawa Says:

    Saw what you’d like about Bontrager stuff, it sure looks snappy and crisp! It always reminds me a little of Tron.

  6. Guitar Ted Says:

    Angus, Nope, it’s a 29″er aluminum frame.

  7. Angus Says:

    Hmmm??? interesting very interesting, could it possibly be a Prototype 29er from Trek, as the head tube and seat tubes are different from the Fisher 29ers, just an observation from an interested observer….

  8. Andy Says:

    I’d say that frame looks exactly like the 2010 Flies I’ve seen being raced so far this year…

    Just glossy white instead of Subaru/GF colors.

  9. professed Says:

    Wow for an alu frame, that has got to have some of the smoothest welds in the world…and why a dropped chain protector?

    GT, are those carbon rims on the xxx wheelset or is it my imagination or the patchy annodizing?

    as a racing concept cloxxki, what do you reckon you can build a geared superfly down to?

    Our trails down under are too technical and have too many rocks, steps and drops to make a rigid bike faster regardless of weight savings but interesting and fun as a concept nonetheless….

  10. chumbox Says:

    So no info on the rake and length of the forks? Looks hot though. I’m guessing 44mm and 51mm (that’s G2 right?) in a 465mm fork?

  11. Guitar Ted Says:

    chumbox: I do have the specs. The axle to crown will be 473mm. The G2 offset = 51mm. The non-G2 will be 46mm. (Conveniently, the G2 26 inch fork is 46mm offset, so the 29″er non-G2 is probably using the same crown.)

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