Randoms Round 2 - Sea Otter 2023

Apr 21, 2023
by Dario DiGiulio  
I've spent a couple days in the pit, wandering the dusty streets searching for the strangest and best ephemera to deliver to the masses. There's plenty left to see, but for now feast your eyes on these little morsels.

Prototype SRAM Brakes

SRAM has been working on these new calipers for a while now, and while I didn't learn anything more about the components themselves, I did get to appreciate the sweet paint scheme first seen on the World Cup circuit last season. The splatter anodization seems to draw attention to the clampers, which seems a bit incongruous with the whole "secret parts" Blackbox program. This set was on Kyle Strait's Vitus Dominer while it was parked for show in the Vitus booth.

Sea Otter 2023
SRAM's caliper decked out in a new colorway.
Sea Otter 2023
Complete with a Blackbox cover, for privacy and maybe mud.

Sea Otter 2023
Despite the dazzle paint, you can get a sense for the architecture.
Sea Otter 2023
You can see some pad tabs peeking out here.

Project321 6Lock Hubs

This might be one of the coolest things I've seen at the show so far, purely because of how efficiently the design takes care of a problem. The frustration of converting Centerlock hubs to take 6-bolt rotors has long stumped designers, with few of the adapters on the market proving themselves worthy. What Project321 has done here is create a whole new hub system that allows the user to easily switch between the two standards without any compromise. Allegedly this design also improves on the standard 6-bolt design, but ultimately it's the increased compatibility that gets me.

Sea Otter 2023
That 6-posted piece is a stainless steel snapring that fits into the channel below the Centerlock splines.
Sea Otter 2023
With the black piece overtop and the bolts installed, the whole assembly comes together to lock into place.

Sea Otter 2023
The system comes with color-matched parts, of course.
Sea Otter 2023
But sadly the locking 6-bolt part won't be sold on its own yet.

Hope Tech Dropper Lever

Classic Hope-quality machining and functionality, this time applied to a dropper lever. Looks colorful, feels like a dropper lever!

Sea Otter 2023
Fun paddle.
Sea Otter 2023
With an adjustable thumb area.

Sea Otter 2023
Reach adjust and a standard cable clamp.
Sea Otter 2023
Hope also looks to be releasing a Centerlock-compatible rotor.

Aftermarket Brake Levers from FreedomCoast

For those who need it all, these brake mods might improve your stopping game by just a wee bit.

Sea Otter 2023
Magura, meet CODE.
Sea Otter 2023
And some extra-hooky TRPs.

Awards Ceremony

Best Polishing

Sea Otter 2023
Liquid metal Code.
Sea Otter 2023
Shiny bars are always a slick look.

Sea Otter 2023
Fast-looking linkage.

Best Paint

Sea Otter 2023
Hard to beat this Hope's iridescent look.
Sea Otter 2023
The color shifts with every new angle.

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Equally engrossing but much less flashy paint on this Scor.
Sea Otter 2023
Basking in the light.


Author Info:
dariodigiulio avatar

Member since Dec 25, 2016
193 articles

78 Comments
  • 180 3
 No sinkhole update ??
  • 35 0
 Came here specifically for this
  • 17 1
 Also wondering about said sinkhole.
  • 46 2
 BREAKING NEWS : Mike Levy found in bottom of sinkhole, trying to find extra-terrestrial's.
  • 23 0
 @captainclunkz: or extra testicles?
  • 1 0
 @captainclunkz: They live in Agharta ...
  • 23 2
 @ComradeLorry: if the testicles are in the hole, you’re doing it wrong.
  • 24 1
 @captainclunkz: levy doesn’t accept the truth about the hollow earth and it’s agarthan people like I do.
  • 4 0
 Someone used the sinkhole as a porta potty and they backfilled it. Wink
  • 11 0
 Wait for sinkhole de Mayo
  • 1 0
 @PtDiddy: full load of laundry....
  • 1 0
 @ComradeLorry: Ha Ha Ha!!!!
  • 1 0
 More inserts to fill the hole?
  • 24 0
 Those aftermarket brake levers remind me of the old school Dangerboy components from the early 2000’s
  • 40 10
 “Old school” from the early 2000s? What are you? 17? Jeez.
  • 3 1
 @JosephDunbar: right, I guess if us mtbers want to take from the bmx world, those late 90s early 2000s mtbs with discs and starting to get fun geometry would be considered mid-school?
  • 15 0
 @JosephDunbar: what are you talking about? the RM7 is old school. What are you elderly?
  • 7 0
 @JarrodB: I prefer dark ages and enlightenment to describe both those epochs respectively
  • 1 1
 @skiboot1:

If you had said 'RM20' I'd agree.
  • 5 0
 @freestyIAM: I prefer “turn of the century” for 2000s, and I refer to anything prior to that time “the 1900s”
  • 4 0
 @JosephDunbar: 2000 is almost a quarter of a century ago.
  • 3 0
 @JosephDunbar: to be fair that's 20 years ago.......
  • 1 0
 Led Zeppelin was newer music to me in the 1990's than The Offspring to today's kids. So I think early 2000's can count as "old school" now.
  • 21 1
 Avid/Sram (code gen 2) we have removed 2 of the heavy steel bolts holding together thr caliper, making a lighter, stiffer caliper.

SRAM (Code gen 4) we have increased the amount of heavy steel bolts in our caliper, making it stiffer and more powerful, and now offer an 'ultimate' model with Ti bolts for reduced weight...
  • 3 1
 Task failed successfully.

"We've also pioneered a brake fluid that is neither DOT or mineral oil based, tests have shown a .000001% efficiency increase."
  • 9 1
 Sram's motto. Don't fix it if it ain't broke.. guess that why they are always changing (fixing) their products.
  • 18 0
 SRAM Eddie Van Gobstoppers
  • 2 0
 I always saw a little EVH in that design!
  • 15 0
 Those polished Codes look bussin bussin
  • 1 0
 Need some lowers(forks) as such!
  • 8 0
 I have the freedom coast levers for the TRP’s (exact same as photo, gold with the sparkly black). They solved the only issue I have ever had with these brakes. Highly recommend
  • 5 0
 They solve the only issue anyone /everyone has with these brakes. They don't go in far enough.

TRP fix your lever adjust.
  • 2 0
 @Ososmash: it’s not so much that they don’t go in far enough. It’s the combo of being far out stock and having a long lever through which makes it to where when you get it close enough to the bars, the lever bashes your fingers. The freedom coast levers are perfect
  • 3 0
 @Ososmash: According to Blister, TRP hears us and plans to come out with a new lever. We'll see. If it takes too long I may get some of these from freedom coast
  • 10 0
 What's the problem that those 6lock hubs solve?
  • 24 0
 It solves your problem if you both have too much money and don't like DTswiss or any other already existing system.
  • 8 2
 That most hubs are only compatible with one type of rotor. If you have these hubs, you can mount any rotor you want. Not a reason to buy a new hub IMO but a selling point for anyone shopping.
  • 15 0
 @ak-77: why'd you wanna change disc mount-type?
Lately mtb's been going hard on gimmicks
  • 7 1
 @sie7e: The sport is definitely waist deep in yet another gimmick phase. Give it 5-10 years and all the idiots will have moved on to the next hype and mtb will return to be about riding bikes offroad because you enjoy it
  • 7 1
 @gabriel-mission9: That's naïve. In 10 years, all the 20 somethings who can't afford new parts and only ride because it's fun while making fun of dentists will have established their careers and have money to burn. Then we'll need another round of new standards and gimmicks.
  • 15 0
 @ak-77: If you have a normal centerlock hub you can already mount any rotor you want.

There's nothing wrong with current centerlock adapters and I have no idea what 'frustration' the writer of this article is referring to. There is no 'increased compatibility' because their all already compatible. When companies come up with stuff like this and then the media jumps up and down about how great it is, it almost feels insulting. We are smarter than that.
  • 7 0
 @ak-77: I have DT centerlock hubs with DT adaptors for 6 hole rotors,works flawless- cant see what this improve...and no lockring?
  • 3 3
 @sie7e: There are plenty of companies that offer adapters so apparently there are people that want this. You could turn it around. Why would you limit yourself to only one type of rotorsif you could also have a hub that can take any of them?
I got a good deal on a set of brakes including rotors. I then had to sell the rotors and buy other ones because they didn't fit my hubs.

I guess the real question is: why would you want more than one standard for mounting brake rotors? But that's the situation we're in. These hubs are the closest thing I guess.
  • 3 5
 @Shinkers: I've heard people complain about their adapters, I don't use them myself, there are so many rotors available I don't really see the point in getting adapters.
Anyway, I don't think this is a huge thing. But IMO the hub is a clever idea and I really don't mind them bringing it to market. Don't like it, don't buy it.
  • 3 3
 Google search: “They do develop play. It doesn’t really affect braking but if you rock bike back and forth with brake on there’s noticeable play in it, which is disconcerting.

Problem is DT’s adaptor just has lugs that fit through the 6 bolt holes and the whole thing sandwiches together with the disc and a lot of torque to hold it in place, but slightly thinner disc can mean it’s not solid.

Also, the ones that use external BB tool for the lockring, the tool snags on the lugs and wears them down.”
  • 6 3
 @frorider2: the pads move inside the calipers, thats the play you are feeling. If you tighten centerlocks properly you don't have issues, but the pads are always going to click around centerlock or 6-bolt. If you use an adapter you change from centerlock to 6 bolt you are still using the centerlock interface anyway.

The only true benefit to 6 bolt rotors is anyone can stamp them out, so you can get rotors from a brand you can't pronounce for $3 a pair.
  • 2 0
 @hangdogr: Oh absolutely, the gimmicks come in waves for sure. We just seem to be near the top of one of those waves just now. In my experience they go away after a few years, we get a few years of blissful quiet just riding bikes in the woods, then the next round of hype-monsters rolls in and the gimmicks start reappearing again.
  • 1 3
 @RonSauce: it seems to me if you're braking hard enough to lock the pads to the rotor, pads will likely not be slipping around relative to the pistons either.

Anecdotally, my car has rear brake pads that are a touch undersize. I hear them clack forward, not at the moment when I shift from reverse to drive, but when I let off the brake and start rolling forward.

Also anecdotally, I've only ever owned 6 bolt bike rotors, and I've never observed this kind of play.
  • 1 0
 @hangdogr: Nope. AI already dropped the mic.
  • 1 0
 @AndrewHornor: The brake pads friction surface grips the rotor far better than the back of the pads grip the pistons, so if you half pull the brakes then the pads definitely rock in the calipers before the rotor surface starts to slip. Center lock (and 6 bolt for that matter) does develop play at the hub interface though. So worst case is play at the hub AND play at the caliper.
  • 6 0
 These gold TRP 's are Sexy AF !
  • 4 0
 Any word when project321 will start selling hubs again? They’ve been moving to canada for a while…
  • 6 2
 Approximately 8 weeks out. It's important to recognize Project321 didn't just move, it was purchased and the product is a brand new generation of hub - that's a lot to night off. There is a lot of complexity to design the hubs, program new machines and fine tuning production, to iterate and test the product, etc. The crew is now doing the final round of testing and validation, so it shouldn't be long!
  • 1 0
 For a second there I thought SRAM partnered with Van Halen. I know I'd be in financial trouble once bike companies start collaborating with music groups. Would love a paint scheme based on classic album covers (The Stone Roses' and Zeppelin's first, Rio, DSOTM...). I guess I can say my bike's color scheme is based on "The White Album."
  • 2 0
 My bike is painted like EVH’s guitar!
So I’m with ya
  • 3 0
 Those prototype Code calipers have had that camouflage paint job for yonks.
  • 2 0
 Hope has had centerlock RX4 rotors for a few years. I have them on my gravel bike. Are the rotors shown mountain sized (larger than 160?).
  • 2 0
 I like shiny bits on the cockpit until the sunshine's and they blind me. They look fresh though.
  • 2 0
 Choose a rotor standard and be a dick about it. Or buy Project321 6Lock Hubs
  • 6 0
 And be a dick about it
  • 1 0
 I like the Hope going for the retro 90’s Cannondale paint. 25ish years has been long enough for it to make a good comeback.
  • 1 0
 Just buy new rotors for your new hubs. You're spending $900 - $2000 on new wheels, you can spring for another $80 - $100 on rotors.
  • 2 0
 Has ibis taken that new enduro bike along?
  • 2 0
 Is it packed there compared to pre pandemic?
  • 2 0
 So, where is the new Ibis bike?
  • 2 1
 Still nothing on the Arrival UDH....
  • 2 0
 They need to improve their seat post insertion capability before that. Having a M frame that can only take most 150mm droppers is so 2018, and prevented me from buying a frame. Math told me the best I might pull off was a OneUp dropper shimmed down to 170mm. I own a OneUp dropper, did not want to be pigeon holed to that seat post..
  • 3 1
 Scor is a beauty!
  • 1 0
 The new Sram brakes will probably be called Maven and will use mineral oil
  • 1 1
 I’m very sceptical of this theory, they began testing them with the Code RSC levers, so I doubt they’d have fitted a bunch of those with different seals just for testing the new calliper, and the only explanation I’ve seen for it is the bleed nipple on the proto levers (that Jack Moir has been using) being similar to the one on the DB8, which is an incredibly tenuous link that proves nothing in my opinion. But I guess we’ll see ‍♂️
  • 2 3
 @samdaman1: just the other day in pb comments, someone said you can use mineral oil with dot seals if they have not touched dot fluid yet. Not sure if true but sounds totally plausible.

If they do boost the power a lot and use a new pad shape (as it appears) it would make sense to move away from the name Code.
  • 2 0
 I heard that the Maven brakes are separate from the upcoming and revised Codes, but who knows?
  • 1 0
 I’m here for the $500 dropper lever!
  • 1 0
 What’s up with Strait’s rusty rotors?
  • 1 0
 Love the 90s paintball splatter paint!
  • 1 0
 how many companies have come and gone making aftermarket brake levers....







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