The Sea Otter Classic made its return last Thursday. The four-day cycling celebration of cycling was somewhat diminished without the presence of brands such as SRAM, Giant, Trek, Santa Cruz, and Ibis. However, attendance was good, race participation was great, and there was still plenty of new and interesting tech on display. If nothing else, the absence of some of the major players was an opportunity for smaller and lesser-known brands to shine. Here's a look at some of the things that caught our eye.

Alchemy Rogue and eRonin
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Denver-based Alchemy Bikes was showing off two new gravel models, one analog, one electric assist. The Rogue is Alchemy's new gravel race bike with a slacker head angle and increased tire clearance over the brand's other gravel bike, the Ronin.
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According to Alchemy, the Rogue is a natural expansion of Alchemy’s gravel bike lineup and the perfect complement to the Ronin. The Rogue brings more terrain capability with a slack head tube angle, wider tire clearance, and updated geometry. The Rogue has clearance for 700c x 50mm tires or 650b x 2.2" tires. The head tube angle varries across the five bike size range from 70° for an extra-small to 71.5° for the XXL. It is the first US-made gravel bike to include the SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH), giving the bike more range and reliability. (Look for this to become standard on more drop bar bikes in the coming years.)
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This US-made carbon gravel grinder won't come cheap. Pricing is set at $4,299 for the frameset. Complete bikes range in price from $7,999 to $9,999.

In addition to this fat-tired gravel racer, Alchemy used Sea Otter to show off its drop bar e-bike, the eRonin. This gravel bike gets its boost from the Fauza system.
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The integrated Evation mid-mounted drive system has been used successfully by brands such as Look and Trek. The drive unit can also be removed and replaced with a cargo box when pedal assist isn't needed. Like the rest of the bikes in Alchemy's line, the eRonin is handmade in Alchemy’s Colorado workshop.
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This US-made carbon gravel e-bike will set buyers back $6,499 for the frameset. Complete bikes range in price from $10,999 to $12,499. Visit to learn more.

Classified Cycling Powershift Hub
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This was one of the show highlights for me. Many gravel bikes and some road bikes, particularly time trial and triathlon rigs, are moving to 1x-only frame designs. Ditching the front derailleur works for some riders and some types of terrain, but the solutions thus far are far from perfect. That's where Classified's Powershift system comes into play. This wireless two-speed shifting system is integrated into the rear hub, allowing riders to gears in a split second, even under full load.
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A shifter or a satellite shift button will trigger a shift. It sends a signal to the rear axle that then triggers a shift inside the rear hub. It's a 69% reduction gear inside the hub. According to Classified, the gear change is akin to dropping from the big ring to the small ring on most road or gravel bikes.
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The Powershift hub has a claimed weight is 495g, which is pretty hefty, but when you consider the hub as part of the rear wheel system, using the company's carbon rim and ultralight cassette, the weight comes in close to some 2x drivetrains.
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EVOC Hydro Pro Hydration Vest
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EVOC is launching a new hydration vest. The Hydro Pro Hydration Vest appears to be EVOC's response to Camelbak's Chase Vest. This low-profile hydration pack is targeted at gravel riders and endurance XC racers. It comes in two versions with 1.5-liters and 3-liters of cargo capacity. (The 3-liter version is shown here.) Both sizes use the same 1.5-liter HydraPack bladder.
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Pricing for the Hydro Pro Hydration Vest is $115 for the 1.5-liter pack and $125 for the 3-liter pack. EVOC expects them to be available later this year. We're looking forward to getting the 3-liter version in for review. Stay tuned.

Giro Blaze Winter Shoe
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Winter is just around the corner and Giro is ready with a new winter mountain bike shoe that will probably also be a hit with gravel riders. Giro claims the new Blaze will keep your feet warm down to 20°F.
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The shoes feature Primaloft with heat-reflective insoles. The zippered outer shell is waterproof. Inside the Blaze there's a speed-zip lacing system to snug the shoe around your foot. The Blaze will retail for $250 when it becomes available this fall.

Hiplok D1000 Anti-Angle Grinder Bike Lock
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First off, no lock is theft-proof, but Hiplok may have created the world's most theft-resistant bicycle lock. The new D1000 lock is the first bike lock designed to thwart angle grinder attacks.
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Hiplok claims the D1000 will wear out approximately 12 blades before it's completely compromised. This should, hopefully, be enough to make most would-be thieves turn elsewhere. I watched the D1000 reduce a rotary blade to shreds in a matter of seconds with minimal damage.

The D1000 retails for $230 and is available for pre-order through Kickstarter.

Otso Cycles Fenrir Bikepacking Bike
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Otso Cycles has a new bikepacking model in its quiver. The Fenrir is constructed from stainless steel and is designed to be used with flat bars or drop bars. When equipped with ENVE's rigid carbon bikepacking fork, the Fenrir has a 68° head tube angle and a 75° seat tube angle.
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Like other models in Otso's line, the Fenrir has chips in the dropouts so riders can adjust chainstay length to suit handling preference and tire size. Speaking of which, the Fenrir can be used with either 27x2.8" or 29x2.6" tires.
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The Fenrir is available as a frame for $1,960. Complete pricing starts at $3,900 with a massive range of custom options.
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