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Ron’s Roundup: Awesomely Interesting Bikes of the 2023 Sea Otter Classic

Sea Otter Classic 2023 Unicorn headPhoto c. R. Frazelle
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There was a lot to see at this year’s SOC. You could find everything from really neat new bikes and parts to some pretty kick-ass classic things. There were some camping and overland toys, as well as some things that weren’t related to bikes at all but could get you to some remote riding spots – like the classic Ford Bronco below.

Sea Otter Classic 2023 Classic Ford Bronco
Photo c. R. Frazelle

This is not a complete list of all of the cool stuff at the event… just the stuff that caught my attention that I actually noticed floating around in the extremely large ocean of people attending. This will also be much different than last year’s gallery of Sea Otter bikes.

We are going to keep most of it to the gallery format, so you guys can just enjoy the splendor of it all. Let’s get started and kick off with this…

I think we were all excited to see the 6th annual Paul Component x Sierra Nevada Bike!

The Paul Component / MonΓ© Bikes / Sierra Nevada Klunker

Sea Otter Classic Paul:Sierra Klunker back side

The star of the show, the bike that everyone was talking about, and was extensively covered by many. For the last 6 or so years, the Paul Component / Sierra Nevada Brewing Collaboration bike has become an anticipated part of Sea Otter for many, myself included. This year’s bike was dubbed the Sierra Recycler and this time around the bike was made from repurposed or recycled parts, starting with a 1949 Schwinn and finishing with environmentally conscious component companies.

Sea Otter Classic Paul/Sierra Klunker Mone custom fork
Sea Otter Classic Paul:Sierra Klunker coloful spokes

The Surly Donger

Surly Donger in the wild

Not much to say about this wonder steed. The Surly “Donger”, I was told will not, I repeat, will not be going into production any time soon. It was, however, made from an old Surly Instigator and available for a test ride, which I partook in. It really handled great and would be ideal for the unserious cyclist looking for a solid bike to do some commuting, ‘cross, light dirt touring, or any type of unracing event you deem worthy of this magical ride.

Surly Donger handle antlers

Ol’ Swivel Bike

Sea Otter Classic Vintage Swivel Bike

I’ve seen a few of these in my days, I see them mostly on the boardwalk down by the beach as a beach cruiser type. This one ticked the nostalgia box for me as it kinda reminded me of my old Schwinn Apple Krate of yesteryear. It looked like it had some age to it, or “beausage” as Mr. Petersen would call it… that’s a mix of beauty and usage kids.

Anywho, this thing was neat, check it out.

Sea Otter Classic Vintage Swivel Bike mechanism

Custom 50th Anniversary Ritchey Outback

Sea Otter Classic Custom 50th edition Ritchey Outback side shot

This bike was built by Nolan Tsuchiya of the YouTube channel, Bike Sauce for a giveaway through Russ Roca of Path Less Pedaled fame. It was a really sweet build and caught my eye immediately. It had a lot of attention to detail that was right up my alley. Check it out.

Sea Otter Classic Custom 50th edition Ritchey Outback Rear cassette and derailleur

The Tall Bike

2023 Sea Otter Classic Tall bike on grass

This is obviously a custom endeavor as I don’t know of any tall bikes that are currently in production. It seemed very stout and pretty well built. Sure, it wasn’t the prettiest bike of the bunch, but it was for sure one of the more unique bikes of the event. The rider was very cool, and let me shoot some quick shots of his super steed as he rode through the event. He even popped a wheelie for me… thanks tall bike rider guy! πŸ™‚

2023 Sea Otter Classic tall bike wheelies

Custom Gary Fisher

2023 Sea Otter Classic Gary Fisher full side shot

This Gary Fisher is a great example of a custom-painted XC race machine. The negative rise stem looks fast even when sitting still. This bike was on display at the 12 Speed Products booth and was donning their latest stem cap garage door opener (see below, left photo). The bike has a wild fork on the front meant to resemble a vintage RockShox Judy SL which looks to be a mash-up of Manitou, Fox, and RockShox?

2023 Sea Otter Classic Gary Fisher front

A Flock of Bourdeau Adventure Bikes

2023 Sea Otter Classic Bourdeau Bicycles with to truss fork

I ran into Jarod Bourdeau on the last day of the event. It turns out that he works at a local bike shop in Monterey called Work Horse Bicycles. He makes these frames specifically for the area they live in. They are purpose-built to fish and get out for some S24O’s. One of the bikes was Running a Jones Bikes Ti truss fork, while another had a steel fish emblem brazed to the top seat tube.

2023 Sea Otter Classic Bourdeau Bicycles basket made of spokes
Basket made o’ spokes.

Jarod even built a basket that was made out of spokes. Very cool! Anywho, The bikes looked great and looked to be ready for some action. Check ’em out.

2023 Sea Otter Classic Bourdeau Bicycles basket brigade
2023 Sea Otter Classic Bourdeau Bicycles drop br beauty


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10 months ago

The Gary definitely has a knock-off fork on it, the ABS+ damper knobs are found on a lot of AliX forks these days

10 months ago

The Donger is actually an old Instigator from the late 2000s. And the fork on that Fisher is a straight AliBaba Fox knockoff.

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