While last year's fall edition of the Life Time Sea Otter Classic was a stripped-down affair, the cycling industry's season kick-off was back in full force last weekend with packed racing fields and a bustling expo. Supply chain issues continue to dog the bike industry, resulting in fewer product launches at the event than in years past. Still, there were new items here and there that caught our eye. Here's a look at some of the highlights from Sea Otter 2022.

Life Time Sea Otter Classic Tech Recap

Fizik Vento Ferox Carbon Cycling Shoes
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The Italian shoe and saddle specialists launched a new ultra-light and ultra-stiff shoe designed for cross-country racing and gravel grinding. The unidirectional carbon outsole features rubber lugs for hike-a-bike traction. The upper is constructed using a lightweight woven mesh that has the appearance of ripstop fabric. It's laminated in high-wear areas for additional protection.
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Unlike most brands' high-end XC and gravel shoes, which utilize a pair of Boa dials, the Ferox utilizes a single Boa Li2 dial with a Velcro strap. The Ferox has a claimed weight of 297g for a size 42. Pricing is set at $299.

Fizik Argo Adaptive 3D Printed Saddle
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Fizik is expanding its 3D printed saddle range with the short-nosed (265mm) Argo line. This new saddle is a direct competitor to Specialized's S-Works Mirror Power saddle. It stands out from Specialized's offering with zonal construction that makes it firmer in certain areas, such as under the rider's sitbones, and softer in areas where the saddle contacts soft tissue, such as on the nose of the saddle.
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The top-end Argo Adaptive R1 with carbon rails retails for $299. The R3 with alloy rails is slightly more affordable at $259. Fizik offers this new saddle in 140mm and 150mm-wide versions. The R1 has a claimed weight of 190g and 196g, respectively. The R3 sees a slight weight increase with claimed weights of 224g and 230g.

Ergon Handlebar Tape and Seatpost
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Ergon is rolling out a line of handlebar tape in five colors and three thicknesses for road, all-road and gravel. The tape is available in 2, 2.5 and 3.5mm thicknesses and will retail for $33, $38 and $48, respectively. The angled design on the tape also acts and a wrapping guide so riders know they have the appropriate amount of overlap.
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In what might be one of the most anti-climatic launches in a while, Ergon's CF All Road Seatpost will finally be available as a stand-alone product. (Meaning you don't have to buy a Canyon Grail or Endurance to get this vibration-damping carbon seatpost!)

This leaf-spring-inspired post retails for $250 and comes in straight and layback versions in a single 27.5mm diameter. Though pricey, it could be like a great upgrade for gravel and mixed-surface riders looking to take the edge off.

MRP Baxter Gravel Fork
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MRP's new Baxter V2 fork is one of many gravel forks ready to hit the road this spring. We like the fact MRP included water bottle bosses on the fork legs for ultra-endurance events and bikepacking adventures. We also really appreciate that MRP's Shredkote paint program lets riders choose a finish that matches their frames.
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We're partial to the titanium colorway that was on display alongside Moots' Routt 45 YBB.

Ortlieb Dropper-Compatible QR Seatpost Bag
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German bag manufacturer Ortlieb has a new bikepacking saddle bag that's easy to install and remove and compatible with dropper seatposts. The 13-liter Seat-Pack QR looks like a smart solution for riders looking to carry a lot of gear. It has internal reinforcements to minimize sway and five compression straps to keep gear secure.
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Since it's compatible with dropper seatposts, Ortlieb added a skid plate to the underside of the bag to prevent damage from tire contact during full bottom-out when used on full-suspension mountain bikes. The Seat-Pack QR is available now and retails for $190.

American Classic is back in the wheel game
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The American Classic name was revived last fall with an extensive line of tubeless road and gravel tires and very affordable price tags. Now, the brand is starting to return to its roots by branching into alloy rims.
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There are rims for road, gravel and mountain bike use that range in size from 19mm to 35mm (internal widths) and all are tubeless compatible. They're intended for OE manufacturers for now.

Ripton Performance Denim Jorts
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It seems like the official uniform of NICA racers is a Troy Lee helmet, Pit Viper sunglasses and jorts. Ripton & Co. was on hand at Sea Otter showing off its extensive collection of performance denim jorts. Ripton's denim is soft, stretchy, quick-drying, and may earn your cool points with Gen-Z mountain and gravel riders.

Reserve Wheels valves, rim tape and sealant
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Reserve Wheels is expanding its Filmore tubeless valve line with two new options for deep dish road and gravel wheels. Pricing and availability are TBD.
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There's also Reserve Rim tape and tire sealant coming to market this summer. Again, pricing and exact availability are yet to be determined.

Wolf Tooth 6-Bit Hex Wrench Tool
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Wolf Tooth was showing off its latest US-made multi-tool. The 6-Bit is a downsized version of the brand's 8-bit system and carries necessities needed for quick adjustments. A keychain ball detent locks it closed when not in use.
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Remove it from the keychain and inside you'll find a flat head, Philips, T10 and T25 Torx bits along with 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Allen bits. The complete tool retails for $47.95 and is available now on Wolf Tooth's website.

Yakima EXO OpenRange Camp Kitchen and Open Range 2 Tailgate Pad
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Yakima's EXO OpenRange Camp Kitchen is a modular camp kitchen with 85 liters of cargo capacity. It's designed to be secured to a hitch-mounted EXO SwingBase or EXO TopShelf using the company's EXO cleat system. The Camp Kitchen comes in two versions, the complete meal-ready version shown here as well as the stripped-down box. Pricing is $1,199 for the complete Camp Kitchen and $699 for the box.
Yakima is giving its truck bed rack a makeover for 2022. The redesigned Gatekeeper tailgate pad ditches Velcro straps for padded G-hook closures and uses a soft felt backing to protect your truck's paint. It's available in versions for full and mid-sized trucks and will retail for $199 when it becomes available in May.
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