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Sea Otter Classic - NE

USA, April 6-9, 2006

In the pits at Sea Otter: Day three

As well as an extended weekend of road and mountain bike racing, the Sea Otter Classic has become the standard venue for bike and component manufacturers to conduct early launches of new equipment that will appear in the shops later in the year. Unusually clear and sunny conditions greeted the crowds for the third day of this year's event. Anyone have any sunscreen? asks James Huang.

Mongoose’s new Canaan
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An Easton carbon riser
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The Canaan uses
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Fox handles the suspension
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Mongoose caters to 24 hour endurance MTB crowd with new Canaan full suspension bike

The 24 Hours of Canaan no longer exists, but the race once held in the mountains of West Virginia is still often credited as being the father of the modern 24 hour MTB race format. Sticky clay-based mud, questionable weather conditions, and brutally wet roots characterized the now defunct event, and Mongoose pays homage to the race's legend with its new purpose-built endurance racing machine.

The Canaan utilizes Mongoose's Freedrive full suspension platform in a shorter 4-inch travel package that is said to weigh just 24lbs, complete with pedals, at a retail price of just US$3000. An impressive parts spec contributes to the surprisingly svelte weight and will include a Fox F100X Terralogic fork and new-for-'07 Fox RP23 rear shock, an Easton cockpit, and Formula Oro hydraulic disc brakes front and rear. WTB Laserdisc Lite hubs are laced to Stan Koziatek's superlight NoTubes Olympic Disc rims which finally see some OEM spec in the US.

Crank Brothers expands
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Interchangeable rails
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Crank Brothers introduces new entry-level Smarty pedal

Crank Brothers delivers much of the performance of the Candy line of pedals with a new price point model called the Smarty. The new pedal still includes the minimal platform and proven retention system of the Candy but uses a less expensive bearing system that is not user serviceable.

In keeping with Crank Brothers' creative reputation, the Smarty will incorporate interchangeable rails that are offered in a multitude of different colors for easy personalization. Three sets of rails are included with each pair of pedals for just US$59, along with a pair of the company's new laterally and longer wearing cleats. Additional colors are available directly through Crank Brothers' web site.

The Smarty is currently available aftermarket and will likely see OEM spec for '07.

The R.I.P. 9 is Niner Bikes’ first
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The multi-link rear suspension
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Top tube and down tube gussets
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Niner Bikes debuts new full suspension 29er

Niner Bikes adds to its dedicated 29er stable with the debut of their R.I.P. 9 full suspension model. The Easton-tubed frame delivers 4.5in of rear wheel travel using a multi-link rear suspension design that was developed in house to offer active travel that is largely immune to pedaling forces. Niner designers also worked closely with Fox Racing Shox to produce the custom-valved RP23 rear shock. The front end is highly gusseted to handle the longer leverage ratio of a 29er fork, and the curved down tube significantly increases strength while providing much more clearance for fork crowns. The new frame is reported to weigh approximately 6.5lbs for a medium frame, complete with shock.

Cannondale develops time-trial/triathlon version of Six13

The new Six13 Slice 1
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The top-level Slice 1
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Cannondale’s “Speed Shadow” seat tube
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Forget about the standard-issue
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Cannondale has added a time-trial/triathlon little brother to their carbon fiber and aluminum Six13 line of road frames. The Six13 Slice 1 marks Cannondale's first departure from fully aluminum frames designed for races against the clock. Some versatility is provided by the 75° seat tube angle that couples with a specially developed reversible post from USE to yield a 78° effective angle when the need arises. Cannondale's "Speed Shadow" seat tube design partially closely follows the arc of the rear wheel in order to shield it from the wind. The top-level Slice 1 includes Cannondale's proprietary SI integrated carbon fiber crankset as well as a carbon fiber dual-pivot brakeset and deep-section Zipp 404 clincher rims.