Sea Otter 2009: Components

Wandering around Sea Otter this year revealed several technical advancements and components that caught my eye for one reason or another. Here’s a brief rundown for you…..

Fizik introduced a new saddle and new Team colors

Fizik introduced the Antares saddle in new Team colors

Fizik’s “Antares saddle, which is offered as an inbetween choice for those that do not like the Arione’s length or the Aliante’s concave top, is now available in “Team Colors” which celebrate Fizik’s sponsorship of several Pro road cycling teams.

The Antares, which is somewhat shorter than an Arione and one centimeter wider, is another “flat” profile saddle, unlike the Aliante.

The saddle is also offered in several other color options and rail types.

Fizik's new test saddle program: Coming to a shop near you.

Fizik's new test saddle program: Coming to a shop near you.

Fizik also showed this test saddle program that dealers can get and allow riders to try before they buy. A reasonable solution to the “what if I spend all this cash and hate it” problem that high end saddles engender.

All three of Fizik’s saddles for road are featured with the Aliante, Antares, and Arione done up in a special “Test Orange” so you won’t be able to get away with just riding off into the sunset with a free saddle.

I suspect it should be a hit as WTB’s similar program has been pretty successful at much the same thing for mountain bikers.

SRAM announced the "Select Program" with five colors for components.

SRAM announced the "Select Program" with five colors for components.

SRAM announced a unique new option for buyers of X-0 and Noir parts with their “Select Program”. Basically, there will be anodized or colored decals for various bits in five colors. The colors are “Red, Pink Slip, Gold Nugget, Tango, and Cash”. Colors can be added to shifters, cassette carriers, rear derailluer paralellograms, and cranks. Much of the color is anodized aluminum with the Noir cranks getting individually colored graphics across the arms.

Some sharp eyed folk may notice other colors than those listed on pro’s bikes. These are special “Black Box” Select Program parts for professionals that will not be offered for sale to the public.

Bontrager showed the newest Switchblade fork at Sea Otter

Bontrager showed the newest Switchblade fork at Sea Otter

Bontrager showed the new G2 Switchblade carbon fork at Sea Otter. This fork will be available in 26 inch and 29 inch versions with the G2 offset, (51mm- 29″er/46mm-26″er), and “standard” 29″er offset, (46mm).

Amazingly, the fork will weigh nearly 300 grams less in 29″er form than the current Switchblade fork. Also, the new version will have 100% carbon fiber construction for the legs and an aluminum steer tube, crown, and drop outs. The drop outs face forward and feature a post mount for the disc brake. No cantilever mounts will be offered.

Even more stunning- Bontrager isn’t going to charge anymore money than it does now for the current Switchblade. $299.99 will score you this fork when it becomes available in the summer of 2009.

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