After four days of non-stop action, the annual Sea Otter Classic wrapped up in Monterey, California, on April 23. Held since 1991, the Sea Otter Classic is the biggest cycling gathering in North America, drawing some 74,000 people to the Leguna Seca Raceway venue.
Part industry show, part racing festival, the event hosts thousands of athletes as they compete in hundreds pro and amateur events, including the first round of the Life Time Grand Prix off-road series.
Alongside the racing, the industry gathers for to show off its latest and greatest. Hundreds of brands are vying for the attention of consumers and journalists alike. Amid the sea of flags, here are a few sneaks of what I saw on Industry Day 2.
Be sure to check out the highlights from Day 1, here.
A greener carbon
There were at least three brands at the expo promoting their CSS Composites-made FusionFiber wheels, which many are calling the future of carbon composites. Brands like Chris King, Revel and Evil are all in on CSS’ mission of “creating products that stay out of landfills.”
Traditional carbon products are near-impossible, or simple too costly, to recycle, downcycle or reuse. And so, when the carbon product —be it a bike component, a boat or a space ship— fails or reaches the end of its lifecycle, it usually ends up being discarded in landfill.
Most carbon components are made of sheets of epoxy-impregnated carbon fibers. Basically, the carbon fibers are ‘glued’ together with a resin that is cured in a chemical process called thermoset. Once cured, the resin cannot be returned to its previous form, meaning it cannot be broken down and remolded.
FusionFiber products are made of non-epoxy-impregnated carbon fiber in a process called thermoplastic. In this process, the glue can be melted and reused for a new or different product. Both, the scraps from the manufacturing process as well as say, a broken rim, can be melted down and shaped into new products.
Another big benefit of FusionFiber is a simplified production process. FusionFiber doesn’t need to be refrigerated, the whole cutting-and-layup process can be automated and there’s no sanding required. All of this not only reduces production time, it also significantly cuts down on energy usage, making FusionFiber an all-around greener option. And CSS’ FusionFiber is Made in the USA to boot.
FusionFiber wheels are said to be highly impact-resistant, dampening and 100%…
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