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On Show: Sea Otter Classic, April 18, 2008

Sea Otter Classic offers early look at 2009 models

By James Huang in Monterey, California

Pivot Cycles does 29"

Pivot Cycles has expanded its range
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Pivot Cycles has expanded its range of full-suspension frames by one with the addition of a 29"-wheeled version called the Mach 429. The 100mm-travel (4") chassis uses the same DW-Link suspension design , direct-mount front derailleur and press-fit bottom bracket cups as the 26"-wheeled Mach 4 but with slightly altered geometry to accommodate the bigger hoops. Chain stay length has grown only marginally to 17.95" and head tube angle is only slightly steeper at 70.8° or 71.2°, depending on the size.

According to Pivot founder Chris Cocalis, the company was simply too inundated with requests for a 29" bike to ignore and he acknowledged that the big wheels' faster roll justified a new model. Frameset pricing is quoted at US$2199 and frames will begin shipping in June.

Intense Cycles debuts new all-mountain frame

Intense Cycles launched a new trail bike/all-mountain platform
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Intense Cycles chose this year's Sea Otter Classic to launch an all-mountain/trail bike frame that's so new that it doesn't even have a name yet. The revamped VPP suspension system can be easily switched from approximately 140mm to 152mm (5.5" to 6") of travel and the light-yet-strong 2.8kg (6.25lb) chassis can be built as either a reasonably lightweight trail bike or a burly all-mountain rig.

According to Intense founder Jeff Steber, the next-generation VPP linkage design reduces chain growth by about 15-20 percent, thus lessening the pedal feedback of the original geometry. Steber also said that the tweaked linkage positions delivers more usable travel through the range and pedaling performance has improved as well.

Frame features include a curvaceous hydroformed top tube and an internal-style 1.5"-compatible head tube which will also work with the new crop of 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" headsets and forks. The new lower link will be fitted with angular contact bearings that are better able to handle side load as well as built-in grease fittings and one-way seals for easy maintenance. Intense will also offer grease port retrofit kits for older models.

The frame's release date is still to be determined but potential buyers should expect prices similar to those of the current 5.5 model.

Hallelujah! Corima and Hutchinson pair up for new Road Tubeless-compatible carbon wheels

The all-carbon rim is 44mm deep
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After a long wait since the debut of Road Tubeless in 2006, French wheel and rim maker Corima has added its own model to the collection of compatible wheel models on the market. The new Corima RT1 features a 44mm-deep full carbon rim, carbon-bodied hubs and bladed Sapim stainless steel spokes that are arranged in a 2:1 pattern on the rear. Claimed weight for the pair is an encouraging 1537g.

We weren't able to see the rim bed ourselves (there was already a tire mounted at the time) but Hutchinson general manager Eric VanHaverbeke says that the outer wall is solid and requires no rim strip. Target release date is sometime around May but we hope to get our hands on a test sample before then if possible.

VanHaverbeke also mentioned that the current Fusion 2 Road Tubeless tire would eventually be available in a wider 25c casing and a durability-focused Road Tubeless model, called Intensive, will be added to the lineup by the end of the year.

Pedro's under new ownership

By Sue George

Chris Zigmont is now CEO of Pedro's
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The Pedro's s brand will be under new ownership effective May 1. Management announced at the Sea Otter Classic that the company, now owned by Swix Sport USA, is being acquired by Sports adVentures International S.A. (SaVI) of Lausanne, Switzerland, an investment group with a focus in the active lifestyle, health and wellness sectors. Pedro's makes bicycle tools, care products and accessories and has long been a supporter of mountain bike races and festivals.

"We're starting a new chapter," said Christopher Zigmont, the new CEO at Pedro's from the company's booth in the Sea Otter expo area. "We're excited to find folks that get it. They [SaVI] ride really hard and also backcountry ski. But they also bring a business acumen that we haven't really had before. They understand investment and product development."

"We have some product directions in mind. We want to focus on accessories that are meaningful. We will do some pruning with our product line. We are very aware of transportation and the bike utility market. You will probably see more in that area from us," Zigmont hinted.

Current Pedro's staff will stay in place and no layoffs are planned. The company will move about 100 feet to a new office in the short term before finding a new, more permanent location still to be determined in the Boston area next January.

Pedro's will emerge as a new US-based legal entity from May 1. The parties have agreed to keep the terms of the agreement confidential.


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Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

Images by Sue George/Cyclingnews.com

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

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