Due to product cycle timing and the increasing popularity of the discipline, the Sea Otter Classic has become the de facto trade show of choice for bike makers to unveil their new cyclocross bikes. Here are nine new bikes that caught our eye during the four-day celebration of all things two wheels in Monterey, California.
Felt FX Series
Felt rolled out a new batch of ’cross racers that are claimed to be both lighter, stiffer and more comfortable than their predecessors. Weight was shaved thanks to a new lay-up method, while the switch to a BB386 bottom bracket added stiffness. Claimed weight for the standard 55cm FX carbon frame is 950 grams; the top-of-line FRDX boasts a wispy 850 grams. That’s 100 and 150 grams respectively lighter than last year’s models. Tire clearance is now up to 42mm. Cable routing is internal and there’s even accommodation for an internal dropper post. Changes to frame shape include a flatter top tube for more comfortable shouldering, and thinner seatstays for a more compliant ride. All the bikes are disc only, with thru-axles front and rear. More info at www.feltbicycles.com
Scott Addict CX
Scott calls the new Addict CX the lightest bog hopper on the market. We cant verify that claim just yet, but the new rig from the Swiss bike maker is certainly a looker, with its modern tube shapes and clever CX-specific touches. Claimed frame weight for a size 54cm composite frame is a wispy 890 grams, with the fork adding another 360 grams. Braking is disc brake only, and the frame is set up to accommodate Shimano’s new flat mount calipers. You can run traditional calipers using an adapter.
Comfort is the other big marketing push for this bike. Scott claims that overall the new bike is 60 percent more cushy than its predecessor. The new Addict CX will be available in the U.S. sometime in August and retail for $5900. Spec will include a SRAM Force 1 drivetrain with hydraulic disc brakes, Syncros carbon cockpit and seatpost, and Syncros RP1.0 carbon clincher disc wheels. More details here and info at www.scott-sports.com
Focus Mares CX Disc Team
Change is strictly cosmetic for the top-end CX race bike from Focus. The model year 2016 Mares CX Disc now comes painted in full stars-and-stripes livery in tribute to reigning U.S. national cyclocross champion Jeremy Powers, who’s primary sponsor is the German bike maker. Spec on the disc-equipped bike includes a full SRAM Force 1 drivetrain, DT Swiss wheels and Schwalbe tires. MSRP is $4250. More info at www.focus-bikes.com
Parlee Z Zero XD
High end Boston-area bike maker Parlee was at Sea Otter showing off its new Z Zero XD frameset, a more dirt/gravel oriented version of its flagship Z Zero road frame. While not calling it an out and out cyclocross bike, the full composite XD (as in cross disc) has clearance for up to 40mm tires achieved via wider chainstays and seatstays. Framesets are built in Massachusetts and will run $7900 for what’s essentially a semi-custom package with six available sizes. Buyers can specify lay-up preference based on riding style and desired ride feel, and determine cabling preference and port location. The fork can be ordered to accommodate thru-axle or QR, while the rear dropouts are modular and will place nice with either. Paint is Parlee Level I, which as you can see here looks great. There are also integrated fender mounts if you’re looking to build up the ultimate chi-chi commuter. More info at www.parleecycles.com