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New Arrivals – May 16, 2007

Edited by James Huang

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Welcome to New Arrivals, a section showcasing the latest equipment that's landed on the Cyclingnews tech desk. Look out for reviews over the next few months when we've clocked up some saddle time with this stuff.

Ridley Noah

The Ridley Noah is the machine of choice
Photo ©: James Huang
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How's this for promptness? Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto) won the Stage 2 sprint finish of this year's Giro d'Italia atop a Ridley Noah and we've got our very own Noah in for review just three days later!

Ridley's new premier carbon machine was specifically designed to be "as stiff as possible" based on feedback from sponsored riders. Revised front end shaping is said to produce a more rigid front end as compared to the company's own Damocles frame, and the integrated seatmast and deep-section seat tube supposedly deliver a more rigid bottom bracket and 50% more stiffness than a standard 34.9mm diameter design.

Up front, the all-carbon fork retains the dramatically tapered 1 ?" - 1 ½" steerer tube along with the correspondingly massive head tube to support it (which also integrates slick derailleur housing guides). At the opposite end, Ridley equips the Noah with fully replaceable CNC machined titanium dropouts that it says provides a more solid platform for the rear derailleur as compared to standard replaceable derailleur hangers.

At 1380g for our small-sized test frame, he Noah is fairly heavy when compared against the current backdrop of sub-1kg featherweights. However, it's a sad state of the cycling world when we consider a 1380g frame to be 'heavy', and McEwen and the rest of his team doesn't seem to have much of an issue with the extra mass (team mate Cadel Evans finished fifth on GC at last year's TdF). As built with a fairly ecletic package of Campagnolo, Fulcrum, FSA, and Ridley's own 4ZA house brand, our complete test bike weighs 7.8kg (17.2lb).

Price: US$3150 (frameset only); US$5999 (as built)

Mongoose Canaan Team

The Mongoose Canaan Team
Photo ©: James Huang
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Mongoose hopes to have captured some of the mystique of the world's first 24-hour mountain bike relay race with its eponymous Canaan Team. Those of you who were around in those early days will likely remember the brutal climbs, endless miles of rain-slicked roots and rocks, and peanut buttery mud that tortured racers from noon to noon, and although that venue is no longer with us (oh, how I miss you!), Mongoose claims its Canaan Team is still purpose-built to be the ultimate endurance racer.

Features include a butted aluminum frame with mildly relaxed geometry that is specifically catered to your mental state at 11:30am on Sunday. Travel front and rear is an enduro-friendly 100mm courtesy of a Terralogic-equipped Fox Racing Shox F100X fork, RP23 rear shock, and Mongoose's own Freedrive suspension system.

Component spec is arguably among the best to come out of any mass manufacturer and includes SRAM X.0 triggers and rear derailleur, Avid Juicy Ultimate hydraulic disc brakes, FSA Carbon Pro Team Issue cranks, KORE I-Beam saddle and post, and Monkeylite SL bars and EA70 stem from Easton. Mongoose doesn't skimp on the wheels, either, which are built with ultralight Stan's tubeless-ready ZTR Olympic rims and Ringlé Dirt Flea hubs.

At just shy of US$3000, our medium tester represents an enormous value with an impressive weight of just 11.85kg (26.12lb) straight out of the box, complete with the included Crank Brothers Candy C pedals.

Price: US$2999.99

DeMarchi Sport Contour Racing Limited Edition clothing

DeMarchi Sport celebrates its 60th anniversary
Photo ©: James Huang
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The high-end cycling clothing market continues to heat up and DeMarchi Sport is the latest entrant to the arena with its premium Contour Racing Limited Edition Bib Short and Jersey. Both garments are limited to just 1946 units each (in celebration of DeMarchi's 60th anniversary) and are completely handmade in Italy.

Thankfully, the premium pricing appears to buy you not only training ride cachet, but also some impressive technical features. The shorts are hewn from pre-formed compressive 'Pro-Grade' DuPont Power Lycra for better muscle support and recovery, and the laser-cut leg openings incorporate trick fused grippers that supposedly deliver similar holding ability to standard silicone versions but with the same supreme comfort of gripper-less models.

In addition, the Contour Racing Limited Edition Bib Short also includes a DeMarchi-exclusive Elastic Interface Technology Stealth chamois. This boasts a multi-thickness and four-way stretch design similar to other EIT chamois, but the unique two-piece Stealth design looks to offer greatly enhanced freedom of movement over conventional one-piece setups.

Not to be outdone by the shorts, the Contour Racing Limited Edition Jersey is built with a panoply of pre-formed panels and materials, including antibacterial X-Static panels for odor control, Carbonium polyester for UV protection, and Sensitive microfiber spandex for enhanced fit and freedom of movement around the arms. Arm openings utilize the same laser-cut fused grippers as on the shorts (standard silicone is used along the waist), and further ventilation is provided by the full-length zipper and mesh panels across the shoulder blades.

The rear of the jersey sports not three, but five rear pockets, including one zippered pocket for security and a dedicated MP3 spot. Wire management is built-in as well, with two entry/exit ports and an extra loop up around the neck.

Price: US$249 (Contour Racing Limited Edition Bib Short); US$199 (Contour Racing Limited Edition Jersey)

Assos SS.13 jersey

The rear of the SS.13 incorporates non-stretch panels
Photo ©: James Huang
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The perennial frontrunner of the premium cycling clothing division continues to earn its place with the SS.13 jersey. Assos forges a new path for its new top-end jersey with a non-stretch 3D 'senso mesh' back which it says functions as a structural frame for the garment. This construction supposedly offers better support when the pockets are loaded, and also a more wrinkle-free fit and increased moisture transfer.

The aggressively cycling-specific cut is designed to reduce excess material to an absolute minimum, and is further enhanced with Macro Spandex shoulders and a uniquely tailored neck. A full-length zipper and mesh inserts in the armpits supply additional ventilation when needed, and the SS.13 wears a standard three-pocket array with a supplemental zippered spot for secure items. Subtle reflective accents add nighttime visibility, and Swiss styling is included at no extra charge.

Price: US$279.99

GoPro Digital Hero 3 camera

Wrist-mounted case keeps the Digital Hero 3
Photo ©: James Huang
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Here's an item that came across the Tech Desk that was immediately relegated to the 'silly pile' but it now appears that we might be eating our words. The GoPro Digital Hero 3 camera weighs only 60g yet houses a 3-megapixel sensor (2048x1536), a fixed glass f2.8 lens, and 16MB of built-in memory. A SD memory slot will accept up to 2GB cards, multiple exposure modes include single shot, three burst, and 10s self-timer settings, and the thing will even shoot up to 54 minutes of video in 640x480 resolution with sound.

The addition of an included waterproof case and comfortable wrist mount still only adds up to 144g but aims to ensure that the camera is always ready to shoot at a moment's notice. A helmet mount is also on the way in the near future, and two AAA batteries and a USB download cable are included in the very reasonable purchase price.

So far our initial images have proven to be surprisingly good when outdoors, but rest assured that we're going to give this thing a thorough thrashing and have some fun over the next few months (and might even devise our own on-bike mount in the process).

Price: US$139.99

Polarpak reservoir

The Polarpak bladder is designed as a replacement
Photo ©: James Huang
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Summer is on its way, along with skunky lukewarm water sloshing around in your hydration pack. To combat the inevitable forces of entropy, the Polarpak gel-cooled reservoir has a non-toxic freezer gel built in to help keep liquids cool. The hose is insulated as well and is terminated with a MoFlow bite valve, and Microban antibacterial treatment inhibits growth of the nasties. A quick-release hose coupler makes for easier storage and cleaning, and the screw-on top is Nalgene compatible for… well, we're not entirely sure what benefit that provides, but so be it.

Both 70oz and 96oz bladders are available to fit "most hydration pack brands and models".

Price: US$29.95 (70oz bladder); US$30.95 (100oz bladder)


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Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com