A photo gallery by Corey Keizer.
Sea Otter Classic 2011
Amy Dombroski is one of the most well-rounded female cyclists in the US right now– one of the few who can boast of National titles in mountain bike, road and cyclocross. And with a full schedule and a handful of goals in 2011, she is persists in her pursuit of pedal perfection.
Dombroski is also one of the few female cyclists who can say she was on the Luna Pro Team (the top domestic women’s mountain bike team), as well as Webcor Builders, one of the top domestic women’s road teams. And now, for Amy, it’s time for something completely different.
With her Pro experience and her personal expectations, Dombroski has partnered with Crank Brothers and Ibis Bicycles to create the Crank Brothers Race Club. The Crank Brothers Race Club is about conjoining style, design and cycling, according to Dombroski. And to help develop and promote the USA’s female cyclists.
The team is a bit like Amy herself. The focus of the team is World Cup racing– be it mountain or cyclcocross. Domroski’s 2011 schedule is filled with World Cups and even the 2011 Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships. “We’re covering it all,” says Amy.
While Amy is the sole rider so far this year, there is a plan for 2012 and beyond for this women’s off-road team. Riders who have an eye for style and design in addition to being top riders will be the best prospects for the Crank Brothers Race Club.
The team bike is the Ibis Tranny, and Tranny meaning “transition”. The bike is singlespeed and geared compatible as well as a travel bike with removable rear end for travel ease. (For more about the bike, see the Ibis web site). Team equipment is all Crank Brothers and SRAM components.
Dombroski made her 2011 mountain bike racing debut in April at the Sea Otter Classic. After finishing her cyclcorss season at the beginning of February, she needed some time off and missed the early season of domestic mountain bike racing.
“My season has started 5 or 6 following weeks after everyone else’s,” Amy says. She is skipping a few weeks of XC World Cup and the Mellow Johnny’s Pro XCT for some training. “I’ve got get some miles right now.”
Although Amy is racing a handful of cross country World Cup races later in 2011, she says “the summer’s going to be about getting ready for cyclocross season. It’s going to be a bunch of training”
Amy’s main focus for 2011 is making the US Worlds Cyclocross team. “I have a big focus in the Cyclocross World Cup this year.”
That means she’ll likely be consuming copious amounts of Pommes Frites, tasting some Westvleteren and savoring a bit of chocolate after those long hard cold Belgian training rides this fall.
Stay tuned for more about Amy, and in the meantime visit her web site AmyDombroski.com.
The Clif family spends enough time outdoors to know it’s too cumbersome to carry around a bottle of wine. While it has been done many a time, it’s just no longer necessary with the Clif Climber Pouch. 1.5 liters of Cabernet or Chardonnay ($17.00) will charmingly compliment your apres-ride efforts. The Pouch has a nice carrying handle as well as a carabiner hook for the mountaineers. To purchase the Clif Pouch, visit the Clif Family Winery web site. Here you can purchase a bottle or two, or join the Clif Wine Club. Wine Club members receive invitations to VIP events including wine tastings, the annual harvest party and receive special perks at Velo Vino in St. Helena, CA. Velo Vino is a place for cyclists to start a cycling tour or holiday in the Napa Valley. Cycling and wine never had it so good!
If you find yourself detesting thoughts of energy bars, you are not alone. While the Gary & Kit mixes may not be the perfect race food, they are the perfect ride food. Especially if you have a Clif Pouch full of cab. Take along Gary & Kit’s Gourmet Mountain Mix ($7) made with mostly organic and sustainably farmed and produced foods. Shown here is the mtbchick favorite Roasted Pistachio & Almonds tossed with Rosemary. Each mix suggests a wine pairing to enhance your enjoyment. Gary & Kit’s can be purchased on the web site as well, so make a package of it for your next big ride, or for your next wine pairing event.
We had to give a shout out to our photo editor, Tigger. He is working tirelessly to get the Sea Otter coverage photos edited and uploaded. It’s quite a job, especially if you are a gregarious yet lazy cat such as Tigger. Sea Otter has clearly nipped at his nap time, we’ve got to find some catnip fast!
Greg Herbold (famous for winning a multitude of mountain bike races and for his starring role in “Tread”) presented the big news to media at Sea Otter: the big unveiling for SRAM/Rock Shox at Sea Otter was the Sid 29er World Cup edition front shock. Why does this matter to the average mtbchick? Performance and weight savings. The concept of bike to body weight ratio is an important one, and when it comes to suspension there is always room for improvement. Since a 29er (29 inch wheels versus a normal 26 inch wheeled mountain bike) bike weighs more in general– not only the frame, but the wheels, fork, tires– a light rider must pay attention to the details. The Rock Shox Sid World Cup weighs in at 1,582g or 3.48 pounds. The RockShox Reba 29er is 1,718 g or 3.79 lbs meaning the Sid World Cup is almost one half a pound lighter. So go ahead and eat that chunk of Manchego with your Taylor Fladgate 40 year tawny and enjoy that and get a new front shock! (OK, or your Stone Belgo Cali-Belgique and your pommes frites)
Speaking of lightweight. Magura is on a tear with the all new lineup of hydraulic disc brakes. What makes the Magura lineup so impressive is the new technology– included in the enrty level brake system as well as top of the line M8. The new technology is an all crabon master cylinder. It sounds great, but what does that mean and why does it matter to me? The master cylinder is the piece inside the brake that actually engages and pushes the hydraulic fluid through the brake line to activate the brake pads. At Magura this piece is made from carbon with 0% waste, which is especially important to the mtbchick sustainability desk. The MT8 is 278g with rotors and retails at $399. The lineup has 4 brakes, the MT2 being entry level and priced at $129 (the other brakes are the MT4 and the MT6).
While not available in women’s sizes yet, we love the look of these Bontrager XXX shoes. They are eye candy. And you may have seen the Subaru-Trek team sporting the podium-shoe version of these around the pits.
That’s a wrap on round 2 of Sea Otter goodies. Stay tuned for another round, more great lightweight gear and some cool things we think you’ll like!
The Sea Otter Classic 2011 was blessed with perfect weather and incredible energy. Here are some moments caught by our photographer Corey Keizer.
Rebecca Rusch puts an incredible amount of time into growing the sport of mountain biking. If you are not familiar with Rebecca, she has won the Leadville 100 multiple times and has a long list of palmares including 2010 World Masters Mountain Bike Champion. Rebecca can usually be found at the endurance races, but this weekend she spent most of her time in the SRAM booth hosting the Ladies Lounge as a part of her SRAM Gold Rusch Tour.
Mountain biker/barista Melissa and her Chihuahua Stella sold coffee to raise money for children with cancer in South America at the Cannondale booth this year at Sea Otter.
Teal Stetson-Lee is new on the National Pro cross country scene. After having an incredible 2010-2011 cyclocross season, she is here to find out what she can do on the pure dirt. In 2010 Teal won the collegiate Cyclocross National Championship, and is excited to be a part of the women’s pro mountain bike peloton.
Emily took the first big win of her career at Sea Otter this year. After moving from the Trek World team to Subaru-Trek, it was her moment to shine and prove she has the World Class talent. And best of all for mtbchick.com, we love to see the girly girls winning! And even better, she did it on a 29er!
The Luna team continues to dominate the US Pro XCT. In this photo we see three National Champions: Catherine Pendrel of Canada in front, Katerina Nash of the Czech Republic in the middle and Georgia Gould of the USA on the far left.
The Little Bellas, directed by Sabra Davison, is a mountain bike camp for girls ages 8 to 14. There are two camps, one at Sea Otter, and one at the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival. Every morning at Sea Otter this year we saw the group of girls preparing for their ride with Sabra and her sister Lea Davison. For more about Little Bellas, visit the web site.
Lea Davison is having a break through year after taking a full year off the bike to recover from hip surgery. We’re looking forward to seeing Lea at the top for many years to come.
Heather Irmiger and her husband Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski are one of the top power couples of mountain bike racing. Heather’s palamres go like this: 2009 XC National Champ, 2009 & 2010 Marathon National Champ, 2009 Singlespeed World Champ, and she has the tattoo to prove it. Check out the JHK + Heather web site.
Here is a look at our first round of Sea Otter Classic goodies. Story by Tonya Bray, Photos by Tonya and Corey Keizer.
For all those times you wanted to grab on as your friend rode away from you on the climb, it’s the Bicycle Bungee. Or for all the times you wanted to bring your significant other on a beautiful ride, now you can get a strength workout and bring him (or her) along! The shell is carbon fiber for weight savings and durability and prices at $249. A less expensive version made of plastic will be on the market soon. To purchase and find more information, visit bicyclebungee.com.
I happened to walk into the Cannondale booth as this beauty came out of the box. A private little pre-launch photo op for mtbchick!
With a sexy matte black finish with subtle black graphics, Cannondale continues with the BBQ theme, always my favorite. The 29er (it’s a mountain bike with 29 inch wheels as opposed to 26 inch wheels on most mountain bikes) is designed to roll over bumps more easily and climb like a dream. Most companies have offered a hardtail 29er, and this is Cannondale’s first full suspension 29er. What does this mean for the mountain bike chick and her friends? We get the lightest, best 29er available with the added benefit of full suspension: comfort.
The Giro Aeon is the next step in lightweight performance helmets. Weighing in at 222g, will likely replace the Prolight helmet. The Aeon provides more confidence than the Prolight at first touch. Yes, the Aeon is light, but she offers a beefier shell, more, larger vents (yes more vents!) and a Roc Loc 5 system to customize your fit. This helmet will do, thank you.
The Aeon is available in silver, black and red/black as well as Rabobank and Garmin team colors. For more information visit your LBS (local bike shop) or the Giro web site.
While it seems wrong to offer a carbon wheel on a mountain bike, it feels right. Even as a fairly light rider I am leery of wheels that are too lightweight. Double butted spokes 15/16 and ultra light rims do not surround me with the feeling of comfort. I need light, but I also need, and even more so, durable. While the Easton EC90XC carbon wheels are racing wheels, I am confident I could even train on these wheels if I wanted. however, given the price, it would most likely be an FRO wheel. That’s For Racing Only.
The front wheel offers a standard axle or a 15 QR through axle option. Through axles are becoming more popular among cross country riders– it’s a beefier version of the axle/skewer system that offers more stiffness. A great option for the lightweight rider- you would most likely notice the difference while cornering.
Lightweight wheels, why does it matter? you ask. It’s all about “rotational weight”. Less rotational weight (in your wheels, rims, tires and tubes– if you still use those) means quicker acceleration and it’s easier to maintain pace. But, what if I am not a racer? you ask. No matter. The proportion of your bike’s weight to your body weight needs to be as low as possible even on trail rides. For lightweight riders, it’s always a struggle to find a bike light enough to even the playing field.
I love the bead locking rim. Think: no tire burps. I know so many riders who try to use non-tubeless tires on tubeless rims or non-tubeless rims in general to run a makeshift tubeless system. Since I won the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo on Mavic UST back in… 2002 or 2003?… when tubeless first came on the scene I have been a staunch UST proponent. Thankfully, Easton has sided with UST and we now have an uber lightweight wheel system that uses UST. UST is the standard for the tubeless rim/tire system.
The Easton EA90XC is available in 26 and 29 inch rims diameter, costs $2500 for the set, is available UST (tubeless) and weighs 1285 g for the 26″ and 1416g for the 29″ pair. We might also add that our good friend Sid Taberlay ride to second place on these wheels his first ride in the Sea Otter Classic short track!