With lots of custom-painted bikes, limited edition finishes and builds, and a few prototypes and rare bikes, there’s something for road, gravel and (mostly) mountain bikers here to enjoy.
Gates Belt Drive’s booth usually has some unique bikes on hand to show off their chain-free drivetrains. This Instintiv Reebok M was mounted to a sleek Zero electric motorcycle, and the combo was like a magnet to me.
Instinctiv builds their bikes with a Pinion gearbox, and can be run with a chain or the Gates system. Their suspension separates the rear shock from the main linkage, eliminating side loads to keep it sliding freely. This model has 130mm rear travel and is designed for 140-150mm forks.
Pole Onni prototype DH/Enduro bike
Conveniently named after their sponsored rider Onni Rainio, the name also means “luck” in Finland, where Pole is based. The Onni is a new model designed as a DH bike, but it can (and will) double as an enduro race bike for them, which is how this one is built up.
It features a massive 200mm rear travel from their distinctive high pivot, articulating design. It keeps the CNC’d frame, which makes each tube in two parts and then bonds them together.
Unlike the other models, this one’s downtube stays high, in line with the “chainstay” for a more streamlined look. That means an extension to hold the BB and cranks, which gives the bike a very unique look.
Mounts can be added across the frame as needed, here giving them the necessary accessory points for tool & tube storage for enduro racing, but could be left off on a DH build. No word on price or final availability, it’s not listed on their website as of this post going live.
Foes Racing refines their top models
Another brand that does CNC’d (and hydroformed) aluminum is Foes Racing, and they’ve been doing it for a long time. Rather than bond the shells together, Foes welds them, showing off their skills at metal fabricating (that’s lately extended to creating offroad suspension and overland bits for the Ford Transit, too!)
The Mixer is their mixed wheel enduro bike with a 29er front, 27.5 rear wheel setup and 165mm rear travel. For 2023, it gets a sleeker hydroformed top tube and updated downtube shape with a sleeker, larger bottom bracket area. Overall, the changes give it a more modern appearance with improved cable management and removable guides, plus a UDH compatible rear end.
The 2023 Ridgeback is their 135mm travel 29er trail bike and doesn’t change much structurally, but the geometry is updated with a longer top tube, slacker head angle, and steeper seat tube. There’s also a new one-piece machined lower shock mount and pivot section that’s stronger and lighter than the prior model.
It also uses a different layout of their linkage driven single-pivot designs than the Mixer, but gets the new cable guides for easier routing. All frames are made to order in the USA.
Lastly, the Foes Fat-e switches from a Shimano motor to the Bosch CX drive system.
It let them make the frame a bit sleeker, too, and now I really, really want one of these for goofing off in the winter. Check them all out at FoesRacing.com.
Fezzari colors up their enduro bikes
The Fezzari La Sal Peak is getting a new Ochre Yellow color…
…and for the first time, it’s also getting Shimano builds. Two Shimano-equipped models of their enduro bike will be offered, the Comp with SLX ($3,599) and Elite with XT ($4,599).
They’re also playing with some two-tone paint schemes, these being custom jobs for some of their ambassadors.
While these (and a sweet custom-painted Shafer gravel bike to show off its compatibility with SRAM Transmission) were handpainted by Elements, they’re working on adding more artsy options to their stock lineup. And they’ll have plenty of bikes to choose from, rumor has it they’re launching a LOT of new bikes over the next 12 months.
Norco’s custom DH bike for Gracey
The faux rust wear over shiny silver gives it a unique battle-worn look, but underneath is the same carbon frame you can buy.
11 podiums and counting…
Prototype Marin DH bike
Marin is working on an alloy downhill bike, and they’re switching up the suspension for the longer travel. Where their current lineup uses their MultiTrack suspension platform, this one switches to a Horst Link design…and it gets mixed 29er front, 27.5″ rear wheels.
Flip chips at the back of the rocker arm and chainstay let them tweak the geo, possibly just for testing, possibly to switch wheel sizes, and possibly it’ll all make it to production bikes, too.
Clean internal routing and plenty of tire clearance round out the package.
For those in-between days, there’s a new electric version of their Fairfax commuter/city bike. Price is TBA, but it’ll be affordable as it’s using a rear hub motor rather than a mid-drive like their Sausalito (shown in back). It’ll come in standard and step-thru frames.
Sage Titanium continues their awesome custom paint
As a smaller brand, Sage only releases one or two new models per year. But they routinely bring some amazing customer and show bikes to Otter every year to show off what’s possible.
This Storm King had a gorgeous space galaxy them that faded away toward the back of the bike.
This one’s their dirt jumper, because who wouldn’t want a very expensive titanium DJ bike?
Most people don’t completely cover their titanium bikes with paint, but if you’re gonna go for it, might as well go big.
The new Powerline “downcountry” hardtail launched just before the show, and the custom Cerakote-and-anodized finish didn’t disappoint in person. Check out the full tech details and closeups in our launch coverage.
Ritte Esprit carbon road bike
Having been teased so much by Ritte that the launch may have actually come and gone and we couldn’t tell, their new carbon fiber Esprit road bike has a lot of internal hype behind it. From aerodynamics to comfort, speed to handling, they’re saying it’s basically the ultimate road bike. You can reserve one now for $500 and choose your build later (they start at $7,999).
FiftyOne’s limited edition 90’s themed Assassin Gravel frameset
Feeling nostalgic but still want the latest and greatest? FiftyOne Cycles is producing just 25 of these retro-inspired OG Assassin gravel bikes, painted like the top bikes from the 1990s, particularly the Lemonds from ’90-’91.
Each one’s individually numbered (you get to pick the number) and comes with its own coffee table book detailing the production process. Framesets are €4,500 / $4,500 / £3,850, and they can be built into complete bikes.
3T was showing off their extremely limited edition Exploro Racemax x Huracán Sterrato bike in a whole new way. The Lamborghini collaboration bike (shown at bottom of post) uses the same made-in-Italy, filament-wound frame as this unpainted one, and they gave us a closeup look at all the details.
It’s also available as the 3T Exploro Racemax Italia, as shown here, which is made entirely in house with a woven process that yields a gorgeous frame. This deconstructed frame shows how the fibers are wound together rather than just laid up in sheets like most carbon bikes. Full details in this story with glossier photos.
The Racemax Italia frames ditch the UD outer layer, revealing the structural design.
It’s available as a frameset for €4,999…
…and as complete bikes from €8,199 to €11,999.