The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 116 - New Bikes and Gear from Sea Otter

Apr 11, 2022
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich

Last week saw Sea Otter return to full strength for 2022, with a packed venue full of exhibitors, racing, and a lot of mountain bikers who were all happy to be back at Weathertech Laguna Seca Raceway. And it wouldn't be an Otter without a bunch of new bikes and fresh gear, which is what Mike Kazimer, Alicia Leggett, and myself are on about in today's episode. We get into the details of Contra Bikes' steel high pivot machine, EXT's new air shock, a ton of fresh clothing, X-Fusion's wireless dropper post, and a whole bunch more.

Check out all the Sea Otter coverage here.

April 11th, 2022

The only otters I saw were at the aquarium.

Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive
Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?
Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So Good
Episode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?
Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
Episode 51 - Should MTB Media Post Spy Shots?
Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments
Episode 53 - Should Climbers Still Have the Right of Way?
Episode 54 - Best and Worst MTB Product Marketing
Episode 55 - Big Dumb Rides & Staying Motivated
Episode 56 - What Were the Most Important Inventions in Mountain Biking?
Episode 57 - What Were the Best (and Worst) Trends in Mountain Biking?
Episode 58 - Debunking Mountain Biking's Biggest Myths
Episode 59 - Value Bike Field Trip Surprises & Spoilers
Episode 60 - What Kind of Mountain Biker Do You Want to Be?
Episode 61 - Athlete Pay, Lycra, Equality and More from the State of the Sport Survey
Episode 62 - Editor Preferences and Why They Matter
Episode 63 - Our Best (And Worst) Bike Buying Advice
Episode 64 - Who's On Your MTB Mount Rushmore?
Episode 65 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 66 - The Best and Worst of Repairing Bikes
Episode 67 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham
Episode 68 - Who Are Mountain Biking's Unsung Heroes?
Episode 69 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 1
Episode 70 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 2
Episode 71 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham - A Pinkbike Podcast Special, Part 2
Episode 72 - Hey Outers!
Episode 73 - The Details That Matter... and Some That Shouldn't
Episode 74 - The Best Trails We've Ridden and What Makes Them So Special
Episode 75 - Things MTB Brands Waste Money On
Episode 76 - MTB Originals and Copycats
Episode 77 - Interview with Outside CEO, Robin Thurston
Episode 78 - Modern Geometry Explained
Episode 79 - What's the Future of eMTBs?
Episode 80 - The Best Vehicles for Mountain Bikers
Episode 81 - You've Got Questions, We've (Maybe) Got Answers
Episode 82 - Behind the Scenes at Field Test
Episode 83 - Does Carbon Fiber Belong On Your Mountain Bike?
Episode 84 - Explaining RockShox's Computer Controlled Suspension
Episode 85 - Is the Red Bull Rampage Too Slopestyle?
Episode 86 - Greg Minnaar on the Honda DH Bike, World Cup Racing, and Staying Fast Forever
Episode 87 - How to Love Riding When it's Cold and Wet
Episode 88 - Mountain Biking on a Budget
Episode 89 - The Derailleur Pickle
Episode 90 - Is Supre the Future of Trouble-Free Drivetrains? (with Cedric Eveleigh of Lal Bikes)
Episode 91 - Riding Every Double Black in the Whistler Bike Park with Christina Chappetta
Episode 92 - Does Bike Weight Really Matter?
Episode 93 - Staying Motivated and Overcoming Burnout
Episode 94 - PBA Contestant Tori Wood on Her First Race and Finding the Right Mindset
Episode 95 - Field Test Down-Country Bike Debrief
Episode 96 - PBA Contestant Israel Carrillo on Riding in Mexico and Why It's Not Always About Speed
Episode 97 - Can We Predict the Future of Mountain Biking?
Episode 98 - Field Test Trail Bike Debrief
Episode 99 - New Year, New You?
Episode 100 - Q&A with the PB Editors
Episode 101 - MTB Tradeshows Explained
Episode 102 - Should MTB Media Be Going to Press Camps?
Episode 103 - Secrets from the World Cup Pits with Henry Quinney
Episode 104 - Lachlan Morton on How to be a Happy Bike Racer and the World's Longest Climb
Episode 105 - The 3 Bike Budget Challenge
Episode 106 - What's Your Ideal Ride Look Like?
Episode 107 - How (And Why) Did You Start Mountain Biking?
Episode 108 - Behind the Scenes at the Value Bike Field Test
Episode 109 - Berm Peak's Seth Alvo on Making Videos 24/7, Soul Rides, and Building a Bike Park
Episode 110 - Trying (and Failing) to Reinvent the Mountain Bike
Episode 111 - The Pinkbike Racing Podcast: Episode #1 - It's All Downhill From Here
Episode 112 - The Pinkbike Racing Podcast: Episode #2 - The Lourdes World Cup Post-Race Wrap-Up
Episode 113 - PB Editors Answer Your Questions (again)
Episode 114 - The Placebo Effect and Your New Mountain Bike
Episode 115 - We Are One's CEO Talks Future DH Bike, E-Bikes, & Domestic Manufacturing

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 27 1
 Really enjoy the frequency and the content of the podcasts recently. Keep up the good work!
  • 4 1
 Ditto on that. PB is awesome but the cast is just the highlight of each week for me. I could deal with daily cast but - that's prob pretty time consuming.
  • 3 1
 Yep, it is my go to Podcast for the daily commute as soon as they are released.
  • 2 3
 Lets just hope it doesn't get added to the paywall list.
  • 1 0
 @eddycheever: Pretty sure that aint happening. Would be the Beta Outside cast at that point & the revolt would be complete.They already mentioned the PB Racing cast is likely gonna be paid so: f*ck that. Live Henry & Ben but Downtime has been casting DH for years and excellently, others too so those are fine, plus I watch so if it goes paid: bummer, I aint paying for that. I would have kicked in $100s on the team just to get a t-shirt or some shades & support the team but they didn't go that route… dunno why. Anyway: yeah, if the normal PB cast is pay-to-listen, Im out. Id see no reason left to be a diehard fan
  • 4 0
 I know you love your hypothetical questions, so here is one for you: If you could have a bike that has either:
a) Top of the line carbon frame and the best shocks (front & rear) but only entry-level components and alloy wheels
b) Entry-level alloy frame and shocks (rideable, not like a Huffy or some other total piece of s***!) with top of the line components and the best carbon wheels
Which would you choose and why? (Assuming geo and travel were the same.)
  • 6 0
 I’d ride the wheels off of an alloy stumpy (for example) with AXS everything, carbon wheels, and a perfectly set up Rhythm 34/Performance DPS. If I rode an S-works frame with Factory suspension but cheese wheels and organic brake pads on 160mm rotors, I’d have very short rides, lots of warranty wheel claims, and melted brakes.

200 pound club problems
  • 3 0
 They've hit on this a few times and it's 100% answer b.
  • 1 0
 Better frame design and suspension, every time. Material is irrelevant. In this case it’s carbon. But if the aluminum had better geometry / design, than that one wins.

Carbon wheels are light, but they can’t fix a flexy frame, or one that has brake jack on descents.

Where as many pro’s race on aluminum wheels…

Components are meant to be replaced regularly, frames shouldn’t be.
  • 1 0
 Choice (a) every time. Components are trivial to upgrade. If you have reasonable wheel building skills and can find a matching ERD, even upgrading your rims doesn't have to be prohibitively expensive.
  • 6 0
 Strangely the audio quality sounds better with Pinkbike on location at Sea Otter than it does when they're at home??????
  • 22 0
 I accidentally had the dials in the right spot
  • 9 0
 @mikelevy: we need to know the setting. How many tokens, what psi, compression, rebound etc?

Once we know this, we will then criticize your audio settings as the don’t work for Clydesdales
  • 3 0
 Here’s a question. How do you feel on rigid bikes? I’ve been riding a Stooge cycles MK5, I remember Matt Lakins dirtbomb being covered on pinkbike and being mentioned on a previous podcast. I think it’s quite an interesting segment of the market and there’s only a few companies doing modern geometry style rigid bikes. With the rise of ultra complicated high pivot carbon bikes, some people just like something simple and back to basics, but still new school in a way. Can you guys see this market growing/developing?
  • 4 0
 Alicia - I get your bird love. My wife and I have 3: 2 budgies, name Pickles (classic green) and Moonshine (grey/blue) with a lovebird named Peepers (yellow with peachface).
  • 3 0
 Hell yeah! Say hey to all of them for me. Birds are the coolest.
  • 6 0
 Great, now I want an Arrival!!!
  • 2 0
 Ditto on that - I didn't really look closely at the frame until the prev cast episode but Jebus H...that thing is unreal looking. Now, to just save up $8k extra for one...
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: Ya idk where you would get one anyway... any sign on when they would be available frame only or d2c on their site?
  • 1 0
 @michaelandk2: I meant whole bike - that interview said no frame only at least for now so, guessing thats out. Realistically even a used bike (or 2nd-hand frame) is prob gonna command premium coin ans get snapped up instantly for years, esp w/ the global economy tanking with this f*cking BS war just as it was on the upswing (and total side note but ebike riders are gonna likely garage those rigs or pay 2-3x as much for batts unless some type of scrap program on metals pops up… all the nickel was coming from Russia)
  • 7 0
 Birds aren't real.
  • 5 0
 Some are but not all of them.
  • 1 0
 Question - how much am I obligated to kit up in accordance with the bike I'm riding? Is it a faux pas to run mallet enduro pedals on my epic evo? Will I be shunned from society if I do a 50 mile marathon race not wearing lycra?
  • 1 0
 Serious question / comment @mikekazimer & @mikelevy.

1) Q: Levy said something in one of the 3 recent podcasts before this about an "issue" being ready for mailing this publication and if so, what's that?

2) Comm: Gotta point out that Eminent (Onset models) can change 3 different travel options quite quickly with shock strut change outs - 120/130; 130/150 and 155/160-180). The struts change out in literally 5-10 mins.

As for forks, while you could change airsprings (Fox or RS) the Manitou Mezzer expert (29) changes from 140-180 travel in about 30 mins (assuming you have shop setup) just with token change-out. I changed my 180 to 160 in 30 mins from mounted on the bike to re-mounted back on the bike. Agreed you wouldn't do this daily or even weekly, but if going to an area that's more trail vs. steep / rough style a change out like this easily worth it.

I've not heard much chatter about this bike or option, just scored a (used) frame and gotta say - this thing makes the Capra feel like a schoolbus on climbs and easily keeps the same speed on downs (and I still keep getting PRs vs. my previous times). However - gotta say the WA1 bike looks waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better!
  • 1 0
 Re: changing your bike to suit different conditions. I think that has alot of merit going the other way (Enduro -> DH) and is something that seems to be gaining a little traction here in Aus. Swap the fork, drivetrain and post and you're off to the races!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy maybe you just need a Red Bull labeled camera because it sure captured many close-up views of a new Rock Shox "Brain" with wires on front and rear and a cap that looks a lot like flight attendant on their own course preview video...
  • 1 0
 Great to hear you're testing an Orange and that Contra bike - hopefully they'll be going up against one another in a Field Test. It's a positive move to be testing more quirky bikes, adds a bit more interest to the content (as well as probably being more interesting for you than testing a load of identikit carbon bikes).
  • 1 0
 Question for you: I am struggling to justify the $30+ additional cost per litter between off-the-shelf Maxima 15wt Fork Oil and the RockShox-recommended Maxima Extra 15w50 oil for my shock can. Online comparison appears to be nearly identical in terms of viscosity and performance features. Is the Maxima Extra nothing more than a rebranding for extra profit gouging or is there a real difference?
  • 1 0
 First: Thank you all for the work that goes into this podcast, I really appreciate it!
Second: Alicia, thanks for the dog content.

and now a gripe that has almost nothing to do with you guys:

Dual Slalom coverage behind a paywall= ANTI-STOKE.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy @brianpark what happened to the Grim Doughnut V2? Do I remember correctly that it was unveiled at the last Sea Otter?
  • 1 0
 That Unno e-bike is the most ugly piece of shit I have ever seen on two wheels - and I have seen more 1980s Suzuki Katanas and Klein MTBs than any single person should ever be exposed to.
  • 1 0
 It's crazy how subjective the looks are. I honestly think it's the best looking e-bike I've ever seen haha
  • 2 0
 After learning that @alicialeggett plays the flute, I’m really hoping the PB band is a Jethro Tull tribute band.
  • 1 0
 My Bloody Valentine used to use a flute player for live gigs in the 1990s, so that's another option.
  • 4 0
 @feldybikes I wouldn't have it any other way. I once wrote an essay about Ian Anderson for band class extra credit sooo there's that.
  • 1 0
 Since this was mentioned on the podcast... How about a field test (or other PB media type item) whose entry criteria is "bikes that can't hold a water bottle"? Smile
  • 2 0
 Are you guys going to issue a Pinkbike NFT soon?
  • 1 0
 Did I ever tell you that these here overalls represent a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom
  • 1 0
 @Mikelevy can on have a do field test please
  • 1 0
 I meant dh but auto correct strikes again
  • 3 2
 No XC World Cup round up??
  • 6 1
 Levy has been predicting a Nino win for a couple years now and the other guys were having none of it lol. Can't wait for the XC discussion!
  • 4 0
 @bkm303: I only got to watch the highlights but f*ck yes
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: I was so stoked I bought my son a stuffed toy goat. Its name is Nino!
  • 1 0
 That contour bike looks really good!
  • 1 0
 The people want the Reeb SST
  • 1 1
 @brianpark should I abandon hope of a PB podcast return to Acast?

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