We often joke that if you’re trying to find a bike event just follow the Subarus and Elements. Judging by the number of people stopping by the Subaru display at Sea Otter for their free coffee for Subaru owners, there were quite a few in attendance. As the title sponsor of the 25th Anniversary Celebration for the Sea Otter Classic, Subaru brought out the history books to display not only some noteworthy vehicles, but an awesome display of two wheeled machinery. In addition to a walk down memory lane Subaru was giving each show goer who stopped by a $1 token that they could choose to donate to the National Park Foundation, Leave No Trace, or International Mountain Bicycling Association.
Sea Otter has come and gone, but if you’re a car buff or a bike buff, you’ll want to see the collection after the break…
Starting with the 1978 Subaru Brat, the displays included period correct bicycles with a pair of Klunkers from the 70’s in the trunk. There were even Oakley Eyeshades sitting on the dash.
Following along in chronological order, this 1982 Skinner Descender is a fascinating bike in that it used rear suspension before front suspension really existed. With around 26 of these made in Los Angeles, these are a very rare bird indeed.
It may say Huffy on the downtube, but this bike was made by Serotta for Team USA in 1984. As a spare bike, this was in awesome condition.
Moots is best known for their Ti, but they actually started with steel. This 1989 Moots Zerkel is a prime example of the early days.
Perched on top of a 1996 Subaru Outback was a 1992 Yeti Ultimate and a 1993 Trimble Inverse 4 carbon mountain bike. One carbon, one steel, both elevated chainstay vintage bike porn.
Before there were fat bikes there was this: the very first Hanebrink Extreme Machine prototype. Called the first production fat bike made, the 1993 frankenbike used 8″ tires that roll on just 2 psi. You can still find these around including one or two that have ventured to the South Pole.
Pivotless rear suspension in 1993? That’s the story with the Retrotec Dirt Craft that Bob Seals designed using two sets of cables to support the rear fork. Skateboard bushings at the bottom bracket allowed for some flex, and the cables kept it in check. Only 50 were ever made.
This Ti Cycles TCBB (That Crazy Beam Bike) was apparently the first bike to use a monocoque Softride beam in 1994.
Finally, we get into modern vehicles and bikes with a 2015 Subaru Outback and Legacy sporting a Devinci Spartan, Santa Cruz Syndicate Team bike, Argonaut Carbon road bike, and a Speedvage that was built for Leave it on the Road – a series of rides organized to raise money for the fight against cancer.
Other gems included an Ahearne Outback 650b touring rig, Breadwinner Bad Otis Enduro hard tail, and the new Ritte Disc Snob Stainless. More on that Ritte later.